Rabbi Druckman, leader of religious-Zionists, throws support behind Netanyahu sovereignty plan

Former Knesset member Rabbi Haim Druckman, a respected leading voice in the national-religious camp, endorses Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan despite opposition by other right-wing leaders.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a boost for his plan to annex settlements when former veteran Knesset member Rabbi Haim Druckman endorsed the plan.

With both the right-wing in Israel and the settlement movement being split on whether or not to support the plan to apply Israeli sovereignty to settlements in the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria, Druckman’s voice could provide Netanyahu a boost.

Although many on the Right are calling for Netanyahu to annex the entire territory, Druckman said the plan should go ahead even though it would put only 30 percent of the land under Israeli law.

“I support sovereignty, even if it is only for part and not everything. That’s how you start. How did the State of Israel start? With Ben Gurion agreeing to partition,” Druckman said in a Kan Radio interview.

Druckman served four terms in the Knesset, beginning with the National Religious Party in 1977. He is the founder and head of the Or Etzion yeshiva that combines Torah study with service in the IDF and is known for its graduates who become officers and members of elite units.

Druckman criticized those who opposed the sovereignty plan, saying that any concessions Israel needed to make to get the U.S. to recognize the move could be changed in the future.

Under the Trump peace plan Israel can annex territory around its settlements but must also agree to a future Palestinian state on the rest of the land. The Americans have conditioned their recognition of the annexation on Israel’s acceptance of the plan.

Druckman felt that any right-wing opposition to annexing only part of Judea and Samaria would not be enough to stop it from happening.

“I’m not speaking on behalf of any party,” Druckman said.” I have no doubt that anyone with any sense will back this. Sovereignty is a good thing, and we need to be happy that we have reached this moment after 53 years.”

Also on Wednesday, Yesha Council chairman David Elhayani, who has opposed the plan because it provides for a Palestinian state, warned that annexing the settlements now might spark violence on the Palestinian side.

“It could be that the land will burn if the Trump plan is approved,” Elyahani told Radio FM98. “Trump’s outline will ignite the territory.”