Split among Judea, Samaria leadership as more express support for Trump plan

The “historic moment” cannot be missed, even if the plan also calls for a Palestinian state, they say. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Eight regional council heads in Judea and Samaria will address a letter to their constituents in favor of the Trump plan this weekend.

The position stands in contrast to that of many of their colleagues and the official representatives of their region, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

The bottom line, the letter says, is that the importance of the plan’s acceptance of Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea territory as well as all Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria outweighs the danger of the plan’s call for a Palestinian state.

“We are facing a historic moment, one that will recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria,” wrote the council heads of cities like Ariel and Efrat, as well as the smaller towns of Elkana and Givat Ze’ev.

Although they still believe in the vision of Greater Israel, they added, leadership means “saying yes to the deal of the century and wanting to ensure sovereignty and the application of Israeli law wherever possible – and immediately.”

Calling it “a test moment for the leadership,” they said that though they oppose a Palestinian state as does the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council, which represents the region, “the implications have historical significance and an almost irreversible impact on the future.”

Gaining a solid foundation for what already exists is the only responsible thing to do, said one of the letter’s initiators.

Efrat Regional Council head Oded Revivi told the Hebrew daily, “Those who don’t know enough to accept the insurance policy for what has been established are endangering the future of the settlement [enterprise].”

The Yesha Council recently started campaigning for immediate annexation without negotiating with the Palestinian Authority. As such, they are rejecting the American position that the peace plan has to be accepted as a whole.

The eight public renegades are a full third of the Council membership.

Some members are still making up their minds, according to the report, while others have kept their silence, so the exact number of those in favor of the plan is not yet known.

But the sharp division of opinion that has been revealed is already a significant rift in an organization whose formal mandate is to promote Jewish building in Judea and Samaria and lobby for their interests in the Knesset and government.