Yemina party: Netanyahu needs us to realize annexation vision and stave off Trump’s potential demands for Palestinian state

“This declaration will remain a declaration if we are not strong and significant in the government,” Shaked told Kan public radio.

By World Israel News Staff 

The head of the right-wing Yemina bloc, former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proclamation on Tuesday on extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area will be implemented only if Yemina is a “strong” member of the government coalition that is set up following the September 17 Knesset election.

“This declaration will remain a declaration if we are not strong and significant in the government,” Shaked told Kan public radio on Wednesday, an apparent reference to the possibility that Netanyahu’s Likud party and Blue and White, headed by MK Benny Gantz, could form a national unity government instead of a narrower coalition which would give greater clout to small, right-wing parties.

Opinion polls have been showing Likud and Blue and White running neck-in-neck, each expected to win just over 30 seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament.

Yemina argues, however, that right-wing voters must vote for it on election day to ensure that there is a strong rightist party together with the Likud in the next government to prevent the influence of center-left views, such as those of Blue and White.

“Imposing sovereignty is important but it’s only a beginning,” Shaked said in the Kan interview, expressing skepticism due to what she said has been a checkered right-wing track record for the prime minister.

“In his first government, he froze Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria and delivered the Bar Ilan address,” said the Yemina leader.

Soon after winning the 2009 election, Netanyahu delivered an address at Bar Ilan University in which he spoke of his readiness to support “a Palestinian state” if it would be demilitarized and if the Palestinians would “clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.”

Before the 2015 Knesset election, Netanyahu and the Likud said that the Palestinian Authority was not a true peace partner and therefore the principles laid out at Bar Ilan by the prime minister were not relevant.

Shaked said on Wednesday that extending Israeli sovereignty is a decision that can be taken on the ministerial level, even by a transition government, and does not require Knesset legislation, and therefore she does not know why Netanyahu didn’t already carry out the move now instead of just declaring his intention to do so.

Netanyahu said in his announcement on Tuesday that he would wait, out of respect for U.S. President Donald Trump, to annex the areas of Judea and Samaria in question until after the president presents his peace plan.

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In reaction to that statement, Shaked said that she is concerned over what details might be in the Trump peace plan and in what ways it might prevent Israel from acting in Judea and Samaria.