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Jun 12, 2022

a major political risk

I know this is almost definitely not going to happen and some compromise will be worked out at the last minute, but if the members of the current government coalition were not risk averse I would suggest they take a big risk and do the following...

It is unclear what the ramifications would be if the current law setting the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria as under Israeli law instead of martial law were to allow to expire. It seems, if I understand it correctly, that if the current government falls before the end of June, the temporary law in place will automatically renew. If the government does not collapse before the end of June, they will have to either renew the temporary law for another five years or it will expire. With the Likud and its Opposition partners voting against and saying they will continue to, it looks like the chances of it passing are slim, but I think most people figure a solution will be found.

As I mentioned it is unclear what the ramifications would be if the law will not get renewed. It will definitely create some chaos. Some are saying that Israeli residents will lose their access to Bituach Leumi, health care, voting rights, educational rights, etc.. criminals will be tried in military courts and not in Israeli courts. There is only one prison in Judea and Samaria that is supposedly already overfull, but this will create a problem for people who are sentenced to prison. And probably more.

The government legalists are surely all scrambling now to figure it out but let's assume for a moment that this is correct. Jewish residents will lose their right to vote in Israeli elections. I am not sure why - they are Israeli citizens so they should retain the right to vote, but perhaps they will have to travel to a polling station within Israel proper (which might be a hassle but definitely doable) rather than voting in Judea and Samaria locations. There is no absentee voting in Israel so they wont be allowed to vote from locations in Judea and Samaria but they should be able to be assigned polling stations within Israel and travel in to vote, like any other Israeli citizen residing abroad. But I havent heard any of the more knowledgeable or official spokespeople or reporters say that, so maybe not. So for now let us assume it is a real problem.

I would suggest to the government, that is regularly on the brink of collapsing anyway and right now closer than ever, to call Likud's bluff and let the law expire and then in July bring down the government and go to elections. It would ultimately be a failure of the government, failing to renew the Judea and Samaria Law, but they could go to elections campaigning against the Likud and Smotritch and Ben Gvir and Shas and UTJ  focusing on the fact that they all voted against the interests of the Judea and Samaria residents. Those "no" votes are on the record. it is official - they voted against the law being extended to continue treating Judea and Samaria residents as Israelis. The parties in the current coalition should focus on that and hammer it home in their campaigning and eat away at some of the support for those parties in Judea and Samaria, along with supporters elsewhere.

Additionally, besides for a campaign focused against the Likud et al on this issue, the overwhelming majority of Judea and Samaria Jewish residents are supporters of the Likud. There will also be many supporters of Smotritch and Ben Gvir, along with Shas and UTJ (UTJ probably doesnt have too many but they will have some affected communities like Emmanuel, maybe Modiin Ilit and  maybe even Beitar Ilit if the Gush region is affected by this).. If all those supporters cant vote for their favorite parties, these Opposition parties that voted against will lost upwards of half a million votes in the coming elections! That would be a major blow and hurt them badly and make it even more difficult for the Likud to form a majority coalition and government. And even if they are able to travel in to Israel to vote, I am sure many would not want to bother, or wouldnt be able to, or would buy into the campaign against the Likud for doing this to them...

All this is theoretical, if the legal complications play out the way it is being described now. And it would be a really big political risk. And it could very well backfire. The current parties leading the country may have nothing to lose at that point. I would love to see this happen in real life, but I dont expect it to. 

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. In the last election, UTJ got 31000 votes in Modiin Illit and Beitar - in Emmanuel they got 536.

  3. definitely. they are each much bigger than emmanuel. I am just not 100% if they, esp Beitar, are included in this issue.
    Even if they are, those arent tremendously high numbers, but for a small party they are significant.

  4. They are both in the WB - on what basis could they be excluded? לבוד?

  5. modiin ilit should be but I am not sure the gush has the same status..
    the Likud might be crazy to vote against the people of Judea and Samaria for a greater good. I find it hard to believe UTJ would do that, though they did which makes me wonder if somehow their bigger cities might have a different status.... (I think at least most of Modiin Ilit/Kiryat Sefer was built on private land which might give it different status)

    1. Private land makes no difference. Over the line is over the line, Beitar included.


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