The term “settlement bloc” should be banned, at least in right-wing circles, according to David Elhiyani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council.
“I told my friends in the Likud that this terms fosters the delegitimization of communities in Judea and Samaria and in the Jordan Valley which are outside the borders of these designated areas,” he said.
“Elon Moreh, a town that was established by the government of Israel like all the other ones in Judea and Samaria, is outside a 'bloc.' Does this make it any less legitimate?”
Elhiyani was speaking to Arutz Sheva in the wake of reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was ready to revive the idea of the settlement blocs as a basis for a deal with the Palestinian Authority.
Under the plan, Israel would retain 7%-10% of Judea and Samaria where 70% of the Jewish communities of the region are located, in exchange for an equivalent amount of land inside the 1949 Armistice Lines. The PA has rejected this idea numerous times.
Elhiyani said that the time was right to impose Israeli sovereignty on the Jordan Valley. “Although there are no negotiations going on right now and the surrender of the Jordan Valley seems to be off the table, we still have a boycott issue that could hurt farmers."
By incorporating the area into the official borders of Israel, the boycott threat could be mitigated, he argued.
“One of the reasons for the boycotts of Israeli goods from Judea and Samaria is the ongoing military rule there. By annexing these areas, the situation becomes normalized, and I believe the pressure to continue boycotts will lessen. If the government wants to start in Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, or Ariel instead of the Valley that would be fine as well.”
But that sovereignty must, in the end, apply to all of Judea and Samaria, not just the “blocs."
"I object to this terminology, which is divisive, seeking to pit communities against each other,” Elhiyani declared “I call on all residents of Judea and Samaria and all MKs to stop using this terminology.”