Grass-Roots Efforts Intensify for Fulfillment of Coalition Agreement
Specifically, Deputy Defense Minister is to receive control of the all-important Civil Administration – but the Likud is biding its time.
Behind-the-scenes efforts are being made to get the Likud Party to fulfill perhaps the most important commitment it made during the recent government-forming negotiations with its coalition partners.
The commitment: To name Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home party as the head of the Judea and Samaria Civil Administration. The Administration affects almost every aspect of life for the Jewish population of Judea and Samaria (Yesha).
Some 400,000 Jews currently live in the towns and cities of Yesha. This number does not include the 375,000 Jews living in the post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Ramat Eshkol (in areas liberated in the Six Day War).
As Haaretz reported nearly three weeks ago, if Ben-Dahan is not named to head the Administration, this will "contradict a clause in the coalition agreement between Likud and Habayit Hayehudi [Jewish Home]." The agreement was signed in early May and enabled Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to establish his 61-MK coalition government.
The grassroots Mattot Arim organization, based in Rehovot, has called for a public email campaign to "remind" both Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, that "the Israeli public is still waiting for them to finally appoint Eli Ben-Dahan to head the IDF's Civil Administration, as per the coalition agreements."
Mattot Arim notes the objective necessity of the appointment: "The pervasive threats of ISIS, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah mean that Defense Minister Yaalon will again have no time for Judea and Samaria this term. This is why the Ben-Dahan appointment is so important, so that the Jewish population of Judea/Samaria will be treated with decency, despite heavy European pro-Arab pressure."
The Jews of Yesha are the only people between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean whose lives are governed by military rule. The Administration, which is not subject to the Freedom of Information law, has often acted against Jewish interests, taking measures such razing Jewish homes, bulldozing farms and orchards, issuing administrative detention and distancing orders, delaying construction plans, selective enforcement of illegal construction laws, and more.
Mattot Arim's campaign is directed at the public, asking for emails to be sent to the Defense Minister and various Knesset Members requesting that the coalition agreement be fulfilled. In addition, the organization suggests that the public ask the Education Minister why he is allowing the trampling of the coalition agreement he worked hard to sign.