Gantz & Likud agree on Jordan Valley
November 15, 2019
With little progress otherwise reported toward forming a new Israeli government, one point of agreement which is said to exist between Likud and Blue and White is over Israel’s right to claim sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area.
Before the September 17 Knesset election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he intended to immediately annex the Jordan Valley if he is re-elected.
“In Blue and White, they are prepared to begin a process of imposing Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea area,” Kan public radio reported on Thursday.
The broadcaster said the information was based on an exchange between Jewish Home leader Rafi Peretz, who currently serves as education minister, and two Blue and White MKs.
Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz, whose list edged out Netanyahu’s Likud Party, 33-32, in the September parliamentary election, currently has a mandate from President Reuven Rivlin to try to form a governing majority in the 120-member Knesset, but his time is running out.
The Jordan Valley is considered a less controversial issue within a broad range of the Israeli political spectrum, even among many who support the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, because it represents an eastern security border.
However, the two Blue and White MKs who discussed the Jordan Valley issue with Peretz pushed back against any presumption that their support for Israeli annexation of the area represented progress in forming a government with Jewish Home or anyone else on the right.
“Any attempt to attach to this meeting any form of negotiation or various proposals is simply incorrect,” said MKs Yoaz Hendel and Yehiel Tropper.
The discussion was said to have included issues relating to the future of Judea and Samaria and matters of religion and state, but Hendel and Tropper said that it was only a “conversation among friends.”