Women In Green's Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said today that the United States warned Israel that applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria would provoke a crisis with the U.S. He is quoted as saying, "We received a direct message - not an indirect message and not a hint - from the United States. Imposing Israeli sovereignty on Judea and Samaria would mean an immediate crisis with the new administration."
NY Post: US warns Israel that annexing West Bank would trigger 'crisis'
Liberman himself reiterated his opposition to annexing the West Bank, stating that the ruling Israeli coalition must clarify that annexation is not its official stance, in order to prevent diplomatic strife with the U.S.
He said, "Applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria means accepting an extra 2,700,000 citizens, and that is before I get into [consequences of] international law, the political implications and the international community's reactions that would not accept the fact that we are not granting [Palestinians] the right to vote," the defense minister said.
JPost: Liberman: Israeli Annexation Of West Bank Will Cause 'Immediate Crisis' With US
There was an immediate reaction to Liberman's pronouncements. Knesset Land of Israel caucus chairs Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) and Yoav Kisch (Likud) stated, "We have to stop this campaign of fear about sovereignty."
They continued, "A nation can not be an occupier in their land, so we are not talking about annexation but rather about the imposition of sovereignty on our land."
"We are continuing in the path of the Zionist leaders that applied sovereignty on the land in 1948, 1967 and 1981," they said.
"The time has come to take the next step: we're advancing a a law applying sovereignty on Ma'aleh Adumim that will have majority [support] in the Ministerial Legislative Committee and in the Knesset plenum," Smotrich and Kisch said.
The heads of Women In Green (WIG), Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, criticized Liberman's statement and issued the following statement:
"Minister Lieberman is mistaken and misleading when he says that the application of sovereignty would lead to a crisis with the American administration. We do not know who Minister Lieberman has been talking to, but from our sources, it is clear that the policy of the Trump administration has not changed. Only yesterday there was a delegation from Congress here, who came to analyze the transfer of the embassy. Our sources in Congress continue to say that Israel must consolidate her policy positions and these will be honored by the American administration and the White House. The Trump administration does not intend to force any plan upon Israel".
"It must further be noted that for decades, relations between Israel and the United States were subject to disagreement over the Palestinian matter and the matter of Jerusalem, and nevertheless, the American administration continued to maintain good relations with Israel in light of the depth of American interests in the Middle East. The Palestinian matter is very low among American considerations. At the top of this list is the conflict with Iran, as well as dealing with Islamic terror and strengthening the pro-American regimes in the region. As a result, the application of sovereignty will not result in the crisis and conflict that Minister Lieberman is concerned about. The thought that Israel must place her security needs in the hands of the American president is unthinkable".
The time is fast approaching when Prime Minister Netanyahu must get off the fence of deferred decision making, and ask himself, Is Israel a sovereign, independent nation that makes decisions and takes actions based on its own interests, or is Israel beholden to the interests of the United States? History in the Middle East is being made quickly, and Israel can ill-afford to stand aside and be led instead of leading.