Report: Smotrich Demands Application of Sovereignty

According to a Channel 13 report last night, the Religious Zionist Party is conditioning its support for a future government led by Benjamin Netanyahu in part on the Likud’s willingness to include a clause in the coalition agreement obligating the new government to take steps to apply Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

What was seen as a deadlock with Likud now seems to be resolving and moving toward a clearer path toward forming a government. As recently as today, MK Bezalel Smotrich agreed to forgo the Defense Ministry position for that of Finance Minister.

According to a Channel 12 report today, Netanyahu had told Smotrich that he would not be given the defense portfolio due to his lack of experience and objections from the Biden administration. The Religious Zionism Party will nevertheless have authority over policies in Judea and Samaria as they relate to civil administration and the enforcement of laws in mainly uninhabited areas, according to the report. It appears likely that Yoav Gallant will become defense minister as he has extensive military experience. This report also has Oztma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir being named public security minister, which would give him control over the police.

We’re glad to see Smotrich remain firm in the fight to not only apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria but take responsibility for its overall affairs. However, the fact that sovereignty continues to be used as part of a negotiating tool is disgraceful. Sovereignty was never intended to be part of a compromise or a bargaining chip. A stable and functional government needs to recognize sovereignty as not only mandatory on the to do list of exercising Israel’s legal rights, but it also needs to convey to the world that sovereignty is an existential need of the State of Israel.

Smotrich demanding sovereignty plan be included in coalition deal, by Israel National News, November 20, 2022

Smotrich willing to forgo Defense Ministry – on one condition, by Israel National News, November 21, 2022

Report: Smotrich drops demand for defense portfolio, to become finance minister, by JNS Brief, November 21, 2022




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