Opinion: Those who oppose applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley on the assumption it will divide the land, are afflicted with the same shortsightedness of the extremists who opposed the Partition Plan in 1947 due to their worldview of Greater Israel – the thing is though, Zionism was never about ‘all or nothing,’ it has always been about slow methodical expansion

Jordan Valley farmers supporting the annexation plan with a tractor convoy through the valley
Jordan Valley farmers supporting the annexation plan with a tractor convoy through the valley

On the day the UN Assembly accepted the Partition Plan for Palestine on November 29, 1947 – the Jewish community in pre-state Palestine came out in droves to celebrate in the streets.

And yet, there were also those who received the decision with contempt and even mourned it: The revisionist right and the unified kibbutz saw it as a disaster that tears up and surrenders parts of the Land of Israel.

David Ben-Gurion had no love for the plan for the land, yet he had a wide historical view coupled with a realist political mindset. He understood that the “all or nothing” approach could leave us with nothing.

He realized that we were in the midst of an historic situation, a chance to renew the sovereignty of the Jewish people on the land of Israel after two thousand years of exile, and that this may be a “now or never” opportunity.

Ben-Gurion realized that this was an opportunity that may never return and that must not be missed at all costs.

And so he made the call, and most people supported his decision. Would he had followed the advice of the extremists, it is doubtful the State of Israel would have been established.

The right-wing opposition to applying Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and parts of the West Bank follows the same pattern of thinking of those who opposed the partition plan.

Here they also deny an historic challenge and opportunity, which may never return, to apply Israeli sovereignty to those areas – with American support.

It is no coincidence that some refer to the plan as “the distribution plan” when they come out against it.

הפגנה מחאה שמאל נגד סיפוח שטחים דמוקרטיה כיכר רבין תל אביב
A protest in Tel Aviv against the annexation plan (Photo: AFP)


These black-and-white extremists are unable to contain the complexity of the plan, so they stick to the “all or nothing” approach. Out of their unwillingness to settle for less than everything, they (and all of us) may end up with nothing.

Prominent and belligerent among the plan’s opponents is the head of the Yesha Council and the head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, David Elhayani.

The settlements found in the Jordan Valley are meant to ensure that the area remains in Israeli control and to shape Israel’s eastern border. Settlements in the Valley grew and multiplied thanks to different movements with different worldviews.

Labor movement settlements rose in the Jordan Valley to realize the worldview expressed in the Allon Plan, which was designed to promote territorial compromise and shape Israel’s borders using Israeli settlement and sovereignty throughout the greater Jordan Valley.

The settlements of the religious Zionism and the revisionist Heirut-Beitar were established in the valley to realize the worldview of Greater Israel.

These two world views have more in common than not, as they both settled the Jordan Valley. Their interests today are the same – Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and thus the realization of their settlement purpose.

Elhayani is a member of Heirut-Beitar and a firm believer in a Greater Israel. Today, when sovereignty is to be applied to regions of the Land of Israel, especially the Jordan Valley, it is he who is supposed to lead the struggle to deepen our hold on it.

ארכיון דוד אלחייני בנימין נתניהו ב אלון שבות
David Elhayani and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO)


And yet, he is the one who heads the fight against the realization of this goal. Such short sightedness.

At the June 1967 government meeting in which it was decided to apply Israeli sovereignty to the whole of Jerusalem, Yigal Allon also proposed to apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and Mount Hebron.

His proposition was declined. Yet he did not think to object to applying sovereignty over Jerusalem, and he even moved his offices to the capital’s Jewish Quarter.

As reported by Ynetnews