Weekly Commentary: Key Man in Netanyahu Team Admits 12 Year Failure in Area
Dr. Aaron Lerner 31 July, 2021
This Friday's edition of Makor Rishon features an interview with Ronen
Peretz, who served Binyamin Netanyahu as the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Acting Director General.
While the interview features many column inches of Peretz praising his
former boss, buried towards the end of the text is a shocking exchange:
Peretz:...The war today is much larger than Khan al Ahmar (AL: an illegal
village whose demolition the Supreme Court approved) and it is a war which
to my despair we are losing. The significant matter is Area C, and we are
not doing anything there.
Reporter: The claims in this matter should be directed towards the person
who served at the head for the last 12 years (AL: Binyamin Netanyahu).
Peretz: I can tell you what I tried to do from my position...I asked more
than once in meetings with the Civil Administration that they say what the
desired principles were from their standpoint. It was a process that did
not develop. In contrast to us, the Palestinians are working in Area C in an
organized fashion. They have learned a method and if we do not stop it we
will face a reality of Palestinian construction which will prevent any
future arrangement which we can accept.
This profound failure is far more important than the number of housing units
which received final building permits in Judea and Samaria over the course
of Netanyahu's 12 years.
That's because, for all their importance, while a Jewish housing unit not
built today can be built tomorrow, illegal Palestinian construction carried
out today and not removed can have permanent negative consequences.
This illegal construction is strategically designed to both choke off
existing Jewish communities and grab land reserves which could be used for
future Jewish communities.
With everything on Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's plate, and considering
the composition of his coalition government, it is not clear to me how many
building permits he can get Defense Minister Gantz to approve.
But the illegal Palestinian construction in Area C is something else.
Netanyahu's 12 year failure in Area C is no excuse for failure today.
The law is squarely on the side of action rather than complacence.
No. I am not claiming that it will be easy. But I firmly believe that if
Naftali Bennett sets his mind to it that he will find a way, despite the
composition of his ruling coalition, to stop the illegal Palestinian
construction in Area C.
And if he does succeed, the fact that a government which includes Meretz and
an Arab party is acting against illegal construction in Area C may turn out
to be easier to "sell" among some circles overseas than if the same action
had been taken by a right wing government.
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