The promise to include almost a third of the West Bank in the fold of Israel to a week of a tight ballot ... how to appreciate this announcement, yesterday, Tuesday, September 10, of the Israeli Prime Minister? Electoral calculations will say some: Benyamin Netanyahu seeks to gather all the right voices and promises in case of victory to annex the Jordan Valley, strategic pan of the occupied West Bank. The press, this morning, obviously comments on this statement, but does not fail to return to what happened a few hours later after this announcement.
With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Michel Paul
On the front pages of all the newspapers here this morning is exactly the picture that Benyamin Netanyahu would have liked to avoid. It shows the Israeli Prime Minister exfiltrated from a political rally by his service of close protection in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel after a missile alert. " A strong image that will remain in the collective memory ," said an editorialist, just hours after the announcement described as dramatic plans to annex the Jordan Valley after the elections and in case of victory.
Similar remarks on the eve of the previous consultation
A promise that many commentators do not take seriously. It is recalled that Netanyahu had made similar remarks on the eve of the previous consultation. One more promise, summarizes an editorialist. " Bad day for Netanyahu, " said another commentator mainly because of the dismissal of John Bolton, the US security adviser very close to the Israeli Prime Minister and fierce opponent of any rapprochement with Tehran.
The editorialists on the right speak of a change in the course of history: Benyamin Netanyahu has succeeded in annexing the agenda, says one of them. " At 6 days of elections, hysteria is back, " headlines a daily. "Bibi" remains alone in the corruption investigations against him, the escapades of his wife Sarah and the controversial tweets of his son Yair who called last week, Yitzhak Rabin " assassin of survivors of the Holocaust " who were aboard the refugee ship Altalena . And, another blow for Netanyahu: Benny Begin, the son of Menachem Begin, the founder of the Likud party, who announces, " I will not vote for this party ".
At issue, the " culture of impunity " around Israel
For Xavier Abu Eid, advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team, this announcement is specific to the " culture of impunity that has emerged around Israel. (...) Netanyahu's demand is a mandate from the Israeli electorate to commit a new crime in violation of international law. De facto annexation is a reality that we live every day. It can be seen in Jerusalem, Syria or the Golan Heights. In concrete terms, the problem is that we have an Israeli government and a government coalition that are likely to be renewed. They are opposed to both the negotiation process and the idea of a two-state solution. They announce a series of measures in favor of the annexation of territories . "
" This is not a situation that can be disconnected from what is happening in Jerusalem or these days in Bethlehem for example ," says Xavier Abu Eid. Actions undertaken on the basis of increased annexation of territories are a reality. And we realize that this should not be considered solely as an election issue. It goes beyond that. That is why supporters of a two-state solution and respect for UN resolutions must react . "
" Populism and demagoguery "
" It's populism and it's demagogy , for the French-Israeli political scientist Ofer Bronchtein. I think that a large part of the Israeli public still believes, and all the polls have been saying it for 25 years permanently, to the two-State solution; it can not be done unilaterally. (...) If, unfortunately, that happens, it means that Israel has decided to go to apartheid. And this is something tragic for the future of the State of Israel. What is needed today is to comfort his electoral base of right and far right to prevent small far-right parties from stealing votes. "
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