Israeli Politics

Likud: The Party of Annexation

Elisheva Goldberg takes a look at the top 15 Knesset candidates nominated by the Likud, who roundly support annexing large parts of the West Bank.

Ronen Zvulun / Pool / Getty Images

Leaders of the organized American Jewish community often claim that across the political spectrum, Israelis have embraced the two-state solution. But as the gates of the Likud primary polls swung shut late last night, the doors to a one-state solution swung open.

Take a look at the top 15 Knesset candidates nominated yesterday by the Likud, who roundly support annexing large parts of the West Bank.

This list was compiled with help from the staff of the new Israeli website “sixtyone.” All sources are in Hebrew:

Gideon Sa’ar (#2): “Peace will not be achieved by uprooting Jews from the land of Israel. To the extent to which we build up the land (read: settle) we safeguard the practical and spiritual Land of Israel.” “According to our faith, Jews have always lived in Hebron.”

Gilad Erdan (#3): “The Palestinians are taking international, unilateral action — Israel, too, will take unilateral action. Israel should announce the annexation of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

Silvan Shalom (#4): “We cannot rule out the possibility of annexing the settlement blocs.”

Yisrael Katz (#5): “Israel will need to take unilateral steps to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

Dani Danon (#6): “The real solution is to extend Israeli sovereignty over the settlements in Judea and Samaria.”

Reuven Rivlin (#7): “Better that the Palestinians become citizens of the state than divide the Land.” “So if they come and say to me: ‘You decide, one state or divide the Land of Israel,’ I will say that the greater danger is division.”

Moshe (Bugi) Ya’alon (#8) — [Note: Bugi is “old school” Likud and stands as an exception to the annexationist elite on its way to power]: “The essence of Zionist existence in Israel: settlements across the country.”

Ze’ev Elkin (#9): In the political sphere — annexation of the settlements in Judea and Samaria. Because we need to attempt to arrive at…we need move to annex Judea and Samaria, at least those parts of it that are in the Israeli consensus.

Tzipi Hotovely (#10): “The state of Israel needs to put her unilateral solution on the table. Not the unilateral solution of withdrawals, but the unilateral solution of declaring sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.”

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Yariv Levin (#11): “The Land of Israel is precious to me. Our right to this land, all of it, is unshakable. It is a birthright, handed down from generation to generation. I have no right to take [that birthright] away from my children, and an obligation to bequeath it to their children.” [In a separate statement:] “Regardless of the Palestinian [UN] move, we should have extended sovereignty [to the West Bank] long ago…but the Palestinian unilateral move is good timing.”

[And one more, because it’s hard not to quote the proud homophobe some are calling the “real winnerof these Likud elections]:

Moshe Feiglin (#15): “I’ll summarize it for you in one sentence: Until we’re ready to say, full-throated, that “this is our land!” yes, also Gaza. Until we declare sovereignty on all areas of the Land of Israel in our hands, we have no real solution to the situation there [Gaza].”

In a few days Mahmoud Abbas will head to the U.N. with his palms up. But even if he does make it past the majority vote, the Likud leaders they find in office when they get back don’t sound particularly interested in complying. And it’s not just Likud. Good chunks of Yisrael Beiteinu, and the entirety of the Jewish Home party headed by Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Naftali Bennett, are wholeheartedly and openly pro-annexation of Area C. Some of them are even up for rebuilding the Jewish Temple in the spot where the Al-Aqsa Mosque currently stands. And with a Likud lineup like the one above, they might just be able to. Speedily, and in our day.