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Likud's mainstreaming of West Bank annexation

Annexing West Bank territory to Israel was once considered a far-fetched and even crazy idea in the Likud, but the idea is now being publicly advocated by party members.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends a Likud party meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem January 16, 2017. Picture taken January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC187DF66900
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The current election campaign in Israel has thus far focused on embarrassing and even pathetic attempts to classify every party and candidate on a right-left platform, where even those defined as “leftists” do not suggest a diplomatic solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. At a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is busy inciting against Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who before the election intends to announce his decision on whether to indict Netanyahu for corruption, members of his Likud are committing to burying the two states for two people concept in favor of advancing the annexation of the West Bank. That is, what four years ago, on the eve of the 2015 election, was considered a crazy idea that only right-wing extremists toyed with has become mainstream in the Likud. 

Thus on Feb. 5 Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said the following with great confidence: “The application of Israeli sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel is in my eyes not a question of if but how we do it and when we get to it. In my view, it should start with applying laws that have specific relevance not only for the residents themselves, but also for the territory.”

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