Now is the most appropriate time to apply sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, for all the right reasons.
First, it would be the best answer to the increasing terrorism in general and to the recent murderous attacks in particular. This is the will of the bereaved families, as expressed most succinctly by Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and two daughters were murdered in the Jordan Valley in May: "They are murderers, we are builders."
Second, Israel must show determination and strength in front of its enemies and its partners alike, who may think that Israel is weakening, considering its internal debates.
Israel must carry out a political-security-strategic move, which will defeat Palestinian rejectionism, which has broad support in the Israeli public and will repel any thought of harming the State of Israel in moments of crisis or even defeating it in the long term.
The third reason is that there is broad support in the Israeli public and in the Knesset.
Support for Sovereignty
On September 10, 2019, at the height of an election campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced during a press conference at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel that the main vision for which he seeks the public's trust in the upcoming elections is the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.
He described on a large and detailed map that immediately upon the establishment of the government under his leadership, his government would apply sovereignty over this area, from Beit She'an in the north to almost Ein Gedi in the south, from the Jordan River in the east to the Alon road in the west.
This is without annexing even one Palestinian into Israel's territory. The cities of Jericho and al-Auja will not be annexed to Israel and will be connected to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan through a system of roads to the west, south, and east.
Netanyahu explained that the Jordan Valley is Israel's "eastern protective wall" that will ensure that the Jewish state will never return to being as narrow as it was before the 1967 Six-Day War, and that the IDF must be stationed in the entire area of the valley.
The prime minister promised that together with the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, the government led by him will invest budgets for the development of Israeli settlement and infrastructure there.
ONLY A few months later, on January 21, 2020, Benny Gantz, then chairman of the Blue and White party, and a few months later the defense minister in both the Netanyahu and Bennett-Lapid governments, stated that he would support this annexation. It was during his visit to the Jordan Valley, with Moshe Ya'alon and Orna Barbivai standing by his side.
In other words, this step has broad support in both the coalition and the opposition. Apart from Blue and White and Yesh Atid, which supported it in the past as mentioned above, the Yisrael Beytenu party also recently proposed a law to annex the Jordan Valley, which was rejected as part of political games.
It can be argued that the timing today is more complex than in 2019-2020 due to the Abraham Accords, under which Israel's new allies demanded a suspension of the annexation of Judea and Samaria, and due to the much greater tensions with Iran and its proxies and the strengthening of Iran's position under Russian and Chinese auspices.
But, these conditions are actually arguments in favor of annexation and not against it.
Netanyahu stated after the signing of the Abraham Accords that the annexation is delayed but not canceled. Today, three years later, it seems we have waited enough.
Jordan will, of course, condemn this step, but it can be assumed that in practice it will be happy to enjoy security on its border with the Palestinian Authority that will be secured by the IDF and not the terrorist organizations within the Palestinian Authority.
The ongoing confrontation with the Palestinians will continue and even increase, with or without the application of sovereignty. Rather, this step will convey to the Arabs and the entire world that Israel is not going anywhere and that it intends to win in any confrontation.
The real victory over the enemy is to take away the hope for the establishment of an Arab state within Israel's territory. Terrorism seeks to achieve victory not on the battlefield, but in the political arena. Israel's answer must be to make decisions based on its own national security, which will ultimately lead it to victory.
Shlomo Ne'eman is chairman of the Yesha Council, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, and a member of the Israel Victory Project.