By Juan Cole,
Ann Arbor, Mich.—Interim Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu committed again on Sunday that his government will steal the entire Jordan Valley from the Palestinians. He had floated this plan two months ago but now seems to be determined to move ahead. It makes up 25% of the Palestinian West Bank. Israel is forbidden to annex militarily occupied territory by the 1949 Geneva Convention and by the charter of the United Nations, which were enacted to forestall a repeat of Nazi atrocities. Netanyahu would also annex the 5% of Palestinian territory on which Israeli squatter settlements have been built on land stolen from its Palestinian owners.
Netanyahu is in a world of trouble. He has been indicted on criminal offenses. The only thing that might keep him out of jail is to stay in office and tinker with the law for his own benefit. But he can’t remain prime minister because he lost the last election and hasn’t been able to form a government.
You don’t need to be a really suspicion person to see this announcement as a form of wagging the dog by Netanyahu in hopes of making himself so popular in Israel that he can manage to find a way to fix the system and stay out of jail. Of course, he has made this pledge before, and he nevertheless couldn’t win the election and form a government.
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