Weekly Commentary: Doubtful Netanyahu Will Ever Annex Anything – ICC Trumps
Dr. Aaron Lerner 25 December 2019
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel will apply Israeli law to the
Jordan Valley (for simplicity I’ll call it “annex”) in concert with
President Trump recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the area.
On the other hand, Ronen Peretz the acting director general of his office,
put all action relating to annexation in “deep freeze” out of fear of action
by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
With it public knowledge that we fear the ICC there is absolutely no reason
to expect that some future change in ICC personnel will change this threat.
American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley would have
absolutely no effect on the ICC threat.
So even if at some time in the future President Trump were to announce that
the United States recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley ,
fear of ICC action would “trump Trump” and the same decision makers that
today are keeping annexation in “deep freeze” ostensibly to prevent the
arrest of Israelis overseas would continue the freeze.
President Trump has been consistent in the linkage between territory and the
“Deal of the Century”.
He did the photo op of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but the
geographic delineation of Israeli Jerusalem has been postponed until Israel
works this out with the Palestinians. That’s why an American born ANYWHERE
in Jerusalem still doesn’t have “Israel” as place of birth recorded in his
So American recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley or
Israeli communities (“settlements”) beyond the Green Line is linked to
Israeli acceptance of President Trump’s “deal of the century”. Thus even by
Mr. Netanyahu’s narrative, he has switched from what until now was an
Israeli initiative delayed by elections to a move completely dependent on
accepting a plan whose terms have been hidden from the Israeli electorate
because apparently revealing the details would undermine Netanyahu’s
In plain words: Binyamin Netanyahu is pitching to voters that the Jordan
Valley will be annexed if Israel accepts a deal that must be concealed from
the same voters because they would reject it!
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