Hayamin Hehadash Calls to Annex Part of West Bank, Grant Citizenship to Palestinian Residents

Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked fail to release agenda on religion and state affairs in party platform

Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announcing the establishment of their Hayamin Hehadash party, December 19, 2018.
Emil Salman

Israeli right-wing party Hayamin Hehadash, the outfit headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, propose annexing Area C in the West Bank, imposing full Israeli sovereignty there, and granting Israeli residency or citizenship to Palestinians living in those areas.

The party estimates there are “80,000 Arabs” residing in the area, which is under full Israeli civilian and security control. Other estimates, however, put the number of Palestinians living in that area considerably higher — the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the West Bank counts 297,000.

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The proposal was part of the platform released on Thursday by Hayamin Hehadash, whose leaders broke away from Habayit Hayehudi to form the new party.

In the chapter dealing with law, the party says it will continue “the judicial restraint revolution led by Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked in the 20th Knesset.”

The party said it would decide its positions on religion and state only after the April 9 election. Although it defines itself as a “right-wing party based on a true partnership between religious and secular” Jews, Hayamin Hehadash does not propose any solutions to subjects at the heart of issues of religion and state, such as public transportation on Shabbat, marriage, same-sex couples or kashrut.

“We believe that the character of the state must be determined through a process of dialogue among the entire public,” says the platform. “We object to legislation that incorporates religious coercion or secular coercion. We are convinced that any change in the status quo must be reached through dialogue and consensus.”

The party goes on to say that initial discussions on these issues will be based on the Gavison-Medan covenant, a 300-page document written in 2003 by Prof. Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Yaacov Medan on issues dividing the religious and secular population. After the election, the party will act to establish a public committee to be charged with coming up with a wider agreement on essential issues pertaining to religion and state.