Jordan Valley Needed to Protect Israel from Threats to the East

(Jerusalem Post) Herb Keinon - The Arab countries roundly - if rather perfunctorily - condemned Prime Minister Netanyahu's announced intent to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Dore Gold, the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry, said that the muted response has to do with "understanding very well...the Iranian threat to the eastern portion of the Arab world." He said that there is a degree of understanding about the context of the move, and how it has "strategic military significance" in checking malign Iranian intentions in the region. Gold noted that one of the significant aspects of Netanyahu's announcement was that he presented a map where he defined the area that he feels is necessary for Israel's security, and that the map he used is very close to the one that Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon proposed soon after the 1967 war. Gold said that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin also adhered to the Allon Plan to retain the Jordan Valley, saying in his final address to the Knesset in 1995 that in any future agreement, "the Jordan Valley in the widest sense of that term would be the security border of the State of Israel." At the time, Gold said, "Israeli planners were largely preoccupied with the future threat of an Iraq expeditionary force that could cross Jordan in 35 hours." While Saddam Hussein has been eliminated, he said, the threat to Israel from the east did not disappear, since Iran "is very actively trying to project its military power westward toward the Mediterranean."

2019-09-12 00:00:00

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