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Knesset members to descend on L.A.

by Jonah Lowenfeld

September 5, 2011 | 3:49 pm

The Knesset Building (photo courtesy Beny Shlevich / Wikipedia)

Over the next two weeks, three members of Knesset are coming to Los Angeles. All are expected to talk about the upcoming

Dr. Einat Wilf, of the Independence Faction founded by Ehud Barak, will speak to BINA-LA, a young professionals group supported by the Israeli Leadership Council, on Tuesday, Sep. 6.

Danny Danon, of the Likud Party, is deputy speaker of the Knesset, and will be addressing a $150-per person fundraiser hosted by the American Friends of Likud and the Zionist Organization of America in Irvine on Sep. 14.

And Arieh Eldad, of the National Union Party, will be delivering a talk in Encino to the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors group on Sep. 18.

Wilf comes to Los Angeles following a four-day speaking tour on the east coast arranged by The Israel Project, a non-profit pro-Israel public relations outfit. On Aug. 30, Wilf told journalists at a briefing in Washington, D.C., that the unilateral declaration of independence Palestinian leaders are expected to put to the United Nations later this month will not advance efforts towards the establishment of an actual Palestinian state.

“In order to have a proper state…you will need to negotiate with Israel,” Wilf told reporters, according to a release from The Israel Project.

Although her speech to BINA is supposed to be about the linkages between Israel and Jews in the diaspora, that’s a topic that could certainly include a discussion of the prospect of the Palestinians unilaterally declaring a state at the United Nations.

The other two speakers will almost certainly also talk about the Palestinian state conundrum, and both can be expected to restate the position that Israel should annex the West Bank and ignore any opposition to such a measure.

Danon only wants part of it, though. The MK who organized opposition to then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005 and was elected to Knesset in 2009, suggested annexing “the Jewish communities of the West Bank, or as Israelis prefer to refer to our historic heartland, Judea and Samaria” in a New York Times Op-Ed in May.

And while Judea and Samria, Danon wrote in the Op-Ed, would become part of Israel, the parts of the West Bank where 2.7 million Palestinians live would not.

“We would be well within our rights to assert,” Danon wrote, “that we are no longer responsible for the Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who would continue to live in their own — unannexed — towns.

“These Palestinians,” he continued, “would not have the option to become Israeli citizens, therefore averting the threat to the Jewish and democratic status of Israel by a growing Palestinian population.”

Danon went on to say that despite “naysayers” warning of “dire consequences and international condemnation” that would follow such a move, Israel has weathered such “diplomatic storms” in the past and could do so again.

Eldad, in his speech on the 18th, will recap an argument that he has been making at least since 2009 that no new Palestinian state need be established because, as he puts it, “Jordan is Palestine.”

“Dr. Eldad will explain why Israel should formally annex all of Judea and Samaria,” the event’s announcement reads, “and why the Arabs living there should become citizens of Jordan.  Jordan is the Palestinian state, and there is no need or reason to create another one.”

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