The Jerusalem Umbrella Municipality & de facto Annexation

In the past, we have flagged Netanyahu’s support for a legislative initiative to include settlements in Jerusalem’s environs within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. Until now, this assessment was based on a sole declaration made by Netanyahu several weeks ago. No longer. In a widely covered Likud event in Ma’ale Adumim, Netanyahu elected to highlight his support and left no doubt as to just how serious it is.

Such a move has correctly been viewed in the past as tantamount to de facto annexation and the erasure of the Green Line, now bolstered by his declaration that Ma’ale Adumim would “forever remain a part of Israel” (see the Times of Israel published an article headlined: “In Ma’ale Adumim, Netanyahu promises thousands of new West Bank homes”). Coupled with another legislative initiative – excising more than 100,000 Palestinians currently within the Israeli defined municipal limits by even more gerrymandering of the city’s boundary – a new and deeply disturbing geopolitical reality is taking shape before our very eyes.