Whether or not the proposal becomes law, the vote itself broadcasts to the world that this government opposes a negotiated two-state solution.
The Israeli government voted to endorse legislation to extend Israeli law to settlements in the West Bank on Sunday.
What does would that mean, you ask? For 47 years, the primary source of law in the West Bank has been the IDF military law code. Applying civilian law to parts —or all — of the West Bank would be tantamount to annexation, or at least be a creeping but concrete step toward that goal.
Irrespective of whether or not this latest proposal is ever passed, the vote itself broadcasts to the entire world that the majority of ministers in the Israeli government support annexing West Bank settlements — a “unilateral move” if there ever was one.
In fact, even if the current version of the bill goes no further than it already has, it will have accomplished its authors’ goal: to move Israelis ever closer to stomaching the idea of annexation.
Events like the fall of the Berlin Wall are anomalies: most change happens gradually and it is often not even noticed until it’s too late. That is how the Israeli Right feels about the international and domestic support for Palestinian statehood these days, and that is how the Israeli Right plans to subvert that same idea. Baby steps. Facts on the ground.