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What is Sovereignty?

What is the definition of sovereignty? What is the meaning and the ramifications of sovereignty? What is the source of sovereignty over the Land in general and over Judea and Samaria in particular? The Sovereignty Movement responds.

The definition: Sovereignty is the exclusive authority of the state or a people over a specific territory.

Meaning: Since it is exclusive to a specific people or state, the meaning of sovereignty is the independent control of the territory, thus the acceptance of full responsibility for what transpires within that territory and the implementation of the state's or the people's full rights over the territory.

Implications: Sovereignty of a state requires full responsibility of various sorts, toward the population as well as toward the territory. These things are expressed by maintaining security, enforcement of law and order, ensuring economic stability, protecting environmental quality, protecting civil rights and human rights, living conditions and protecting nature as well as a great number of other aspects. As stated in the term's definition, sovereignty constitutes exclusive authority of one people and one state. It is not possible to divide sovereignty over one territory between two or more nations for the simple reason that each nation has its own objectives, its own interests, its own way of life and ideology and it is from all of these things that the way of life in a sovereign territory is derived, in accordance with the determination of the sovereign nation. Because of this, the implementation and recognition of sovereignty prevents and thwarts the hopes for a parallel sovereignty alongside another nation.

 Regarding the State of Israel: The People of Israel's sovereignty over the Land of Israel stems from the Biblical promise. It was the power of this promise that led the nations of the world to recognize the right of the People of Israel to sovereignty over its Land and to determine this right in international law.

Regarding Judea and Samaria: Until now, the successive governments of Israel have refrained from resolving to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. As a result, the legal fabric of the area has been damaged, meaning, Israeli law is not fully applied  and the Jewish residents live under military rule and a patchwork of regulations based on a combination of Ottoman law, British law, international law and Israeli law.

Moreover, in the absence of Israeli sovereignty, the Arab hope to establish another Arab state in these areas remains extant. Israeli hesitancy in the matter of sovereignty, in contrast to Arab resoluteness, is seen by the world as an Israeli admission that indeed, Israel has no right over the territory. This contradicts international law and is against the historic, Biblical right recognized by both the Western world and the Arab world.

The continued existence of the hope for an Arab state (in Judea and Samaria is only the first step) provides a tailwind for terror that seeks to push Israel off of its land and establish an Arab state on its ruins. Full Israeli sovereignty will also serve as a basis for the enforcement of Israeli laws by the relevant security and enforcement agencies, and will provide an unequivocal statement as to who is the exclusive sovereign in the territory.

As stated in the paragraph on "meaning", the meaning does not only relate to rights, but also to responsibilities. As such, sovereign Israel must ensure the civil welfare of the residents in the territory (and their legal status is a separate issue). In providing a comfortable life to the citizens, another motive that greases the wheels of terror will be removed. And when it becomes clear in a practical way that Israeli sovereignty benefits the people living in the territory, objections to Israeli sovereignty will be removed.  

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