Friday, November 30, 2007

Israel will annex Judea and Samaria and remain Jewish

Ted Belman

After the Annapolis fiasco, Olmert said,

“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights [assuming that the Palestinians in the territories will petition peacefully to be citizens of Israel, taking on the obligations of Israeli citizenship], then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished, “The Jewish organizations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us, because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents.”

He is wrong on both counts.

According to the authoritative AIDRG, if Israel were to annex Judea and Samaria, Jews would outnumber Arabs for the foreseeable future (25 years) by a ratio of 2:1.

Because of its findings, I came to the conclusion in Israel From the Med to the Jordan, that it is better for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria than to retreat from it. Dr Mike Wise, who authored the One (Jewish) State Plan and who is the driving force behind AIDRG, agrees. Many times I have discussed with Mike how to go about doing this.

Olmert worries that in the absence of a two state solution, there would be a clamor for a one state solution as described and forecasted by Tony Judt in a NY Times Op-Ed, Its a lobby, not a Conspiracy, in the Spring of ‘06, and commented on by Jerry Gordon in Tony Judt Debates Israel’s Future

“The true alternative facing the Middle East in coming years will be between an ethnically cleansed Greater Israel and a single, integrated bi-national state of Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. That is indeed how the hard liners in Sharon’s cabinet-see the choice; and that is why they anticipate the removal of the Arabs as the ineluctable condition for the survival of a Jewish state. ’
There is no question that that is what Israel will have to resist in the wake of the two-state solution being abandonned. It will need a plan of its own and that is what Mike Wise and others are working on.

AIDRG is moving from research and analysis to political action. This entails the preparation of a constitution which meets democratic standards, before annexing Judea and Samaria.

There is no doubt that such a constitution would be supported by the West. But the West would never endorse such a move without addressing the “right of return.” This Plan would not permit the return of refugees to the expanded Israel. Thus the Arab states would have to absorb them. The Arab States, Fatah and Hamas would reject such a plan because it would be wiping Palestine off the map rather than other way around. Thus, if the Arabs reject it, so will the west.

So one must ask why make a constitution like this if it doesn’t end the rejection?

AIDRG says that such a constitution is the only kind of constitution that will allow Israel and Jews to hold theirs heads up high and will ultimately lay the groundwork for making the Arabs good citizens of Jewish Israel.

For my part, I argue that Jews for the most part have no problem with equality for all its citizens and wouldn’t have it any other way. But they don’t want to live with the Arabs and prefer them to be out of sight and mind. It is bad enough that 20% of the current Israel population is Arab and to a large extent, anti-Israel, but to contemplate increasing that to 33% would be rejected outright by them.

AIDRG holds otherwise. They believe that most Arabs want to live peacefully within Israel even if it was Jewish. He points to Jerusalem as a laboratory. For decades now, Arabs represent one third of the population and both communities have lived in peace.

If you believe that keeping all the land is not worth absorbing the Arabs living there, perhaps you also favour, as Lieberman does, forfeiting the Arab triangle in Israel to the emerging state.
The choice is very simple. More land, more Arab citizens. Less land, less Arab citizens.

In other words, is Israel more secure with less land and a higher proportion of Jews or more land and a lower proportion of Jews. Two years ago I asked, Is Israel’s greatest threat, demographics or indefensible borders?

Today the choice is not ours to make. Today we must stay in J and S for security reasons. The only question is whether we should try to maintain the status quo or whether we should annex the land and get on with a made in Israel solution.

While Michael Wise believes that we can live with this ratio others like Jerusalem Summit and Aryeh Eldad disagree. .

They want to pay the Arabs in Judea and Samaria to leave voluntarily. Martin Sherman of Jerusalem Summit recently wrote to me to bring my attention the position paper A New Paradigm for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict : From the Political to the Humanitarian.

It concludes,

1. The establishment of a Palestinian State must be removed from the international agenda.

2. However, removing the issue of a Palestinian state from the international agenda will not eliminate the humanitarian predicament of Palestinians residing in Israeli-administered areas.

3. This is clearly an issue that must be addressed and resolved. But it must be addressed not in political terms but in humanitarian ones.

4. Thus, to successfully resolve the Palestinian problem, the Political Paradigm must be replaced by a Humanitarian Paradigm. This, however can only be done if the current Palestinian narrative, which fuels the Political Paradigm, is de-legitimized.

5. Thus, the de-legitimization of the Palestinian narrative becomes a vital prerequisite to any comprehensive resolution of the Palestinian issue.

Notice that it doesn’t even entertain a solution whereby the Palestinians remain. Simply put; no Palestine in Israel, no Palestinians in Israel.

Benny Elon published the The Right Road to Peace otherwise known as the Elon Plan in which he adds another idea namely that a solution should be crafted between Jordan and Israel as follows;

Israel, the United States and the international community will recognize the Kingdom of Jordan as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinians. Jordan will once again recognize itself as the Palestinian nation-state.

Israeli sovereignty will be asserted over Judea, Samaria and Gaza (the West Bank). The Arab residents of these areas will become citizens of the Palestinian state in Jordan. The status of these citizens, their connection to the two states and the manner of administration of their communal lives will be decided in an agreement between the governments of Israel and Jordan (Palestine). Israeli sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Gaza

Benny Elon calls it “the completion of the exchange of populations that began in 1948″.

What Elon is suggesting both complicates and simplifies the solution at the same time. The Jerusalem Summit doesn’t depend on Jordan’s agreement and participation and is harder to effect. Some Arabs will remain. Elon’s Plan goes nowhere without the agreement of Jordan and the US. But with that agreement it makes the whole process easier except that the Arabs remain in place. This in itself, though no threat to Israel’s democracy, could well be a threat to its security.

As for the constitution, it must define Israel as a Jewish state regardless if there is no western norm for doing so. Paul Eidelberg, a constitutional expert, has put forward such a constitution. With the population issued resolved, the constitutional drafting is much easier.

More on this later.


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