• Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Bernard Allen Goldbe… on One-State Solution: Options On…
    Judah Rosen on One-State Solution: Options On…
    Bernard Allen Goldbe… on After Israel
    Richard Robinson on Before Israel
    Judah Rosen on Before Israel
  • Top Posts

  • Search by Category

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 11,344 hits
  • Pages

  • Twitter

  • Meta

One-State Solution: Options Three, Four & Five

972mag.com

As I promised you in my last post, I’m returning to the acute topic of the “One-State Solution,” and to the next three proposals making the rounds in Israel, especially among the settlers. To refresh your memory, these proposals were specified in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, on the day Prime Minister Netanyahu had met with President Trump at the White House – a day we might consider from now on as the ‘official’ day the two-state Solution has finally died. It was titled, “A Settler’s View of Israel’s Future,” and was written by one Yishai Fleisher, “the international spokesman of the Jewish community of Hebron.”

No matter what we think of this unknown (until now) ‘official’ spokesman, and of such a position for that community, we have to take it seriously since, as I firmly believe, they carry more probability of materializing than the two-state solution, as well as other solutions being mentioned. In this respect, just as the settlers’ movement has kept to its mission undeterred for almost fifty years, and has won the day, so are these proposals more likely to become a reality as “facts on the ground” sooner or later. As I mentioned also in my last post, none of these proposals take into account the just, legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for an entity, capital and state of their own. Still, it’s incumbent on us to take them seriously. Which I intend on doing.

Here then is the third proposal, as written in that Times’ op-ed piece: “… (it) is promoted by Prof. Mordechai Kedar of Bar-Ilan University, near Tel Aviv. His premise is that the most stable Arab entity in the Middle East is the Gulf Emirates, which are based on a consolidated traditional group or tribe. The Palestinian Arabs are not a cohesive nation, he argues, but are comprised of separate city-based clans. So he proposes Palestinian autonomy for seven non-contiguous emirates in major Arab cities, as well as Gaza, which he considers already an emirate. Israel would annex the rest of the West Bank and offer Israeli citizenship to Arab villagers outside those cities.”

This proposal, which we might term the seven, or eight-state solution, is so laughable that to treat it seriously is border on the absurd. And yet, Israel is already being accused – lately by a UN body of some sort – as an Apartheid state de facto. A proposal like this, taken straight out of the South African regime playbook for its “Bantustans,” is nothing short of racist in its most cruel manifestation. However, it is proposed by an Israeli professor, who had been brought to Sacramento by the “Stand With Us” organization, and was received with great fanfare and applause in our very own congregation of Mosaic Law. Just think of this. It runs deep, I tell you, fascism in disguise of academic bullshit. But I tell you one more thing: Just like in South Africa, and despite the hidden wishes of many, it has no chance of ever becoming a sustainable reality.

“The fourth proposal is the most straightforward. Caroline Glick, a Jerusalem Post journalist, wrote in her 2014 book, ‘The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East’ that, contrary to prevailing opinion, Jews are not in danger of losing a demographic majority in an Israel that includes Judea and Samaria. New demographic research shows that thanks to falling Palestinian birth rates and emigration, combined with opposite trends among Jews, a stable Jewish majority of above 60 percent exists between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean (excluding Gaza); and this is projected to grow to about 70 percent by 2059.”

This proposal, supported by a growing chorus of voices – among them none other than the Israeli President Mr. Rivlin – is fair in its basic premise of equal citizens’ rights to all the state’s residents, Jews and Arabs alike. But it’s very much debatable in its demographic conclusion, and to my understanding, and knowledge, her numbers have been strongly reputed by real experts in this field. However, even if we take her numbers as somewhat correct, we are left with a very problematic, unsatisfying solution. What kind of democratic Israel, a Jewish state would it be with a 40% Arab minority, at its rosiest possibility? What kind of a future will this bi-national state hold for a peaceful, humane, democratic Jewish nation? Not to mention the function of the Knesset, with almost evenly split Jewish and Arab representatives (with an Arab United Party maybe the largest party…) It might be a one-state solution, but a Jewish one-state solution most certainly not.

“Finally, there is a fifth alternative, which comes from the head of the new Zehut party, Moshe Feiglin, and Martin Sherman of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. They do not see a resolution of conflicting national aspirations in one land and instead propose an exchange of populations with Arab countries, which effectively expelled about 800,000 Jews around the time of Israeli independence. In contrast, however, Palestinians in Judea and Samaria would be offered generous compensation to emigrate voluntarily.”

Good luck with that. Jews offer money to Arabs to relocate. Moving the Palestinians to the Sinai Desert, I heard it being mentioned. Or to Saudi Arabia, as if they would be welcomed there. This last proposal is just a way of avoiding the truth, and the inevitable: the disastrous conundrum Israel is finding itself in because of 50 years of occupation, of building illegal settlements, and of doing all it can to avoid bringing to fruition the one acceptable, sustainable solution: The two-state solution. But that one, as I’d mentioned before, is all but dead. So it’s either an Apartheid state now, or a Bi-national state later, which won’t be a Jewish state as we know or want it to be, or as Herzl envisioned it in the first place. Take your pick. And the rest, as they say, is history.

* The “Leave a Comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

One-State Solution: Options One & Two

tabletmag.com

tabletmag.com

On the day Prime Minister Netanyahu met President Trump at the White House – a day we might consider from now on as the ‘official’ day the two-state Solution has died, even though others (myself included, here in this blog and in a talk I gave more than four years ago) declared it dead already – the most significant, important words regarding a solution to the conflict were not heard at that ‘strange’ press conference at the White House, or thereafter in commentary on television and radio news programs, and not read in the many articles by fine observers in the papers online and in print, but those I’ve read that day in the NY Times Opinion Pages from someone I never heard of before. It was titled, “A Settler’s View of Israel’s Future,” and it was written by Yishai Fleisher, “the international spokesman of the Jewish community of Hebron.”

Until now, I wasn’t aware of such an ‘official’ spokesman, and such a position for that community. And yet this article, and its five options that apparently are being proposed and discussed in Israel as a one-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, are worth digesting, discussing, and analyzing. Which I intend on doing, since I believe they carry (unfortunately so) more probability of materializing than the two-state solution, as well as other solutions being mentioned. In this respect, just as the settlers’ movement kept to its mission undeterred for almost fifty years, and has won the day, so are these proposals more likely to become a reality as “facts on the ground,” sooner or later.

Before I lay it out for you, however, I must alert you to the fact that two common-denominators unite all these proposals (and others that I’ve heard of, and may discuss here in the future), in regard to the conflict. One: They all propose the de facto annexation of the West Bank by Israel, as indeed the Israeli President Rivlin has suggested lately; if not all of it than most of it. Second: All the proposals in unison refuse to take into consideration the just aspirations of the Palestinian people for an entity, capital and state of their own. In this respect at least, they are all doom to failure – in the long run more than in the short run – even though some elements in them are surprisingly doable. And might even tried by Israel with the help of the new regime in Washington.

Here then is the first proposal, as written in that Times article: “The first option, proposed by former members of Israel’s Parliament Aryeh Eldad and Benny Alon, is known as “Jordan is Palestine,” a fair name given that Jordan’s population is generally reckoned to be majority Palestinian. Under their plan, Israel would assert Israeli law in Judea and Samaria while Arabs living there would have Israeli residency and Jordanian citizenship. Those Arabs would exercise their democratic rights in Jordan, but live as expats with civil rights in Israel.”

Now admittedly, I was taken aback by this proposal. I’ve heard many times before of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Meir Kahane’s and their followers, proposing to uproot all the Arab/Palestinian people from the West Bank – i.e. Judea and Samaria – and transfer them to Jordan, or even further beyond. Basically, they are the same people, those followers assert, with many families living on the east side of the Jordan River, and others living on the west side. (P.S.: As someone who went to battle against PLO forces behind the border in Jordan, I have a particular point-of-view on this. After all, following that battle, Jordan completed the job the Israeli army had begun in what’s known as ‘Black September,’ and threw the Palestinian fighters out of Jordan). This proposal assumes that first, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, its king and people, would agree to it; and second, that the Palestinians would agree. Now, while I find this outcome to be very unlikely – especially on the Palestinian side – I can see the rationale behind this proposal, which solidify Israel’s control over the whole area on the one hand, and supposedly taking care of the problematic ‘apartheid’ issue on the other. Crazy as it may sound – I’ve heard crazier things in the past – I don’t think it should be discarded out of hand for being too crazy as to not have at least an outside shot of becoming a reality one day.

Here then is the second alternative: “Suggested by Israel’s education minister, Naftali Bennett, (it) proposes annexation of only Area C — the territory in the West Bank as defined by the Oslo Accords (about 60 percent by area), where a majority of the 400,000 settlers live — while offering Israeli citizenship to the relatively few Arabs there (about 200,000. H.D.). But Arabs living in Areas A and B — the main Palestinian population centers — would have self-rule.” In other words: not citizenship.

I’ve heard of this proposal before, of course, and in more details even, as Mr. Bennett has made no secret of it lately. In reality, meaning taking into account ‘facts on the ground’ as they are currently existing in the West Bank, this is the most feasible, if not peaceable solution to the conflict. De facto, it’s actually more or less in existence already. It will make Israeli citizens of the Palestinians living in Area C., and the rest will have their limited autonomy (or a “state-minus” as PM Netanyahu had put it recently). It’s a partial solution of course, if that. But when considering where the political winds are blowing in Israel – news flash: right, very right – it has more probability of becoming a reality than any other proposal.

I need to restress this, though: None of the proposals – these two above and the other three, maybe even more, which I will discuss in my next post – deals with the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own; sidestepping the fact the UN and other countries around the globe had already passed resolutions recognizing Palestine as a state in one form or another; and disregarding completely the fact that all these entities and countries – including, until now, U.S.A. – regard the Jewish settlements in the West Bank as illegal under international law. Stay tune, therefore, as more is to come next month.

* The “Leave a Comment” link is the last tag below, in blue.

%d bloggers like this: