[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
Hats off to Caroline Glick.
"No, annexation won’t be easy. But then again, the alternative is national
A technical observation: after annexation, the only thing stopping an Arab
from Nablus from moving to Haifa or Lod would be real estate prices. So a
switch to some kind of a district system instead of proportional
representation would not necessarily solve our problems if the population
projections turn out to have been overly optimistic.]
Our World: Israel’s only two options
By CAROLINE B. GLICK The Jerusalem Post 07/18/2011 21:59
The Jewish state’s choices are to either annex Judea and Samaria or be
destroyed by its neighbors.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is in Europe this week seeking to convince the
Spanish and Norwegian governments to support the Palestinian bid to sidestep
negotiations with Israel and have the UN General Assembly recognize
Palestinian sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in addition to
The Palestinians know that without US support, their initiative will fail to
gain Security Council support and therefore have no legal weight. But they
believe that if they push hard enough, Israel’s control over these areas
will eventually unravel and they will gain control over them without ever
accepting Israel’s right to exist.
Fatah’s UN gambit, along with its unity deal with Hamas, makes clear that
the time has come for Israel to finally face the facts: There are only two
realistic options for dealing with Judea and Samaria.
Either the Palestinians will take control of Judea and Samaria, or Israel
will annex them.
If the Palestinians take control, they will establish a terror state in the
areas, which – like their terror state in Gaza – will use its territory as a
starting point for continued war against Israel.
It isn’t only Israel’s experience with post-withdrawal Gaza and South
Lebanon that make it clear that a post-withdrawal Palestinian-controlled
Judea and Samaria will become a terror state. The Palestinians themselves
make no bones about this.
In a Palestinian public opinion survey released last week by The Israel
Project, 65 percent of Palestinians said they believe that they should
conduct negotiations with Israel. But before we get excited, we need to read
the fine print.
According to the survey, those two-thirds of Palestinians believe that talks
should not lead to the establishment of the State of Palestine next to
Israel and at peace with the Jewish state. They believe the establishment of
“Palestine” next to Israel should serve as a means for continuing their war
against Israel. The goal of that war is to destroy what’s left of Israel
after the “peace” treaty and gobble it into “Palestine.”
That is, 66% of Palestinians believe “peace” talks with Israel should be
conducted in bad faith.
Moreover, three-quarters deny Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and 80% support
Islamic jihad against Jews as called for in the Hamas charter; 73% support
the annihilation of the Jewish people as called for in the Hamas charter on
the basis of Islamic scripture.
As bad as Israel’s experience with post-withdrawal Gaza and South Lebanon
has been, Israel’s prospects with a post-withdrawal Judea and Samaria will
be far worse. It isn’t simply that withdrawal will invite aggression from
Judea and Samaria. It will invite foreign Arab armies to invade the rump
Unlike the post-withdrawal situation with Gaza and South Lebanon, without
Judea and Samaria, Israel would not have the territorial depth and
topographical advantage to defend itself from invasion from the east.
Moreover, the establishment of the second Palestinian terror state after
Gaza in Judea and Samaria would embolden some of Israel’s Arab citizens in
the Galilee and the Negev as well as in Jaffa, Lod, Haifa and beyond to
escalate their already declared irredentist plans to demand autonomy or
unification with whatever Palestinian terror state they choose.
Living under the constant threat of invasion from the east (and the south,
from a Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egyptian army moving through the Sinai
and Gaza), Israel would likely be deterred from taking concerted action
against its treacherous Arab citizens.
As then-prime minister Ariel Sharon warned in 2001, the situation would be
analogous to the plight of Czechoslovakia in the 1930s. Just as the Nazis
deterred the Czech government from acting against its traitorous German
minority in the Sudetenland in the 1930s, so Arab states (and a nuclear
Iran), supporting the Palestinian terror states in Judea and Samaria and in
Gaza, would make it impossible for Israel to enforce its sovereign rights on
its remaining territory.
Israel’s destruction would be all but preordained.
The second option is for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria, complete with
its hostile Arab population.
Absorbing the Arab population of Judea and Samaria would increase Israel’s
Arab minority from 20% to 33% of the overall population. This is true
whether or not Israel grants them full citizenship with voting rights or
permanent residency without them.
Obviously such a scenario would present Israel with new and complex legal,
social and law enforcement challenges. But it would also provide Israel with
substantial advantages and opportunities.
Israel would have to consider its electoral laws and weigh the prospect of
moving from a proportional representation system to a direct, district
system. It would have to begin enforcing its laws toward its Arab citizens
in a manner identical to the way it enforces its laws against its Jewish
citizens. This includes everything from administrative laws concerning
building to criminal statutes related to treason. It would have to ensure
that Arab schoolchildren are no longer indoctrinated to hate Jews, despite
the fact that according to the Israel Project survey, 53% of Palestinians
support such anti-Semitic indoctrination in the classroom.
These steps would be difficult to enact.
On the other side, annexing Judea and Samaria holds unmistakable advantages
for Israel. For instance, Israel would regain complete military control over
the areas. Israel ceded much of this control to the PLO in 1996.
The Palestinian armies Israel agreed to allow the PLO to field have played a
central role in the Palestinian terror machine. They have also played a key
role in indoctrinating Palestinian society to seek and work toward Israel’s
destruction. By bringing about the disbanding of these terror forces, Israel
would go a long way toward securing its citizens from attack.
Furthermore, by asserting its sovereign rights to its heartland, for the
first time since 1967, Israel would be adopting an unambiguous position
around which its citizens and supporters could rally. Annexation would also
finally free Israel’s politicians and diplomats to tell the truth about the
pathological nature of Palestinian nationalism and about the rank hypocrisy
and anti-Semitism at the heart of much of the international Left’s campaigns
on behalf of the Palestinians.
No, annexation won’t be easy. But then again, the alternative is national
And again, these are the only options. Either the Palestinians form a terror
state from which it will wage war against the shrunken, indefensible Jewish
state, or Israel expands the size of the Jewish state.
Since 1967, Israel has refused to accept the fact that these are the only
two options available. Instead, successive governments and the nation as a
whole have set their hopes on imaginary third options. For the Left, this
option has been the fantasy of a two-state solution. This “solution”
involves the Palestinians controlling some or all of the lands Israel took
over from Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War, establishing a state, and all
of us living happily ever after.
Given the Palestinians’ overwhelming, consistent and violent support for the
destruction of Israel in any size, this leftist fantasy never had a leg to
And since 1993, when the Rabin government adopted the Left’s fantasy as
state policy, more than 2,000 Israelis have been killed in its pursuit.
Not only has the Left’s third option fantasy facilitated the Palestinian
terror machine’s ability to kill Jews, it has empowered their propaganda war
Israel’s pursuit of the nonexistent two-state solution has eroded its own
international position to a degree unprecedented in its history.
Last week’s meeting of the so-called Middle East Quartet ended without a
final statement. It isn’t that its members couldn’t agree on the need to
establish “Palestine” in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem. That was a
no-brainer. The Quartet members couldn’t agree on the need to accept the
Jewish state. Russia reportedly rejected wording that would have enjoined
the Palestinians to accept the Jewish state’s right to exist as part of a
And this was eminently foreseeable. The unhinged two-state solution makes
Israel’s legitimacy contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state.
And it put the burden to establish a Palestinian state on Israel.
Since everyone except Israel and the US always accepted the establishment of
a Palestinian state, and no one except Israel and the US always accepted the
existence of the Jewish state, by making its own legitimacy dependent on
Palestinian statehood, Israel started the clock running on its own
The longer Israel allows its very right to exist to be contingent on the
establishment of another terror state committed to its destruction, the less
the nations of the world will feel obliged to accept its right to exist.
As for the Right, its leaders have embraced imaginary third options of their
own. Either Jordan would come in and save us, or the Palestinians would come
to like us, or something.
The one thing that both the Left’s fantasy option and the Right’s fantasy
option share is their belief that the Palestinians or the Arabs as a whole
will eventually change. Both sides’ imaginary third options maintain that
with sufficient inducements or time, the Arabs will change their behavior
and drop their goal of destroying Israel.
Our 44-year dalliance in fantasyland has not simply weakened us militarily
and diplomatically. It has torn us apart internally by surrendering the
debate to the two ideological fringes of the political spectrum. Actually,
to be precise, we have surrendered 99% of our public discourse to the
radical Left and 1% to the radical Right.
The Left’s control over the discourse has caused its ideological opposite’s
numbers to increasingly disengage from the state. That would be bad enough,
but the Palestinians’ inarguable bad faith and continued commitment to
Israel’s destruction have driven the far Left far off the cliff of reason
Unable to convince their fellow Israelis that their two-state pipe dream
will bring peace, the Israeli Left has joined forces with the international
Left in its increasingly shrill campaigns to delegitimize the country’s
right to exist and undermine its ability to defend itself.
This sorry state of affairs is exemplified today by the radical Left’s
hysterical response to the Knesset’s passage last week of the anti-boycott
law. The comparatively mild law makes it a civil offense to solicit boycotts
against Israel. It bars people engaged in economic warfare against Israel
from getting government benefits and makes them liable to punitive damages
in civil suits.
The Left’s hysterical public relations campaign to demonize the law and its
supporters as fascists and seek its overthrow through the Supreme Court
makes clear that the Left will wage war against its own country in pursuit
of its delusion.
But aside from driving the public discourse into the depths of ideological
madness, Israel’s embrace of fantasy has made it impossible for us to
conduct a sober-minded discussion of our only real options. The time has
come to debate these two options, choose one, and move forward.