Weekly Commentary: How Should Israel Respond to UN Vote on Palestinian
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 8 November 2012
While it is far from clear if the PLO will ultimately go through with
getting the UN to vote to upgrade the status of the Palestinian entity to
that of a non-member state in the coming weeks, it would be a terrible
mistake to only develop a response after the fact.
Some now are suggesting that Israel respond by freezing the transfer of
taxes and duties Israel collects for the Palestinians but the consequences
of putting the Palestinians into a financial crisis could be a double edged
sword. The chaos that might follow would most certainly be exploited by
Hamas and other radical elements seeking to take control of the West Bank.
Years ago the Israeli leadership was fairly straightforward about the
immediate Israeli response to such a move: annexation of Area C (that
includes all the Israeli communities) – with possibly the addition of some
portions of Area B out of security and other pragmatic considerations.
This annexation is as much – if not more - a defensive measure as a
punishment. It's a defensive measure because it serves to insure that
Israel has a clear legal basis for its continued non-security activity in
Annexation would also pre-empt an escalating Palestinian campaign against
the Israeli presence on the ground in Area C that can be expected to follow
the UN vote.
What would be the relationship between Israel and this post-UN vote entity?
If the Palestinians insist that Oslo is over and that the security
agreements no longer apply then we will have to come up with a solution to
the formidable problem of the large Palestinian army in our backyard.
Under those circumstances we might try to shift our interaction with the
Palestinians from a national to a regional-municipal level. For example,
instead of transferring funds to a central Palestinian entity Israel could
divvy it out to the municipalities, with funding for the local cops coming
through the municipalities.
None of this will be easy.
But declining to take timely moves would only invite an even worse outcome.
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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