Weekly Commentary: Autonomy Shock and Awe
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 22 May 2014
The Palestinian news agency, Maan, published a fascinating article this week
by Jamil Hilal, an independent Palestinian sociologist, (Analysis: What's
stopping the Third Intifada?), in which he attributes the low likelihood of
a third intifada to individualism and a new middle class.
Now while I don’t subscribe to the view that improving the lot of the
Palestinians will convince them to abandon their aspirations, this certainly
suggests a possible strategy to consider.
Let’s call it "Autonomy Shock and Awe”.
Israel annexes Area C, where the Jewish communities are located and the
Palestinians residing in Area C are offered the opportunity to take full
Israeli citizenship - just as the Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem can.
And there's a lot more.
“Autonomy Shock and Awe” would go a giant step further:
All Palestinians residing in Area A and B, with the exception of those
identified as a security risk, would have the right to use their biometric
ID cards to cross the Green Line for any purpose: work, shop, leisure and
also just as important, to travel overseas via Ben Gurion Airport as well as
the passenger vessels at Haifa and Ashdod ports.
In many respects it’s even a step up over the kind of freedom of movement
that Palestinians enjoyed before the failed Oslo experiment was launched
over two decades ago.
And all this with Area C Palestinians having the right to vote in the
Knesset elections (or for that matter run in those elections) should they
opt for Israeli citizenship while those residing in Areas B and C enjoying
the right to elect the officials and bodies responsible for their
municipalities and autonomy.
Would this bring quiet?
Hard to tell.
But it would most certainly be going well beyond what anyone expected.
And perhaps even more important: it doesn’t involve violating the key
condition set by Prime Minister Netanyahu: continued active Israeli
responsibility for security on the ground.
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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