November 24, 2009
Annex Judea and SamariaBy Ted Belman
When PM Salam Fayyad released his plan to "establish Palestine as an independent, democratic, progressive, and modern Arab state, with full sovereignty over its territory in the West Bank and Gaza, on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital" within two years, Israel took little notice of it.
When it recently became clear that Fayyad intended to make a "unilateral declaration of independence," Israel took notice and said, "If PA Declares State, Israel Will Annex Settlements."
The PA is also threatening to seek the formal endorsement of the U.N., but the EU and the U.S. have turned thumbs down on the issue.
So long as Israel controls the land, it controls what happens there.
Alan Baker, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, says such a declaration undermines the legal foundations of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy and "could set off a series of reactions -- whether legal or political -- that might create substantive, structural damage to the peace process."
So far Israel, has adamantly opposed abrogating the Oslo Accords, no matter what the provocation. After fifteen years of trying to negotiate a deal, perhaps its time for Israel to do so. The PA's unilateral declaration, should it happen, could be just the pretext, if a pretext is needed.
Everyone knows that there is no diplomatic solution. Israel won't make further compromises, and the Arabs have never compromised in a hundred years. As a result of such an impasse, the PA threatens a unilateral declaration, and the EU (and some in the U.S.) threaten an imposed solution. Israel also is contemplating unilateral action. What might that be?
It would involve annexing parts, if not all, of Judea and Samaria. No land would have to be conquered. Israel has already annexed Jerusalem and the Golan. The Israelis could do the same for other settlements, such as Ariel and Maaleh Adumin, and perhaps the Jordan Valley. At a minimum, it would signal that these settlements, like Jerusalem, are non-negotiable.
The next step would be to annex all of Areas "B" and "C" as delineated by the Oslo Accords. About 340,000 Arabs live in this area. Area "A," with its 1.2 million Arabs, would be dealt with thereafter, assuming Israel decides not to do it all at once.
A number of years ago, Mike Wise published the Jewish One State Plan, hereinafter referred to as the "Plan." I first endorsed it in 2005 in my article Israel From the Mediterranean to the Jordan and have written many times in further support.
In Caroline Glick's article, Obama's failure, Netanyahu's opportunity, she introduces this Plan.
She doesn't fully endorse the Plan, at least not in this article. The Plan proposes that Israeli law be extended to all of Judea and Samaria as follows:
Although Glick wants to integrate all of Judea and Samaria, she wants to extend Israeli law only to the "Jordan Valley and the Settlement Blocks".
The Plan further provides that
The reason Glick excludes Area "A" is because of the 1.2 million Arabs living there. She and most Israelis don't want to extend Israeli citizenship to them, no matter what the terms. The Plan doesn't see this as an insurmountable problem.
There are about 200,000 Arabs in Jerusalem who have been given blue cards, which entitle them to work and vote in municipal elections. Some suggest that such cards, rather than citizenship, should ultimately be given to the Arabs in the annexed territories.
In 2005, a Christian/Jewish think-tank called Jerusalem Summit published Prof. Martin Sherman's article Redefining the Palestinian Problem, which proposed a humanitarian solution rather than a political one. This proposal involves resettling the refugees elsewhere and offering financial inducement to Arabs living in Judea and Samaria to emigrate.
Denmark recently announced that they intend to pay immigrants $20,000 to go home if they "can't or won't" assimilate.
France is doing likewise. So should Israel.
Caroline Glick supports Netanyahu's "economic peace." Prof. Paul Eidelberg disagrees because supporters "succumb to the wishful thinking of crypto-Marxists and capitalists who think there is an economic solution to human conflict, including religious conflicts." Many agree with Eidelberg.
One consequence of bettering their economic lot would be that Arabs would immigrate to this area rather than emigrate from it. This is the reverse of what Israel wants. But that is not what Eidelberg is concerned with. He wants to deal with reality and not fantasy. Therefore, the problem must be solved in a different way.
Today, the focus of the Middle East players is Iran. The creation of Palestine is of little concern.
Assuming no diplomatic solution will be forthcoming on the creation of Palestine, Israel will begin to make moves, probably after Iran is dealt with, to incorporate Judea and Samaria unilaterally. The key questions in so doing will involve whether to extend Israeli law to Areas "B"and "C" only or to all of Judea and Samaria, and whether to give blue cards or citizenship based on significant requirements.
The peace process has brought death and destruction. It has not brought us closer to peace.
Time for new approach.
Ted Belman edits Israpundit.