Biting the Bullet on the Palestinians

The question has not changed in decades. What to do with the Palestinians?

Pro-Israel advocates seem intent on sidestepping the chief issue. Their standard answers are no longer accepted, but rather than addressing the problem, they just reformulate the response, as if a bad answer will be accepted if it is reworded.

Basically, it boils down to this:

A) Israel does not want a two-state solution -- a large of part Israel wants Judea and Samaria (what the world calls the West Bank) to be under Israeli control: It is the historic heart of ancient Israel, and it is needed for security reasons.

This would be a reasonable position, except that it leaves millions of Arabs in the area. Israel does not want to incorporate them (who can blame Israel?), and offers them only a very limited autonomy in discontinuous zones. The Arabs would have no say in the government that controls their borders, their immigration, their export and import, their movement, their population registry, and so on.

Even the much-heralded Kushner plan did not allow for Palestinian sovereignty, but offered only economic sops.

The problem is that no group would accept such a situation, even if they were reasonable, which Islamic Arabs are not.

B) Israel does not want a one-state solution, since incorporating the Arabs into their system would overwhelm the Jewish character of their state. Indeed, some Jews have averred that pressing for a one-state solution is inherently antisemitic.

No to a two-state solution. No to a one-state solution. What else is there?

Ah, there is the Jordan option -- declaring all West Bank Arabs to be Jordanian citizens. Well, that depended on one man: Mudar Zahran, and the overthrow of the Jordanian government. The only problem was that Jordan was not so agreeable.

Since 1967, Israel has been dodging this problem with obfuscation and denial. One of the more ridiculous answers has been:

Palestinians do not exist!

Well, if Palestinians do not exist, just who are the two million people that the IDF is policing? Are they Koreans?

One cannot refer to them as generic Arabs, since the other Arab states refuse to naturalize them. Please don’t proffer the oft-repeated lie that they have 22 other Arabs states they can go to. They don’t. The other Arab states will not take them in -- not even Jordan anymore -- and those who repeat that lie know it.

Even the pro-Israel advocate Daniel Pipes admits that a Palestinian identity had settled in by 1920.

[Palestinian identity] can be traced with surprising precision to a single year -- 1920. In January 1920, Palestinian nationalism hardly existed; by December of that critical year, it had been born. -- Daniel

I would trace that identity back further, but the point remains: Palestinians do exist, inconvenient as that may be.

Some will assert that Palestinian identity is invalid, as it was invented. American identity was invented in 1776, Canadian identity in 1867. Argentine identity in 1810. Invented identities are valid.

Others dodge the problem by parroting, “It is a complicated situation,” as if that will change anything. That is just a rhetorical stalling tactic, and it won’t fly anymore.

No, the answer is not that complicated. It is just difficult, and Israeli politicians and advocates don’t want to address it.

If you don’t want to give the Palestinians their freedom, and if you don’t want to incorporate them into Israel, then they must be paid to leave.

I have seen some numbers floated around, and most stuck me as fanciful lowballing.

In 1969, Israel tried to get Paraguay to accept the Palestinians.

Under the plan, the Palestinians would be given US$100 each for living costs for their new lives in Paraguay, whose government would receive US$33 per arrival in addition to an initial lump sum of US$350,000. 

As part of a deal agreed to by the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, and Paraguayan President Alfredo Stroessner, 60,000 people would arrive in the Latin American state as part of the plan. -- Mercopress

$100?! A whole $100 per person -- roughly $800 today. The whole plan, in toto, would have come in under $9 million dollars. Even that long ago, that figure was insultingly low. Only 33 Palestinians accepted the deal. I am amazed that even that many did.

If you want the Palestinians to leave, you have to pay them enough to start new lives elsewhere. This will amount to around $100,000 per person. A family of five or six would be given half a million dollars to relocate. That would be enough to set up a business and start a new life.


If you can get Arab states to take them in: fine!  I doubt it. Since 1948, the Arab states have refused to take them; and I doubt they will change policy now. Some like to blame the behavior of Palestinians for the reluctance of their Arab kin to naturalize them. That is a false argument.

The truth is that despised minorities often act poorly, as a response to their conditions. Why should Palestinians be any different?

The Irish -- and yes, even the Germans -- in the 19th century were despised, and accordingly acted badly. Even the 20th century advent of “scientific” racism did not help the Teutons, as the American Nordicist Madison Grant tried to claim that all the Nordic Germans had left by the 18th century, and what came in after that was inferior stock. Ach du lieber!

Israel will have to make some very hard decisions.

Pay the Palestinians to leave. $500,000 per family of five or six. That should work.

With that amount of cash, the Palestinian family could set up in Africa, sections of the Caribbean, Malaysia, and yes… South America, which has a history of taking in, converting, and assimilating Arabs, as others have also noted.

With that much money, such Palestinians would not be a burden on anyone, and many countries would welcome the infusion of capital.

Figure on spending $200 Billion, at least. Nothing less will come close. That would move out about two million Palestinians. Those who are left could probably be safely absorbed. Others, such as Martin Sherman, have come to similar conclusions and numbers.

Don’t offer the Palestinians loans -- which they will not repay anyway. Just pay them to leave.

Don’t argue about it. Don’t say Jews should not have to pay for this.

Who else will? The Japanese won’t. America and Europe are broke. Good luck getting the Arabs to foot the bill.

Israel will pay either in Jewish blood or money. As the Palestinian population increases, and as they get more radical, the usual practice of stalling will no longer work. It is possible to 3D print weapons now.  With a few such printers those Hamas students can equip an army.

And don’t say that Jewish fertility rates are catching up. The Arabs start their reproductive cycles much earlier in life, and therefore cycle faster. Jewish women usually like to get educated first. 

The answer was put forward in 1969, but failed due to lack of funding. Had the Israelis offered $12,000 per person in 1969 (roughly equivalent to $100,000 today), instead of $100, more than 33 Palestinians would have accepted. There were a lot fewer Palestinians to pay off then.

There will be a lot more Palestinians to pay off in the future.

Grumble all you want, but bite the bullet. Pay the Palestinians to leave.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of a writer who wishes he had paid more attention in his Spanish class, lo those many decades ago.

Image: Joe Catron

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