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Friday, June 19, 2009

Being honest with ourselves

This JPost article by Daniel Gordis should provide you all with some food for thought.
So let's be honest: What would we do?

Are we willing to leave the West Bank, land that is no less ancestrally Jewish and religiously significant than any other part of Israel? If we are committed to staying there permanently, for historical, theological or even security reasons, isn't it time just to say that? Or to annex it and stop pretending we haven't made that decision?

When some of us speak about not making any change until the Palestinians have built a genuinely democratic infrastructure (bottom-up, we call it), are we serious? Or do we simply assume that they'll never accomplish that under present circumstances, so what we're effectively doing is announcing, though not with the "honesty" that Obama is rightly calling for, that we plan to stay, no matter what?

IF WE PLAN to stay, which could well be defensible, let's be honest about the endgame. What do we plan for the Palestinian population there? The status quo forever? Are we going to make them citizens, and thus further erode Israel's fragile Jewish majority? Are we going to give them some sort of citizenship that involves full civic rights but not the right to vote on matters that determine the nature of the state? Is that the democracy we seek? Do we have any alternative? Or are we planning to move the Palestinians to some other location (a plan which didn't work very well with India and Pakistan, but which worked flawlessly in Cyprus)?

But if, alternatively, we do plan to leave the West Bank, what would we do if it turned into Hamastan, as happened in Gaza? We had no contingency plan for Gaza, and the results have been devastating. Will we make the same mistake again? And if we could solve the security issue, will we force all the Jews on the West Bank to leave? Or will we insist on their right to continue living there, even if under Palestinian rule?

And if Jews do have to be moved, are we accepting the international community's tacit premise that only Jews can be moved (out of Gaza, and later, out of the West Bank)? Why can't Arabs be moved? As even Benny Morris has noted, the Peel Commission "recommended that the bulk of the 300,000 Arabs who lived in the territory earmarked for Jewish sovereignty should be transferred, voluntarily or under compulsion, to the Arab part of Palestine or out of the country altogether," and suggested that 1,250 Jews living in those areas slated for Arab sovereignty be moved as well, in "an exchange of population."

How has it come to be that what the British once advocated we are too timid to raise? If Jews had to leave Gaza and might eventually have to leave the West Bank, is the movement of (some?) Arabs from Israel so it can remain a Jewish state so obviously out of the question? Why?
Read it all. Especially for the Israelis, do you know where you stand?


At 7:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israeli concessions work only for a limited time and when Israel has nothing left to give up, the Jewish State will be dispensable. If Jews are honest with themselves, that's the road Obama will lead them down on. And only by being honest, can Israel avoid that fate.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Robertcw72 said...

ANNEX IT! Completely! It is part of Israel. Annex it all.


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