UPDATE 9 am Israel time Saturday:
An attempted Palestinian Qassam rocket assault against southern Israel that exploded on launch, an attempted stabbing of a Border Guard by a Palestinian thwarted at the Hizma checkpoint outside Jerusalem, two Palestinian mortars that hit an open area near the Gaza fence–all things considered, it has been a good 24 hours in Israel with no physical injuries reported by any Israelis due to ongoing Palestinian terrorism.
Today is the third and final installment in the trilogy begun on Thursday. First, we discussed the various “peace” plans that have suddenly popped up (or repopped up). Yesterday, following Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations, we showed why none of those purported “peace” plans are viable. In that blog, I concluded that “the two state solution as conceived by the “peacemakers” in the West is dead.”
Today, the question is simply: “Where do we go from here?”
Back on Thursday, your humble servant mentioned that one of the only rational analyses of the Israeli-Palestinian situation is that of Israeli historian Benny Morris. In a devastatingly sober and pessimistic interview based on his new book, Morris has concluded after “decades of studying the conflict” and “the Palestinians’ consistent rejection of a solution of two states for two peoples”, that peace is not possible with the Palestinians in the short term and quite possibly forever. It is precisely the point that your humble servant has been repeatedly making in this blog since its inception two years ago.
Why does Morris say that peace is not possible? Simply because “the goals of the Palestinian national movement [are] to extinguish the Jewish national project and to inherit all of Palestine for the Arabs and Islam.”
In an interesting piece that ironically appeared in Israel Hayom yesterday entitled “What if Benny Morris is right?”, Israel’s leading “leftist”, Yossi Beilin, seemingly rejects Morris’s analysis (though he really never explains why), and concludes that he [Beilin] “would make an enormous effort to strike a bilateral peace agreement.”
Nevertheless, Beilin spends most of his article wondering if Morris is right after all. And if he is right, according to Beilin, there is only one thing to do and that is a “unilateral withdrawal to beyond a certain line in the West Bank” which according to Beilin will “solve our demographic problem, but will not ensure our safety.”
In “peacemaker” Beilin we find the crux of the problem with the West’s “two state solution”: in solving the “demographic problem” and preserving the Jewish state, the “peacemakers” would engage in actions that “will not ensure our safety” and thereby quite possibly facilitate the end of the Jewish state.
It strikes your humble servant that the following are true:
1. The Palestinians will never be satisfied until Israel is eliminated.
2. The status quo will not hold forever. The day is coming when the corrupt PLO/PA hierarchy will be overthrown or “voted out of office” by Hamas; the Palestinian population, following the trend in the rest of the Arab world, will focus increasingly on Islam.
The day is also coming in the not too far distant future when the United Nations will approve the Palestinian bid for statehood. And that state will be defined as existing along the “pre-1967” lines.
3. No one really knows what the Palestinian population is in Judea and Samaria, but we do know that 96% of it is in Areas A and B.
4. Unilateral withdrawals are a recipe for disaster.
5. No matter what Israel does, nothing will “ensure” our safety.
6. No matter what Israel does, the international community will harshly condemn Israel–as it does now.
In this context, and after due consideration, your humble servant believes that there are only three logical alternatives:
1. Maintain the status quo for as long as possible. “Hope” (not a good word to use in the context of the Muslim world) for a sea change in Palestinian attitudes–either toward Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country or toward a possible Palestinian-Jordanian confederation (Morris’s idea).
2. Annex all of Judea and Samaria to Israel. Unilaterally declare Areas A and B (which contain 96% of the Palestinian population) an autonomous region.
3. Annex Area C of Judea and Samaria to Israel (in which virtually all Jewish communities are located). Unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in Areas A and B (if the Palestinians cannot declare their independence, declare it for them).
None of these alternatives are “good” and all carry risks. However, in my opinion and as I suggested last year, the best choice is to Annex Area C and declare a Palestinian state in Areas A and B because such an action would protect the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, recognize the de facto reality that Areas A and B are already a Palestinian state with Palestinian governance and security, and maintain the same level of security that Israel has now.
The Palestinians and world will howl their disapproval; resolutions against Israel will be passed in the United Nations, and the BDS movement will expand their attempt to boycott everything Israeli. In other words, nothing will change– except the situation on the ground.
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