FULL WITHDRAWAL, FULL REOCCUPATION OR FULL DEPORTATION
Why We Need To Withdraw Unilaterally
Uri Dromi. The
Copyright (c) 2002. The
WHENEVER I WRITE ABOUT
Yet on the fundamental reasons I give for pulling out of the territories, people are curiously mute. No one tells me I'm wrong.
Why do I believe that
In 1937, before
That leaves us with the problem: too few Jews here. Furthermore, demographers
consistently predict that in the foreseeable future there will be more Arabs
than Jews between the Jordan River and the
The standard argument for keeping the territories is that they provide
security, but that's also an illusion. A personal story: When Thomas Friedman
was The New York Times correspondent in
She had it right then, and all the more so today. We can have our tanks roam
the alleys of
So if we keep the territories, we either get apartheid or an
Faced with this dilemma, it's no wonder that more and more Israelis and Jews
abroad entertain the idea of "transferring" the Arabs out of the
territories and perhaps even
Which leaves us where we started: In order to remain both Jewish and
democratic, and to regain its security,
And to our brothers and sisters in the settlements, we should say that we
have to evacuate them -- not because we don't care about them, but on the
contrary: because we want to be able
truly to defend them, in the borders of a smaller, safer
Uri Dromi (email@example.com) is director of
publications at the Israel Democracy Institute in
FULL WITHDRAWAL, FULL REOCCUPATION OR FULL DEPORTATION
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002
From: mark rosenblit <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com (Uri Dromi, Director of Publications, Israel Democracy
Re: Your essay in the Viewpoint section of the May 6, 2002 issue of The Jerusalem Report, entitled "Why We Need To Withdraw Unilaterally" (all italicized quotations are from the essay)
"Yet on the fundamental reasons I give for pulling out of the territories, people are curiously mute. No one tells me that I'm wrong."
You opine that, due to those areas' high Arab birthrate, Israel will not be
able to continue being both a Jewish and a democratic state, because its
retention of Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yehuda, Shomron
and Aza -- YESHA) will lead either to an undemocratic Jewish state
ruling a hostile disenfranchised Arab population ("... apartheid
...") or to a binational democratic state in which Jews will
soon be the minority ("... an Israel that has ceased being Jewish
..."). Accordingly, you tout a full unilateral Israeli withdrawal from
YESHA and the complete removal of all its Jewish residents as the only humane
solution in order to "... be able truly to defend them, in the borders
of a smaller, safer
Firstly, it is a fact that substantially more Israelis have been murdered and maimed by Arab terrorists in the 8 years following the 1993 Oslo Accords than in the four decades prior thereto. It is, accordingly, also a fact that Israelis were actually safer when they were fully occupying YESHA. By withdrawing itself from 42% of Judea and Samaria and 80% of Gaza -- with the result that, by the end of 1995, 98% of the Arab population of the former and virtually 100% of the Arab population of the latter were then being governed, not by Israel, but rather by the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority headed by Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat -- Israel merely gave the Arab residents of YESHA the autonomous means to build mortar, rocket and suicide-belt factories -- facilities denied to them when they were under full Israeli occupation -- and the autonomous means to train a terror army dedicated to killing Jews. Full reoccupation will save more Jewish lives than full withdrawal.
Secondly, no one claims that the United States is no longer a democracy
because the residents of the District of Columbia (the U.S. capital city which
is not part of any U.S. state) and Puerto Rico (an island nation which is
associated with, but is not a state of, the United States) are subject to the
U.S. military draft and U.S. law, but are denied the right to vote in U.S.
legislative elections. However, if this makes the
Thirdly, although you summarily dismiss the solution of deporting the Arabs
of YESHA to live with their brethren in the eastern portion of Mandatory
Palestine which is now known as Jordan ("I'd prefer not to even
elaborate on this monstrous idea."), you fail to explain why this
solution will not save more Jewish lives than will full withdrawal from
YESHA. After all, the governments of
Fourthly, since adverse demographics drives your solution of full unilateral
withdrawal, how do you propose that a post-withdrawal Israel deal with
its "Israeli" Arab minority -- over 1,200,000 strong and constituting
20% of Israel's citizenry -- which, due its higher birthrate, will also one
day cause a shrunken, but more democratic, Israel to be transformed into an
Arab state with a large Jewish minority? If full flight from YESHA is, in fact,
necessitated by the demographic challenge posed by YESHA's Arabs, then to which
further line should
"But if Arafat couldn't take yes for an answer even when Clinton and
Barak offered him almost everything, we shouldn't let him hold us hostage to
his meshugas [craziness]. We should act ourselves in
Even if Israel loudly proclaims that a unilateral -- or even a negotiated --
withdrawal from YESHA is being implemented exclusively for the sake of
retaining a Jewish and democratic Israel rather than as an abject capitulation
to the Arab suicide "martyrs" of YESHA and pre-1967 Israel, what
makes you think that "Palestinian" or "Israeli" Arabs will
accept this self-serving explanation? Yasser Arafat, with a substantial portion
If the goal is really saving Jewish lives -- and minimizing the risk of
nuclear war -- rather than receiving ephemeral plaudits from the World and its
media, then either full reoccupation or full deportation is more suited to its
achievement. However, full reoccupation does not remove a growing hostile
population from, and within,
In other words, you are wrong!
© Mark Rosenblit
[Note: The below article discusses
the available empirical evidence that Reoccupation of
Civil Fights: Back to 'let's help Abu Mazen' dead-end
Evelyn Gordon, THE
Jun. 20, 2007
Last week's Hamas takeover in
The June 2006 poll found that 34 percent of Gaza residents thought the new Hamas government was better than its Fatah predecessor, compared to 22 percent of West Bank residents; that 56 percent of Gazans opposed the Oslo Accords, compared to 45 percent of West Bankers; and that 58.2 percent of Gazans supported suicide bombings against Israel, compared to 37.1 percent of West Bankers.
These results had two noteworthy elements. First, as JMCC director Ghassan al-Khatib told Haaretz, "this was the first time we found a
significant disparity in positions between the West Bank and
Second, this disparity defied the accepted dogma that "the
occupation" radicalizes the Palestinians. In every category -- support for
Hamas, support for
Yet for anyone not blinded by dogma, this result was predictable, for two reasons.
THE FIRST is that while
The result is that radical groups acquired far more power in
THE SECOND reason is the pullout itself, which Palestinians overwhelmingly
interpreted as an Israeli flight from Palestinian terror. That is an
oversimplification, but hardly a baseless one: The plan's public support
stemmed largely from Israelis' desire to "stop having their sons killed in
West Bankers, in contrast, had a very different experience of violence:
Years of suicide bombings inside
Before the intifada started in 2000, Palestinians enjoyed self-rule in large
parts of the West Bank; tens of thousands of them worked in
Thus by June 2006, West Bankers had seen six years of violence make their
lives steadily worse. And here, too, the conclusion was logical: decreased
support for Hamas and suicide bombings and increased support for negotiated
deals such as
THUS THE disengagement's effect was twofold. First, though Hamas technically
won the 2006 elections in both territories, in Gaza, it had the power to openly
recruit, arm and train the troops that carried out last week's takeover,
whereas in the West Bank, due to Israel's military presence, it did not. And
second, it could reasonably conclude that it had public support for a takeover
Given that the world's goal now is to keep Hamas from seizing the
That consensus, just as after every eruption of Palestinian violence for the
past 14 years, is that Israel must "strengthen" the PA (now confined
to the West Bank) through more concessions -- even though its leader has just
proven himself unwilling (or unable) to fight Hamas in Gaza despite his forces'
substantial numerical advantage. The proposed concessions range from releasing
convicted terrorists through removing
Yet aside from undermining Israel's ability to fight Hamas in the West Bank, such measures would once again prove, just as they have for the past 14 years, that the "good cop, bad cop" routine -- in which "bad" Palestinians commit violence that the "good" ones denounce, but make no move to prevent - pays: It creates international pressure for more Israeli concessions. And that is the opposite of the message the world should be sending, which is that failure to halt violence is counterproductive.
Reversing 14 years of failed policy is hard. But if the world ever wants to see a Palestinian state, it must make the effort. And that means making it clear to Abbas, and to all Palestinians, that there will be no "diplomatic horizon," and also no Israeli security concessions, unless and until a government willing and able to fight terror emerges. Only if such a message is consistently enforced are Palestinians ever likely to conclude that refusing to fight their extremists does not pay.
Copyright 1995 - 2007 The
[Note: The below article describes how Israel has suffered a loss of both physical and psychological deterrence against its adversaries by its full withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005 and by its conduct of the Second Lebanon War in 2006 (which War was foreordained by Israel’s earlier full withdrawal from its small Security Zone in southern Lebanon in May 2000). Read on!]
Civil Fights: Destroying
By Evelyn Gordon
(Jerusalem Post, August 7, 2008) Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin is so worried about
Diskin did not elaborate, but his reasons for citing these events were obvious: All undermined both the physical and the psychological aspect of deterrence.
Physical deterrence relates to the actual balance of forces: The greater the imbalance, the more reluctant the weaker side will be to start hostilities. And while the balance clearly still favors
The same goes for
Furthermore, thanks to both its arms-buying spree and the image boost it received from the IDF's failure to defeat it (a feat no regular Arab army ever matched), Hizbullah now controls the Lebanese government so totally that new government guidelines approved last week formally authorize it to attack Israel whenever it wishes. This governmental approval may well grant it access to Lebanese Army materiel, which includes highly sophisticated American equipment -- especially since Lebanon's new president and former army chief, Michel Suleiman, announced last Friday that he supports "all means" to regain what he terms occupied Lebanese land.
Thus again, should
BUT FOR all the importance of the physical element, deterrence is primarily about psychology: Perceptions of a foe's strength often matter more than reality in deciding whether to attack. And on the psychological plane, the events Diskin cited were devastating.
According to repeated polls, 70 to 85 percent of Palestinians believe that
Sheikh Hassan Yousef, who is widely regarded as Hamas's leader in the
"Members of the Israeli peace camp, those who spoke about ending the Occupation and withdrawing, pushed us forward in our decision to continue the suicide attacks," he said. "The cracks in your steadfastness encouraged us greatly and proved that this method is very effective. Ariel Sharon's plan for disengagement from the Gaza Strip was also a great achievement that resulted from our activities. For us, one of the best proofs of the rift that suicide attacks had created in Israeli society was the phenomenon of refusal to serve in the army. We thought this rift should be deepened, and use of the suicide bomber weapon became a matter of consensus in our organization."
In short, many Palestinians concluded that
Hamas' takeover of
But the Second Lebanon War was the ultimate proof: After 33 days, the IDF proved unable to defeat a much smaller and more poorly equipped foe. And precisely because Hizbullah was obviously militarily inferior, the only possible explanation for its achievement lay in
One might argue that all of the above is water under the bridge: It happened, and
[Note: The below article further
describes how Full Withdrawal, combined with the decisions of a feckless
government, have greatly degraded
Civil Fights: How
By Evelyn Gordon
(Jerusalem Post, August 17, 2008) Kadima has set several records during its brief existence. No other ruling party has generated so many criminal proceedings against its representatives, nor has any previous government so successfully outfaced public desire for its ouster. But perhaps its most devastating record is how thoroughly it has shredded
Last week's column analyzed what Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin deems the worst blows to the nation's deterrence over the past three years: the disengagement from
Yet far from learning from these mistakes, it proceeded to compound them.
In the South, rocket attacks from
Yet the government refused to order such an operation, instead relying on the same failed tactic it used in
Even worse, however, were its nonstop threats that we would "soon" lose patience and invade
THEN, IN June, the government capitulated completely, accepting a truce on Hamas's terms - which Diskin termed a "lifesaver" for the organization. Specifically, after having said repeatedly that any cease-fire must bring Gilad Schalit home and prevent weapons smuggling, it accepted a truce without Schalit and with no provisions on smuggling except
The Palestinians soon violated this truce: Hamas itself refrained from firing rockets, but declined to stop other organizations from doing so. Yet
Moreover, Palestinian analysts say the truce bolstered support for Hamas, because it achieved through force what Fatah failed to achieve through negotiations: a cessation of IDF operations in its territory. In short, rather than showing that peace pays better than terror, Kadima showed that terror pays better than peace -- thereby encouraging it.
Finally, Hamas has exploited the truce to prepare for future conflict. It is training troops and smuggling in masses of arms (i.e. four tons of explosives). It is stockpiling nonmilitary essentials such as food and fuel, since the truce, with its reopened border crossings, more than tripled the volume of cargo entering
In short, rather than
THE PICTURE in the North is identical. The
Moreover, Hizbullah's rearmament enabled it to seize control of
But not content with mere inaction, Kadima actively undermined its chances of mustering effective diplomatic pressure against the smuggling via its indirect negotiations with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
For Assad, the benefits were immediate: After years of international isolation, he was welcomed back to the world stage, including a starring role in last month's Mediterranean Union summit.
The unconditional talks with
If so, why should any Arab country not support anti-Israel terror?
Even after Assad flatly rejected direct talks last month -- meaning that having already given him international legitimacy in exchange for no tangible benefits,
Kadima inherited a country with a weakened but still extant deterrent posture and proceeded to systemically destroy it. Now, rebuilding deterrence must be a top priority. And Kadima cannot be trusted with the job. Its record speaks for itself.
[Note: In June 1967,
Europe has a plan
(Jerusalem Post, January 1, 2009) Toward the end of 2005, after
Rafah was opened on November 26, 2005 in a ceremony attended by Mahmoud Abbas. Just two months later, Palestinians voting in the West Bank and
Little, however, struck the monitors as suspicious. When Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar's brother strolled past them on his way into
When Zahar himself and another Hamas official crossed over with some dozen suitcases containing $20 million, EU monitors did not look the other way. They protested to Abbas's Palestinian Authority, which promised to investigate.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told this newspaper in October 2006 that Israelis were over-obsessing about security at Rafah. He didn't think Hamas wanted to destroy
After Gilad Schalit was captured by Hamas in a June 2006 cross-border raid, the EU monitors complained that
THIS slice of history is pertinent in the wake of an offer by EU foreign ministers, meeting Tuesday night in
Hamas, for its part, appears somewhat less certain about this point. Its founding charter asserts: "
Tuesday a Hamas spokesman said on television: "The children of
As a Grad slammed into a
Other media carried the boilerplate: "Hamas says it will keep up its attacks if
HAMAS was established in 1987 because the local Muslim Brotherhood doubted the PLO's continued commitment to the destruction of
Analysis: Hamas could not be deterred
By David Horovitz
(Jerusalem Post, January 4, 2009) For years, an untenable reality prevailed in Sderot [, Israel] and the [other] "Gaza envelope" [Jewish] communities.
On Saturday night, that changed.
The current Israeli government, its prime minister doubtless bruised by the unhappy consequences of his last major resort to force, against Hizbullah in southern
The sense as the cabinet met this weekend, a week into the conflict, was that expansion and intensification were indeed necessary.
Ministers Haim Ramon and Eli Yishai, who argue that
There was a certain incoherence to the declared goals of this operation eight days ago: Was the desired "restored security for the South" to be achieved merely by deterring Hamas from firing into
In the event, it appears, the cabinet concluded that Hamas -- even after eight days of air attacks on its bases, tunnels, missile silos and terror chiefs -- would not be deterred. It was hardly a surprising conclusion, given Hamas's avowed goal of destroying
Hamas seized power in
The Palestinian public understandably saw the Fatah establishment as corrupt, and sought an alternative. But in choosing Hamas, it was plainly not deterred by the Islamists' commitment to the destruction of neighboring
In the 2006 elections, Hamas won over 65 percent of the vote in the Gaza Strip, including five out of eight PLC seats in
Insistently committed to their bleak, death-cult ideology, and to an interpretation of Islam that brands
But most of all, Israel now hopes and prays for the well-being of its people's army, reluctantly dispatched to Gaza on Saturday to safeguard the citizens of the South who have lived on the front line for so long.
But after more than a week of air assaults on Hamas's offices, training
bases, smuggling tunnels, missile silos, terror chiefs' homes and more, the
faint hope that Hamas might by now have gotten the message, and internalized
No matter the suffering its insistent attacks on
And so, said a sorrowful Barak -- who acknowledged having thought twice, and
then three times, about whether a ground offensive was truly inescapable -- the
order was given for land forces to enter the [
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, overseeing a second resort to force in less than
three years across a border to which
He had done all he could to avoid the use of ground forces, the prime minister said, including attempting to maintain and then restore a misnamed "cease-fire" in recent months, which Hamas had abused to improve its rockets and prepare more effectively for conflict.
"I wanted to be sure I had tried everything," Olmert was said to have told his fellow ministers at the fateful weekend cabinet meeting during which the ground offensive was approved.
THE RESIDENTS of Sderot and the "
The rocket fire has only escalated since
While the citizenry suffered, week after week, month after month, the IDF
was not called into action. As Hamas grew stronger, and progressed ever further
in its goal to become as entrenched as
Of course, as Hamas's rearming continued, the danger of allowing it to continue to thrive and strengthen grew more unthinkable, too.
And so, as Barak explained in his sorrowful address on Saturday night, the time had come "to do what has to be done."
Barak's was no gloating speech of imminent victory -- no mirror to Hamas's
public displays of bloodlust. It was, rather, a sober assessment of
"difficult days ahead" -- days that
But ultimately, said the defense minister, it was the IDF's job to defend
and protect the people of
And after eight years in which the home front, untenably, became the
southern front line, on Saturday night the IDF was finally ordered to assert
its obligation: to fight a vicious enemy and to safeguard the people of
For Israelis, and for all those who recognize the threat to freedom everywhere posed by the death-cult Islamist extremism of which Hamas is only a part, it now remains to hope that the IDF's actions in the coming days restore peace to the South, and restore the tranquility that all civilians have the right to expect.
And may a most reluctant military return to
[Note: The below article discusses
why a cease-fire with Hamas -- no matter the security safeguards negotiated by
Civil Fights: Defensive Shield myths and facts
By Evelyn Gordon
(Jerusalem Post, January 8, 2009) Pop quiz: How many Israelis were killed by Palestinian terror in the [September 2000] intifada's third year -- the one that began in September 2002, six months after Operation Defensive Shield [in which Israel was forced to re-conquer those Arab-populated cities in Judea & Samaria from which it had fully withdrawn in 1994-1995 per the 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization]?
You read that right. In the year following the operation that, according to Israeli mythology, vanquished terror, 240 people were killed in terror attacks -- one of the highest annual tolls for terrorism-related deaths in the country's history.
Does that mean Defensive Shield was actually a failure? Not at all. The real Defensive Shield was every bit the dramatic turning point Israelis think it was. Unfortunately, the real operation has been obscured by the legend.
The 240 killed in the intifada's third year nevertheless represented an enormous improvement -- a 47 percent drop from the previous year's 449 fatalities. Moreover, fatalities continued dropping by about 50 percent a year in subsequent years, hitting a low of eight just four years later. That is why Defensive Shield is justly remembered as a huge success: It was the start of the process that produced this achievement.
THE OPERATIVE word, however, is "start." Defensive Shield was not, as legend has it, a magic bullet -- a one-time operation that, by its end a few weeks later, had completely destroyed the terrorists' capabilities and/or motivation, thereby allowing our troops to withdraw and us to live happily ever after.
The government may have hoped that would be the case; it withdrew the IDF once the operation ended. But that withdrawal was followed by June 2002, the second-worst month of the entire intifada, with 58 killed. Consequently, the army was sent back in. And this time, it never really left. The IDF controls the entire West Bank [Judea and
And that is the real key to the subsequent steady decline in Palestinian terror. Defensive Shield was the turning point because that was when the IDF first reentered
THERE ARE three reasons for this. First, no single operation can possibly eliminate all the terrorists' capabilities. No matter how good our intelligence is, some key operatives will escape, some weapons caches will remain undetected, and so forth.
Second, as the intelligence agencies freely admit, their capabilities are curtailed in places we do not control, due to factors ranging from the difficulty in arranging face-to-face meetings (which the agencies say are critical to getting the most from informants) to the fact that there are fewer carrots and sticks to wield under such circumstances. Hence ongoing control over the
Finally, and most importantly, once the army withdraws, there is nothing to stop the terrorists from rearming and regrouping. That should be obvious to anyone who observed Hizbullah after the IDF left
It is that slow, step-by-step work over the course of years - gathering intelligence, carrying out raids and arrests - that gradually eroded the terrorists' capabilities in the
DOES THAT mean the IDF must remain eternally in any place from which
Those countries, however, have governments that are willing and able to control their terrorists. Without such a government, there is no substitute for IDF control -- because terrorists stop shooting only when forced to do so.
And that is precisely the problem in
For the foreseeable future, therefore, there are only two alternatives: Either we reoccupy
Defensive Shield has unfortunately obscured the reality, the reality proves its worth day after day: Even as thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired from unoccupied
[Note: Not only has implementation of
the panacea of Full Withdrawal already cost (and continued to endanger) Jewish
lives, but it has also harmed
Civil Fights: Want to improve
By Evelyn Gordon
(Jerusalem Post, April 7, 2009) Most Israelis need little convincing that under current circumstances, further territorial withdrawals will only produce more terror; that is why parties opposed to such withdrawals won a majority in February's election. But it is increasingly becoming clear that such pullouts also have another, equally devastating consequence: They are turning this country into an international pariah and sparking anti-Semitism worldwide.
That may sound counterintuitive. After all, the world relentlessly demands more pullouts and lauds each one that occurs; hence the Oslo Accords, the withdrawal from
Indeed, the situation has gotten so bad that The New York Times ran a front-page article on the subject on March 19, titled "After Gaza, Israel grapples with crisis of isolation."
And one could add many other examples, such as the tens of thousands who flocked to anti-Israel demonstrations worldwide during the recent
Equally important, anti-Semitic incidents, especially in Europe, have risen in parallel to anti-Israel sentiment, with the worst spikes in both being recorded during major military campaigns: Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank (April 2002), the Second Lebanon War (July-August 2006) and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza (January 2009).
The reason for this is simple: In a world where pictures of bleeding victims are recycled on television and computer screens 24/7, nothing undermines a country's international image more quickly than bloodshed. And it turns out that our territorial pullouts have not merely increased our casualties, they have also increased Arab casualties.
STATISTICS ON PALESTINIAN fatalities compiled by B'Tselem [one of many Israeli "human rights" organizations devoted to the "Palestinian Cause"] show this clearly. During the First Intifada [uprising against Israeli rule], when we controlled the territories, our forces killed 1,070 Palestinians over the course of six years (1987-93). That is equal to the number killed during a single year (September 2001-August 2002) of the post-Oslo second intifada and fewer than the 1,324 killed (according to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry) in a mere three weeks in post-disengagement
Moreover, Palestinian fatalities in the
THE REASON for these trends is also simple: If the IDF controls a given territory, it does not need to wage war to halt terror; it can rely on intelligence and policing operations. Suspected terrorists can usually be arrested rather than killed; fatalities (including civilians caught in the crossfire) occur mainly when suspects resist arrest rather than coming quietly.
When the IDF does not control territory, however, police action is impossible: We cannot arrest suspects in territory formally ceded to Palestinian control. Therefore, the only way to fight terror is by military means -- namely, killing the terrorists.
Moreover, there are only two forms such military operations can take. One is aerial assaults, which, being long-distance, naturally entail a risk of collateral civilian casualties. The other is full-scale invasion, which usually produces even greater casualties, even when it is managed properly: Defensive Shield, for instance, produced only about one-sixth as many enemy fatalities as either the Second Lebanon War or Cast Lead, while achieving far better results than either. But it was still the single worst month of the Intifada for West Bank Palestinians, with a fatality level 50 percent higher than the second worst month.
Thus as long as territorial withdrawals lead to terror, they leave this country with only two options: It can let its citizens be attacked with impunity, which is hardly a tenable long-term response, or it can respond militarily, which will inevitably produce large-scale enemy casualties and therefore an upsurge in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment. Indeed, it is noteworthy that while Defensive Shield, the Second Lebanon War and Cast Lead all drew tens of thousands of protesters worldwide, protests against the ongoing Occupation of the West Bank draw far smaller crowds -- precisely because the Occupation has kept Palestinian fatalities too low to generate massive outrage.
Clearly, this problem would not arise if we could cede territory without it becoming a base for anti-Israel terror. But every piece of territory we have ceded to the Palestinians thus far has become a terrorist base. And that means the best thing the country could do for its international reputation may be the most counterintuitive of all: halt territorial concessions and reoccupy
[Note: Even Israel’s Left admits that further withdrawals have little support among Israel’s Jewish population. Read on!]
Civil Fights: Don't make me laugh
By Evelyn Gordon
(Jerusalem Post, September 3, 2009) There must have been something in the air last month: Two prominent Israeli leftists publicly acknowledged fundamental problems in the "peace process" that will make a deal unachievable if not resolved.
Aluf Benn, Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent, articulated one problem in an August 7 column describing a conversation with a "senior European diplomat." Benn posed one simple question: How would a deal benefit ordinary Israelis? The diplomat was stunned. Wasn't it obvious? It would create a Palestinian state! After Benn pointed out that most Israelis care very little about the Palestinians; they want to know how peace would benefit them, the diplomat tried again: "There would be an end to terror." "Don't make me laugh," Benn replied.
When the IDF withdrew from parts of the West Bank [42%] and
NORMALIZATION WITH the Arab world is also scant attraction, Benn noted; most Israelis "have no inherent desire to fly El Al through Saudi Arabian airspace or visit
Benn's conclusion from the conversation was shocking: Thus far, the international community has never thought about how a deal might benefit Israelis; that was considered unimportant.
But to persuade Israelis to back an agreement, he noted, the world is going to have to start thinking. For Israelis already have what they want most, "peace and quiet," and they will not willingly risk it for "another diplomatic adventure whose prospects are slim and whose dangers are formidable."
A week later, Prof. Carlo Strenger -- a veteran leftist who, as he wrote, thinks "the occupation must end as quickly as possible" -- addressed a second problem in his semi-regular Haaretz column. Seeking to explain why
For years, he noted, leftists claimed a deal with the Palestinians would produce "peace now." Instead, the Palestinian Authority "educated its children with violently anti-Israel and often straightforwardly anti-Semitic textbooks," failed to prevent (or perhaps even abetted) repeated suicide bombings in 1996, torpedoed the final-status negotiations of 2000-2001 and finally produced the second intifada.
But instead of admitting it had erred in expecting territorial withdrawals to bring peace, Strenger wrote, the Left blamed
In short, the Left adopted two faulty premises: First, "anything aggressive or destructive a non-Western group says or does must be explained by Western dominance or oppression," hence "they are not responsible for their deeds." Second, "if you are nice to people, all conflicts will disappear"; other basic human motivations, like the desire for "dominance, power and... self-respect," are irrelevant.
Strenger concluded that if the Left "wants to regain some credibility and convince voters that it has a role to play, it needs to give the public a reasonable picture of reality."
But the same could be said of the international community, which has also blamed every failure of the peace process on Israeli actions: settlement construction, "excessive force" against Palestinian terror, insufficient concessions, etc.
THOUGH BENN and Strenger were ostensibly addressing different issues, they are closely related. Leftists reinforced the West's habit of blaming
First, because the world placed the onus on
Second, while Israelis care very little about relations with the Arab world, they care greatly about relations with the West. Thus a major attraction of the peace process was the prospect of enhancing this relationship.
And this nosedive in status is directly connected to the fact that every time something goes wrong with the peace process, most of the West blames
Because this knee-jerk response has remained unchanged for 16 years, Israelis are now convinced it will continue even after a final-status agreement is signed: The moment Palestinians voice a new demand post-agreement or engage in anti-Israel terror, the West will insist that Israel accede to the demand or refrain from responding to the terror, and vituperate it for not doing so. In short,
The bottom line that emerges from both Benn and Strenger is that no peace deal is likely unless both the West and
[Note: This author argues for Full Reoccupation and Partial Deportation, reasoning that it would be suicidal for Israel to turn over the high ridges of Judea-Samaria to a hostile Arab entity even if doing so would maintain a large Jewish demographic advantage within Israel’s newly-shrunken borders. Instead, it is his opinion that Israel can maintain both maximum Jewish territory and maximum Jewish demography by simultaneously (a) exercising sovereignty over all of Judea-Samaria and (b) substantially reducing the Arab population thereof. Read on!]
Into the Fray: Preserving the Jewish nation-state — Post-Paris imperatives?
Jerusalem Post By MARTIN SHERMAN \ 11/19/2015
"If Israel is to survive as the nation-state of the Jewish people, it will have to contend adequately with two fundamental imperatives: the geographic imperative and the demographic imperative."
A member of the Israeli security forces runs past a Palestinian flag during clashes with Palestinian stone throwers in the West Bank town of Tul Karm. (photo credit:AFP PHOTO)
Plus ça change, plus c’est
la même chose
– attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, (1808 –1890, editor of Le Figaro). Translated “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”
Truth be told, the post-Paris imperatives for the survival of the Jewish state are, for all intents and purposes, identical to the pre-Paris ones. The only difference is that now they just might be more starkly evident.
Two fundamental imperatives: Geographic & demographic
After the Paris terrorist strikes over the weekend, just as before them, if Israel is to survive as the nation-state of the Jewish people, it will have to contend adequately with two fundamental imperatives: the geographic imperative and the demographic imperative.
Contending effectively with the former entails avoiding territorial concessions that will make any semblance of socioeconomic routine in the heart of Israel’s urban megalopolis, impossible to maintain. The latter entails avoiding the inclusion of large potentially fractious non-Jewish ethnic groups into the permanent population of the state, making its dominant Jewish character impossible to maintain.
The geographic imperative rules out the two-state solution , founded on the principle of “land-for-peace,” which would leave the nation’s parliament and only international airport within mortar range and much of the trans-Israel Highway 6 within tunnel reach.
The second rules out the one-state solution, based on the concept of annexing the territory across the pre- 1967 armistice lines, together with the Arab population resident in them, which, depending on which version is referred to, will result in either the Lebanonization or the Balkanization of Israel.
While these imperatives were always valid, even in the pre-Paris era, the carnage in the French capital has thrown – or, at least, hopefully, should have thrown – them in indelibly sharper relief.
Has ISIS concentrated minds?
The crucial question now is whether the Paris massacres have in fact concentrated minds of both the policy- makers and the public at large.
Indeed, the jury is still largely out on that question. Disturbingly, a number of maddeningly moronic insinuations by several EU politicians, including the Swedish foreign minister, that Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is to be blamed for everything – from the shrinking polar ice caps to the spread of AIDS in Africa, provide ample reason for avoiding premature optimism.
Yet despite these lamentable lapses, there can be little doubt that hearts and minds have been primed, at least potentially, for a positive change of sentiment in understanding Israel’s predicament and the nature of the enemy it faces.
After all, the brutal developments in the Arab/Muslim world, particularly in the last half-decade, and culminating in the indiscriminate slaughter last Friday, have radiated through, and resonated with, large segments of the Muslim population in the region and beyond. Indeed, there are disconcerting signs that they have had a perceptible impact on the Palestinians – on both sides of the pre-1967 Green Line. Accordingly, whether or not these regrettable circumstances are formally acknowledged, two things should be crystal clear to anyone not suffering from advanced intellectual rigor mortis.
The highly likely & the no less unlikely
The first is that it is highly likely, indeed virtually certain, that any land surrendered by Israel to any Arab interlocutor will fall, probably sooner than later, to extremist Islamist forces of one variant or another – as happened in Gaza and southern Lebanon, the former to Hamas, now being harassed by even more radical Jihadi elements, the latter to Hezbollah, a proxy for Tehran’s theocratic tyranny.
The second is that it is no less unlikely, indeed virtually impossible, that Palestinian-Arab residents across the 1967-line could be incorporated into the permanent population of Israel, without creating an explosive potential of a society riven by unbridgeable interethnic schisms and irreconcilable national animosities.
To call on Israel to adopt either of these formats, in effect, is to gravely jeopardize its continued long-term survival, as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
The former will make Israel geographically untenable, with a mega Gaza-like entity, with an almost 500 km. front abutting Israel’s most populous urban areas, and dominating virtually all its strategic infrastructure installations – from which recalcitrant renegade terrorists could disrupt, even cripple, at will, the routine of daily life – armed with no more than the primitive weapons currently deployed in ostensibly “demilitarized” Gaza.
The second will make Israel demographically untenable – even if the optimistic demographers are right and Israel would still retain a Jewish majority of around 60 percent. For there is little chance that the country could maintain even a semblance of social stability without drastically diminishing/diluting its Jewish character if it included a Muslim minority of up to 40% of its population, who not only do not identify with, but vehemently reject its flag, symbols, anthem – even its very source of sovereignty as the Jewish people.
Myth of ‘managing the conflict’
Accordingly, both the territorial concessions implicit in the land-forpeace– two-state paradigm and the incompatible national allegiances implicit in the one-state-of-all-its citizens are inimical to the Zionist ideal of Jewish self-determination.
Thus, any policy proposal compliant with the preservation of the Zionist ideal and an enduring Jewish nation-state, must address both of these imperatives of national survival: defensible geographic contours and a sustainable demographic composition.
Trying to achieve one at the expense of the other will be just as disastrous as its equally perilous converse.
For anyone believing that the conflict can be “managed” or the status quo “maintained” by repeatedly “mowing the lawn,” a cursory glance at the late Yitzhak Rabin’s last Knesset address should suffice to dispel any such illusions. Indeed, were the much-reviled Benjamin Netanyahu to embrace – verbatim – the last publicly articulated vision of the much-lauded Rabin for a permanent resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians, he would be excoriated as an unrealistic and unreasonable extremist.
This illustrates dramatically just how severely Israeli positions have been eroded by trying to “manage the conflict” and “sustain the status quo” – aka “kicking the can down the road.”
Accordingly, the pressing – indeed existential – Zionist challenge is to devise a paradigm that offers a clear proactive path capable of adequately addressing the twin imperative of retaining the indispensable geography/ topography while maintaining a population with a minimally coherent and manageably compatible demographic composition.
Intellectual integrity for only Zionist-compliant alternative
If this challenge of meeting Israel’s geographic and demographic imperatives is indeed the point of departure for securing its long-term future as the nation-state of the Jewish people, then it follows, almost as an inescapable deduction, with virtually mathematical logic, that – since the geography/topography are largely – immutable, it is the demographic variable that must be addressed.
Consequently, all Zionist energies must be focused on reducing the Arab presence west of the Jordan River.
The only non-coercive – or at least, non-kinetic – method of achieving this is through economic inducements – by dramatically increasing the incentives for leaving, enhancing the economic rewards for doing so; and by commensurately increasing the disincentives for staying, intensifying – equally dramatically – the material penalties for doing so.
This would require the intellectual integrity not only to identify the Palestinians as what they really are – and what they themselves declare they are: an implacable enemy, but also to undertake a policy that reflects this underlying and undeniable truth.
And as an implacable enemy, Israel has no moral obligation or practical interest in sustaining its economy or social order. On the contrary, an overwhelming case can be made – on both ethical and pragmatic grounds – that it should let them collapse by refraining from providing it with any of the goods or services it – perversely – provides it today: water, electricity, fuel, tax collection and port services to name but a few.
In order to extricate themselves from the inevitable crisis such measures will entail, non-belligerent individuals should be given generous relocation grants to allow them, and their dependents, the opportunity to seek prosperous and secure lives elsewhere.
Recalcitrant belligerents must be dealt with coercively – and, if need be, “kinetically.”
Who has the moral high ground?
It is perhaps understandable that, initially, some might feel a sense of discomfort – even aversion – to such a radical departure from conventional wisdom that has dominated the debate hitherto. However, I would urge anyone prone to such reaction to distinguish between initial reflexive distaste for the unfamiliar on the one hand, and considered and substantive dissent with the unpalatable but unavoidable on the other.
Indeed, to dislike an unpleasant remedy does not mean that one should – or can – disagree with it, or dispute the necessity for its application to effect a much needed cure or preserve a highly desired objective.
But beyond the question of initial adverse reaction, the crucial question must be forced into the debate: Who in fact has the moral high ground? Those who promote the establishment of (yet another) Muslim-majority tyranny, which will, in all likelihood, comprise the diametric and utter negation of the very values its advocates invoke for its establishment – gender discrimination, gay persecution, religious intolerance, oppression of political dissidents? Or those who advocate providing non-belligerent Palestinian individuals with the opportunity of building a better life for themselves elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the recurring cycles of death, destruction and destitution that have been brought down on them by the cruel, corrupt cliques that have controlled their lives and led them astray for decades? Moreover, dissenting opponents must be forced to explain a glaring moral anomaly. After all, why is paying Jews to evacuate their homes to facilitate the establishment of said homophobic misogynistic tyranny, which, almost certainly, will become a bastion for Islamist terror, considered morally acceptable – even commendable; while the notion of paying Arabs to evacuate their homes to prevent the establishment of such an entity, considered morally reprehensible?
Depraved indifference of conventional wisdom
The received wisdom that has hijacked the agenda of the public discourse is clearly and irrefutably at odds with prevailing realities. Political correctness has eclipsed political truth and obscured factual correctness.
For anyone not willfully blinded by deceptive allure of its falsehoods, or intimidated by the brutal intolerance of its mind-control diktats, it should be painfully clear– particularly in light of the emerging realities regarding trends in Arab/Muslim society – that both territorial withdrawal, and territorial annexation, are fraught with grave – and eminently foreseeable perils: Either long bloody and recurring wars of attrition along torturous, and topographically inferior frontiers, or long bloody interethnic strife among irreconcilably inimical segments of the population.
The undeniable plausibility of these uninviting scenarios, and the very limited ability to prevent their occurrence, makes continued insistence on their implementation nothing short of “depraved indifference” – i.e. the wanton disregard for the harmful consequences of a clearly apparent risk.
For unless two-staters can provide a persuasive “Plan B” of how to deal with the clear and present danger of the territory allotted for a Palestinian state falling to an Islamic State-like affiliate; unless one-staters can provide an equally persuasive “Plan B” of how to respond to rebellion by irredentist segments of the Palestinian population, who refuse to resign themselves to permanent submission to Jewish sovereignty, such proposals are no more than irresponsible and perilous pipe-dreams.
Overriding intellectual imperative: A countervailing ‘New Israel Fund’
It is of course highly improbable that this radical abandonment of accepted molds of thinking will be initiated from within the current body-politic, which, sadly seems to possess neither the required intellectual depth nor the intellectual daring to contemplate, never mind, make, such a conceptual leap.
Accordingly, what is called for is the establishment, within civil society, of influential (read “well-endowed”) centers of intellectual endeavor that can lay down a new intellectual architecture for the discourse on the Arab-Israel conflict, in general, and the Israel-Palestinian one, in particular; infuse new perspectives on the possibilities and the constraints for policy into the debate; and impose a new agenda on the elected politicians – just as the “Left” did with the “New Israel Fund,” its affiliates, off-shoots and ideological fellow travelers...
For this to materialize, what is called for is a bold and imaginative private benefactor(s) to come forward, pick up the gauntlet and provide the wherewithal to spark a brave new wave of intellectual rebellion and national resurrection.
Given the urgency, we can only hope this does not take too long…
Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.org) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. (www.strategic- israel.org).
Copyright © 2015 Jpost Inc. All rights reserved
As to commentary and clarifying comments in [ ] only: © Mark Rosenblit