An Israeli Immodest Proposal

Through Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, the Likud government of Benjamin Netanyahou has announced what it thinks of President Obama’s two-state solution to the Palestine question: No thanks! In Yaalon’s own words, “Western way of thinking (read the two-state solution) has proven irrelevant and dangerous to this region.” By this, of course, he means that Likud reaffirms its opposition to an independtn Palsetinian state, a position on which Mr. Netanyahou hinted at the possibility of some softening while he was in Washington. Yeah, right.

Likud has an alternative solution, of course. According to Mr. Yaalon, what Likud proposes is a settlement whereby part of the West Bank would be annexed permanently to Israel (presumably the parts already parts of Israeli settlements), and the rest would be given back to Jordan, from whom the West Bank was seized in 1967. Palestinians would have the choice of becoming citizens of Israel or Jordan. Problem solved?

Never mind the international legal niceties of all this, such as the fact that annexation of occupied territories violates several legal agreements to which Israel is a party. Never mind what the Palestinians may feel about all this, since it ends their dream of an independent state. Never mind that Jordan has shown absolutely no interest in such an arrangement. All those things are irrelevant.

What is relevant is that such a solution serves two Israeli (ay least Likud) purposes. First, it means the settlers (who are, of course, the electoral backbone of the current regime in Israel) do not have to move. Second, it avoids the appearance of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on Israel’s borders that might, like virtually all other states, develop its own military and security forces.

What is the Obama administration to say about this? Presumably, as long as it goes no farther than being a trial balloon, we will do nothing beyond expressing our reservations through diplomatic channels. If, however, this goes beyond its present status to something more formal, then there is a real problem that includes the possibility of an open breach in U.S.-Israeli relations. Are the Israelis really willing to let matters go to that? We’ll see.

Note: I am going on vacation for a week, so there will be no posting until next week.

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One Response to “An Israeli Immodest Proposal”

  1. William Bilek, M.D. Says:

    As this is a “blog”, it obviously expresses the opinions of the author. And there is much to be learned about his opinions by noting the words and terms used. He quotes, “In Yaalon’s own words, “Western way of thinking (read the two-state solution)…” How do we know that is what Moshe Yaalon meant? It is more likely that he was addressing the Western fallacious thinking that ALL problems are inherently amenable to solution, through dialogue, rational compromise, and in the case of the Palestinian question, that the Palestinians, like those of us in the West, simply want the chance to live in peace, work hard, bring up their children to go to college and give them a better life. The Israelis obviously know their neighborhood better than Prof. Snow.

    Next, we read,”… and the rest would be given back to Jordan, from whom the West Bank was seized in 1967.” A thief “seizes” a wallet. Turkey “seized” the northern half of Cyprus from the Cypriots. Israel came to administer the West Bank after it successfully defended itself against the Jordanian attack in 1967, despite Israel’s pleas to Jordan to stay out of the conflict initiated by Egypt and Syria. Jordan lost the land in a war they started. Prof. Snow’s bias is clearly evident here. “Yeah, right!”

    More terminology: ” First, it means the settlers (who are, of course, the electoral backbone of the current regime in Israel) do not have to move.” Why should the Jews, and only the Jews, be forbidden from living somewhere, simply because they are Jews? Why could the Jews, if they so chose, not continue living in their villages as citizens of a Palestinian state, if one ever comes into being? Do not Arabs make up 20% of the population of Israel? And then there is, ” Second, it avoids the appearance of a fully sovereign Palestinian state on Israel’s borders that might, like virtually all other states, develop its own military and security forces.” The thought and sentence fails to continue….just like Hamas has developed in Gaza.

    Prof. Snow fails to make a convincing case for forcing Israel to accede to the establishment of a hostile, armed, 23rd Arab state on its doorstep, which would immediately fall under extremist (read: Hamas-Iranian) control; which would continue to inveigh against Jews in a Jewish state it refuses to accept, in its schools, mosques, and media; and which would continue towards its goal of eliminating a now much weakened Israel.

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