Sometimes bold actions have undesirable outcomes. That’s why they are bold — they are risky. One example is probably the single worst mistake the Israeli government has made since 1948: recognizing the PLO as the representative of the “Palestinian people” and inviting it back from exile into the Jewish heartland (the second worst mistake was the 1967 decision to give control of the Temple Mount to the waqf).
So I hesitate to recommend another bold action, especially at this tremendously dangerous time. But a decision to do nothing also has consequences, and in this case we can already see the beginning of the results of the policy of doing nothing.
I am referring to doing nothing about maintaining control of the highly strategic (and spiritually important) lands of Judea and Samaria, while permitting the US to push Israel into yet another pointless round of negotiations with a PLO that will not be satisfied by anything other than an Arab state from the river to the sea, and which cannot possibly be trusted to carry out any agreement it might make with Israel.
Meanwhile, the Arabs — financed by the Europeans and the US — are simply taking the land. One day, after extended fruitless negotiations, after countless Israeli concessions to “strengthen Abbas” or to “establish good will,” after numerous incidents of terrorism which the PLO will deplore in English and celebrate in Arabic, Israelis will wake up to find that there is a de facto Arab state in all of Judea/Samaria.
Then all that will be left will be for the UN Security Council to recognize it, for the IDF to withdraw, and for Israel to deal with a vicious terror state snuggled up to the soft belly of its population centers, international airport, etc.
We will get, in other words, a “two-state solution” whether we want one or not. But it will not be ‘land for peace’ — it will be land given up for absolutely nothing, and a step on the way to the annihilation of the state.
There is something we can do now. Presently — although the Arabs and their European friends are doing their best to change it — most (I’ve seen figures over 95%) of the Arab population of the territories lives in Areas A and B, the areas ceded to PLO control by the Oslo process, while the great majority of Jews live in Area C, the part under complete Israeli control. In addition to Jewish towns, area C includes areas strategic to Israel’s defense.
Israel needs to annex Area C, or at least strategic parts of it, now. Then, in language familiar to Americans, it needs to secure its borders against infiltration and enforce land use regulations strictly. Otherwise it will lose control of the high ground overlooking its coastal plain, the Jordan Valley, roads connecting Jewish towns, and other essentials.
Area C becoming part of Israel would probably preclude the establishment of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state in the territories. But such a state would not be democratic, would not be economically viable, and would not provide a solution for the Arab refugee problem. It would be dedicated to perpetual war with Israel. There is no good reason to create such a state, except as a weapon against Israel. If Israel annexed Area C, areas A and B could continue to be administered by the Palestinian Authority as they are today.
Annexing Area C will not end the conflict or guarantee Israel’s security forever. But not doing it is a recipe for more war, terrorism and insecurity.
The Arab takeover of Area C is proceeding according to a plan that was developed by former Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad, and financed, as I mentioned, by the Europeans and the US. Much of it is actually being carried out with the cooperation of Israel, apparently in the mistaken belief that the PLO’s thirst for conquest can be slaked by giving it the infrastructure of a state and encouraging economic development. But this misses the whole point of the PLO, which is not to have a state of its own, but to have our state.
It is true that the nuclear program of Iran and the thousands of Hizballah missiles are more dramatic than the relatively slow chipping away at the Land of Israel that I am describing. But Israel’s government and the IDF are taking steps to counter the immediate threats, while in many cases Israeli authorities are actually helping the PLO execute its more gradual plan.
The details of the plan and concrete examples are explained here. Read about it and you will understand that there is little time to waste.