‘Security arrangements’ can’t defy reality

Leaving aside the historical, religious, economic and political objections to an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, there is one issue that can’t be ignored: security. Israel has always insisted that security issues be settled before such things as borders, refugees, etc. Which of course makes sense, to a degree: no security means no Israel.

The US has made a proposal which is intended to allay Israeli concerns. It calls for an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley for a limited time (3 or 4 years) and for ‘Palestine’ to be “demilitarized of heavy weaponry” but with a “strong security force for internal security and fighting terrorism.” There are more details, including surveillance by US drones, etc. Apparently the — beyond ludicrous — idea of replacing the IDF with international peacekeepers has fallen by the wayside.

One problem is that no effective plan can possibly be accepted by the Palestinians, because it would have to allow the IDF freedom of action in the territories similar to what it has today. As everyone knows, the most heavily populated areas of Israel, as well as its international airport, are in easy rocket range of terrorists operating from the territories. If you wanted a sovereign state, would you agree to the presence of enemy troops in it? Why would they?

There is also the need to control the borders of the new state. If it is to be demilitarized to any degree, someone has to ensure that weapons are not imported. How sovereign is that? And will the ‘sovereign’ state be allowed to invite, say, Iranian troops if it wants?

Then there is the question of the ‘refugees’. There are millions of individuals claiming refugee status according to the special rules for Palestinians created by the UN. The PLO position has always been that they have a right to return to “their homes” in Israel, but that they will not be given citizenship in the new ‘Palestine’. So what will happen to them? Israel won’t take them, so they will either have to stay where they are forever, or be taken into ‘Palestine’, which can’t even support its present population.

Finally, and most importantly, even if — a big if — the PLO were sincere, what would a deal with it be worth? How will it defend itself against Hamas when the IDF isn’t around? And Hamas isn’t even the biggest problem anymore. Guy Bechor writes,

A new force is growing in the territories: The Salafi movement, part of which is called the Party of Liberation (“Hizb ut-Tahrir”) and whose center of activity is in Hebron. Two huge demonstrations of force held by the movement in central cities in Judea and Samaria were attended by tens of thousands, carrying the black al-Qaeda flags. They hate “the Authority” more than they hate Israel, and they hate Hamas too. They reject a Palestinian state and refuse to recognize any borders or negotiations. Their proclaimed aspiration is to establish Islamic caliphates all across the Middle East, and their point of solidarity is the Salafis in Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the Arab countries.

This week the al-Qaeda movement announced the establishment of its first branch in the Judea and Samaria territories, and the IDF has already killed three activists of this Salafi organization. The Salafis accused the Palestinian Authority of passing on the intelligence on their location to the IDF. Al-Qaeda admitted that the terrorists killed belonged to the movement and vowed to carry out additional acts of terror.

Let’s just imagine a reality in Judea and Samaria without the permanent presence of the IDF and the defense establishment. Why, within several days the territory will turn into Salafland. Will Secretary of State John Kerry rush to defend Israel with the “security arrangements” his experts suggest? Not to mention the fact that the Palestinian leadership has announced that it plans to import to the independent territory hundreds of thousands and maybe even millions of “Palestinians” from Syria and Lebanon – in other words, trained Salafis with their weapons. What will the reality of life in Israel look like then, if there even is a life?

The trouble is not that it is difficult to ensure Israel’s security next to a Palestinian state. It is that a sovereign Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria is incompatible with the continued existence of Israel. All of the effort being expended to this end is being wasted (unless the goal is the elimination of the Jewish state).

What the US and Europeans should be doing if they are interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict is to explore arrangements to provide autonomy and self-government for the Arabs of the territories within Israeli and perhaps Jordanian sovereignty.

At the same time, states such as Lebanon, Jordan and (some day) Syria should grant full citizenship to ‘Palestinian refugees’. UNRWA should be abolished, and the funds it receives should be used to integrate these Arabs into their countries of residence.

The idea, expressed by President Obama, that the Palestinian Arabs “deserve” a sovereign state is nonsense, and continuing to push it against the constraints of reality is not doing anyone — including these Arabs — a favor.

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2 Responses to “‘Security arrangements’ can’t defy reality”

  1. Robman says:

    I agree with everything you wrote…except perhaps what may have been an unintentional slip-up at the very end.

    It is not “nonsense” to say that the Palestinian Arabs “deserve” a state.

    I say this despite the fact that technically, Newt Gingrich was right when he declared that the Palestinians were a “made up people”.

    Unfortunately, to a significant extent, national identity is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, there are substantive factors that relate to the existence of national ethnic identity – e.g., language, geographic point of origin, distinct cultural traits, shared history/mythology – and the Palestinians are weak in most of these areas. But, at least in opposition to Israel, the Palestinian Araba have forged a sense of “peoplehood” that to them is genuine. This idea has been around long enough now, and has accumulated so much political currency, that it cannot simply be pronounced or declared away. In other words, it is a bit late in the day to “unring” that bell.

    So, for my own part on this issue, I say fine. Let them have their ‘homeland’. Where would the logical place be for said homeland?

    HOW ABOUT PALESTINIAN ARAB-MAJORITY JORDAN RIGHT NEXT DOOR?

    …which is ruled over autocratically by a minority sect, installed by a former colonial power (i.e., Britain), JUST LIKE RHODESIA WAS (known today as Mozambique),.

    Jordan is the real “apartheid” state with respect to the Palestinian Arabs. By even the most rudimentary historical/moral standard, this is their “homeland”. Anyone who genuinenly had the interests of the Palestinian Arabs at heart would advocate for majority rule in Jordan, so that the Palestinians could be masters in their own home at long last, in a home worth living in.

    It is one thing for some dumb, ignorant college kid or somesuch to buy the Palestinian narrative as propogated by the PLO and associated organizations. But educated, responsible grown-ups – LIKE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – should know better and act accordingly. There is no valid excuse for anything less.

    There is no way Obama, Kerry, or the others around them cannot know this basic history that I outline above. That they – and others before them, and other world leaders who claim to be “friends” of Israel – pursue this agenda of forcing a PLO-based terrorist state down Israel’s throat cheek by jowl with her most important population and industrial centers indicates their true intentions, which have nothing to do with helping an ‘oppressed, disenfranchised people’ as they flatter themselves that they are doing. It is all about dismantling the Jewish state of Israel, in order to appease Islamist sensibilities, so as to be able to reduce the perceived threat of Islamist terrorism at Israel’s expense. And, to indulge their own bloody-minded anti-Jewish bigotry besides.

    Why have Israeli leaders been accomplices to this initiative to the extent they have, particularly since Oslo?

    I don’t buy the theories of some, that Israeli elites currently lead by Netanyahu are ‘traitors’ and ‘sellouts’ who are more interested in suppressing religious Jews and getting Nobel prizes then they are about protecting the rights of their people. If Netanyahu, for example, were really such a “sellout”, he could have made life far easier on hmself personally by just going along with what Obama wanted in the 2010-2011 time frame. Why all of this theater? Why drag things out as he has?

    To me, the explanation for the failure of Israeli leaders to stand up for the basic rights of their country to the extent they should in the face of all of this is two-fold.

    First, there is the psychological effect of being a stateless, persecuted people for 2000 years. Old psycho-social habits die hard. The deeply inbedded sense of vulnerability, powerlessness, etc., that is a part of Diaspora culture is hard to fully eradicate. The tendency here is to reflexively offer some kind of appeasement to our larger, more numerous, and more powerful tormentors, which is rooted in a tacit subconcious acceptance that we don’t deserve our rights as other people do. Even if we know we are right, the collective self-esteem and courage of our convictions to stand up for ourselves as other more “established” people would has, to some extent, been “beaten” out of us, to put it bluntly.

    Second, what I outline above is reinforced by the surreal nature of Israel’s situation. It would be far easier for Israelis and their leaders to behave as “normal” poeples and leaders do…if they were TREATED as “normal” leaders, peoples, and ALLIES.

    In the history of international relations, I would submit that there has never been an instance in which a putative “ally” has behaved in such a duplicitous manner than is demonstrated by U.S. policies and actions as they have evolved over the past 46 years, having reached their low point of perfidy and betrayal under Obama. From a pshychological perspective, it is that much harder to maintain one’s sense of self-respect and behave accordingly, when one is so increasingly and outrageously treated with the lack of respect that Israel is today by her “most important ally”…let alone other members of the so-called “international community”.

    Then, there is a more concrete potential explanation for the behavior of Israeli elites over the past few decades. Perhaps they believed that if they, per the wishes of their “allies”, accorded the Palestinian terrorists “status” in the form of a proto-state entity in the form of the PA, Israel’s allies would either a) reward Israel for this by pressuring the PLO/PA to behave in a more responsible, civilized manner, and if this was tried and did not work, then b) see Israel’s point of view more clearly and back her all the more in the face of these terrorists.

    This hoped-for dynamic – that reasonable people can be forgiven for expecting from self-proclaimed “allies” – has not occurred. Instead, in the “Bizarro World” environment in which the Jewish state exists today, conferring proto-state status on the thugs of the PLO/PA has led to them becoming even more intransigent, and IN SPITE OF THIS, Israel’s allies have willfully blinded themselves to this obvious reality and continued to back these thugs and murderers’ interests against Israel ANYWAY, and under Obama, almost exclusively against Israel’s interests and concerns.

    In this upside-down, utterly perverse moral/political world, the Palestnians are ALWAYS right, and Israel is ALWAYS wrong. Objective facts and the respective actions of the parties involved are simply of no consequence.

    How do national leaders rationally respond to such craven and corrupt irrationality? That is hard to say, as I for one cannot come up with any remotely comparable historical precedent to which Israeli leaders of today can refer.

    To me, the starting point involves no longer trying to convince our enemies or false “allies” of anything. They won’t be convinced. Obama and Co. are not listening. They have their agenda and it will only be thwarted by decisive action.

    Israel DOES have friends and supporters. Not everyone in the various power elite segments of America are anti-Semites. Not all cultures of various powers on the world stage are tainted by the anti-Semitism that serves as the raw material that Israel’s enemies use to turn her “friends’ against her.

    Israel must seek out and rally her friends within the U.S., to the extent that she means to keep an alliance with the U.S. that means anything. These include the large Christian Evangelical community, and even generally patriotic and security-minded Americans (these are usually CONSERVATIVES).

    Israel must also make her case to other powers that will give her a fair hearing, whose leaders don’t have to be convinced over and above the “noise” of cultural anti-Semitism. Far eastern countries come to mind here, such as China.

    Israel cannot allow herself to be taken for granted, and her leaders and supporters must call out the mendacious hypocrisy of self-proclaimed “friends” who are anything but, for what it is. In other words, STOP KISSING UP TO OBAMA, AND CALL OUT HIS B.S. FOR WHAT IT IS.

    This also means that the largest Diaspora community, in what is Israel’s most important current ally, have also got to do some VERY serious soul-searching. I know from personal experience that, some questionable polling aside, MOST Jews here really do care about Israel. What are they willing to do about the threat Israel is under today by Obama and the forces behind him here? Continue to support craven and ineffective “establshment” Jewish organizations who believe that having “access” is more important than being effective? Who are led by complacent dolts who put a petty secular liberal political agenda above the vital security interests of the nation that represents our people?

    It is a hard situation we face but it is a situation in which we can prevail, against all odds. Prevailing in the face of long odds is the trademark of our people, due to our faith, our determination, and the strength we possess, if we choose to use it. But that fundamental choice we make is the key.

  2. NormanF says:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu really wants a form of enhanced autonomy – not true sovereignty for the Palestinian Arabs.

    Of course they reject this subordination to Israel and they also refuse to agree to end the conflict by recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

    Israel cannot be defended without control of the high ground in Judea and Samaria. That makes security arrangements there even more problematic than those for Gaza.

    Israel cannot accept a situation in which it is not allowed to defend itself. And no one guarantee that PA or Hamas will not be eclipsed by even more radical terrorist elements linked to Al Qaeda. Plus, with an emboldened Iran in the picture, Israel’s situation has become a great deal more complicated.

    The Jewish State is not about to put itself at risk to make the West’s life easier.

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