More support for unilateralism
By Ted Belman
More and more people are rallying around unilateral action by Israel. Ofer Falk, a research fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, took issue with the plan put forward by Mofaz and recommended the Israel option. He recommends annexing Ariel, Modi’in Illit and Ma’aleh Adumim first, just as I do.
[..] MOFAZ IS an Israeli war hero, but his proposed plan for peace does not serve his country well. The plan’s main problem is that it is more of same in terms of giving the Palestinians something in return for nothing. That formula has failed repeatedly.
The time has come to change this premise for peace and the sequence of give-and-take.
Israel should start by getting land rather than always giving it away. There is a wide national consensus and a broad international understanding, long ratified by UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 that part of the territories will become part of Israel proper. Mofaz noted 8% in his plan, Binyamin Netanyahu has mentioned much more and Ehud Olmert said that the Palestinians will never receive more than what he once offered them.
Land that is either barren or densely populated with Jews, such as the Ariel, Modi’in Illit and Ma’aleh Adumim areas will be part of Israel proper. The Clinton and Bush administrations recognized it; the Europeans recognize it; the moderate left in Israel recognizes it; and even pragmatic Palestinians acknowledge it. So let’s start from there, instead of continuing the formula of giving something for nothing.
Once the Palestinians see that the process of give and take is a two-way street, it might actually serve as a catalyst for negotiations. The PLO was established well before the 1967 war, but only after Israel managed to settle hundreds of thousands of Jews in the territories were the Palestinians willing to negotiate. Palestinian pragmatism might need a kick-start.
As they have recently stated their intention to declare an independent state and by doing so shut the door on dialogue, Israel’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement is to finally define and draw “secure and recognized” borders based on a national consensus and simple criteria of maximum area, maximum Israelis and minimum non-Israelis within those borders, while limiting the uprooting of residents (regardless of nationality) to an absolute minimum.
Endless – and at times senseless – discussions have been carried out as to whether the Syrian option should be preferred to the Palestinian option or vice versa. I suggest we concentrate on the Israeli option first.
Israel should start preparing for this annexation to take place sometimes in 2010.
Yisrael Harel, Institute for Zionist Strategy, writes Barack Obama’s vision impossible referring to the Saudi Plan.
SO IS there a way out? Not for the moment. In the longer run, if there emerges a Palestinian leadership capable of committing all factions to its decisions and if the decision is to go for a two-state solution, I believe the Israeli public will offer its support, subject to the following minimal conditions. First, the Palestinians forgo the right of return. Second, the settlements remain in place. And third, Palestinians do not receive land inside Israel as “swaps” for the “settlement blocs.”
[..] Both the Palestinians and the Obama administration must recognize that the talk of “time is in the Arabs’ favor” is in fact wrong. When Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Accords, there were around 150,000 Jewish settlers. Today, despite the (incomplete) settlement construction freeze, nearly 300,000 Jews live in the territories. They are determined soon to reach half a million – and they will.
How can anyone believe in the possibility that the “Palestians” will accept such a deal with or without leadership.
There must be a unilateral solution. Michael Freund agrees and says “It’s annexation time”
- We need to send a clear message to our foes, one that will put them on the defensive and strengthen Israel’s hand. And there is no better place to start than with our own unilateral measures, chief among them the annexation of all the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
OVER THE past 16 years, nothing has been gained by keeping the settlements issue on the table. Nor has dangling the possibility of expelling masses of Jews from their homes along the lines of Gush Katif brought the Palestinians any closer to making a deal.