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January 1, 2014

Israel reportedly offering land and its 300,000 residents to Palestinians

Israeli Arab citizens would find themselves in Palestinian state under land swap proposal to enable annexation of settlement blocs

Umm El-Fahm, December 31, 2011. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Umm El-Fahm, December 31, 2011. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Israel has raised the idea of transferring parts of the territory in “the triangle” southeast of Haifa — along with the hundreds of thousands of Israeli-Arab citizens who live there — to a future Palestinian state in return for annexing West Bank territory including settlement blocs, Maariv reported on Wednesday.

The idea is not central to the formal talks being brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due back in Israel on Thursday pushing a “framework” peace agreement. But it has been discussed “at the highest levels” between Israel and the US, the report said.

The area known as “the triangle,” located in the Sharon plain, contains mostly Arab-populated towns and cities such as Kafr Qara, Umm al-Fahm, Tayibe and Qalansawe. It was to have come under Jordanian rule in the arrangements that saw the establishment of the State of Israel but was ultimately included in Israeli sovereign territory under the 1949 armistice agreements because of Israeli security demands, and instead Israel ceded territory that had been earmarked for Israeli sovereignty in the area of the southern Hebron hills.

Unnamed sources told Maariv that the “triangle” plan has come up during talks between Israel and US officials at various levels, including at least one occasion when very senior officials including Kerry were in attendance. Israeli legal officials have begun investigating legal aspects of such an arrangement, the newspaper said. It added that the Americans have apparently not assented to the idea, and that the Palestinians are likely to reject it.

The idea is aimed at addressing two central issues in a possible peace agreement: first, land swaps between Israel and a Palestinian state that would enable Israel to expand its sovereignty to encompass major West Bank settlements, while compensating the Palestinians with territory that is currently part of sovereign Israel; and second, preserving Israel’s Jewish majority.

The possibility of land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians has gained widespread backing in the international community, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making stiffer territorial demands than some of his prime ministerial predecessors, the report said, including refusing to give away as much as he receives. In other words, whereas former prime minister Ehud Olmert was prepared to trade land on a one-to-one basis, Netanyahu is apparently pushing for a better formulation from Israel’s point of view.

John Kerry, left, and Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in Jerusalem In September 2013. (photo credit: US State Department)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been widely reported to seek only very minimal land-swap border adjustments, whereas Netanyahu seeks to ensure that as many Israelis living beyond the Green Line as possible be brought under undisputed Israeli sovereignty under a permanent accord.

Netanyahu is also concerned about Israel’s available land reserves being sufficient to meet its growing population demands, the report said. In addition, the prime minister is worried that even after signing a peace agreement, the Palestinians won’t genuinely be reconciled to ending their conflict with Israel, and will hope instead that Israel’s Arab population, whose growth rate is higher than the Jewish population, can eventually bring about a binational state in today’s Israel alongside the new Palestinian state.

There are currently around 1.6 million Israeli Arabs in the country and Maariv estimated that transferring 300,000 of those residents to a Palestinian state would leave Israel’s Arab population at around 12%.

By drawing on land from the triangle, where two of Israel’s largest Arab towns, Tayibe and Umm al-Fahm are located, Israel would be able to offer the Palestinians more territorial compensation in order to annex more West Bank settlement areas, the report said.

The idea of swapping territory including the residents who live on it has been discussed for years in some Israeli political circles. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has long argued that it would be a mistake, and inequitable, for Israel to relinquish unpopulated Israeli territory to the Palestinians in exchange for annexing settler-populated territory in the West Bank. Maariv noted that Liberman consistently raises his proposals in contacts with American and European interlocutors, and that he recently held talks on the peace process with Kerry in Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman seen during a meeting of the Likud Beytenu faction in the Knesset on November 18, 2013. (Photo credit: Flash90)

In the formal peace talks with the Palestinians, the report went on, Israel has told the Palestinians which territory it seeks to annex in the West Bank under any future accord, but has not detailed how it would be willing to compensate the Palestinians. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, leading those talks, has asked the Palestinians what they want in return.

Aside from the land issue another major sticking point in the negotiations is Netanyahu’s demand, even after the establishment of a Palestinian state, to maintain IDF forces in the Jordan Valley and full control over the border between the West Bank and Jordan. Israel insists on control there out of security concerns, while the Palestinians emphatically reject any Israeli presence on the territory of a future state.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told Maariv that, from his point of view, there was nothing to discuss over the matter. “We are talking about a clear message to Israel and the US: The Jordan Valley is Palestinian,” he said.

Hamdallah also made clear that, despite repeated assertions by chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat that there was no point in continuing talks, the Palestinians would see through the nine-month negotiating period agreed with Kerry. “We committed to the Americans to hold talks until April and we will keep that commitment,” he said.

Kerry is due to arrive in the region on Thursday for his tenth visit this year, to try to push for a framework agreement that, while not a signed document, would address all core issues, including the borders between Israel and a future Palestine; security; Palestinian refugees; and conflicting claims to the holy city of Jerusalem. The framework deal reportedly includes clauses providing for Israeli readiness under certain conditions to partner the Palestinians to a state based on the pre-1967 lines with land swaps, and for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and declare an end to the conflict.

Kerry reportedly hopes to have the sides agree in the course of January to proceed on the basis of the framework deal, and to extend the negotiating period beyond April.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 1:39 pm | 66 Comments »

66 Responses to Israel reportedly offering land and its 300,000 residents to Palestinians

  1. honeybee says:

    @ yamit82:

    Pics of me belly dancing,someone has already sent chocolates,lots of chocolates: http://youtu.be/VohAxpboJAs

  2. dweller says:

    @ CuriousAmerican:

    “You still have not answered my question.”

    “Answering a question with another question is a Jewish thing and you are not welcome to use our schtick ( For Jews ONLY)”

    “Why not?!”

    By now, Curio, you should know that Yamit’s beliefs are not grounded in conviction, but in FEALTY (and no more than a perceived fealty at that).

    For him, the essential question — after you peel back the bark — always comes down to NOT ‘is it a real tree?’ or ‘is it a true tree?’ or ‘is it a good tree?’

    — but rather, ‘is it MY tree?’

    THAT’s why you are not welcome to use our schtick ( For Jews ONLY).

    But if you waited for an invite to say what you wanted to say, you’d never get it said.

  3. yamit82 says:

    honeybee Said:

    Pics of me belly dancing,someone has already sent chocolates,lots of chocolates:

  4. yamit82 says:

    @ dweller:

    Your comment proves two things

    A -You have no concept of humor especially Jewish sarcasm
    AND
    B-It proves you are not Jewish.

    Whatever my beliefs at least they are not grounded, attuned or connected in any way shape or form to ‘yeshu’ paganism.

    By definition (mine) anything I believe is Real,True, and Good and they are mine.

    My Jewish beliefs are solidly grounded in traditional Jewish sources, which you can not claim.

    How is that for TRUTH?

  5. honeybee says:

    @ Shy Guy:

    I love your humor, your “Jewish scence of sarcasim”,I coming for you my little M&M.

  6. honeybee says:

    yamit82 Said:

    By definition (mine) anything I believe is Real,True, and Good and they are mine.

    So Darlin, enlighten me???????? Sincereley, I am always searching.

  7. dweller says:

    @ yamit82:

    “You still have not answered my question.”

    “Answering a question with another question is a Jewish thing and you are not welcome to use our schtick ( For Jews ONLY)”

    “Why not?!”

    “By now, Curio, you should know that Yamit’s beliefs are not grounded in conviction, but in FEALTY (and no more than a perceived fealty at that). For him, the essential question — after you peel back the bark — always comes down to NOT ‘is it a real tree?’ or ‘is it a true tree?’ or ‘is it a good tree?’ — but rather, ‘is it MY tree?’ THAT’s why you are ‘not welcome to use our schtick ( For Jews ONLY).’ But if you waited for an invite to say what you wanted to say, you’d never get it said.”

    “Your comment proves two things. A -You have no concept of humor especially Jewish sarcasm”

    No, although your OWN comment proves that you think you DO have a sense of humor. (And that truly IS a funny proposition.)

    “AND B-It proves you are not Jewish.”

    For PresentCompany, ANYTHING that I might comment (or decline to comment) would ‘prove’ that I’m not Jewish.

    — Nu, so?

    “Whatever my beliefs at least they are not grounded, attuned or connected in any way shape or form to ‘yeshu’ paganism.”

    Stuff and nonsense; e.g., you’re every bit the bigot that they are, and that’s just for starters. There is FAR more of the pagan in you than in me.

    “By definition (mine) anything I believe is Real,True, and Good and they are mine.”

    Only by adoption. Not by conviction, because you don’t do your own thinking.

    “My Jewish beliefs are solidly grounded in traditional Jewish sources…”

    Only to the extent that those persons from whom you TAKE those beliefs are themselves grounded in traditional Jewish sources — because you take them strictly by rote. You don’t know those things to be true; you don’t know them for yourself, but only by what you’ve been told by others (who, in turn, may or may not have known those things for THEMselves).

    You remind me of those kids I knew in grade & middle school who were required by the RCC to memorize stuff from the Baltimore Catechism, but were clueless as to whether it was in fact true. (It was hard enough for them to even understand its meaning — let alone, its veracity.) They just mindlessly regurgitated it on-call & on-cue, as required of them by the priest. Yechhh, gag me.

    What’s more, your idea of what is ‘Jewish’ died sometime around 400 BC, has been collecting dust ever since that time, and has never continued its arc of development beyond that point.

    — Yet God Himself is never silent.

    “… which you can not claim.”

    “…’Accept the truth from whatever source it come,’ is sound Rabbinic doctrine — even if it be from the pages of a devout Christian expositor or of an iconoclastic Bible scholar, Jewish OR non-Jewish. This does not affect the Jewish traditional character of the work.

    Yosef Zvi Hertz, Late Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth [1913-46], Hertz Chumash [Pentateuch & Haftorahs (Soncino Press, London, 1936), Preface to the 1st Edition — for 70 years (prior to adoption of Artscroll), the most common book in the homes & synagogues of believing Jews of Orthodox or Conservative affiliation throughout the English-speaking world (and to this day, still the standard text in Orthodox homes & synagogues of the UK).

    “How is that for TRUTH?”

    How is what for truth? — I’m still waiting for a SCRAP of truth to emerge from your keyboard.

  8. honeybee says:

    dweller Said:

    You still have not answered my question.”

    I asked YOU a QUESTION, no answer, why???????????????////

  9. honeybee says:

    dweller Said:

    How is what for truth? — I’m still waiting for a SCRAP of truth to emerge from your keyboard.

    Yamit82 said helikes bely dancers and chicken pot pie!!!!!! Is that enough truth for you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. dweller says:

    @ honeybee:

    “You still have not answered my question.”

    “I asked YOU a QUESTION, no answer, why”

    What question was that?

  11. dweller says:

    @ honeybee:

    “How is that for TRUTH?”

    “How is what for truth? — I’m still waiting for a SCRAP of truth to emerge from your keyboard.”

    “Yamit82 said helikes bely dancers and chicken pot pie! Is that enough truth for you!”

    Is it enough for you?

  12. honeybee says:

    dweller Said:

    What question was that?

    You answered it.

    dweller Said:

    Is it enough for you

    Yes, that what I’m good at.

  13. yamit82 says:

    @ dweller:
    You had better pray to your pagan god that you never will need to have brain surgery from someone who gained his knowledge by the an autodidact method. The method of transmission in Judaism is no different essentially from University lectures and note taking. Would you fly from a self taught airline pilot after that bit of information was made known to you?

    Now show me where in the , Hertz Chumash were he agrees and substantiates any of your beliefs? Where he is in any significant disagreement with mine?

    Judaism unlike your christianity is not a Chinese menu where you are allowed to pick and choose what you like, feels good or right to you emotionally intuitivly or instinctively. If Torah is true or truth then it is, and if it is then what you believe isn’t. It’s that simple. You are wrong about doing my own thinking. Any serious student of Torah and Talmud does their own thinking by using the Socratic method. The Talmud gives all sides of every discussion and commentary and there is a myriad of post Talmudic literature, anyone is allowed to chose or to add his own understanding to what came before but it must be grounded in Torah and must stand up to not only Chazal but also peer review based on Jewish sources.

    But you as an ignoramus with a diploma in ignorance, I laugh at your use of long stated christian calumny against our sages and methods of teaching and transmission. How totally christian anti-Judaism and how arrogant you are in actually believing your understanding and knowledge of Jewish scripture is sufficient to derive the correct and true meaning and message of Torah. “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

  14. dove says:

    @ yamit82:

    You had better pray to your pagan god

    Don’t encourage it.

  15. dweller says:

    @ yamit82:

    “You had better pray… that you never will need to have brain surgery from someone who gained his knowledge by the an autodidact method.”

    The witlessness of your analogy betrays your invincible ignorance.

    I am no ‘autodidact’ where God is concerned.

    What I have learned has been imparted largely by Him directly

    — what’s more the very impulse to ask Him a a question comes from Him as well. (Not that I’m special in that regard; He is accessible to ALL who call upon Him — to all who call upon Him in truth.)

    “The method of transmission in Judaism is no different essentially from University lectures and note taking.”

    You should tell that to Avraham Avinu. He seems not to have gotten that particular memo. (Perhaps it was delivered to the wrong unit that day?)

    “Now show me where in the , Hertz Chumash were he agrees and substantiates any of your beliefs?”

    Easier to answer where he DISAGREES with me than where he agrees.

    — It would be a much shorter answer.

    I was virtually raised with the Hertz Chumash.

    When I was a kid, my Saturday mornings in the shul would invariably be spent with my nose buried in the big indigo-navy blue book in my lap, “surfing” the comments sections, throughout the period between Shacharit & Musaf (sometimes well into Musaf on some Sat. morns, when I could get away with it) — except when I’d be called up for an aliya; then my head would jerk upwards, “Hunh, what?” — and I’d put the Chumash down.

    — The cantor would motion me forward, the gabbai would roll his eyes; they all knew what I’d been up to. I loved Hertz’s commentaries; they always gave me all kinds of stuff to think about.

    “Where [Hertz] is in any significant disagreement with mine?”

    I already cited one significant example:

    “…’Accept the truth from whatever source it come,’ is sound Rabbinic doctrine — even if it be from the pages of a devout Christian expositor or of an iconoclastic Bible scholar, Jewish OR non-Jewish. This does not affect the Jewish traditional character of the work.”

    “You are wrong about doing my own thinking. Any serious student of Torah and Talmud does their own thinking by using the Socratic method.”

    Maybe they do. But not you; you’ve got your mind made made up before you even look.

    “The Talmud gives all sides of every discussion and commentary”

    Not all; many, but not all. And to limit oneself to its options is to put your head in an intellectual (and moral) straitjacket before you even get started.

    “anyone is allowed to chose or to add his own understanding to what came before but it must be grounded in Torah and must stand up to not only Chazal but also peer review based on Jewish sources.”

    A more sophisticated straitjacket. A gilded cage instead of a bronze one; whoop-ee.

    “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

    “I laugh at your use of long stated christian calumny against our sages.”

    Your laughter is forced. I’ve never ‘calumniated’ the sages.

    But I’ve never worshipped them either.

    The Most High doesn’t take kindly to that sort of thing.

    And who would that ‘father’ would be?

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