Moderate proposals to stop a Palestinian state
A Palestinian state in our homeland, on the other hand, is a danger we may never escape. But this danger is not inevitable.
Jahalin tribe Beduin camp in front of settlement Photo: REUTERS
November 29 was an ironic day this year. It marked the date that the UN General
Assembly, in 1947, called for the creation of Jewish and Arab states in
Palestine. That vote caused the Jews of Palestine to erupt in jubilation, but
left the Arabs disappointed, angry and vowing to go to war. This November 29,
the General Assembly voted to implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood and it
had the opposite affect: the Arabs rejoiced and the Jews were left
Except, of course, that no Jews vowed to kill or expel
What both resolutions had in common though, was that in and of
themselves, they were practically meaningless.
The UN did not create the
State of Israel with the partition resolution in 1947 and the UN cannot create
the State of Palestine by recognizing one today.
A Jewish state came into
being in 1948-49 because Jews had returned to their land, built the institutions
of statehood, fought to expel oppressors, declared the establishment of their
state, fought to defend it and achieved sovereignty within its
In 2012, a Palestinian state has yet to come into being. While
autonomous to a large degree, the Palestinian Arabs lack, among other things,
essential state institutions and sovereignty over territory. This year’s
November 29 resolution, which looks toward “fulfil[ling] the vision of two
states,” implicitly concedes that no Palestinian state exists.
purpose of the resolution, like all General Assembly resolutions regarding
Israel, was propaganda. It was meant to pressure Israel by perpetuating the
notion that like the messiah, though it may tarry, the coming of the Palestinian
state is inevitable and resistance to it is futile.
While many Israelis
and Jews around the world do not deny the dangers a sovereign Palestinian state
would pose (even President Shimon Peres compared the two-state solution to
“go[ing] under the Arab knife”), they are ready to accept such a state, in large
part because they accept that sense of inevitability. For instance, the chief of
staff of a minister who recently failed to achieve a secure spot in the next
Knesset once told me that “anyone who does not believe we are going to give them
something,” i.e., a state, “is an idiot.”
But we don’t have “to give them
something.” A Palestinian state is not inevitable.
Israel’s decisions in
the wake of the UN vote – authorizing more housing construction, withholding
taxes collected for the Palestinian Authority to pay the outstanding bill which
the PA owes the Israel Electric Corporation, and to move ahead with plans to
build in the controversial E1 area – all demonstrate how irrelevant General
Assembly resolutions and EU declarations are to the situation on the ground.
They demonstrate that Israel is the sovereign power in Judea and Samaria.
Another state can only arise there with Israeli consent.
expectation of the establishment of a Palestinian state – an expectation which
we ourselves are responsible for through our declarations and policies over the
past 20 years – is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman, surely realize that the Palestinians do not seek a state as part of a
truly permanent settlement, but in a manner which will enable them to continue
to push for more concessions, keep up international pressure on Israel and
ultimately destroy the Jewish state.
The expectation and sense of
inevitability, however, has forced Israel to go along with the Palestinian
statehood agenda nonetheless.
So after the second intifada, all the
Israeli concessions and gestures and the rocket wars launched against Israel by
Hamas, the sporadic acts of murder and violence, and the refusal of the
Palestinian Authority to negotiate, in the past four years, Israel has
restricted settlement building, enacted an “unprecedented” settlement freeze,
accepted the two-state solution and has been open to and has even pursued a
renewal of negotiations.
The UN recognition of a Palestinian state is a
wake-up call to those who think we can continue to pass the buck down the years.
At some point, Israel must put the brakes on the train to Palestinian statehood,
and the sooner the better, as the more time passes the greater the sense of
inevitability and the weaker our negotiating position.
Moving ahead with
construction plans in E1, something which the Europeans say would preclude a
viable Palestinian state, appears to be aimed at doing just that. But this
should be only the first such step over the next three to four years of the
Netanyahu- Liberman administration.
Building should continue without
restraint in areas key to cementing Jewish control over Judea and Samaria –
something the prime minister hinted at on Sunday when he said Israel would build
“in all areas that are on the map of the strategic interests of the State of
Israel.” An equitable solution to the problem of buildings on allegedly “private
Palestinian” land should be implemented as should the recommendations of the
Israel should also make ending anti- Jewish incitement in
the Palestinian Authority a precondition for negotiations and even for the
assistance Israel provides the Palestinian Authority. In fact, Israel should,
where possible, bypass the Palestinian Authority and work directly with local
Palestinian entities, just as the Palestinian Authority bypassed Israel in the
international community. Israel must not allow continued growth in the
Palestinian security forces, which has grown far beyond the 30,000 soldiers/
policemen envisioned in Oslo II, or it will become a Palestinian
Our international-diplomatic strategy should follow suit. In public
declarations, Israel should repeatedly reassert the Jewish historic and natural
right to settle and be sovereign in this country, as the cabinet did the Sunday
following the UN vote. We should reiterate that under the Oslo Accords, the Camp
David Accords and UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 we are under no
obligation to create a Palestinian state. We should state that our willingness to
consider Palestinian statehood is not unlimited. We should prepare and openly
consider alternatives to the two-state solution, under which we remain the
sovereign power in Judea and Samaria.
Even though these moderate
proposals fall short of annexing all or parts of Area C or outright rejecting
the two-state solution they will still bring international pressure. Our leaders
will continue to be called names such as “obstinate,” “radical,” “ungrateful,”
“liar,” our ambassadors will be summoned, memorandums of understanding may be
canceled, European governments will threaten to withdraw their ambassadors or
talk about sanctions.
These are scare tactics and they will pass. A
Palestinian state in our homeland, on the other hand, is a danger we may never
escape. But this danger is not inevitable. We can stop if we choose, but we must
The writer is executive director of Likud Anglos and is a formal
candidate on the Likud-Beytenu list for the Knesset.