Palestinian flag/protest good illustrative 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
Deputy Transportation Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has raised some
eyebrows by calling on the Israeli government to move toward the annexation of
Judea and Samaria, even if it comes at the price of giving citizenship to Arabs
residing in these areas. Estimates of the number of Arabs in the area have
ranged from 1.5 million to 2.4 million.
In the past 35 years, there have
been many peace plans, the most recent of which have been based on the “land for
peace” formula of Israel surrendering its heartland of Judea and Samaria, as
well as eastern Jerusalem, to the Palestinian Authority, mainly comprised of the
Fatah and Hamas terrorist organizations. With the demonstrated failure of those
plans, more and more suggestions are being heard calling for Israel to extend
its sovereignty to these regions.
MK Hotovely’s proposal to annex all of
Judea and Samaria to Israel differs from many pro-annexation proposals in that
she calls for the granting of citizenship to the Arab residents.
suggestion is certain to bring criticism from both Left and Right in the
political spectrum, with both complaining about the demographic and existential
threat that would be caused by the addition of such a large number of mostly
hostile citizens to the Israeli population.
The concern is not misplaced.
Even if the most optimistic demographers, such as Yoram Ettinger, who estimate
that granting citizenship would bring the total Arab population from the
Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River up to about 35 percent, are correct, we
must understand that the political ramifications of a large Arab minority with
increasing demands do not bode well for the State of Israel. On the other hand,
declaring Israeli sovereignty without granting citizenship admittedly creates an
apartheid-like situation that would greatly heighten the tensions between Israel
and the ostensibly friendly nations of the world, including the United
Given all of these concerns, I have proposed my Peace For Peace
plan, which includes the annexation of Judea and Samaria, as well as a path to
loyal citizenship for all residents of the region. Such a path would include an
extensive, two-year course in Zionist, Jewish history and good citizenship,
culminating in a required oath of loyalty to the Jewish State of Israel, and a
two to three year commitment of national service to Israel, as performed by
other citizens. Those residents who accept this offer would in effect be
agreeing to become a loyal minority within Israel, much like the Druse
The residents of Judea and Samaria who refuse this path to
loyal citizenship would be offered a stipend to be resettled in one of the
neighboring countries. The option of subsidized transfer would be on the table
for one year. After that point, only a small number of noncitizens would be
allowed to remain, based solely on Israel’s needs.
With the offer on the
table, all charges of apartheid would be easily refuted as disingenuous, since
the rejection of such an offer would clearly demonstrate the hostility of those
particular residents. No country can reasonably be expected to welcome as
citizens those who seek its destruction.
This plan to extend Israeli
sovereignty to all of Judea and Samaria and to absorb those with the potential
to be loyal citizens is a clear, unambiguous plan that can bring historical
justice to the region and to all of its inhabitants.The author, former
mayor of Shilo, is founder and president of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund
(www.ShilohIsraelChildren.org), established after he and his threeyear-
old son were wounded in a terrorist attack. He is the author of three books,
including Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East, available on
Amazon.com or at www.DavidRubinIsrael.com