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.

Maaleh Adumim with sign 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Maaleh Adumim with sign 370
(photo credit: 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 disappointed.
Except, of course, that no Jews vowed to kill or expel anyone.
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 borders.
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.
The real 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.
But the 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.
Israeli leaders, 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 Levy Report.
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 army.
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 choose.
The writer is executive director of Likud Anglos and is a formal candidate on the Likud-Beytenu list for the Knesset.