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Bennett's response to Palestinian UN bid: Annexation

The leader of the Jewish Home party asks Netanyahu to convene the cabinet and discuss the formal annexation of the settlements and 60 percent of the West Bank to Israel. ‘The peace talks are dead and I’m proposing an alternative.’

Formal annexation of all Israeli settlements, as well as selected parts of Area C of the West Bank (under full Israeli control) – this is Naftali Bennett’s response to the Palestinian bid to join 15 UN treaties and institutions. The proposal, based on the plan Bennett publicly championed before running for Knesset (outlined in the video below), claims that annexation would bring under formal Israeli rule some 400,000 settlers and “only several tens of thousands” of Palestinians. Bennett’s proposal is to offer these Palestinians Israeli citizenship, so as to preempt any claims that Israel is engaging in apartheid. It should be noted that in the status quo, Israeli civilian law is, de facto, applied to settlements and settlers wherever they go, while a Kafkaesque mixture of Israeli military, British and Ottoman laws are applied to Palestinians living in the same territories. This means that a Palestinian from the West Bank and a settler will never face the same court for the same offense.

The Minister of Economy  – and more importantly, Netanyahu’s single greatest rival on the expansionist right – outlined the proposal in a letter to the prime minister on Wednesday night, suggesting the move be put before the cabinet as early as possible. In a later interview to Ynet, Bennett was casually dismissive about the international fallout that could ensue. “In 1967 [Prime Minister] Eshkol annexed Jerusalem. In 1981 Begin annexed the Golan Heights. The sky didn’t fall,” he said, before adding cautiously that he wouldn’t tell the U.S. to leave Israel alone, but rather advise it to concentrate on other crises, like Syria.

Even though Bennett got some surprising (read: disoriented) support from former Labor stalwart Amir Peretz, who welcomed the fact that his cabinet colleague was finally willing to talk borders, the chances that the cabinet acts on his proposal is small. Netanyahu’s overall approach is easy-does-it, and pushing the Americans even further at this point won’t serve any earthly good. And this is before we even get to Bennett’s dodgy math – the numbers he presents in his proposal are highly contested.

But there are still some important takeaways from this proposal finally being thrown into the ring, and this time by a senior minister, rather than an independent right-wing activist (even if they are the same person, two years apart).

First, that this is no gimmick: Bennett and his party, despite not having really grappled with the topic in their year in government, are still as annexationist as they ever were, and their model is still the same: give minuscule, but densely populated Area A (under full control of the Palestinian Authority) some semblance of autonomy, and annex the rest, while offering the Palestinian residents there citizenship. The use of that latter verb is crucial – Bennett relies on Palestinians refusing such an offer, thus forfeiting any formal influence over the regime that will be running their lives while absolving said regime from any responsibility for excluding them.

Second, the relatively muted reaction in political circles indicates that this proposal is not at all as outrageous as it would have been some years back; and the more it is aired by Bennett and other supporters, the more normalized it will become, at least in the Israeli discourse. Physical partition is no longer sacrosanct, and whatever else they are, annexationists – especially the more conservative ones, like Bennett – are fringe no longer.

Last but not least, Bennett is right about this much: with the last-ditch two-state process hanging by a thread, he is the only player of consequence offering a vision and an alternative. Supporters of the peace process at home and abroad refuse to counter Bennett’s idea of non-partition with one of their own, for fear of legitimizing the very notion of a single state. This tells you a lot about their own faith in the viability of a two-state solution: they seem to believe their paradigm is in such frail health that it will be snuffed out by even the most hypothetical discussion of alternatives.

The result is that, yet again, the Israeli right has taken the initiative while the left has been left behind to protest and lament. It would be good to see those in Israel and abroad who don’t share Bennett’s vision begin to at least anticipate the irretrievable change of endgame they themselves are constantly warning about, and perhaps start offering their own alternatives. Unfortunately, if peering into the abyss of a complete negotiation breakdown failed to get them thinking in this direction, it seems that nothing will.

Read more:
Is Israeli annexation of Area C of the West Bank imminent?
In West Bank, the logic of annexation supersedes the rule of law

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    1. Tzutzik

      “The result is that, yet again, the Israeli right has taken the initiative while the left has been left behind to protest and lament”

      Never a truer word has been spoken.

      The left will forever stay out of government in Israel until such time as:

      1. They present their own vision for the future of Israel.

      2. Such a vision will be a viable vision for the majority of Israelis rather than for the majority of the Arabs in general.

      Point 2 is essential because to date, many on the Israeli left were more concerned about pleasing Palestinian Arabs than the majority of Israelis.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bar

      Perhaps the left could spend its time pressing the Palestinians to come to the table to compromise instead of endlessly badmouthing, embarrassing, attacking and encouraging a boycott of Israel? Because, Mr. Reider, it’s not that the left doesn’t have a plan, it’s that this has been their plan for years and it hasn’t worked. Well, it’s worked for the PA and Hamas who have gained enormous diplomatic leverage and survival capabilities, but certainly not for average Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
      • Johnboy

        “Perhaps the left could spend its time pressing the Palestinians to come to the table to compromise instead of”…..

        Of course, this all depends upon what Bar’s definition of “compromise” actually is.

        Apparently, it is a synonym for the word “surrender”, since it appears to entail the Palestinians going up to Bennett and say “Oh, so all we get is Area A? OK, sure, where do we sign?”.

        I have to say that I agree with THIS statement regarding the “compromises” that are being demanded:

        “The terms for a peace accord advanced by Netanyahu’s government, whether regarding territory, borders, security, resources, refugees or the location of the Palestinian state’s capital, require compromises of Palestinian territory and sovereignty on the Palestinian side of the June 6, 1967, line. They do not reflect any Israeli compromises, much less the ‘painful compromises’ Netanyahu promised in his May 2011 speech before a joint meeting of Congress. Every one of them is on the Palestinian side of that line.”

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          Ok JB but you have no problem requiring the surrender of Israel which was the victim of Arab aggression more than once. First in 1948 and ever since then was the object of thousands of terrorist acts, culminating in the war of aggression by Jordan in 1967 which led to the so called occupation that you people continually whine about. And more acts of terrorism (thousands more) to this day.

          Yet you expect Israel to withdraw unconditionally? Keep on expecting it. You will die and you still won’t realise such an expectation. And you can threaten your BDS BS all you like …

          Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “Ok JB but you have no problem requiring the surrender of Israel which was the victim of Arab aggression more than once”

            No, I agree with this view:
            “The terms for a peace accord advanced by Netanyahu’s government,” …. “require compromises of Palestinian territory and sovereignty on the Palestinian side of the June 6, 1967, line. They do not reflect any Israeli compromises,”…

            “Yet you expect Israel to withdraw unconditionally?”

            You are insisting that Israel has a “right” to extract some extortion from the Palestinians as the “price” for an Israeli withdrawal.

            Or, as those elder statesmen put so well: …”Every one of them [compromises] is on the Palestinian side of that line.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “You are insisting that Israel has a “right” to extract some extortion from the Palestinians as the “price” for an Israeli withdrawal.”

            Extortion? Are you saying that insisting on recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people by the Palestinian Arabs is extortion?

            Think again. In 1947, UN resolution 181 specifically spoke of partitioning Palestine into a JEWISH state and an ARAB state. The Arabs rejected that UN resolution because they objected to the JEWISH state.

            A palestinian Arab refusal to recognise the JEWISH state even now, spells only one thing. That they STILL reject the JEWISH nation state and that they still intend to try and destroy it in the future. So, under the circumstances, Israel’s insistence that the Palis should recognise the JEWISH nation state is not extortion. It is simple self preservation!

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            PS:

            The Arabs rejected the JEWISH state for one reason and one reason only. They wanted ALL of Palestine to be ONE state. An Arab Muslim state.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “The Arabs rejected the JEWISH state for one reason and one reason only. They wanted ALL of Palestine to be ONE state. An Arab Muslim state.”

            Of course. But that was in 1947, when Old Man Abbas had just entered his teens.

            But we aren’t in 1947 any more, Tzutzik, and that Palestinian leadership is long dead.

            The conflict still exists, but it has evolved far, far beyond the views that were held over 6o years ago.

            The Palestinians have given up on the idea of “wanting ALL of Palestine to be ONE state”.

            They gave up on it in 1988, and to this day they haven’t revisited it.

            The irony, of course, is that Israel is so consistent in being so greedy and so set in its way that its own intransigence will bring that One-State-Solution back onto the table.

            Which is kinda’ funny, though nobody feels like laughing….

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “The Palestinians have given up on the idea of “wanting ALL of Palestine to be ONE state”.

            Is that so JB? Then I guess they wouldn’t have any problems with at long last recognising Israel as the nation state of the JEWISH people would they?

            But it seems that they do. So I guess your above claim is just a joke but we ain’t laughing. And I guess we are reluctant to give up strategic assets such as lands and the high ground from which we could be attacked again. I hope you don’t mind JB, do you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “Extortion? Are you saying that insisting on recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people by the Palestinian Arabs is extortion?”

            Oh, please, READ THE ARTICLE.

            The extortion that Bennett is advocating is Israel’s annexation of most of the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians with nothing more than Area A, and NOT EVEN A STATE in that rump territory.

            That’s what Bennett wants.

            It’s what Netanyahu really wants too, but he’s too big a coward to come out and say it.

            Honestly, get real: if Abbas **did** agree to “recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people” would that nation state then end this endless occupation?

            Answer: No, Bennett would go ballistic at the very idea, and Netanyahu would have to find some *other* demand to keep his cowardly-dreams alive.

            Both want that territory – they have NO intention of ever releasing their grip on it – and this nonsense about “recognizing the Jewish state” is merely a smokescreen to justify their extortion.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Honestly, get real: if Abbas **did** agree to “recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people” would that nation state then end this endless occupation?”

            Oh come on JB, is that your only problem? Then why don’t your Pali buddies test your theory? All they have to do is say to Bennet and Bibi is that in principle they are willing to recognise Israel as the nation state of the JEWISH people, as per UN resolution 181, but ONLY AFTER borders are negotiated and agreed upon.

            Do you think Abbas would be willing to do it? I’ll tell you what, I am not willing to hold MY breath waiting for it. Are you suicidal enough to hold your breath till uncle Abbas would agree to do that? NO? I didn’t think so.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “Then why don’t your Pali buddies test your theory?”

            Because Lieberman is salivating over the prospect of using that to help justify ridding Israel of its Arab citizenry.

            “All they have to do is say to Bennet and Bibi is that in principle they are willing to recognise Israel as the nation state of the JEWISH people, as per UN resolution 181, but ONLY AFTER borders are negotiated and agreed upon.”

            Riiiiiiight. And Netanyahu would signal his willingness to accept such an “in principle” declaration because…. why, exactly?

            He will thunder that This Is Not Good Enough! even as he pockets that declaration and declares that Abbas now can’t go back on his word.

            “Do you think Abbas would be willing to do it?”

            I think he would be utterly foolish to even hint at that until right at the very end of negotiations.

            Which is, of course, a point that will never be reached because Netanyahu will demand that this recognition be given at the very beginning of negotiations.

            For cryin’ out loud: you must be the only person on Planet Earth who believes that Netanyahu has any intention of EVER offering the Palestinians ANY territory.

            No such offer will ever be forthcoming. At best Netanyahu might express his willingness to “only” annex all of Area C and B, and if he is then asked about Area A he’ll mutter something like “That hellhole? Nah, I don’t care what happens there”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Then why don’t your Pali buddies test your theory?”

            JB:”Because Lieberman is salivating over the prospect of using that to help justify ridding Israel of its Arab citizenry”

            Really? How would he do that? Is he the king of Israel?

            If he is, then why doesn’t he do it now?

            “All they have to do is say to Bennet and Bibi is that in principle they are willing to recognise Israel as the nation state of the JEWISH people, as per UN resolution 181, but ONLY AFTER borders are negotiated and agreed upon.”

            JB:”Riiiiiiight. And Netanyahu would signal his willingness to accept such an “in principle” declaration because…. why, exactly?”

            Why not exactly? What is he going to say? Is he going to say: “I don’t accept your acceptance of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people”? How do you think that would make him look to most Israelis? Can I suggest that it would make him look stupid?

            “Do you think Abbas would be willing to do it?”

            JB:”I think he would be utterly foolish to even hint at that until right at the very end of negotiations.”

            Why exactly? What has he got to lose? Most reasonable Israelis would accept the proposition that actual recognition cannot take place without agreed borders.

            JB:”Which is, of course, a point that will never be reached because Netanyahu will demand that this recognition be given at the very beginning of negotiations.”

            He may or he may not. What has uncle Abbas got to lose by testing that assertion of yours?

            JB:”For cryin’ out loud: you must be the only person on Planet Earth who believes that Netanyahu has any intention of EVER offering the Palestinians ANY territory.”

            Test it! Stop jibbering about it.

            For crying out loud. What has already been tested was Ehud Barak’s and Ehud Olmert’s concessions of territories which still did not yield peace because uncle Arafat and uncle Abbas were not willing to make peace with Israel.

            JB:”No such offer will ever be forthcoming. At best Netanyahu might express his willingness to “only” annex all of Area C and B, and if he is then asked about Area A he’ll mutter something like “That hellhole? Nah, I don’t care what happens there”.

            Of course we cannot test that little assertion of yours which you pulled out from where the sun does not shine. We can’t test it because uncle Abbas is not even willing to recognise Israel as the nation state of the JEWISH people. So why should Bibi give up anything? Why do you expect Bibi to give up something for NOTHING? NIL? NADA? ZIP?

            Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Surrender?

          The Arabs got 78% of Mandatory Palestine. They have all of Gaza. Israel is offering most of Judea and Samaria. How is that surrender? The Arabs will end up with about 85% of Mandatory Palestine, and for the first time ever in their history, a state.

          That isn’t surrender, that’s a pretty darn good victory. Sadly, what the Palestinians seem to want is 100% of everything and consider anything less a “surrender.” Well, their problem is that the other side isn’t going anywhere.

          Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “The Arabs got 78% of Mandatory Palestine.”

            Oh, please, give it a rest…

            The issue regarding the territory that lies to the EAST of the Jordan River was settled in 1922, when the text of the Mandate for Palestine included Article 25.

            All that this conflict is about is the territory that lies to the WEST of the River Jordan.

            And in that territory the decision was made to do a split 55:45.

            The Arabs were to get that 45%, and now they are only arguing about 22%, and of THAT Bennett only wants to leave them “Area A”.

            And **you** have the gall to pretend that’s a generous offer – a monumental “compromise” on the part of their warlord, and a massive “victory” to the serfs.

            Man, ain’t that beyond chutzpah.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Ah, I see. Issues that were addressed to your liking are “settled” and I need to give it a rest.

            Excellent logic.

            Oh, by the way, the Jews accepted that partition plan, which, although it gave them 55% of the 22% the Arabs didn’t get already, included the Negev and therefore most of the 55% was inhospitable desert land. The Arabs not only got TransJordan, they also got much of the best land in the rest of Mandatory Palestine. Too bad they said “no” and launched a war, huh?

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Bar: “Ah, I see.”

            No, you clearly don’t, because you then follow that up by saying….

            Bar: “Issues that were addressed to your liking are “settled” and I need to give it a rest.”

            No, that issue wasn’t simply “addressed to my liking”. That issue WAS “settled” by
            Article 25 of Mandate.

            So there is simply no point arguing whether Jews could “close settle” anywhere east of the River Jordan.

            The answer *is* in Article 25, and that answer *is* “No”.

            The conflict between Jewish vs Arab “rights” to this territory therefore has always been restricted to the territory that lies to the west of the River Jordan, precisely because the Mandate for Palestine didn’t “settle” that question.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            Bar: “Oh, by the way, the Jews accepted that partition plan,”….

            Oh, please. The Partition Plan wasn’t “offered” to either the Jews nor the Arabs of Palestine.

            It was IMPOSED UPON them all, and as such neither the “acceptance” of it by the Jews nor the “rejection” of it by the Arabs makes the slightest bit of difference to the legal importance of that Partition Plan.

            A court can rule *this* and *so*, and that ruling sets out The Rules, and it makes not the slightest scrap o’ difference if you say “Great! I love it!” or I say “This is an outrage!”.

            It matters not, because neither you nor I were asked to validate it, therefore what either of I think is immaterial: the apportionment was *thus* and *so*, and neither party has any “right” to steal what doesn’t belong to them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “It was IMPOSED UPON them all, and as such neither the “acceptance” of it by the Jews nor the “rejection” of it by the Arabs makes the slightest bit of difference to the legal importance of that Partition Plan.”

            But the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected and STARTED A WAR!

            Would you therefore be willing to concede that the Arabs were guilty of committing a war crime? Especially since “a court rule” to use your analogy, imposed the TWO state solution, one JEWISH one ARAB. So the war that the ARABS started was ILLEGAL!

            No? You are not willing to concede, JB? Why am I surprised? As usual, you want it every which way. According to people like you, if it’s heads the ARABS win, if it’s tails, ISRAEL loses. The thing is though, JB, you are not the one who sets the rules. We do.

            Reply to Comment
          • Johnboy

            “No? You are not willing to concede, JB? Why am I surprised?”

            A pre-emptive retort?

            How wonderfully Zionist of you…

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            But in the meanwhile, I notice you conveniently forgot to answer my perfectly simple question.

            How wonderfully Pro Arab of you…

            Reply to Comment
      • Darcha

        Bar, recognizing you as the troll you are, the PA’s spineless willingness to bend over to take it up the butt from their occupiers simply won’t fly any more. Kerry’s ‘Poof!’ makes clear that you Zionazis are losing friends fast. It’s because of bigots like you.

        Keep up the good work for Palestinian rights by being the ignorant blowhard that you are. That help is much appreciated.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Darcha, recognizing you as the antisemite from Open Zion, you have zero credibility.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Bar

      By the way, interesting video. Is there a substantive response to it other than claiming it’s bad or outrageous?

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        The substantive response is that annexing all of area C would leaves heavily populated islands of Palestinian autonomy that still need to be dealt with in some way. It also makes it much harder to move forward toward any kind of solution that revolves around partitioning Judea and Samaria between Israel and the Palestinians. In other words, it isn’t much of a solution.

        On the other hand, were Bennett to present a more conservative plan to annex Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Givat Zeev, Modiin Illit, and other settlements next to the green line I think it would be hard at this point for anyone to come up with substantive criticisms of the approach. If the talks break down completely that approach will probably win the day. It still wouldn’t be a solution but it would reshuffle the negotiating deck in a much more substantial way than whatever the Palestinians manage to achieve at the UN.

        Reply to Comment
      • sh

        “By the way, interesting video. Is there a substantive response to it other than claiming it’s bad or outrageous?”

        It’s not new, Bar, it was part of Bennett’s election campaign.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Yes, I know. That’s not that long ago. I’m just wondering whether somebody has a substantive response to it other than to say it’s bad.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Tzutzik

      Hillel was one of our most revered sages. This was his philosophy. The Israeli left could learn a lot from him:

      אם אין אני לי, מי לי? וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני? ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי?
      Im ein ani li, mi li? U’kh’she’ani le’atzmi, mah ani? V’im lo ‘akhshav, eimatai?
      Translation: If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And when I am for myself, then what am “I”? And if not now, when?

      Hillel advocated his philosophy 2000 years ago. Any thinking person will tecognise that his philosophy was a humanist philosophy. He did not advocate selfishness but he did not advocate harm to the self either.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        Essentially what Hillel was teaching his deciphels was that it is important for people to look after THEMSELVES because if they don’t, who will?

        But he put a rider on it. He cautioned people not to be so selfish that they ONLY look after themselves, otherwise they become nobodies. “when I am for myself, then what am “I”?

        The Israeli left could take a leaf out of Hillel’s book when they front the Israeli electorate to tell them what they stand for. But they should mean it, not just say it because the Israeli electorate is not stupid.

        Reply to Comment
    5. shachalnur

      “I know of no method to secure to repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution”
      Ullysses S. Grant.

      The direction taken by Bennett was predictable since 1948,everybody knew it then,and now it’s happening people are surprised.

      It’s part of the Endgame for Israel ,and a 100 years of social engineering might cause a part of the Israeli public to buy into this.

      In a while Bennett will get support from Labor(Herzog)for this undertaking,what will cause surprise only to people that don’t understand the history of 1897 Zionism,Labor and the settlermovement.

      They are both supported and run by the same foreign sources,and they will obey and protect the interests of their sponsors,not the population in Israel or Judaism in general.

      If they get the order to selfdestruct,they will follow this order.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Rehmat

      That’s no “alternative” dude. It’s the part of old Zionist dream: Eretz Israel.

      In 2009, Israel Katz asked Bibi to to Judaize hundreds of Arabic names of cities, roads and commnities in order to erase Palestinian history like their 5,000-year-old country of Palestine. For exmple, Jerusalem (Al-Quds) would be changed to “Yerushalayim”, Jesus’ birth place, Nazreth, would be changed to “Natzrat”, and Jaffa city will become “Yafo” and the city of Nablus could become “Shechem”. Historically, it’s as old scheme as the creation of Zionists’ outlaw state in 1948 – whose first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, told the “Naming Committe”: “We are obliged to remove the Arabic names for reasons of state”.

      http://rehmat1.com/2009/07/18/eretz-israel-and-the-two-state-solution/

      Reply to Comment
    7. Johnboy

      “But the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected and STARTED A WAR!”

      Ahem, the “and STARTED A WAR!” bit is rather arguable, considering that the Haganah was *already* well and truly into its invasion of the “Arab state” before Ben Gurion stepped up to the microphone to declare the establishment of the “Jewish state”.

      “Would you therefore be willing to concede that the Arabs were guilty of committing a war crime?”

      No, actually, because the “who was invading whom?” question was rather more complicated than you suggest.

      After all, the Haganah was invading the territory of the “Arab state”, not vice versa.

      I understand that Zionists just loooove to characterise Israeli invasions as “self-defence”, but that does appear to be another of those words that mean something very different in Hebrew than they do in English.

      Reply to Comment
      • Tzutzik

        “Ahem, the “and STARTED A WAR!” bit is rather arguable, considering that the Haganah was *already* well and truly into its invasion of the “Arab state”

        Ahem Mr Irving err, I mean Mr revisionist historian, err JB.

        For your information, straight after the UN vote for resolution 181, your Pali Arabs rioted in protest and started murdering Jews who were busy celebrating the partition.

        Here read about it:

        http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-day-the-war-began/

        “Arab attacks on Jews in Palestine began on November 30, the day after the partition vote. On that day, a Jewish ambulance en route to the Hadassah Hospital outside Jerusalem came under fire, a group of Arabs ambushed a Jewish bus traveling from Netanya to Jerusalem, killing five and wounding seven”

        Reply to Comment
        • Tzutzik

          In case you object to my first source, JB, here is another one:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947–48_Civil_War_in_Mandatory_Palestine

          “The first casualties after the adoption of Resolution 181(II) by the General Assembly were passengers on a Jewish bus driving on the Coastal Plain near Kfar Sirkin on 30 November. An eight-man gang from Jaffa ambushed the bus killing five and wounding others. Half an hour later they ambushed a second bus, southbound from Hadera, killing two more. At other places, Arab snipers skirmished Jewish buses in Jerusalem and Haifa.[18]”

          You have just demonstrated what Israel is up against JB. A merciless propaganda warfare against it in which truth is the first casualty. Pro Arabs like you have no hesitation to resort to lies and denials when all else fails.

          Your above response is a clear illustration of it,

          Reply to Comment
    8. Richard Witty

      This is the first I’ve heard of Jewish Home suggesting a unilateral annexation.

      Prior, they had inferred that following any Palestinian violence, they would annex.

      He played his cards wrong. The cat is out of the bag.

      The left should be aware that he regards that conclusion as an institutionalization of what already exists, and that that is his end goal.

      He does not want to annex Area A and B. In that regard, the neo-religious right parties don’t think he goes far enough. (By neo-religious, I mean that they’ve made up Torah, rather than followed it.)

      Reply to Comment
    9. The Bennett campaign video notes that Israel would re-enforce the Jordanian boarder. Two States is impossible because Israel will have military sovereignty. At best, Two States is a confederation, but refusal of all parties to admit this leads to verbal absurdity and negotiation breakdown(s). A State does not exist when it can neither preclude the invasion of a foreign force (in principle!) nor control otherwise who exists and enters its boarders–and neither option will be given to the “Palestinian State.” This is why Abbas desperately suggested NATO peace keepers as really the only way to have something akin to a real State.

      “Offering” citizenship to annexed areas similarly fails, for citizens can travel throughout their land, and security considerations cannot allow this in a blanket offering of citizenship (which is really what one does when annexing), so a byzantine admission process is created which convinces the security apparatus it can weed out “terrorists.” Again, a confederation would allow one to build up economic links without mass mobility, expanding the latter as attitudes among people change, on both sides, if that is possible. One delays the question of citizenship perhaps indefinitely; it is conceivable that a confederation could be stable without pan citizenship.

      To those who claim confederations have be tried out among Arab countries, in those cases military sovereignty was separate across states, confederation announcement a game within pan Arab politics. Lebanon was not a confederation at all. You have military sovereignty already; recognize that it can create new possibilities, apart from the old occupation ones.

      But a confederation, to have any chance of working at all, would require court review of IDF soldier abuse and settler violations of law. This I do not believe Bennett wants. Rather, it is just another legal step in bantuization.

      As long as Israeli military sovereignty is a given, “Two States for Two Peoples” is just a “separate but equal” slogan. One ignores the de facto control and blames all lack of development on the “separate but equal” Palestinians. The PA does the same thing in reverse, blaming lack of military sovereignty for the condition of those areas allowed under its internal control.

      You have three options: attempt at confederation, peace keepers removing Israeli sovereignty (ignoring their terror creation potential), or continuing bantuization. It pretty obvious that only the last option is politically viable at the moment. And that option leads to One State after much travail.

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      • Kolumn9

        1) A state can very much exist with restrictions on its defensive/offensive abilities. After WW2 both Japan and Germany undertook drastic limitations to their militaries and allowed the indefinite and extra-territorial presence of American forces on their soil.

        2) A state can very much exist even if it has borders with only one other state. You can do your own research on enclave states. They are forced to agree with their surrounding neighbor on the rules regarding transportation, but are nonetheless states.

        So, your starting assumptions are both false, which does not bode well for the reasoning you build on top of them.

        3) Bennett is offering real citizenship, turning the Palestinians in areas annexed into Israeli Arabs with the full rights associated with that.

        4) Syria was a confederation between several provinces of the Ottoman Empire with distinct populations which had also been partitioned into autonomous states by the French. Iraq was a confederation between several provinces of the Ottoman Empire with distinct populations. Lebanon was a confederation between several provinces of the Ottoman Empire with distinct populations. Every one of these confederations has failed and in each case with dramatic consequences in terms of lives, with massacre and ethnic cleansing being common.

        5) A confederation that requires the IDF to be subservient to the confederation rather than being the army of the State of Israel means that the Jews have lost their capacity to defend themselves. It transforms the IDF into an irrelevant actor in the intra-communal affairs of the confederation. This is what happened in Lebanon where the army became a non-actor and was unable to ensure stability until it splintered on ethnic lines and its constituent units joined the fight on various sides.

        6) The Palestinians can have a state. They are not going to have a state at the expense of Israeli security. There is no inevitability here in terms of outcomes primarily because Israel has no dependency on the Palestinians. They have been very effectively externalized and their capacity to destabilize the Israeli political system is extremely limited. They can call their situation whatever they want, even a state, and if they cooperate with Israel their situation could dramatically improve with corresponding increases in the power that would be exercised by their state. What isn’t going to happen is the rise of a hostile Palestinian state which continues to insist on destroying Israel and which will exercise significantly more capacity to attack Israel. That, unfortunately, is what the Palestinians appear intent on demanding. We would be very stupid to accept such an outcome and we most certainly have the power to prevent it.

        7) A confederation of any real consequence would in the long-term be suicidal for us as it would break down like Lebanon, Iraq and Syria into civil war which, even were we to win, would heavily undermine our economic and military capacity for dealing with external threats. A hostile Palestinian State would be a permanent security risk and would likely leave the door open to hostile regional actors to sponsor terrorist groups against us. “Peace keepers” would be about as effective in removing this outcome as they were capable in preventing the rearmament of Hezbollah in Lebanon. This option effectively means making major security compromises now in return for a big war later. The only things that are on offer is the status quo or the rise of a peaceful Palestinian State which focuses on developing itself economically in cooperation with Israel. There is very little that the Palestinians or anyone else can do to change Israeli preferences on this matter because the first two options are absolutely horrible. Given the position of the Palestinians in rejecting a negotiated permanent settlement that would leave a Palestinian state living in peace with Israel it certainly appears that the status quo is the most likely path. The Palestinian efforts to join the UN and other agencies mostly work towards reinforcing the status quo as well.

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