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Right-wing MK: Let Palestinians vote for Israeli parliament

Knesset Member Zvulun Kalfa, of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, is calling for Israel to annex the West Bank and allow Palestinians to participate in Israeli general elections.

“Palestinians should get full citizenship rights, equality, investment in infrastructure [in their] communities and voting rights to the Knesset,” Kalfa told the Israel Hayom daily. According to Kalfa, this is the only way to dismiss for good the claim that Israel is discriminating against Palestinians or that it is an Apartheid state. “I am for a single state for everyone.”

Kalfa estimates that Jews will be able to remain a majority in the greater state. He is not, however, calling to annex Gaza.

Other members of the Jewish Home party reject the single state idea. Party chairman Naftali Bennett has previously called for Israel to annex Area C, leaving the majority of the Palestinian population in the West Bank without full rights.

However, Kalfa is not the first far-right public figure to call for a single-state solution. Four years ago I did a feature for Haaretz Magazine exploring support for the idea among right-wing ideologues and politicians – you can read it here. An interview I did with then-Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin in which he also endorses one state can be found here.

The Israeli Right’s one-state solution is different from the Left’s or the models explored by Palestinian and international scholars and activists. According to the Israeli Right’s idea, the state will absorb roughly 2 million Palestinians from the West Bank but remain the same in every other aspect.

At the time, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat hinted that Israelis are deluding themselves if they think that new demographic realities won’t result in fundamental changes in the character of the state. “I am not afraid from the talk about an Israeli ID,” he told me. “Give me one and we will see what happens.”

[Opinion]: One state: Stop the hysteria and start thinking
The one-state reality vs. the two-state idea

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    1. daniel

      Im yirtzah HaShem. May it be God’s will.

      Reply to Comment
    2. I suppose implementation of this idea would be preceded by legislation purportedly designed to fix certain characteristics of the State. But, under Knesset Supremacy, these could later be annulled by a now Greater Israel, integrated Knesset. So it seems to me you would need a formal Constitution with high bars for amendment to preserve a rightest vision.

      This outsider is all for the MK’s call, for I think Greater Israel is coming in any case. Calls for a global electorate may highlight the lack of equal protection and rule of law in the West Bank.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        When the sane far right in Israel (i.e. the ones that want the whole of Judea and Samaria including the people living there instead of expelling them) and the International anarchist left agree, then you know something is seriously wrong somewhere. The most important question you need to ask yourself is this: would One State work? If yes, why? What are the benefits? What are the dangers? Assume for one moment that Israel annexes the whole of Judea and Samaria and issues citizenship to the Palestinians living there. What about the so often heard of “seven million” Palestinian refugees? What about the Palestinians in Gaza? Would Jews becoming a minority in Israel (i.e. if Israel survives the One State Solution) not return the Jews back to the status-quo before 1945? I think you need to consider these and more before engaging in utopic fantasies (no insult meant here).

        Reply to Comment
        • I have no utopian vision. Nor man of “the International anarchist left.” I see Greater Israel as inevitable, not inherently a good thing. As I ended my previous comment:

          “Calls for a global electorate may highlight the lack of equal protection and rule of law in the West Bank.”

          Which is not to say such calls will yield uniform citizenship. Your evolving “facts on the ground” generate this trajectory. Those who want a purely Jewish State (forgetting the present Arab citizens) will have to expunge a few million people. Your prediction of the fall of the Kingdom of Jordan, replaced by the true Palestinian State, implies as much.

          I think Danny, below, correct. The implementation of this MK’s call would come with a massive denial of equal protection. There would be citizenship in name, not reality. Jews are human, and we have seen this happen before–including in the US.

          This utopian is waiting for the car crash, wondering how to place available emergency services. That’s why I continue to be here. So now I can be officially designated as delusional.

          And I would agree.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “Purely Jewish State”? Yes, absolutely (actually it should be ‘democratic Jewish State’? But what does that mean? It does NOT mean a State without Arabs. Arab citizens of Israel will remain Israeli citizens, except those who side with Iran, raise the Hezbollah and Hamas flags, etc. Certainly the Druze, at least, are honorable Israeli citizens who love the IDF and serve their country well (though there are few exceptions just as we have a few lunatic Jewish Israelis who hate the State but refuse to migrate to Europe!).

            Reply to Comment
          • Have you tried reducing your intake of caffeine? I have found it helps me.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Haifawi

      To further build on this, in order to protect the ‘Jewish’ character of part of this place, we could subdivide the territory into two districts (with the border being the green line-ish). Each district would be responsible for cultural/emotional ethnic nationalist stuff (i.e. holidays) as well as building/planning (subject to constitutional constraints).
      Free movement would be permitted.
      The nation-state would handle armed forces/foreign policy/monetary policy etc.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ginger Eis

      The State Of Israel as the Nation-state of The Jewish People will be preserved by all means. 99% of the Jewry agree on this and no one should be deluded as to the Will of the Jewish People to fight and defend the ONLY Jewish nation on the face of the planet. The precise borders of that State are not yet definitive. What is certain though is that the so-called “two-state-solution” as envisaged by the Elite Of The Israeli Left is a fantasy that will never materialize – not because of the Israeli Right, but because the Palestinian leadership will never accept the maximum the most leftist Israeli PM will ever offer and, as always, paradoxically get the job well done for the Israeli Right. Eventually facts and events on the ground will, by necessity, force peace in the most natural way: (a) the Hashemite Kingdom falls, (b) the Palestinian majority takes over Jordan, (c) then the contours of the real Two State Solution begins to emerge between the Jewish State Of Israel and the State of Palestine(Jordan).

      Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      The rightists are talking out of their ass, again. Of course, no rightist thinks Israel should give citizenship to millions of Palestinians because even they know how to do basic math, and that if you add 2 million extra Palestinians to the 1.5 million that are already citizens, what you get is a nearly Jewish-Palestinian parity – which effectively means no more Jewish state.

      What this guy is really saying is: We will decide which Palestinians get to be citizens, and which don’t, just like we get to decide which non-Jews get to be citizens and which don’t, or which African migrants get to be permanent residents and which don’t. And trust the “Jewish Home” to come up with rules to make it such that 95% of Palestinians are ineligible for citizenship.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Uhm. About talking out of someone’s ass.. How does 6 million vs 3.5 million constitute “Jewish-Palestinian parity”? Do you know how to do basic math?

        Reply to Comment