The Humanitarian Paradigm – Hobson’s Choice for Israel (Part II)

y rigorous process of elimination, we are left with the Humanitarian Paradigm, as the only possible policy prescription able to adequately address the imperatives needed to preserve Israel as the nation state of Jews.

O, who can hold a fire in his hand; By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?

Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite; By bare imagination of a feast?

Or wallow naked in December snow; By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?

– William Shakespeare,  in Richard II, Act1 Scene 3, on the futility of self-deception

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Sherlock Holmes, “The Boscombe Valley Mystery

Last week I began  a two-part analysis of the policy paradigms that have emerged in the public discourse for dealing with the more-than-century old dispute between Jews and Arabs over control of the Holy Land as the conflict approaches its third post-Oslo decade.

In it, I identified four such archetypical paradigms for its resolution—and one for its “management” (a.k.a. its perpetuation). Moreover, I undertook to demonstrate that only one of these alternatives, the Humanitarian Paradigm, advocating funded emigration of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria (and eventually Gaza)—is consistent with the long-term survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. Accordingly, for those dedicated to the preservation of the Zionist ideal, it is nothing less than “Hobson’s choice”.

To recap briefly

Readers will recall that I confined the analysis last week to those policy proposals that eschew full or partial Israeli annexation of territory, deferring analysis of those that endorse such annexation for this week’s discussion.

To recap briefly: In the aforementioned prior analysis I dealt with the (a) idea of “managing the conflict” and (b) the two-state formula.

As for the former, it was shown to reflect disregard for the fact that, without appropriate decisive proactive initiatives, Israel is facing a growing threat and decreasing freedom to deal with it.   Accordingly, “managing the conflict” is little more than a pretext for backing away from confrontations in which Israel can prevail, while backing into a confrontation in which Israel might not prevail—or do so only at ruinous cost.

As for the latter, it has shown to be a fatally flawed formula, devoid of any sound theoretical foundation or empirical evidence on which to base its naïve prognoses for resolving the conflict by means of Palestinian statehood. Indeed, given the past precedents, there is little reason to believe—and  two-state proponents have never provided one—that any future Palestinian state will not rapidly become a mega-Gaza on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv, precipitating all the harrowing realities, wrought on the hapless residents of the South on those of the coastal megalopolis.

So having dealt with the policy paradigms that eschew annexation– whether full or partial–it is now time to assess those that endorse it.

One-state: Lebanonization of Israeli society

Some pundits on the Israeli “Right,” keenly aware of the infeasibility of the two-state paradigm, have in large measure adopted—albeit for very different reasons—a prescription very similar to that touted by their radical Left-wing adversaries—that of a single state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

According to this proposal, Israel should extend its sovereignty over the entire area of Judea-Samaria and offer immediate permanent residency to all its Palestinian-Arab residents, as well as the right to apply for citizenship at some undefined date, via some undefined process to ascertain loyalty—or at least the absence of disloyalty—to Israel as the Jewish nation state.  

The rationale, allegedly underpinning this ill-conceived proposal, is the new, optimistic demographic assessments suggesting that even if Israel were to enfranchise the Muslim population of Judea-Samaria, it would still retain a more than 60% Jewish majority.

Even conceding that this may be true, such a measure is likely to herald disaster for the Zionist enterprise and the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. For the initial electoral arithmetic is hardly the defining factor in assessing the prudence of this approach, but rather the devastating effect it will have on the socio-economic fabric of the country and the impact this will have on preserving Israel as a desired/desirable place of residence for Jews inside and outside the country.

It would take considerable—and unsubstantiated—faith to entertain the belief that Israel could sustain itself as a Jewish nation-state with a massive Muslim minority of almost 40% – as the societal havoc that far smaller proportions have wrought in Europe indicate.

Indeed this is a clear recipe for the Lebanonization of Israeli society with all the inter-ethnic strife that tore Israel’s unfortunate northern neighbor apart.

Lebanonization of Israel (cont.)

Any forlorn hope that life under Israeli sovereignty will somehow “domesticate” the Palestinian-Arabs into reconciling themselves to life in the Jewish nation-state should have been well and truly dashed by the behavior of Israel’s Arab citizens.

After all, despite living (and prospering) for seven decades under Israeli sovereignty—and more than  a half-century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished—they not only voted, almost en-bloc, for the vehemently anti-Zionist “Joint List” in the 2015 elections, but displayed great empathy in a mass funeral for the terrorists, from the Israeli town of Um-al Fahm, who murdered two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount.

Once the Arab population of Judea-Samaria becomes incorporated into Israel’s permanent population, at least two crucial elements of national life are almost certain to be dramatically—and in Zionist-compliant terms, negatively –impacted.  The one is the distribution of national resources; the other is population flows into, and out of, the country.
With regard to the former, clearly once the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria—whether enfranchised or not—become incorporated into the country’s permanent population, Israel will not be able to afford the kind of socio-economic disparities that prevail between the pre- and post-annexation segments of the population.

Accordingly, huge budget resources will have to be diverted to reduce these disparities – siphoning off funds currently spent on the Jewish population (and Israeli Arabs) in terms of welfare, medical care, infrastructure, education and so on.

Indeed, if enfranchisement (eventual or immediate) is envisaged, the electoral potential of the Arab sector is liable to be elevated from its current 13-15 seats in parliament to 25-30.  This will not only hugely bolster its ability to demand enhanced budgetary allotments, but also make it virtually impossible to form a governing coalition without their endorsement.

Moreover, collaboration   on various ad hoc parliamentary initiatives with radical Jewish left-wing factions is likely to nullify any formal calculations of an ostensible “Jewish majority”, and lead to legislative enterprises that ultra-Zionist proponents of annexation would strongly oppose – in an ironic manifestation of unintended consequences.

Partial Annexation: The Balkanization of Israel

Thus, while full annexation of Judea-Samaria will almost inevitably result in the Lebanonization of Israel—i.e.  create a single society, so fractured by interethnic strife that it would be untenable as the nation- state of the Jewish people; proposals for the partial annexation of Judea-Samaria will result in the Balkanization of Israel –  (i.e. dividing the territory up into disconnected autonomous enclaves, which will be recalcitrant, rivalrous and rejectionist, creating an ungovernable reality for Israel.)

Proposals for partial annexation appear to be fueled by (a) concern that total annexation would be too drastic a step for the international community to “swallow”, and (b) a sense that some semblance of self-rule must be facilitated for the Arabs resident in Judea and Samaria. As will be shown, partial annexation will address neither of these issues effectively. Indeed quite the opposite is true.

Proposals for partial annexation are commonly of two types:  Those that prescribe including  selected areas of Judea-Samaria under Israeli sovereignty   (such as Area C as advanced by Education Minister Naftali Bennett) ; and those that prescribe excluding certain selected areas from Israeli sovereignty such as the large urban centers in  Judea-Samaria (such as advanced by Dr. Mordechai Kedar in his “Emirates” plan)

Sadly, neither of these paradigms will solve any of the diplomatic or security problems Israel faces today, and will in fact exacerbate many.

The Balkanization of Israel (cont)

It is hardly necessary to go into the intricate details of the individual proposals for partial annexation to grasp how impractical they really are.

For whatever the configuration of the un-annexed areas left to Arab administration –whether the disconnected enclaves of Areas A and B, or the micro-mini “city states”—they will leave the sovereign territory of Israel with dauntingly long and contorted frontiers, making it almost impossible to delineate and secure. Clearly if one cannot effectively demarcate and secure one’s sovereign territory, there is little meaning to one’s sovereign authority over that territory.  

Although Haaretz is not my preferred source of reference, I find it difficult to disagree with the following assessment of Bennett’s plan for annexing Area C:

“… Bennett’s plan is groundless from the security, diplomatic, legal and, especially, physical angles. It’s easy to discern that, contrary to what was presented in a video produced by Bennett’s…party recently, Areas A and B in the West Bank are not contiguous blocs, spreading over 40 percent of the West Bank. Instead, they consist of no less than 169 Palestinian blocs and communities, cut off from one another by innumerable Israeli corridors and unused IDF firing zones that are together defined as Area C”.

It correctly pointed out: “… in fact, Bennett is proposing to increase the length of the Israeli border from 313 kilometers to 1,800 kilometers (194 to 1,118 miles). If [one] believe[s] Bennett, he will doubtless back the dismantling of the security barrier that Israel has built to the tune of 15 billion shekels ($3.9 billion), but [one] will have to accept that annexing Area C means Israel will have to build a barrier along the new border at the cost of 27 billion shekels and allocate another 4 billion shekels per year for maintenance purposes.”

Partial Annexation: Full political price

Similar criticism can be leveled at Kedar’s proposal for setting up an array of up to eight micro-mini “emirates” or city states.  It is not difficult to envisage the problems of future expansion beyond the highly constricted confines of disconnected enclaves, and of the need to severely curtail the authority of the local administration to deal with cross border issues such as pollution (particularly the carcinogenic emissions of the wide spread charcoal industry), sewage, pollution  from  industrial effluents, agricultural run-off, transmissible diseases and so on.   

Of course, any hopes that partial annexation, which entails extending Israeli sovereignty over about 65-75% of the territory, leaving the Palestinian-Arabs with an emasculated  25-30%, in a quilted patchwork of disconnected enclaves and corridors, will in any way diminish  international censure, are utterly unfounded. The political “pain” involved in such schemes would be no less than annexing 100% of the territory—without having to deal with the attendant chronic problems associated with partial annexation (as detailed above).   

Fanciful suggestions  that Nablus and Hebron might flourish into entities like Monaco and Luxembourg are as risible as those which, in the heady days of Oslo, predicted that Gaza would become the Hong Kong of the Mid East—and would be rightfully rejected as such.

Humanitarian Paradigm: Hobson’s choice

Even from the far-from-exhaustive analysis conducted over the last two weeks, it should be clear that an indisputable picture emerges as to the Zionist-compliant feasibility of the various policy paradigms proposed for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


– The attempt to manage the conflict is little more than a formula for backing away from confrontations in which Israel can prevail, while backing into a confrontation in which Israel might not prevail—or may do so only at ruinous cost.

– The two-state paradigm will almost inevitably result in the establishment of a yet another homophobic, misogynistic, Muslim-majority tyranny, which will rapidly become a mega-Gaza on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv, menacing the socio-economic routine in the commercial hub of the country.

-Full annexation of Judea-Samaria together with the Arab population will result in the Lebanonization of Israeli society and thrust the country into ruinous inter-ethnic strife that will imperil it status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

– Partial annexation of Judea-Samaria will result in the Balkanization of Israel, dividing the territory up into disconnected, rivalrous, recalcitrant and unsustainable autonomous enclaves, which will create an ungovernable reality for Israel.

Thus, by a rigorous process of deductive elimination we are left with the Humanitarian Paradigm, advocating funded emigration for non-belligerent Palestinian-Arabs to third party countries, as the only possible paradigm that can adequately address both the geographic and demographic imperatives needed to preserve Israel as the nation state of Jews.

As such, for Zionists, it is Hobson’s choice. Anything else is self-deception.

Temple Mount attack & the demise of the “one-state” theory

Even after seven decades living under Israeli sovereignty, and over half a century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished, anti-Israel enmity is alive and kicking among Israeli Arabs

Extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria (and eventually over the Gaza Strip) is indeed a necessary condition for ensuring the ability of Israel to endure as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is, however, not a sufficient condition to ensure that worthy objective.  In fact, without additional complementary measures, such an initiative on its own is very likely to imperil Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel…in its entirety on both sides of the pre -1967 Green Line. “The Humanitarian Paradigm”, Sovereignty Journal (No. 8), March, 2017.

Last Friday, three non-Jewish terrorists gunned down two-non-Jewish policemen to express their hatred of the Jewish state.

And yet while many condemned the heinous deed, expressing shock, dismay, and opprobrium at the brutal desecration of the Temple Mount, no one really found it bewilderingly inexplicable or staggeringly aberrant.  After all, Judeocidal Arab hatred has always defied rational explanation.

Extinguishing hopes for one-state formula

No less perverse was the fact that the alleged cause of the killers’ homicidal urge was purported to be the “Occupation”, despite the fact that none of the perpetrators were subject to any form of “Occupation”—as they were all Israeli citizens,  with full civil rights.

But beyond the human tragedy, the hail of bullets that cut short the lives of the two Druze police officers from the Galilee, Hayil Satawi and Kamil Shanaan, inflicted an additional casualty.

For they conclusively cut down any residual credibility that the proposal for a one-state formula—especially as touted by “right wing” pundits—might still have had. Indeed, it totally extinguished any lingering hopes that some kind of coherent, cohesive society could be forged if Israel were to annex Judea-Samaria—and incorporate its Palestinian Arabs into Israel’s permanent population.

As I have written elsewhere, “It would require more than a gigantic leap of unsubstantiated faith to believe that such a measure could precipitate any result other than “Lebanonization” of Israel.”   (For good order’s sake—and to cite New York Times columnist, the late A. M. Rosenthal—“Lebanonization  refers to the [situation] within a single country so riven with religious and other disputes that [it] becomes impossible to govern.

Downplaying the danger

Typically one-state proponents seem unaware, or unperturbed, by this unpalatable prospect. Thus, one prominent one-stater sees the process of imposing Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria and its Arab residents as “fairly straightforward”. According to this upbeat prescription: “Israel will apply its laws to Judea and Samaria and govern the areas as normal parts of Israel…Contingent on security concerns…Palestinians will have the right to travel and live anywhere they wish within Israeli territory…Palestinians will have the same legal and civil rights as the rest of the residents and citizens of Israel… Those that receive Israeli citizenship in accordance with Israel’s Citizenship Law will also be allowed to vote in national elections for the Knesset.”

Thus one-state advocates have tried to dismiss the potential for inter-ethnic strife, suggesting that an Israeli assertion of central authority over the areas [of Judea-Samaria] will likely have a significant moderating impact. Once the population feels there is a central governing authority in place, that sense of order will likely neutralize a significant amount of opposition momentum spurred by anti-Israel animus.”

Clearly, the events on the Temple Mount last Friday shatter the foundations of any such belief.  

After all, the gunmen’s conduct—and the reticent reaction of the Israeli-Arab leadership—clearly indicates that, after seven decades of living under Israeli sovereignty, and over half a century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished, “anti-Israel animus” is alive and kicking even among Israeli Arabs—despite decades of “Israeli assertion of central authority” .

Not an isolated incident

Moreover, while Judeophobic terror attacks by Israeli-Arabs are not a frequent occurrence, neither are they virtually unheard of rarities.

Thus for example, on New Year’s Day, 2016, an Israeli-Arab from the village of Arara, just south of Umm al Fahm, the town from which last Friday’s killers hailed, opened fire with an automatic weapon on a crowd in a Tel Aviv pub, killing two and wounding almost ten. The shooter also murdered an Israeli-Arab taxi driver in his attempt to escape.

Significantly, he was provided  shelter and logistic support from residents of the village, with whom he discussed plans for additional attacks.

Barely, two months later, two teenage females from the city of Ramle in central Israel, attacked a security guard with large knives, admitting: “we came to kill Jews”.

However, as distressing as these and other individual acts of terror might be,  no less disturbing is the reaction of the Israeli-Arab Establishment, including its elected political leadership and prominent civil society organizations.

Reflecting the ambivalent Arab attitude towards lethal attacks by their kinfolk on the Jewish state, was the vague and equivocal condemnation of the Temple Mount attack by the Arab leadership in Israel.  Indeed, it was so reticent and reluctant that it even provoked a flash of ire from our meticulously politically-correct President, Reuven Rivlin.

Collaborating with terror?

Referring to the lack of any unambiguous denunciation of the deed almost three days after it was perpetrated, an exasperated Rivlin declared:  The silence and the feeble responses from some Arab political leaders are outrageous…Terrorism must be denounced unconditionally”, adding. “Anyone who doesn’t denounce terrorism is collaborating with it.”

Of course, in recent years there have been far more explicit examples of an elected Israeli-Arab politician   brazenly collaborating with terror.  Perhaps the most blatant was that of former Knesset member of the Balad faction in the Joint (Arab) List, Basel Ghattas.

Ghattas, a Christian Arab Israeli, from the town of Rameh in the Galilee, was jailed,  after he was filmed, abusing his parliamentary privileges, smuggling  mobile phones, SIM cards and other items to convicted terrorists in prison for involvement in lethal attacks against Israelis. Despite his sentencing for violation of the Terror Law, Ghattas remained unapologetic, expressing neither remorse nor regret for his actions.

But his was not the only display of identification of elected Arab lawmakers with mortal enemies of the country in whose legislature they serve.

In February 2016, three members of the Joint (Arab) List met with the families of terrorists to express condolences and identification  with their suffering, even referring to terrorists who killed three passengers on a bus in Jerusalem as shaheeds (martyrs).

“Never miss an opportunity to support terror…”

Another Arab MK, Jamal Zahalka, has openly identified with the Palestinians’ armed resistance against Israel and publicly called for Arabs to prevent Jews from visiting Judaism’s most holy site by “all means” and at “all costs”.

Hanin Zoabi is of course another Arab lawmaker, who has been conspicuous in her continual expression of anti-Israel enmity over the years, including her 2010 participation aboard the infamous Mavi Marmara, in the attempt to breach the maritime quarantine imposed on the terrorist ruled enclave of Gaza.

In light of these and other manifestation of borderline sedition it is not difficult to understand the caustic censure of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who reacted to the ongoing identification with the enemy with fury:”…the Arab MKs don’t miss a single opportunity to support terror.”

Regrettably, the response of Israeli-Arab civil society organizations gives no less cause for concern.  

Thus in the immediate wake of the Temple Mount attack, an organization named  Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights , perversely called for the investigation of….the Israeli police, who swiftly shot the attackers, preventing further casualties !!  

So  rather than express shock at the defilement of the holy site by the actions of Arab terrorists, and raising questions as to how similar incidents can be avoided, Adalah, generously funded by the US based “New Israel Fund” demanded an “immediate probe of police killings of [the] Al Aqsa Mosque shooting suspects.”  

Obscuring Arab malfeasance  

Accordingly,  instead of focusing on the murderous actions of the Israeli-Arab perpetrators, Adalah purposely tried to divert attention to the reactions of those who cut their homicidal spree short.

In a transparent attempt to obscure Arab malfeasance, while denigrating the preventative response by Israeli forces, it writes with unabashed gall:  “the incident raises serious questions regarding police personnel’s compliance with very detailed open-fire regulations”.

This anti-Israel sentiment is reflected in pervasive—albeit, as yet, inert—bias in the general Israeli Arab public.   This dormant anti-Zionist proclivity is clearly evident in a 2013 poll conducted by Prof. Sami Smoocha, under the auspices of the University of Haifa and the Israel Democracy Institute, both of whom are decidedly on the Left of the Israeli political spectrum. According to the findings of the study:  55.9% of [Israeli] Arabs resigned themselves to Israel as a state, with a Jewish majority…

However, as Smoocha points out: “resignation… does not mean preference… the Arabs prefer a binational state to a Jewish and democratic state. [N]or does it imply justification of the status quo, since 69.6% of the Arab respondents think that it is not justified that Israel maintains a Jewish majority….”

Ominously, he observes: “The proportion of Arabs denying Israel’s right to exist as a state was… 11.2% in 2003, and 24.5% in 2012.  82.2% of the Arabs in 2012 accused Jews of the Nakba [the “catastrophe” of Jewish victory in the 1948 Independence War]…”

Gloomily, he notes: “The percentage of Arabs holding accommodating and compromising stances has been steadily decreasing and has shrunk to a minority.”

One-statism: The Writing on the wall

Should any further evidence be required as to the dire consequences of a dramatic increase in Israel’s Arab population, they were provided by the results of the 2015 elections, when virtually to a man—and fully enfranchised woman—the Arab sector voted for the vehemently anti-Zionist Joint List. This is a party made up of a motley mélange of communists-cum radical Islamist-cum-leftwing Arab nationalists, whose only unifying factor is their fierce rejection of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.


Indeed, the political DNA of the Joint List is so rabidly opposed to the Jewish state that it refused to sign a surplus vote sharing agreement even with the far-left Meretz party, because it was still a “Zionist” faction, vividly underscoring its obdurate repudiation of the right of Jews to a state of their own, repudiation, which it seems, Israeli-Arabs endorsed virtually unanimously.

Today, the Joint List – with 13 seats—is the third largest party in the Knesset, with Israel’s (potentially recalcitrant) Arab population within the pre-1967 “Green Line” now at around 20%. Accordingly, little imagination is needed to grasp the dramatic impact—socially, economically, politically—of doubling it to around 40%.—by extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea-Samaria to incorporate  the Arab residents in the country’s permanent population (assuming the optimistic demographers are right).

One-statism: The Demographic dilemma

The Temple Mount incident, together with the pervasive anti-Zionist sentiment in the Israeli Arab sector,  underscores just how unfounded the optimism of one-staters is that: “Once the population feels there is a central governing authority in place, that sense of order will likely neutralize a significant amount of opposition momentum spurred by anti-Israel animus.”

Indeed, if anything, quite the opposite is true: Reinforced by a huge increase in numbers, the anti-Israel animosity is likely to be commensurately enhanced.

If Israel has no program to significantly reduce the Arab presence in its sovereign territory, it will face a searing demographic dilemma. It can either (a) enfranchise the bulk of the newly annexed Arab population within a reasonable timeline; or (b) it can deny them such enfranchisement.

If it opts for the latter, Israel will inevitably become an undeniable apartheid state—withholding political representation largely on ethnic grounds.  As such it is likely to be subjected to crippling international censure and sanctions, imperiling its ability to survive.

If it opts for the former, it will create a very real danger that the anti-Zionist elements will become the dominant political force in the country, with the Arab vote potentially reaching 25 seats—making it possibly one of the two largest parliamentary factions. If they team up with the radical anti/post Zionist Left, its ability to advance anti-Zionist initiatives will be formidable…

And this is only the tip of the proverbial “iceberg”…which is why I warned (see introductory excerpt): “Extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria  is indeed a necessary condition for ensuring the ability of Israel to endure as the nation state of the Jewish people…but without additional complementary measures, such an initiative on its own is very likely to imperil Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel… on both sides of the pre -1967 Green Line”.

To be continued…