Cross posted at the Progressive Zionist (http://progressivezionist.com)
Or better titled… when the “CW” (Conventional Wisdom) gets it completely wrong.
Everyone is spouting that the Two State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is either dead or dying, but frankly I see it getting stronger and stronger. I honestly do. I just can’t see how a One State Solution can ever happen. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t see a Two State Solution along any of the lines that have been previously discussed, NOR do I see a Two State Solution along the lines that either side’s hard Rightist wings would find acceptable, BUT I do think it is the only realistic possible outcome.
We keep hearing how Israeli annexation is dooming the Two State Solution. We keep hearing how Hamas’ rocket fire and insistence on destroying Israel is dooming the Two State Solution but all of it, and I mean all of it is complete nonsense (or as I learned in Hebrew – “Shtuyoat” – stupidity). Why?
Well let’s look at the arguments and take them out to their logical conclusions. First let’s take the argument that Israeli settlements stand in the way of the Two State Solutions. Ok… I can see why someone would say that. I mean Israeli settlements are popping up in parts of the West Bank that are fairly remote and even though these settlements are technically illegal and the Government looks the other way, they are also fairly non-sustainable. It is pretty obvious that these settlements are meant to create “facts on the ground” and make sure that there is no acceptable (to the Palestinians) way to reach a Two State Solution. SO… let’s say that these settlements are allowed to continue to pop up here and there creating little “facts on the ground” at some point Israel will be faced with a choice – annex the West Bank or annex the territory just around those settlements… OR turn that territory over to the Palestinians and let the settlers fend for themselves (which is something NO Jewish P.M. could ever, ever do).
IF Israel annexes the West Bank they run into a major problem. Demographics. All of a sudden Israel inherits approx. 2.6 million Palestinians. That is a lot of Palestinians for Israel to absorb as citizens. That would place considerable strain on social services not too mention the IDF who would now have to constantly patrol areas of the country that had absolute hostility to the central government. Oh, and not too mention that these new citizens would vote and soon enough would comprise part of an Arab majority inside of Israels borders. That would be in effect the end of Israel as we know it.
So what do those who favor annexation advocate… well there are three options that they support. These are:
1. Annexing the West Bank and keeping the Arabs as “not quite citizens”. In other words, disenfranchising around 22% of the population of the State. I would think the downside of this is obvious. It would immediately cause either revolution or intense civil unrest. Oh and I can’t imagine any other nation supporting Israel in this venture. Not even the U.S. would support this. In this case Israel’s internal budget which is already stressed would be further pushed by having to support continued military operations throughout Palestinian Populated areas for an indefinite amount of time. It would become simply unsustainable.
And then let’s look at the effect on morale in the IDF. Israel is a fairly progressive society in certain ways. For the IDF to take on the role of Oppressors to 22% of their nation, that would completely destroy Israeli secular society and turn the country into something far, far worse. The IDF would cease to be a defensive force and would transform into a police force and Israel into a police State, because I cannot imagine that the majority of Israeli Arabs would put up with this in their nation for one moment.
2. Another option is the Bennett Plan, where Israel Annexes Area C and maintains Areas A & B as autonomous provinces. Again, where will Israel get the international support for something like this? How will it budget for this? What role will the IDF take in maintaining calm should the PA simply say, “Screw you – handle security yourselves”. Remember, the world voted to recognize Palestine as a State, and while the World community may be inept in many cases becoming a State like North Korea (but without a large nation to support it, because no way the U.S. goes a long with this) is not something that is realistic for Israel to do.
The problem with the Bennett plan (aside from the obvious denials of Palestinian Right to Self Determination) simply is unworkable. The Palestinians would never accept this and would actively contest it. Unless Israel would be willing to “go Kahane” on the Arabs (which would then start a major regional war) there is no way that the Israelis could permanently maintain this situation. Sure the status quo is holding but, only because the Palestinians in the West Bank have chosen non violent resistance (by and large but not in every case). What happens when they go into full revolt? And what happens when that is seen as justified by the World community including both the U.S. and E.U.
3. Of course the third option is to simply ethnically cleanse the Arab Population from the West Bank. That would certainly solve a couple of the problems of maintaining an Occupation. Of course, perhaps those proponents of this solution should ask the Serbs how that worked for them. Not too mention that the Israelis would face full on revolt from 20% of it’s population along with continued attacks from pretty much every surrounding Arab Nation. Hell, if they tried that even the E.U. would probably send forces or at least major support to the Arabs.
And what of those morons who say… “Well Israel can go it alone”…. Really? You think Israel can stand against the rest of the world including the U.S. and E.U. Some moron once said “Well let’s tell the Americans we are on our own and that we will get other allies”. Who the fuck are they going to get? The Russians? The Russians are in bed with everyone but the Israelis. The Chinese? The Chinese are sucking at the Arab Teat for the worlds remaining Oil Supplies. Are they seriously maintaining that Israel could actually go “North Korea” (who is propped up only through the largesse of they Chinese).
So there really is no other option for Israel – IF Israel actually wants to survive.
At the same time… The Palestinians have absolutely ZERO options if they want a Single State. By going to the U.N. all they did was codify the Two State Solution. The Russians and Chinese may dislike Israel but they are not going to actively work to help radical jihadists and Mullahs in Iran realize their dream of wiping out a recognized State. PLUS the U.S. and Western Europeans would never allow it.
As for those on the Israeli and Palestinian Left that advocate the “Palestinian One State Solution”. NO ONE on their side, but, NO ONE takes them seriously. In the latest poll of Palestinians only 22% supported a One State Solution where Jews and Arabs lived side by side. I mean, nobody, not Israelis not Palestinians wants a One State Solution. It is freakin’ ridiculous that this theory is even given a second thought.
At some point, everyone is going to come to a reason that Israelis and Palestinians simply can’t live in the same nation under a One State flag. Both sides (rightly so) want their own “homelands”. Of course I support the fact that Jews should be able to live in Palestine, and that Arabs should be able to live in Israel as full and equal citizens with the caveat that people remember that Israel is the National Homeland and State of the Jewish People, and Palestine would be the State and National Homeland of the Palestinian People.
There simply is no other way the situation can continue to exist without either a major revolution or war breaking out there. At some point the “dam will burst” and when it does, there won’t be much left to piece together. So whether it through Israeli Unilateralism (because we already have the theoretical establishment of Palestine through Palestinian unilateralism), or a world effort to quell violence in the region this is what is going to happen. And even if war does breakout, this is what will be imposed whether both sides like it or not because neither side can take on the West, or the combined efforts of the Russians and Chinese. And at some point the major players WILL take care to see a solution imposed on the region.
I am just telling you what I think is real and what will play out in macro terms. If you see it playing out differently, please let me know how you see that. I would be curious to see what others think.