A few days ago I published an article entitled, “It’s time to bury the two-state solution”. I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response I got. Whether in support of, or apposed to my point of view, the article accomplished its purpose with flying colors. It did exactly as I intended it to. It started the discussion. As a result of the article, a lively discussion ensued that produced many comments about what could be the possible alternatives to the traditional two-state solution. Many criticized me for not listing these alternatives and as a result I felt it necessary to write this follow up article.
The one thing that I’d like to mention before I continue is a small, but significant observation. After writing the last article, I was literally attacked in the comments section (often personally) for suggesting that there might be an alternative to the failed “peace process”. Now, this doesn’t bother me, as I was born with a thick skin, but it did teach me an important lesson. If anyone dares to suggest that there is an alternative out there besides the two-state solution, they are immediately and severely assaulted, censured and delegitimized. Those that hide behind the vale of liberalism and democracy, are often the most intolerant when it comes to suggesting unconventional options. If you don’t fit into the mold that the Obama Administration, International Community or Leftist media have created, you are an enemy to the system and must be destroyed! Part of my goal in writing these articles, beyond discussing possible alternatives, is to open up the free market of thought for all to discuss the issues without fear of being discredited or delegitimized. Freedom of expression should not be reserved only for one side of the debate.
A sample of just some of the alternative proposals (as I understand them and in no specific order):
-The Sinai Solution
Around the end of last year, the idea of the Sinai Peninsula becoming a demilitarized Palestinian state was discussed in the media. It was even suggested that this offer was being brokered by Egypt, although they publicly denied it. “In his alleged proposal Sisi suggested adding 1,600 square kilometers from Sinai’s territory to Gaza (five times the area of the Strip) and establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state under the full control of the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas was asked in exchange to relinquish his demand that Israel retreat back to pre-1967 borders, one of the main bones of contention between the Palestinians and Israel during peace talks.
According to the report, Sisi told Abbas: “You are now 80-years-old, if you don’t accept this proposal, your successor will.” However, sources said Abbas turned down the offer.
The report added that the Egyptian initiative received the US’s go-ahead and Netanyahu was also informed.”
-Land Swap Lieberman Style
“The Lieberman Plan suggests a territorial exchange whereby Israel would annex almost all Israeli settlements in the West Bank which are situated in major settlement blocs close to the border, and withdraw from the remaining few deep inside the Palestinian territories. At the same time, it would transfer Arab-Israeli areas to the Palestinian state. While there are three major Arab regions in Israel, all contiguous with the West Bank (southern and central Galilee, the central region known as “the Triangle”, and the Bedouin region in the northern part of the Negev desert), the Lieberman Plan only advocates ceding the Triangle. All Arab residents of the Triangle would lose their Israeli citizenship. The Druze community, whose leaders are mainly pro-Israel, would remain part of Israel. All remaining citizens, whether Jews or Arabs would have to pledge an oath of allegiance to the state in order to keep their Israeli citizenship.
The plan would reduce both the Arab population of Israel and the Jewish population of the West Bank, creating more ethnically homogeneous states without anyone moving. Various estimates as to the number of Arab-Israelis affected by the plan vary from a high of 90% of current Arab Israelis in Lieberman’s own estimate to as little as 11.8% of Arab citizens being affected (2.3% of Israel’s population overall) according to a study by the Floersheimer Institute for Policy Studies.”
-Caroline Glick/Women in Green Sovereignty Plan
and Martin Sherman’s critique of Glick: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Into-the-fray-To-my-colleague-Caroline-a-caveat-347503
-Naftali Bennett annexation of Area C/limited autonomy in Areas A & B
-Moshe Feiglin’s Jewish Leadership plan
MK Feiglin has gone on record both in the media and online as saying that the problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict isn’t with the Arabs, but with how Israelis see themselves. He has suggested immediate and complete annexation of all the territories while offering the Arab population three options. Option one, complete Israeli citizenship, which can be attained as part of a naturalization process. This process, like in the US, would include recognizing our sovereignty over the land, a civics test, Hebrew language test and comprehensive background check (avoiding any possible security concerns). Option two, those that reject Israeli citizenship can take advantage of a permanent residency option, similar to a US Green Card. Lastly, for those that reject both options, they will be given a number of years and financial incentives to relocate to a country of their choice.
-Jordan is Palestine plan
-The Israel Initiative/Benny Elon Plan
-Dr. Mordechai Kedar’s “Eight State Solution”
-President Rivlin’s Plan
-The Commonwealth of Abrahamic States Plan
…and of course the Andrew Klavan Plan
There’s even a website called, “A Mandate for Israel”: http://www.onestateplan.com/
and for a wealth of information on the topic, it’s well worth checking out: http://israelrights.com/en/
-The demographic threat
The often used scare tactic that if we annex the territories and offer Israeli citizenship to all the Arabs within it will destroy the Jewish nature of the country is becoming less applicable by the day. In fact, according to current demographic trends the entire Arab population will amount to a mere 20% a decade from now. Even if they were all offered immediate Israeli citizenship (which few would practically propose) and they all accepted it (In the case of Jerusalem Arabs 98% rejected citizenship and chose to remain just residents) there would still be an overwhelming Jewish majority to the country.
-The democracy threat
Some would argue that our democracy would be threatened by any type of one-state solution. In reality, recognizing Jewish legitimacy over the territories and treating it’s inhabitants equitably under Israeli sovereign rule would most likely strengthen the democratic framework that our country is so proud of.
Regardless whether you accept these alternatives or reject them, they remain food for thought. There is no simple solution or it would have been utilized years ago. We don’t live in a utopia and we cannot afford to make major errors as the threat is an existential one in nature. What I do know, is that the status quo is not sufficient and that the two-state solution has been proven to be a failure time and time again. Let us continue to dissect, research, challenge and investigate what alternatives are available, so that we can move towards a real long-term solution and not just a mythical Orwellian peace that only creates more bloodshed.