The Conference for the Application of Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria was held in Hebron 2 days ago. The organisers of the event, the Women in Green, have put up a review of the event on their website. For me this line says it all; “there was an impressive show of force in Hebron.”

I first heard about this conference through Zahava Englard’s blog post and was confused to hear that now the extreme Right as well as the extreme Left were arguing in favour of a one state solution, “we are willing to pay the price and give the Arabs in the region citizenship”. It’s pretty clear that if Palestinians had Israeli citizenship then the entire composition of Israel would change. Israel would cease to be a Jewish country and become Palestine, this is hardly the Right wing dream. I couldn’t see what how the argument worked until I read this quote from the Women in Green review;

“MK Uri Ariel also participated in the Conference…he presented a political program that also includes changing the structure of Knesset elections, so that even if the Arabs of Judea and Samaria were to receive citizenship, they could not bring about a dramatic change in the Israeli political map.”

Do I really need to get into all that’s wrong with this picture? If not you may make your way to the comments section now, if I do please keep reading…

Personally I don’t want Palestinians to have Israeli citizenship, this is a Jewish country and I want to keep it that way. I want to ensure that Israel is a country that has a secure future and also one that isn’t in the business of lording over people as if they were serfs. This is Israel, the only country in the world where Jews can stand up as a proud people and defend themselves, where Jews have a voice among the nations of the world, the country where Jews have dignity and freedom. A country where every citizen lives freely and equally.

The Women in Green represent the other half of the argument that states we must hold on to the territories for purposes of security. Behind this argument lies another, uglier face. For every day that we hang on to the West Bank and populate it with greater numbers of Jews we relinquish the chances of letting it go just a little and in so doing raise the spectre of an Israel that has both first and second class citizens.

In 1967 we swallowed our enemy whole and they have remained festering within our belly ever since and like it or not they are now our responsibility. I fully accept that to let go of the territory is a massive risk, but if we don’t the attendees of the Conference for the Application of Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria have offered us a vision of the Israel that we are heading towards.

And so here I am, screaming for an Israel that remains both Jewish and free, calling upon anyone who will listen to remember that while the word ‘terror’ resonates as an excellent reason not to provide the Palestinians with a state the alternative is the end of Jewish Israel, the end of our little Jewish enclave in the world altogether, the end of Jewish dignity, the end of a Jewish voice in the UN, the end of a Jewish army sworn to protect Jews all around the world, in short Israel itself is at stake.

I don’t have all the answers, the Palestinian Authority has to play their part too (though conferences such as this one are hardly likely to bring them to the table). Be it through a negotiated settlement or unilateral withdrawal the alternative to a state of Palestine is plain for all to see and it is that being advocated by the Women in Green.

 

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