Annexation-A Dangerous Political Exercise in Irony

In Israel’s War of Independence David Ben Gurion with a “wink of the eye” sent large numbers of Arabs into exile in the hopes of obtaining a demographic majority and geographic security for the nascent Jewish State. In 2018 another Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspired the passing of the redundant Nation -State Law, a law which seemly needlessly stated the clear political reality on the ground. That reality was that Israel had become as it founders intended; a Jewish state whose power and structure guaranteed that Jews would rule themselves.

Today the same Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now in the state dock, accused of crimes, with his eyes entwined on the integrated aspects of his trial and his legacy asks the Knesset and the public to support his plans for annexation of part of the Territories. Given the success of annexation it will be the Knesset and the public which will have to deal with some the consequences of the annexation. One of the consequences of annexation will be quite contrary to Ben-Gurion’s direction in the War of Independence a massive inclusion of Arabs in this new and now enlarged Israel. Will these Arabs be given voting rights thus demographically endangering the original logic of the creation of the state? Or perhaps they will be denied voting rights thus setting up a politically awkward two-tier system of rights for Arabs; one for those who live in pre-annexation Israel, the other for Arabs who live in the annexed section of Israel.

It may be indeed that this Prime Minister or one of those who will follow him, will feel the need in the rising chaos to pass another Nation-State Law like law with more teeth as the fear of the passing of a Jewish majority becomes rampant. The difference will be as opposed to the redundant first Nation- State Law the second law as futile as it may turn out to be will reflect a real need as far as retaining Ben-Gurion’s dream. This second coming of the Nation-State Law or some variation of it will not be like the first one, a law really meant to strengthen Prime Minster Netanyahu’s political constituency, but a “live” law meant to contain a political insurgency threatening the meaning of the state itself. Israelis would be wise to ponder the consequences of annexation in the Territories

About the Author
Born and educated in the United States Edward Stern has spent most of his adult life in Israel with the exception of five years when he lived and worked in China and Korea. He is an English teacher and sometime editor with a life long interest in politics and history. Some people have told him he is also a good photographer.
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