Bibi’s Balagan

Bibi has a balagan, better known as his version of “The Two State Solution”. What makes the PM’s version a balagan? Due to the fact that his proposals are an unacceptable alternative to almost EVERYONE, Israeli, Palestinian or member of the World Community.

Given his rhetoric it seems that the PM is proposing something akin to a combination of the Olmert Plan (see map here) AND the Allon Plan with a few changes and additions, two of which are that Jerusalem remain undivided under Israeli Control, as Israel’s International Capitol and that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the National State of the Jewish People.

So how is this a balagan?

Well first off, in any successful negotiation there needs to be an agreement from both sides on a final plan. To get that agreement from the Palestinians, they would have to voluntarily give up on any part of East Jerusalem, including Islam’s third holiest shrine, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. I think it would be safe to say that no Arab leader could voluntarily give up those sites and expect to live until the end of the day.

Second, The Palestinians would also have to renounce their perceived “Right of Return” as laid out in U.N. Res. 194. For the Palestinians to give this up would mean “giving up” on the refugee population and banishing them to the “tender mercies” of their Arab brethren in the surrounding nations.

This is not to mention that the presumed Netanyahu border outline leaves the Palestine State with few resources including most importantly water, no control over their borders and a demilitarized state. As previously stated, this would be a very “hard sell” for Abbas and the Palestinian leadership, quite possibly one that they could not agree to even if they so wanted too.

Palestinian refusal of this would put Israel into a position of becoming a permanent Occupying power which in turn would then force Israel into a demographic nightmare given birthrates of Jews relative to Palestinians. It would not be long until Jews were a minority in the area that they ruled over, thus challenging Israel’s democracy and possibly forcing an almost permanent civil war on the nation.

Of course the Israelis could then forcibly remove the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, but, for some odd reason, I think that level of ethnic cleansing would bring on the next Arab Israeli War, and most likely Israel would not have the backing of the it’s principle allies.

Now what if a “miracle” occurs and the Palestinians accept the plan. What then? Well the PM’s own party turned hard right in the last election lifting noted Right Wing politicians to more powerful positions while relative moderates were purged. These rightists within Likud Betainu have said in no uncertain terms that they would not accept anything less than Israeli control over the all of Judea and Samaria

Would the Rightists give up on the Occupation of Hebron? Would the YESHA give up on the settlements in Judea and Samaria? Giving up the settlements in Gaza was traumatic enough (remember Gush Katif?) one can imagine that officially giving up sovereignty over the Territories would lead to a government split at the best and (more likely) Civil War at worst.

Also, as Bibi forms a new government, how does he balance the desires of potential coalition partners not only in their own conflicting positions BUT within his own party? Remember, the day after the Prime Minister came out in support of the principles of his Bar-Ilan speech, Yair Shamir immediately contradicted him saying:

“Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan speech was never approved by the Likud party or the government of Israel. The idea of a two state solution is impossible to implement,”

Then let’s not forget, Hamas (who according to polls as late as Dec. lead in future Palestinian elections) and it is in their Charter that they must kill all the Jews and destroy Israel. Like in Gaza, Israel could be facing an enemy shelling Jerusalem and Tel Aviv from even closer range. What Israeli Prime Minister could agree to something like that and keep his job?

AND, Into this mix don’t forget the Americans and E.U. who are trying to build a regional alliance against Iranian hegemony and who are firmly committed to a viable and negotiated Two State Solution. They are trying to balance out all the regional factors to make sure that Israel has security and that the West has easy access to an ever dwindling supply of Oil. So how do they do that given the Arab Nations insistence on a deal getting done?

This is truly Bibi’s Balagan. He can’t kick this “can” down the road so what is PM Netanyahu’s “clean up” plan?

About the Author
Jon Segall is creator of the blog The Progressive Zionist. Jon has lived in Israel and studied Israeli and American Policy in the region. Currently Jon, is re-learning Hebrew, and is an active practitioner of the Israel Self Defense Martial Art Krav Maga.