For the past half a century, we have been talking about peace in the Middle East. The model for that peace has always hinged upon the creation of a Palestinian state. According to the pundits, it is the only way to bring the sides together in justice and peaceful co-existence.
Wait a minute. There was justice and peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Israel before the Six Day War. For decades hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arabs lived a peaceful life alongside their Jewish countrymen. Seldom was heard of any violence from Arabs living within our borders.
What if we tried the same thing? What if we annexed the West Bank into East Israel, and offered the Arabs living there, Israeli citizenship?
I know: turning a million Palestinians into voters could make the next Prime Minister of Israel an Arab. The demographics would destroy us.
But what if 3 million Jews from the west moved to Israel? What if 3 million Jews became new citizens along with 1 million Arabs? We could maintain the same balance and give the residents of Tul Karem in the West Bank the same prosperity as those living in Uhm Al-Faham, Israel.
Offering everyone from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea rights and prosperity is the best way to move forward from the current stalemate:
- There are probably over 10 million Americans and Europeans who are eligible to become Israeli citizens. They have one Jewish grandparent and can come at anytime.
- Only 9% of the Israeli workforce is hi-tech, yet we are the #2 hi-tech center on earth. We can offer a high quality of life to any comers, and we need more people here.
- Currently, Israeli Arabs do better that their Palestinian counterpart. They enjoy higher salaries, better health care, more education, and freedom of movement. Offering Palestinians this basket of goodies might be something at least 90% of them would take.
- No more settlements. No more occupied territory. Everybody gets a life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We could build 100 new Arab towns right next to 100 new Jewish towns.
- Palestinians benefit big time. Today Arabs of the West Bank pay taxes into the PA, whose leaders pocket the money and leave these people nothing. Government workers in the PA get no pension benefits. Israeli workers, both Jewish and Arab, get full pension benefits. An Israeli government would use all the tax money collected and invest it into upgrading these cities. Palestinians, for the first time ever, would see an actual return on their tax money.
- The security situation gets simpler. Maybe not easier, but simpler. Anyone committing an act of terrorism, murder, or trying to do so will be given due process, a defense lawyer, and a fair trial as a citizen according to the laws of the State of Israel, and not this ambiguous murky thing called “international law,” which has been negotiable from time immemorial.
- Arabs can tap into the most explosive economy on earth, getting better jobs, for more money. They can study in universities across the country, subsidized for citizens – which they will now be, and have more opportunities to live fuller, richer lives.
- What today are Arab cities like Hebron and Bethlehem, or Jewish Settlements like Efrat and Ariel will eventually have both Jewish and Arab residents like Jerusalem and Haifa.
Will Jews and Arabs spend the next 1,000 years sitting by a campfire arm in arm? No.
But can terror and bloodshed be reduced to a level that our security forces can manage? Can we all live better lives with more opportunities?
David Ben Horin developed www.succeedinisrael.com, a 5-hour, 20-video series on how to develop the right skills for a successful career in Israel so you can move here, and earn a good living right away! It’s available for $99. You can also enjoy www.proudlycandid.com, and read about 1,001 Reasons to Love Israel.