The settler ‘peace plan’

It’s good to get things out into the open. For at least the last 10 years there’s been a ton of obfuscation, as Jewish and international organisations have professed allegiance to a two state solution which is ever further from reality.

The Israeli right has gradually moved from ‘it’s not the right time for a Palestinian State and settlements are just one issue in the conflict’ to ‘there should never be a Palestinian State and settlements are literally no problem at all’.

In the last month, everyone has come to realise what some of us have been saying for years – the two state solution is dead. Israel is the only power between the Jordan and the Mediterranean and nothing seems set to alter that reality.

So it seems a good moment to listen to the Israeli right – the people actually in power – to hear what they plan to do.

For a long time they’ve been pretty vague, criticising any proposals to evacuate territory without proposing alternatives, and being especially vague on what they thought should happen to the Palestinians of the West Bank if they are not to have a state.

But now, under Trump, everything is becoming clear.

Handily, Yishai Fletcher has written an op-ed in the New York Times, laying out 5 possible plans.

For convenience and clarity I paraphrase them here, but instead of discussing Palestinians I imagine they are discussing British Jews.

If the plans are fair and reasonable the paraphrasing should feel fine to us, right?

Option 1: British Jews will continue to live in Britain, but have their citizenship removed, becoming instead citizens of Israel. They will not be able to vote in British elections.

Option 2: Jews living in areas of high Jewish concentration such as Hendon, Edgware and Stamford Hill will be given self government, ruled by the Board of Deputies, but will have their British citizenship removed and will not be able to vote in British elections. The small minority of Jews outside these designated areas will remain British citizens.

Option 3:  Jews should not be seen as a cohesive group but rather as separate city based clans. So this option is like option 2, but each areas will have separate governance, the Jewish council of Stanmore, the Hebrew republic of Redbridge. Once again Jews will be stripped off British Citizenship and be prevented from electing the British Government.

Option 4:  Contrary to previous reports, Jews are not a demographic threat to Britain, as new reports show they number only 150,000 rather than the previously reported 300,000. So it is possible for Jews to have the vote without threatening Britain’s Anglo-Saxon character. Some say it would be best to offer British Jews residence rights only, with a path to full citizenship for those who pledge allegiance to Britain as a democratic and Anglo-Saxon State.

Option 5: British Jews will be offered generous compensation to emigrate voluntarily.

I’m sure organisations like the Board of Deputies would have no problem with proposals such as these, so British Jews will welcome the Israeli rights’ plan to implement one of these options for West Bank Palestinians. Apartheid? How dare you. Nothing to see here. Move along.

About the Author
Joseph Finlay is the former Deputy Editor of the Jewish Quarterly and a PhD student at Southampton University, researching British Jewish history. He works widely in Jewish music, and is Musical Director of Mosaic Liberal Synagogue and the London Jewish Male Choir.
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