Zahava Englard

One State Solution: The price is more affordable than you think

Not only is the price of the One State Solution affordable, Israel can’t afford NOT to implement this plan of action.

Deputy Transportation Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) recently announced that “…it was time that the Israeli government takes steps to annex Judea and Samaria, even if it comes with the price of giving citizenship to Arabs residing in these areas.”

But, the price is lower than you think as the demographic scare is unsubstantiated.

The latest Palestinian census, released in 2008, reported that there are 3.71 million Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. However, this figure includes persons living overseas, persons twice counted, and inaccurate projections. In addition, it appears that many PA Arabs have discovered the secret to eternal life and rarely die, or – whose families simply choose not to record the many members that do.

The Arab census numbers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are inflated by as many as 1 million persons. Even after removing twice-counted persons and individuals not currently living in the territories, the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip totals no more than 2.7 million people.

Furthermore, according to the American Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), studies have indicated that Arab numbers have been on a significant decline while the Jewish birth rate has been steadily on the upswing.

There exists no rational reason to put off the One State Solution.

If anything, due to the current wave of illegal Arab settlement in Area C, which is under full civil and military Israeli control as per the Oslo accords, the push towards the One State Solution would be expedient and advisable, if not necessary in Israel’s defense against an existential threat from within.

If we will not apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the Arabs will succeed in choking the Jewish communities, isolating them—a process of establishing a terrorist run Palestinian State that would threaten all of Israel. The PA’s blatant efforts to establish physical infrastructures specifically in Area C are clearly an attempt to actively annex more land and place it under PA control. In fact, in July 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced his plan to unilaterally establish a de facto Palestinian state.

To no one’s surprise, this plot is being funded by generous donations from the Gulf States, Europe and the USA*.

The PA is pursuing their land-grab war on simultaneous fronts – pushing through their agenda via the Israel Civil Administration as well as through out-and-out illegal means.

A case in point; currently, the Israel Civil Administration is promoting the establishment of a new Palestinian town in the Jordan Valley, near the village of Nu’eima. For this purpose, the ICA intends to allocate more than 9,000 acres of state lands, located north of Jericho. These lands are located in the municipal area of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, and the plan being promoted by the ICA includes the settling of thousands of PA Arabs who have illegally taken over many sites in the Jordan Valley over the last few years.

A decision was made to promote several development plans that will turn the their illegal hold of the land to legal.

According to Regavim, (The National Land Protection Trust) an independent research institute & policy planning think tank, whose mission is to ensure responsible, legal & accountable use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation, “It is unclear how the plan and the alleged political approval that was given to it coincides with the defensive and strategic importance of the Jordan Valley and with the righteous insistence of the political leadership that the Valley be kept in Israeli hands as part of the framework of any permanent agreement. Over the years, the Jordan Valley has been defined by generations of Israeli governments as Israel’s ‘Eastern Security Strip’.

David Elhyani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, states that this plan will suffocate the communities under the Council – “The lawbreaking, Palestinian criminals, who settled on state lands surreptitiously, are being rewarded, as they are now receiving thousands of acres as a gift. This is a delusional and adventurous plan that will choke the Council’s communities”.

The question is, why is our current leadership allowing this? Why is Bibi Netanyahu providing a tacit approval to the Israel Civil Authority to turn a blind eye to illegal Arab settlement in Area C?

Establishing another Arab town north of Jericho contributes to the thickening of the territorial contiguity north and west from Jericho. This is in direct violation and contradiction with Israel’s defense policy in the area, and contrasts sharply with the Israeli position presented in the international arena.

How do the repeated declarations that the Jordan Valley will remain in Israeli hands as part of any future arrangement fit with the active promotion of the plan to establish this urban space in this region?

If that wasn’t ludicrous enough, ICA officials are currently examining a request, which involves transferring large portions of land from Israeli control to the PA in order to establish a “security facility” in Area C for the PA’s Preventive Security Service, the PA equivalent to the Israeli Shin Bet.

This area dominates Route 443 which connects the city of Modi’in to Jerusalem. Establishing such a facility in such a sensitive area in terms of security and in a location which dominates one of the main roads leading to Jerusalem poses a real danger to the security of the Jewish residents of the area.

Such a request, from a moral, legal and strategic perspective should not even be considered. That it was not rejected outright indicates a vacuum in cognitive thought in our leadership.

An example of outright illegal construction on the part of the PA to take over Area C can be found in its activities in the Al-Bireh – Psagot region.

In the last few months, methodical and deliberate activities have been identified in the region, with the clear intention of tightening the noose around the Israeli community of Psagot and strengthening the Palestinian hold of the region. This goal is being implemented through several illegal projects, conducted without Israeli coordination and with vast international assistance. Illegal development of infrastructures and construction of roads, as well as constructing buildings on dominating points are encroaching on Psagot’s security. Due to the vigorous activity of the PA, a dangerous chokehold tightens around the Psagot community, which is considered to be the ‘center of the local government’ of the Binyamin Regional Council.

In the same area, the PA unilaterally and illegally began building a soccer field. Regavim protested and the ICA issued a stop work-order on the construction. However, the PA ignored it and continued to build. In an appeal to the Supreme Court, the Re’ga’vim movement demanded that the law be enforced and the structure demolished, yet in 2011 a building permit for the stadium was issued retroactively, allowing its construction and operation.

“No imagination is required to evaluate the results of 15,000 fervent fans marching at the end of a game, within a 5 minutes walking distance from the stadium to the community.”

This is not a matter of folly on the part of the Israeli government. This is a matter of insanity – a classic lesson in suicidal politics.

Annexing Judea and Samaria and exerting our sovereign rights to what is in actuality the heartland of Israel is the next logical step, the only logical step. These lands cannot and should not be up for negotiation – they are ours.

Never in history has there been a sovereign Palestinian state in these territories as it was only in 1964 that the concept of a separate Palestinian people was fabricated as a political plot to destroy Israel. Enough is enough with the perpetuation of the Big Lie pertaining to a fictitious nation’s claim to any part of the Land of Israel.

Israel would be within her rights to annex Judea and Samaria. Legally binding and valid to this day is the San Remo Resolution of 1920, ratified by the League of Nations in 1922 which recognized the exclusive national Jewish rights to the Land of Israel under international law, on the strength of the historical connection of the Jewish people to the territory previously known as Palestine.

The two-state plan has been milling about for 20 years. Obviously, it’s not happening. It’s high time we all accept it and move on.

Since the demographic scare is likewise bogus, giving citizenship to those Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria who swear loyalty to the State of Israel and whose hands are NOT caked with Jewish blood, would not threaten the Jewish character of the State.

According to MK Hotovely, Israel should begin by annexing Area C, which is under full Israeli control, and move towards full Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

“Israel should say it is headed towards applying sovereignty. It makes no sense to leave this in the air for 45 years,” she said. “Leaving it up in the air sends a message that we have no connection to these places.”

And, in light of the fact that the surrounding Arab countries should have taken in their Arab brethren long ago instead of using them as pawns in their war against Israel, Israel’s one state solution that includes extending to them Israeli citizenship could only be considered an exceedingly generous offer.

At present, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett advocates sovereignty over Area C only, where just 4% of the PA Arabs live. Hotovely does not agree to this as such a plan would still grant undeserved life to the Oslo plan and leave problems unresolved in the remaining areas of Judea and Samaria.

Hotovely is right on the mark and I believe that Bennett would come around to seeing the wisdom in full annexation.

Rather than allow Bibi Netanyahu to continue practicing his wavering politics, rather than enabling the illegal take-over of Area C by the PA, clear and unabated action toward extending full sovereignty to Judea and Samaria as well as extending full citizenship to all its inhabitants would once and for all end the baseless accusations of occupation.

As Naftali Bennett has correctly stated recently, “One cannot “occupy” his own land.”

*Hebrew only


About the Author
Author of THE GILBOA IRIS (Gefen Publishing House) and SETTLING FOR MORE: FROM JERSEY TO JUDEA (Urim Publications).