The Left and Annexation – in a Hole and Digging

The Left in Israel does not miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Here we go again: After  years of neglecting to develop an innovative position that could challenge the fizzling Two State Solution (2SS)  by coming to terms with reality and proposing a progressive, secure and Israeli alternative, it is now repeating its ill considered approach when dealing with the prospect of annexation. Just like the Left is still clamoring for the 2SS after the Trump Plan has pulled that train out of the station, it is now making a similarly futile effort against annexation although it is very likely to happen in some form as part of the very same Trump Plan that is scuttling the 2SS.

All the efforts to keep the 2SS alive while much of the Israeli public became more and more iffy on its implementation and certainly has no interest accepting many of the requirements it would entail, just served to grind down public support for the Left. Similarly, the efforts to fight annexation no matter what while a large part of the public supports at least partial annexation, are unrealistic and worse, they do  not advance the Left’s causes.

By continuing to advance an unimplementable 2SS and rejecting annexation, the Left assures itself the position of the perennial nay-sayer that at least in the eyes of much of the public diminishes the importance of Israel’s relevant security considerations and ignores the wishes of a sizeable part of Israel’s Jewish population for whom unimpeded access to Judea and Samaria are important. Pursuing that policy will prevent it from regaining the public’s trust that it has lost over the years.

The Left’s determined drive for the separation of Jewish and Palestinians nations, no matter how unlikely that separation has become, is a rejection of traditional leftist causes. It pursues Palestinian nationalism more avidly than the Palestinians themselves who largely just want to live a normal life and essentially don’t particularly care what it says on the passport as long as they have equal rights. And it supports separation as if being ethnocentric and promoting partition have ever been leftist causes. What has happened to the traditional left calling for uniting people and providing human and civil rights and economic prosperity to everyone regardless of ethnicity or religion ?

By putting itself into an indefensible position, both vis a vis its own values and vis a vis the public sentiment, the Left has launched itself into a death spiral and it is no surprise that together with the Joint List it can’t even get 20% of the seats in the Knesset.

The only way to regain the considerable political power that it has lost over time is by coming up with realistic policies for a democratic State of Israel between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean and an independent Palestinian city state in the Gaza Strip. That is the political construct we have to look at, this is where democracy has to rule and where a population of almost 12 Million Jews and Palestinians will have to live together in one state, under a single political system with Gaza a separate entity. No other option will provide the security Israel needs, the legitimacy without which Israel cannot thrive, the economic opportunity that will give Jews and Palestinians a reason to make this happen and the promise of a joint peaceful future in Eretz Israel/Palestine.

About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is a member of the Council for Peace and Security, Vice Chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Federation Movement ( and author of "Identity: The Quest for Israel's Future".
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