The New Annexationism and One-State Solution

At a meeting tellingly named the Application of Israeli Sovereignty of Judea and Samaria, the TOI reports that senior Likudniks called “for the government to annex all or part of the West Bank.” 

But what would this do to Israel? So often the Right arouses the world’s and Jewish world’s moral opposition to what seems unjust and fanatical.

First and foremost: Before the occupation and settlement expansionism, there had been virtually no Western “anti-Israel” attitudes.

It was only after the state promoted its expansionist project that now has put 700,000 settlers in the West Bank, that criticism of Israel and even an “anti-Israel” mindset has emerged over much of the Western world.

Not before, but afterHow often must one point out this crucial fact?

And now this Rightist Settlement Movement and Ideology has apparently almost taken over the State.

Taken over the state until — more than just possibly —  it all implodes.

Serious representatives of all sides —  “two-state” liberals and conservatives and West Bank Palestinian leaders increasingly warn that a one-state solution is impending that will dissolve the State of Israel.

All this is what has long led to the so-called delegitimization crisis.  And the Right has done it.

Just as the Left is wrongly associated with the delegitimization of Israel because it is the Right that has brought it about, so the Left is wrongly associated with the One-State Solution because again it is the Right that has – for a long time – been in the process of bringing it about.

The TOI reports that Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett wants to annex the 60% of the West Bank called Area C.

And that Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein and other Rightist MKs, at that “Application of Israeli Sovereignty of Judea and Samaria” conference, support “the gradual or total annexation of the West Bank by Israel.”

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin support One State, and more and more Rightists MKs are becoming New Annexationists.

Far-Right Extremist One-stater Moshe Feiglin even wants to pay the Palestinians to leave their homes and go into permanent exile.

And Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly now said he will “hand over the keys of the West Bank” to Israel if it does not stop the settlement expansion to help pave the way for a peace settlement.

The Levy Commission Report, though thankfully not a court ruling, defends the expansionism and settlements.

It is also part of the New Annexationism.

In this way it is like an actual court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) the US Supreme Court case justifying allegedly “separate but equal” treatment in public facilities like schools, and so is a manifesto of social injustice.

Most of the world views the Levy Report’s intricate legalisms as it does those of white rule and British Empire days.  Because the occupation and settlement problem is not a legalistic one.

Instead it comes out of a moral question: Does one people has the right to occupy and expand into another’s land and ultimately run their lives?

Legalisms defending injustice can never be valid. And they repel.

US Justice Potter Stewart pointed out he didn’t have to legally define moral wrongs like obscenity to be able to identify them.

We all know that occupation is domination of another people and denying them the rights that “our people” have.

Legalistic defenses of injustice angered Hebrew Prophets like Amos and Micah, who penetrated beneath them to the moral questions.

Just as did both America’s Revolutionary Founders and India’s Mahatma Gandhi in opposition to the  British Empire, as well as did Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela.

Even Ariel Sharon himself — “The Father of the Settlements” — saw this at last. He said:  “Occupation is terrible. You may not like the word,  but to maintain 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation, is terrible for Israel, the Palestinians and for the Israeli economy,” and that “it can’t continue endlessly. Do you want to stay forever in Jenin, in Nablus, in Ramallah, in Bethlehem? I don’t think that’s right.”

He also penetrated to the moral level.

But the New Annexationism – along with its conferences like on “The Application Israeli Sovereignty of Judea and Samaria,” and its legalistic defenses of  social injustice like the Levy Report, are putting Israel as a state with a predominantly Jewish character more and more in danger.

Nonetheless — and aside from all this — there is still another turn of the screw.

It is that the Far Left as well as — increasingly — the Far Right wants a One State Solution.

Their One State solution ideas may be different.

But suppose Israel then turns away from that upstairs-downstairs annexationist state that consists of first-class citizens and second-class occupied subjects, into something that the Far Left wants.

Into a greater Israel — from river to sea — of  “a state for all its people.”

This due to worldwide condemnation, boycott and sanctions, economic disruption and strangulation, and massive Israeli emigration. Or an intifada–which this time drew neighboring states into a war on Israel — that also ruined the economy and again instigated the Israeli exodus.

So that everything would get catastrophically worse before it could ever remotely even begin to get any better.

Then — speaking of emigration — a Rightist effort to push out the Palestinians into exile.would generate an even much stronger world condemnation, boycott , and sanctions, and catastrophic combination of intifada, regional war, and economic disaster–and so violence afflicting everyone and again mass Israeli emigration as well.

Though neither the Far Left nor Right want the disasters that the Right’s New Annexationism would bring, the Far Left — which also wants a One-State Solution — could still just sit back and let the Far Right do its work for it. But then, with the cow out of the barn, it will have been given the chance it wouldn’t have had to pick up the pieces and have its try at things.

About the Author
James Adler was born in Kentucky, now works in university libraries, and feels especially and intensely bound up with the fate of the Jewish people in the last hundred years, especially the Shoah, the rise of Israel "out of the ashes," and the accidental and mutually tragic collision with the Palestinians in the early and middle of the 20th century, continuing through today. He is happily married and the father of two teenagers.