Within the past few weeks, Israel has bulldozed a number of illegal Palestinian settlements on Israeli-controlled land, legalized outposts once considered illegitimate by even the Israeli government, and approved plans for new settlement building in Judea & Samaria (AKA the West Bank). Despite pleas from the international community (most notably, the Quartet consisting of the US, the EU, the UN and Russia) to immediately establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, or something close enough to it, the “settler movement”, mainly made up of religious Zionists, seems to be more successful in dictating Israeli policy.
Good, because if there was ever a time to reclaim our ancient roots in the heartland of the Jewish state, it is now. The old saying of “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” can be applied to this case. The 2010s, at least so far, seems to be a unique crossroads in Middle Eastern history, where both nationalism and independence movements for the minorities of the region (the Zionist settlers of Israel and the Kurds, just to name a few) seems to be on the upswing, while Arab nation-states are dissolving before our eyes. With the world mostly distracted by Iran’s nuclear program, Libya’s descent into a terror state, the anti-Houthi campaign in Yemen, the Syrian Civil War, and Iraq’s issues with ISIS, Israel has nothing really that can stop its annexation of portions of Judea & Samaria, if it wishes.
For decades, the international community–including the so-called “friends” of Israel in the European Union–along with Israeli leftists and liberal Diaspora Jews have believed the Palestinian lie of a “binational, one-state reality if Israel doesn’t end its occupation”. This was built on the idea that the Palestinian & Arab Israeli birth rates were higher than the Jewish one, and that the return of millions of Palestinian “refugees” from other countries to Gaza or the PA-controlled areas would create a situation where the Zionist dream evaporates and a democratic state would descend into chaos. This theory, however, has largely been debunked, and the Israeli Left has severely diminished and been discredited as a result (as well as for other reasons). In China, women are marrying less often (and tend to marry older when they do tie the knot), and have fewer, if any, children. This has largely been tied to women gaining more rights as the years go by, which has led to them becoming more educated and getting better jobs than were accessible to them 30 or more years ago, as China has prospered. The situation is similar for Arabs in Israel and PA-controlled areas, as women are going to school more and yearn for jobs and more independence. As such, the birth rate has declined, setting a trend where over the next few years, it will reach parity with–and ultimately be surpassed by–the Jewish birth rate. The Jewish birth rate, by contrast, is on the rise. One explanation is that the ultra-Orthodox Jews are having more children, believing it to be a blessing, especially after the tragedy of a million Jewish children murdered in the Holocaust. Another is probably that after being fed the scaremongering lies of an Arab-majority Holy Land from the river to the sea, Jews started having more children to combat this. In any case, fewer Arab women want to start families at a young age, marry young, have multiple children, and be relegated to the house, as traditionally happens in Arab societies (especially Arab Muslim ones).
Palestinians also continue to emigrate from the Territories, many of them frustrated with either “the occupation” or with their corrupt government which fails to provide opportunity for its people. (Arab Israelis also leave Israel, though usually for economic reasons.) Meanwhile, due to an unfortunate surge in anti-Semitism in Europe and the 2,000 year-old dream of returning to Israel, thousands of Jews make aliyah each year. However, there is evidence that the Palestinian Authority has been doctoring the number of Palestinians living within its controlled territories, as well as in Gaza. While this is done to try and goad Israel into ceding Judea & Samaria as well as east Jerusalem (Gaza was already ceded in 2005), it’s also done to trick the international community into donating more money to a region where they believe the poor population is growing and larger than it is—and that money goes towards building mansions for corrupt and wealthy leaders, rather than enriching the civilians under their control. Meanwhile, in “Israel proper”, there are other concerns. One is of the high cost of living that sometimes drives Israelis and even new olim to other countries. The other is the fear that the population of Israel will grow too large for the state, and drain the country of its resources. Some believe that the best way to alleviate this issue is to finally develop more of the Negev–and I agree. But another way is to follow through with Naftali Bennet’s plan for annexing Area C of Judea & Samaria. As he points out in the video I linked above, many areas of Judea & Samaria, including Area C, sit on water reserves and other such resources necessary to Israel’s well-being. And annexing it would also avert a potential conflict, if the territory were to be ceded to Palestinians, between religious ultra-nationalist settlers and the IDF. This has become an increasing worry among some circles, and would leave Israel vulnerable to attack by her enemies, while also dividing the Jewish people.
I, myself, am not a very religious person, but I strongly believe in indigenous rights, and do believe that now is the time to take Area C if there ever was one. Judea & Samaria, along with Jerusalem, is the core of Judaism. It would be an embarrassment and a moral mistake to sacrifice our historic and religious heartland for “peace” with a people that still refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and make genocidal calls towards the Jews, let alone their regular disregard for human rights. The Jews are the native people of the Holy Land–all of it. Already, Israel gave up hope on taking parts of our ancestral land in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Israel also needs strong borders, and taking Area C, which includes the Jordan Valley, would accomplish this. Given the instability in the rest of the Middle East, why, now, would Israel choose to relinquish the upper ground? A wise Jew, perhaps the wisest of all (Albert Einstein), once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, that can easily be applied to the “land for peace” theory. Israel gave up the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, and almost 40 years later it’s being overrun by ISIS and other jihadis who have massacred Egyptian soldiers, threatened to conquer Israel and “liberate Palestine”, and downed a Russian civilian airplane. Israel gave up Gaza unilaterally in 2005, and ever since has had to fight 3 expensive and bloody wars with Hamas, the democratically-elected terrorist regime financed by Iran, that was chosen by the Gazans themselves. If the high-ground Judea & Samaria, G-d forbid, was given to the Palestinians, Iran would send rockets to them, and they would descend on Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, and numerous other areas. And once the airport suffers a strike, there goes the tourism industry and Jewish immigration. And let’s not forget that next month, Palestinian “elections” will supposedly be held in the “West Bank”, and Hamas is holding a comfortable lead. Never Again must mean Never Again–especially in Israel.
The Israeli Left will say that the demographic lie of the Palestinians may be true, or that Israel will be hated by the world (maybe even punished) if it annexes Judea & Samaria’s Area C. There’s some truth to what they say, but also a number of misconceptions. Regarding the demographics, it’s been said that around 100,000 Arabs live in Area C. If they so wish, some, like Naftali Bennett, would be offer them citizenship or residency, as has happened with a number of Arabs in east Jerusalem. But there’s far more Jewish settlers in Area C than there are Palestinians, as Israel’s government completely controls the land and sharply limits Palestinian residency or building in this region. There’s also good reason to believe that a number of those Arabs living in Area C would either emigrate or move into/be deported to PA-controlled areas A or B. When Israel annexed the Golan Heights, Syrians mostly fled and returned to their home country, having been told lies about how Israel would massacre them. We know the Palestinians are brainwashed in a similar way. This annexation would not endanger Israel’s democracy or Jewish majority by any means, but would, in fact, strengthen it. With safer borders and more natural resources, as well as appeasing the settlers, there’d be less conflict and potentially more aliyah by Jews who feel that the security situation has improved.
But what of the international community? How would they react? Would Obama decide not to use his veto on a UN resolution condemning settlements, or calling for the immediate establishment of Palestine in the Holy Land? There’s good reason to think not, for a few reasons. President Obama seems to be bad at enforcing “red lines”, and wants to stay out of the Middle East and refocus on China. Even if he did threaten to harm relations with Israel in some kind of punishment tactic, who’s to say he’ll really follow through? Why would he follow through on punishing Israel for building homes when he couldn’t do it for Syria’s chemical attacks on civilians? Moreover, if he decided to “punish” Israel, he risks the chances of Democrats losing in November. Donald Trump would pounce on Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for continuing to abandon American allies while appeasing our enemies, and it would be awfully hard for Clinton to defend the president while also trying to portray herself as a friend of the Jewish community in America (where the majority of people still stand with Israel over the Palestinians) as well as a friend of Israel. But let’s assume Obama did allow for a UN resolution to pass. So what? The United Nations is annoying, racist, immoral, hypocritical, and a useless waste of money, but their resolutions accomplish nothing. How have their previous peace plans for Israel and the Palestinians turned out? Their peace plans for Syria? Their mission to stop genocide in Rwanda? Their condemnations of Sudan’s genocide against Black predominantly-Christian ethnic groups? Israel’s wonderful contributions to humanity, their aid during natural disasters, their accomplishments, and so on, continue to go ignored by the UN and other groups, who instead decide to lambast the Jewish state (largely based off of lies) while looking the other way when others commit grievous atrocities. And if one pays close attention to who is complaining about Israel, it’s largely Israel’s “friends” in the West. Asia has never really cared about the conflict, and anti-Semitism in non-Islamic Asian countries is alien and irregular. Latin America’s leftist governments are failing and being relegated to history books. Africa and Oceania have other issues to worry about. Besides, Israel has been going on diplomatic missions to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and other parts of the world, exercising its increased soft power.
Young social justice warriors and Muslims in Western countries have failed in their BDS efforts; for better or for worse, they get distracted easily by other issues, and have a very small voice. Look no further than the Occupy Wall Street movement, and how quickly that fell apart, for an example. And the Arab World offers its usual lip service to the Palestinians, but is increasing under the table ties with Israel to counter Iran & its proxies and Sunni extremists in the region. Already, they are cutting their aid to the Palestinians, criticizing Hamas, and Saudi Arabian media figures popular within the country are urging society to let go of its anti-Semitism. The European Union is too consumed with the euro crisis, Brexit, terrorism, and the influx of refugees, to truly do anything that will affect Israel–just look how they’ve done nothing in response to Jerusalem bulldozing their illegally-built settlements for Palestinians on Israeli land! Like the UN, their condemnations result in nothing, and the European people are starting to get fed up with learning that their tax dollars go towards Palestinian extremism while their economies are slowing. All of the complaining about “the occupation” and lobbing insults and lies at Israel is just a fad of the rebellious zeitgeist of this decade, as more and more people are coming to the realization that a Palestinian state that preaches extremism and racism will simply not happen on Israel’s borders, certainly not in the 1967 lines, and certainly not after what’s become of Gaza. Like much of the world, the West needs Israel, and the Palestinians have nothing to offer.
Europe and America have long relied on Israeli intelligence along with their own to plan for assaults on terrorist havens in the region, intercepting terror on their soil, or using the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s nuclear facilities. As the USA pulls away from the region and looks increasingly towards Asia, it wants Israel to remain the dominant regional power in the hopes of putting an end to terrorism, advancing America’s interests in the region, and maybe one day exporting democracy to Iran, Turkey, and the Arab World. Some in Israel and America have suggested that Israel’s navy be given more funding and attention and dominate the eastern Mediterranean and Red Seas to prevent Iran, pirates or ISIS from posing a threat to shipping lines or freedom of navigation. Also, as Israel discovers some evidence of oil in the Golan or the desert, not to mention the natural gas reserves (and maybe oil) off its shores in the Mediterranean, it could offer a lot in the way of energy to a world that feels increasingly morally bankrupt from purchasing oil from autocrats or theocrats elsewhere in the Near East.
All of these opportunities for Israel will not remain forever–it would be best to take advantage of the crises in the region and becoming an increasingly useful partner/ally now, and take the land while nobody is looking, or has the will and/or means to do anything about it. Creating a Palestine in Judea & Samaria would be morally wrong. As the indigenous people of the Holy Land, it is our right to live there and have sovereignty over the Land of the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and Kings of the Jewish people. We should not be kowtowing to the same Arab Imperialists who have always treated us as dhimmi–second class citizens–and tried to ethnically cleanse Israel of Jews just to make room for an unnecessary 23rd Arab country that will inevitably fall apart and has no means of standing on its own two feet.
To this day, Kurds, Berbers, Black Africans, and religious minorities and indigenous peoples in Arab countries are still mistreated due to the historically imperialist, Muslim Supremacist mindset that has prevailed in and dominated the Arab World—so why should anyone believe the farce that Jewish settlers can live as a minority in an independent Palestine the way Arabs live equally to Jews in Israel? Why would so-called “progressives” (who believe that occupation or deporting Arab Israelis to an independent Palestine would be wrong) that say they respect indigenous rights decide that a Judenrein Palestine, ethnically cleansed of Jews, is acceptable? Why would they assume that there would be peace between Israel if only it went back to the 1967 lines and sacrificed its holy sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Judea & Samaria? Tragically, Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, the Maori, Assyrians, and others lost their homelands and faced genocide. Israel shouldn’t–and doesn’t have to–fall to the same fate. (Nor do the Kurds, but that’s another discussion.)
Annexing Area C and developing the Negev would allow for more natural population growth in Israel without much worry–including aliyah, which may increase as a result of more secure borders–while also allowing for the use of natural resources that otherwise might be forbidden to Israelis. It would avert a civil war with religious nationalists, and possibly increase revenue from tourists and religious pilgrims–Christian and Jewish alike, and maybe even Muslim–who wish to see these sites and now know that they’re safe for visitation. It would also allow the security barrier to be dismantled and instead rebuilt around “archipelagos” of PA-controlled regions, and perhaps spur further Palestinian emigration or make the society realize that violence and racist incitement is not the answer towards peace and independence. With endless possibilities and reason to think there’d be a lack of very serious repercussions, there’s never been a better time to reintegrate Area C into Israel.