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An Unsettling Proposal about Israeli Settelments.

Submitted by Robin Messing on Fri, 07/27/2012 - 9:44pm

In his  July 26, 2012 New York Times OpEd piece, Israeli settler leader Dani Dayan states that Israeli settlement expansion on the West Bank is an "irreversible fact".  Whether the Palestinians (or, if you prefer, West Bank Arabs) like it or not, whether Muslims around the world like it or not, whether we in the West like it or not, Dayan in essence is telling us all to "Deal with it!"  He states that since the Palestinians have refused to negotiate a two state solution:

The American government and its European allies should abandon this failed formula once and for all and accept that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are not going anywhere.

Excuse me, Dani  boy, but as an American I must ask... WHO THE HELL ARE YOU to tell us what we should do?  Have you forgotten that we have been your most dependable allies and if it were not for the United States, Israel would not exist?  You might be used to telling the Palestinians what to so, but you are overplaying your hand when you tell us what to do. Yes, the Palestinians have missed opportunities in the past, but that doesn't mean they will continue to do so forever.  They may one day be ready to seriously negotiate a Two-State solution, but the facts that you are establishing on the ground thorough the settlements are calculated to prevent this from ever happening.  Claiming that your plan must be implemented because the Arabs will never be serious about a two-state solution is like a kid who has killed his parents telling a judge, "Have mercy on me because I am an orphan.) You argue for expansion throughout the entire West Bank based on "a combination of inalienable rights and realpolitik."  In fact, it is neither. Who agrees with you that it is an inalienable right?  Certainly not the U.N.  Annexing the West Bank does more than put a dagger to U.N. Resolution 242. It douses it with kerosene, sets it on fire, then pisses on its grave.  Well, if not the UN, who else might agree with you?  Certainly not the nearly 2 billion Muslims in the world. Nor the Chinese. Nor the Russians. In fact, not even the U.S.  Can you name ONE country, other than Israel, that agrees with you? More importantly,  you do not state whether Arabs living in the West Bank will  become full citizens with the right to vote.  If they are not given the right to vote, then Israel will become an apartheid state and will become even more isolated by the international community.  Even if they are given the right to vote, there is no guarantee that the Arabs in the West Bank will become happy loyal citizens of Israel.  If they still want to be part of a Palestinian State, despite being given the right to vote, then their unrest will increase as they see their dreams being stomped further into the ground.  You note that checkpoints are currently being removed, but if your plan is imposed unilaterally on the West Bank Arabs without their consent, then checkpoints may have to go back up.   Israel should call for elections amongst the Arabs living in the West Bank to determine if they WANT to become full-fledged Israeli citizens BEFORE annexing the West Bank.  If they respond in favor of citizenship then this will help Israel contain the damage that will result from world-wide Muslim outrage at the annexation.  If they reject the offer then Israel  has the option of preserving (relative) peace by giving up the Annexation plan. You argue that annexation will prevent a Palestinian state in the West Bank from becoming a hotbed for terrorists.  But annexation without the consent of its inhabitants will make a multi-front war against Israel almost inevitable.  The peace treaty with Egypt is hanging by a thread.  Many within the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood are looking for an excuse to break the treaty.  Forced annexation will provide them one.  The Syrians are in no position to fight Israel now, but who knows what the situation will be two or three years down the road?   The Arab countries have expressed their willingness time and again to recognize Israel if it can reach a deal with the Palestinians based on the 1967 border with land swaps.  Forced annexation will likely cause them to join the fight to destroy Israel.  And China and Russia will be more than happy to sell them the arms to do so.  How will you fight them all off while simultaneously   fighting an uprising within the West Bank?  And are you sure you will have the loyalty of your Arab citizens  who reside within the Green Line? Don't count on the U.S. to save Israel if Israel's existence is threatened as a result of its aggressive unilateral policies.   You might not have noticed it, but we are an exhausted nation.  We are deep in debt and we are tired of seeing our soldiers killed in oversees war.  We may go to war with Iran because a nuclear armed Iran poses a significant threat to our national security.  And we would back Israel if it is attacked without provocation by its neighbors.  But annexing the West Bank without the consent of its inhabitants is a provocation which we will not defend.   And if Israel  becomes an apartheid state by refusing to grant the West Bank Arabs full citizenship then we might even join the other side. Update: There is one very important series of questions that I forgot to include in this article.  How will Israel's annexing the West Bank affect the government of Saudi Arabia?  Will they adopt a hard-line stance against Israel in order to avoid outrage on the streets at their passivity?   If they don't adopt a hard-line towards Israel, could this provide just the extra bit of fuel needed for a widespread popular uprising against the government.  Could the Saudi regime be swept away in the conflagration and be replaced by one that is more hostile to Israel and the West?  If so, then what will this do to gas prices and the economy? Recommended articles on this subject:What Dani Dayan Says and Why It Is Interesting by Richard Falk Lara Friedman Responds to Dani Dayan