Saturday, July 21, 2012

West-Bank-istan on top of Gaza-stan?

From JPost, 20 July 2012, by Martin Sherman:

"The major issue is not [attaining] an agreement, but ensuring its actual implementation in practice. The number of agreements the Arabs have violated is no less than number which they have kept." – Shimon Peres, Tomorrow is Now (1978)
... in redoubling their efforts to reach their preferred mode of resolution of the Palestinian issue, [two-state advocates] seem to have forgotten that the real aim is not an agreement on the establishment of a Palestinian state, but long-term stability and security for Israel.
...[The] continued pursuit [of a two-state solution] will almost inevitably bring about a situation that directly negate the values invoked for its adoption, and precipitate consequences which are the antitheses of those its advocates intended.
The insistence ...regarding the desirability and feasibility of the two-state paradigm has arguably done more than anything else to nourish the ongoing delegitimzation of the Jewish state and the Zionist enterprise.
....Dershowitz suggested that the West Bank can be realistically divided into three effective areas:
• Those that are relatively certain to remain part of Israel.
• Those that are relatively certain to become part of a Palestinian state.
• Those reasonably in dispute (which may well remain part of Israel, but subject to negotiated land swaps).
He proposes that “there would be no Israeli building in those areas likely to become part of a Palestinian state” and “no limit on Israeli building within areas likely to remain part of Israel,” but says nothing about constraining Arab building in these areas – assuming of course any relevant Palestinian negotiator would agree a priori that there are any such areas – itself a giant leap of optimistic faith.
His attitude to the “disputed” areas is especially revealing. He states the “freeze [on Israeli construction] would continue in disputed areas until it was decided which will remain part of Israel and which part of the new Palestinian state.”
Yet he seems to prejudge the outcome of the “dispute,” by refraining from placing a similar freeze on the Palestinians.
And to eliminate any lingering doubt about how Dershowitz really intends the fate of the these “disputed” areas – in which he includes “some of the large settlement blocs such as Ariel” – to be determined, he declares: “An absolute building freeze would be a painful but necessary compromise. It might also encourage residents of the West Bank to move to areas that will remain part of Israel, especially if the freeze were accompanied by financial inducements to relocate.”
Clearly, if the Palestinians are permitted to build in these areas where Jews are not only barred from doing so, but “induced” to evacuate, deeming them “disputed” is little more than a ruse.
For if Palestinian development is allowed, while Jewish development is stifled, the obvious intention is for the area to eventually be transferred to the Palestinians.

The issue of financial inducements for residents of Judea and Samaria to relocate is of particular importance, for it is a proposal that has been raised with increasing frequency by a number of prominent twostaters, both Israeli and non-Israeli.
Apart from Dershowitz, it has been suggested by former president of the Union for Reform Judaism Eric Yoffie, United Jewish Israel Appeal head Mick Davis, former US diplomat Dennis Ross, US pundit Peter Beinart, former adviser to Ehud Barak Gilead Sher and former Shin Bet head and Labor politician Ami Ayalon, to name a few.
Yet although two-staters appear to have no ethical inhibitions regarding the principle of providing economic incentives to induce people to move, when it comes to its practical application, their preferences seem wildly prejudicial....
While they see nothing wrong with funding relocation of Jews to facilitate the establishment of what in all probability will be a failed micro-mini-state providing a haven for radical Islamist terror groups, they recoil in horror at the idea of funding relocation of Palestinians to prevent its establishment....
After all, the only way the putative Palestinian state will not become a haven for Arab terror organizations is for the Palestinians to behave in a manner diametrically opposed to the manner in which they have behaved for seven decades – arguably even longer.
...unless we are prepared to embrace the bizarre formula, recently proposed by Shimon Peres, that peace should be pursued with “our eyes closed,” deleting any record of the past from our memories; unless we are prepared to totally dismiss the lessons of experience, clearly continued support for two-statism is fraught with risk and bereft of rationality.
...Two-statism is fatally flawed in its morality because its proponents insist on the implementation of measures that will expose millions of Israelis (and eventually Palestinians) to dire dangers that have regularly resulted from previous attempts to implement similar measures. The only formula they furnish for contending with these dangers is to hope they won’t occur, without providing any compelling explanation for that.

...And Plan B is?
... over the past two decades, during which the goal of two-states has been vigorously pursued, with huge international endorsement and massive financial backing, all the warnings of the dangers by its opponents have proved true...
...what if – as in the past – any territory ceded to [the Arabs] is used to mount attacks on Israel? What is the two-staters’ Plan B?
These issues are becoming ever-more pressing and pertinent, especially since all the post-Arab Spring developments across the region make the prospects for two-stater success even more remote, and failure more perilous than ever.

A mega Cast Lead?
But even if we suppose, despite the odds and the evidence, that two-staters are right, and it is possible to locate some mythical moderate Palestinian who is prepared to sign an agreement with Israel in good faith and who genuinely intends to honor it, how is implementation to be ensured? After all as Peres, in a more lucid era, pointed out: “The major issue is not [attaining] an agreement, but ensuring its actual implementation in practice.”
What if for reasons of political – or physical – survival, that moderate Palestinian was forced to renege on the agreement? What if he was unable/unwilling to rein in renegade radicals backed by rejectionist regimes or organizations? What if he was removed from power – either by the ballot or the bullet – and replaced by successors whose raison d’etre was repudiation of the recognition of Israel? After all, as Peres once observed: “The number of agreements the Arabs have violated is no less than the number which they have kept.”
What if, after it is established, it turns out that the Palestinians really meant what they said – that the founding of a Palestinian state is (merely) a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel? What if they really believe their National Charter, that “the partition of Palestine in 1947, and the establishment of the state of Israel, are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time?” What if they act to promote this belief? What if the residents of the Coastal Plain are subjected to anything even remotely approaching what the residents of Sderot have been subjected to for years? This is not an implausible prospect and twostaters have moral duty to provide a plausible contingency plan to respond to it.
Would they demand that Palestinian sovereignty be revoked and the Palestinian state be annulled, because it was established under false pretenses? Would they endorse a massive military campaign in the “West Bank” to quell the violence that made the maintenance of socioeconomic routine in the Tel Aviv area impossible? On a scale and intensity far greater than the IDF’s 2008/9 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza? Along a front much longer (about 400-km. long as opposed to 50 km.)? In topographical terrain far more disadvantageous? ...

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