I would like to focus today on an issue that many will see as controversial, but which must be dealt with:
MK Effie Eitam (National Union) caused a furor on Sunday when he said that most Arabs were going to have to leave Judea and Samaria. "We can’t deal with all these Arabs (he is speaking of Arabs who are not Israeli citizens), and we can’t give up the territory, because we’ve already seen what they do there."
He was, of course, accused of being racist. I happen to think, quite the contrary, that he’s a realist, stating the obvious. Effie Eitam, whom I know, is a very decent human being who is deeply concerned about our nation.
That said, the parameters within which they would leave must be examined. Let’s start to look more closely at this situation:
The mood of this nation, not long ago, was one of conciliation; efforts were expended to work toward a two-state solution. What is more, at great pain to ourselves, we withdrew unilaterally from Jewish territory in Gaza. (Yes, it was Jewish territory.) But every concession on our part has been seen by them as weakness and an opportunity to gain critical advantage. The offer for a state, made in 2000, led to a horrendous "Intifada" in which our innocents were murdered. The withdrawal from Gaza led to a stockpiling of weapons.
Among the Palestinian Arabs, there is scant good will, scant genuine desire for a two-state solution. (I say "scant" so that no one can accuse me of ignoring the miniscule percentage of the population that perhaps truly desires this — but the fact is that in a totalitarian society such as that run by the Palestinians, this miniscule percentage is meaningless in terms of what will happen on the ground.) The simple cold, hard reality is that the major parties of the PA, including Fatah (the party of "moderation," the party of Mahmoud Abbas), seek Israel’s destruction and endorse terrorism. We are facing implacable enemies with whom it is impossible to make peace. The PLO — upon which the PA is based — operates according to the "strategy of stages," which means taking whatever territory it can get, not in good faith, but as a foothold for finishing us off later. And, since Oslo in 1993, we, foolishly, have been helping them by attempting to give them land — if not in one way, than in another. All these efforts on our part have weakened us and made them stronger. Peace is not closer, but further away.
It is ironic that Oslo exacerbated the situation. Once the PA was established and Arafat — who NEVER intended peace — was in charge, he was able to set in place a system of incitement that engendered increased hatred of us and increased veneration of terrorism. With the ascendancy of Hamas — and a greater tendency towards Islamist thinking — things have gotten even worse.
What this has done is to leave us in an apparent impasse — a seemingly no-win situation. There is a conception, widely embraced, that we cannot hold tight with the status quo, but must "do something" about the situation. Demographics is one reason this argument is advanced. We are at the place where "convergence" — unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria — is being recognized as not a good idea (to put it mildly). And what does Olmert move to? The breathtakingly stupid suggestion that we negotiate in good faith with Abbas, according to the Road Map. The up and coming PA unity government (which I will discuss in a posting soon) does not help the situation.
A change in the Palestinian demographics is a way out of the impasse. Likely the only way out that makes sense if we are to survive intact and strong as a Jewish nation. It has become them or us. This is the agenda they have set.
To generate a shift in the whole Oslo paradigm of thinking, there must first be recognition that the two-state solution is dead. And there must be a recognition that the Palestinians are not entitled to a state. They are not. They have not demonstrated a capacity for civil society; they embrace a culture of death that serves the world only ill.
There are numerous Arab/Muslim nations, many of which have open land. There are other places the Palestinians might go, as well. There is an excellent suggestion afloat in certain circles for a ministry of emigration here. Just as Jews are assisted to immigrate to Israel, so should Arabs be assisted if they decide to leave the area — assisted with advice, and with money to help them get started. Life in the PA is no picnic. There is economic deprivation, and lawlessness with accompanying violence. Many a Palestinian family would be delighted to leave if provided with the means to do so and guidance for the move. (It should be noted that Christian Arabs, whenever they have found it financially feasible, have already been leaving the area — getting out as fast as they can.) And Palestinians who arrived elsewhere not penniless but ready to invest in a new life would be more welcome. They would go with dignity and with hope.
I would like to return to this shortly, to look more deeply at some of the issues involved and to suggest some reading. Here, I simply propose an approach that is in line with what MK Eitam has said. Delighted that Effie Eitam has openly raised the issue, I seek to promote thinking about it.
But would this — a ministry of emigration — be the end of the matter? While I cannot speak for precisely what Effie Eitam envisions, I suggest it likely would not be. There would be radicals/terrorists/those most dedicated ideologically to doing us in who would not opt to leave for a better life. Their purpose would remain focused on our destruction. And these, I suggest, should be forcibly expelled from our lands. We should not have to cope with those who would blow up our children and destroy our state.
I believe there is bone-weariness among the Jewish Israeli population with the whole Palestinian question. And so, while it is not politically correct yet to say so, I am convinced that many would be thrilled to see most of the Arabs of Judea – Samaria go.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/9/12/posted-september-12-2006.html