Only by invalidating Arab claims to a “Palestinian” nationhood, can Israel legitimize its need (and right) to extend Jewish sovereignty over the cradle of Jewish civilization.
The most widely propagated and misleading falsehood regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict is, that it is an immensely complex and complicated problem, requiring great sophistication and creativity to resolve. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It is precisely its brutal simplicity however, that makes it so intractable and a solution so elusive.
Indeed, any attempt to portray the conflict as “complicated” or attribute it any “complexity”, is not a mark of sophistication/profundity. It is at best, indicative of a desire to evade the cruel unvarnished truth.
The fundamental parameters of the conflict and its defining outlines are so unambiguous and clear-cut, that the myriad of details/nuances that enshroud it have little impact on the manner in which it should be addressed. If one’s point of departure is that Jews should have political sovereignty, administered through a Jewish nation-state, located in the ancient Jewish homeland, then policy choices necessary to facilitate and sustain that objective, are incontrovertibly derived by a series of “political algorithms” through a process of almost mathematical deduction.
It should be virtually axiomatic that to endure as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel needs to be viable both geographically and demographically.
Accordingly, Israel cannot withdraw to indefensible borders, not only in terms of withstanding invasion but also ongoing attrition. This clearly dictates the parameters of the future frontiers to which Israel can afford to withdraw—and the impact this would necessarily have on any conceivable Arab interlocutor’s perspective on them as acceptable.
Furthermore, Israel must not merely initially retain—but durably sustain over time—a Jewish population, which comprises not only a numerical majority at the polls, but of sufficient predominance to ensure the Jewish character of the socio-cultural fabric of the country in terms of the conduct of its public life, the spirit of its national ceremonies and nature of its national symbols. This clearly dictates limits on the size of recalcitrant non-Jewish ethnic minorities who, not only do not identify with the Jewish character of the state, but reject it vehemently.
Thus, any policy that attempts to preserve demographic viability by sacrificing geographical exigencies (such as the two-state proposal based on the land-for-peace doctrine), will make the Jewish nation state untenable geographically.
Similarly, any policy that attempts to preserve geographic viability by sacrificing demographic exigencies (such as the one-state-of all its-inhabitants concept), will make the Jewish nation state untenable demographically.
Without defensible borders, no government of any state, can provide its citizens with the most basic element required of it by the social contract it has with the people—security. This is particularly true in the case of Israel, threatened, as it is, by an array of formidable threats no other country faces. Sadly however, the extraordinary success the Israeli security forces have had over seven decades seems to have obscured that grim reality in the minds of many.
To defend itself adequately and at a bearable economic cost, Israel must retain control of the western slopes of the highland of Judea-Samaria, commanding the coastal plain; the eastern slopes commanding the approaches to the Jordan Valley; as well as the airspace above, and electromagnetic spectrum throughout them both. For a comprehensive study of Israel’s minimum security requirements security see here.
The physical parameters of these essential security requirements have unequivocal political implications. After all, they clearly obviate the possibility of establishing any self-governing entity with territorial parameters acceptable to the Arabs. Simply put – that which appears to be even minimally adequate for Israel, seems to be totally inadequate for the Arabs.
This leads us to the first chain of algorithmic-like reasoning which shows that Israel’s acceptance of the legitimacy of Arab national claims in “Palestine” has in effect laid the foundations for the assault on its own legitimacy. Although—due to the distortive dictates of prevailing political-correctness—this may appear counter-intuitive to many, the logic behind it is compelling and the conclusion to be drawn from it unassailable.
- If the “Palestinian” narrative, which portrays the Arabs as an authentic national entity in Palestine is acknowledged as legitimate, then all aspirations, such as achieving “Palestinian” statehood, that arise from that narrative, are legitimate.
- Accordingly, any policy that precludes the achievement of those aspirations will be perceived as illegitimate.
- So, if the legitimacy of a “Palestinian” state is accepted, then any measures incompatible with its viability are illegitimate.
- However, in the absence of wildly optimistic, and hence irresponsibly unrealistic, “best-case” assumptions – any policy ensuring Israel’s minimal security requirements, will preclude the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.
- Consequently, any endeavor to realistically provide Israel with minimal security will be perceived as illegitimate.
- Therefore, by accepting the admissibility of a Palestinian state, one necessarily admits the inadmissibility of measures required to ensure Israeli security—and hence the inherent lack of Israel’s viability.
The inevitable conclusion therefore is that for Israel to secure conditions that adequately address its minimal security requirements, and hence its survival as the nation state of the Jewish people, the “Palestinian” narrative, and the aspirations that flow from it, must be invalidated.
It is difficult to overstate the far-reaching significance of the need to invalidate this pernicious narrative. But, unless this is done, Israel cannot formulate —much less implement—any policy that can effectively address either the Geographic or the Demographic imperatives—much less both of them.
For it is only by invalidating the authenticity of Arab claims to a “Palestinian Arab” nationhood, and pursuant claims for statehood in Judea-Samaria, that Israel can legitimize its need (and right) to extend Jewish sovereignty over the cradle of Jewish civilization.
Only by extending Jewish sovereignty to Judea-Samaria (and eventually Gaza) can Israel ensure who—and who does not—control these strategically critical areas, adjacent to the nation’s major population centers and vital infrastructure installations. Unless it can accomplish that, it cannot adequately address the Geographic imperative and ensure the fate of its citizens, with whose security it is charged.
Adequately addressing the Geographic imperative by extending Jewish sovereignty over Judea-Samaria and Gaza though, immediately raises the problem of addressing the other imperative, the Demographic one.
I have argued repeatedly that it would be impossible to incorporate the Palestinian-Arabs residents into the enfranchised population of Israel without critically jeopardizing the Jewish character of the country – see for example To My Colleague Caroline, A Caveat, Islamizing Israel—When the radical Left and hard Right concur; “Sovereignty? Yes, but look before you leap” Decades of venomous Judeophobic incitement have made the prospect of forging Jew and Arab into a sustainable cohesive society so implausible, as to disqualify any such suggestion as an acceptable basis for future policy.
Accordingly, for anyone whose point of departure is that Israel should endure over time as the nation-state of the Jewish people, there is one conclusion. The only conceivable way forward which prevents Israel from descending into coercively imposing its control over an unenfranchised non-Jewish minority or forcibly ejecting it, is to significantly reduce the Palestinian-Arab population by economically induced emigration—i.e. by enhanced material incentives for leaving and commensurately enhanced material disincentives for staying.
The only way that such a policy can be implemented, without crippling international censure and sanction, is by a massive public diplomacy assault on the “Palestinian” narrative to disprove, discredit and invalidate it—for unless this is achieved, the Jewish nation state will eventually —probably sooner than later—become untenable either geographically or demographically, or both.
Can the “Palestinian” narrative be invalidated? As unpalatable as this might sound to some, for anyone committed to Israel’s ongoing existence as the Jewish nation-state, there is little alternative.
Contemplating other less challenging alternatives is little more than an exercise is self-delusion. Hoping for the Palestinian-Arabs to metamorphose into more Judeophilic beings is a futile illusion — especially in view of the fact that most the discernible changes in Palestinian society seem to be in precisely the opposite direction.
In an article published over half- decade ago, I wrote of the need to invalidate the Palestinian narrative: “This of course is easier said than done. For rolling back the accumulated decades of distortion, deception and delusion that have become entrenched in the collective international consciousness will be a Herculean task. But the immense scale of the task cannot diminish the imperative of its implementation.”
This is no less true today than before—probably more so.
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