Despite the ongoing fixation by an assortment of Israeli trendsetters and decision-makers with the concept of land for peace, for the majority of Jews living in Israel, the picture is totally different. Years of terrorist attacks, wars, and missile bombardment following pullouts from Lebanon and Gaza, ongoing menacing threats from Iran, and various international terrorist groups and mounting anti-Semitism throughout the region and the world have caused most Israeli Jews to clearly understand that the establishment of another Arab state west of the Jordan River is nothing short of national suicide.
Thus, to continue arguing that such a move by Israel will bring “recognition” and “acceptance” — a claim which has no historical anchor, since Israel is nearly always criticized and condemned regardless of what it does or doesn’t do — is not only spurious, but illogical, since no sane country would crave acceptance at the price of national destruction.
Therefore, for our own survival, we need to get over the Oslo syndrome* — that way of thinking which over the course of years has been rammed into our collective consciousness, constantly telling us “there is no solution but the two-state solution” and “we have no choice.” This is nonsense. The proposed two-state solution, if carried through, will ultimately lead to one state west of the Jordan River, and it won’t be a Jewish one. We need to admit this to ourselves and then take the necessary steps. Brakes must be applied to this mad dash down the path of national destruction, regardless of what the world will say.
Moreover, in order to bequeath a secure future to subsequent generations, it is not enough to simply apply the brakes. This approach, which is prevalent amongst many voices on the right, is nothing more than a valiant effort to fend off the inevitable. The hard truth, as painful as this might sound, is that if a new direction is not quickly adopted, then in all likelihood, there will be another Arab state west of the Jordan River. It may take another year, or five years or even ten years, but in the end it will happen. Thus, rather than repeating the mistake of the Gaza Disengagement and believing that somehow the worst will not happen, this time, reality should not be avoided. Therefore, in order to get the wheels moving in a positive direction, the time has come to take the initiative and to start clearly stating an alternative option.
For the sake of clarity, three options will briefly be discussed, with only one being chosen as a viable alternative. The first, and by far most desirable, would be a 100% Jewish state on all the land west of the Jordan River — no security problems, no demographic issues, and the best option from a Torah perspective. If, hypothetically, all the Arabs were to willingly move to any of the more than twenty neighboring Arab countries, then they would no longer be placed in the awkward position of trying to identify with a culture and collective dream which is not their own. Rather, they could freely connect with the aspirations and goals of their Arab brethren. Although such an option would certainly solve many problems, it must be discounted since it is currently not feasible or realistic.
The second option which is occasionally heard is the Lieberman plan. Briefly, this arrangement calls for the shifting of the borders, rather than the moving of people, to better reflect the reality of concentrated centers of Jewish and/or Arab populations. Thus, rather than creating two states more or less according to the pre-1967 lines, as is the case in the current two-state solution proposal, this plan will create two states according to the demographic realities. Although this would certainly help with the demographic issue, it is questionable whether or not such a patchwork of populations would be manageable. Much more importantly, any way you slice it, this will lead to the creation of an Arab state west of the Jordan River, which, as I previously argued, is nothing short of national suicide.
The third option is to take the bold and long-overdue step of formally annexing Judea and Samaria. Such a move would end years of wavering uncertainty and confusion, traits which radiate weakness and guilt and are constantly exploited by our enemies. In contrast, annexation of Judea and Samaria would project a clear and firm message to our enemies and all their international supporters that this is our land, the only one we have, and we’re here to stay.
From a religious perspective, such a move would also be meritorious, since we would no longer be guilty of the serious sin of rejecting the land of Israel, a gift given by God to the Jewish people. An additional side benefit of this move is that it would provide the opportunity for an expansion in the building sector, thus solving the problem of the housing shortage and skyrocketing prices as well as alleviating the congestion in the center of the country.
The obvious drawback in this plan is that it will further complicate the demographic issue. While Israel today is faced with many complex problems vis-à-vis its Arab population — a group which composes roughly 20% of the total population, after annexation, assuming all the Arabs would stay and would accept citizenship — this number would grow to anywhere between 30% and 35%. Without downplaying the severity of this issue, it is nonetheless only a “problem,” and like any problem, it will have to be addressed, dealt with, and solved. This, however, is infinitely preferable to being destroyed, which is the near-certain outcome of the current two-state solution.
Regarding all the nitty-gritty details, there are others far more qualified than I am who can deal with all the legal, security, and economic issues. My intention is to simply help place this idea on the public agenda as a real, viable option, one that should be studied and pursued. Of course, many will predictably say that “it cannot be done” or that “the world will not allow us to annex Judea and Samaria,” but such expected voices should not deter us. Rather, they should cause us to understand that as a nation, we have a choice: Either we quickly shift our collective thinking and behavior and do what must be done, or we simply close our eyes while the whole country, ourselves included, gets washed away.
For the sake of Israel and the residents of the region, annexation must be considered, since it is the only possible option that can lead to regional stability.
*The Oslo Syndrome is explained in the book of the same name by Kenneth Levine.