David Ben-Gurion adopted the partition map, with all its disadvantages, at a time when the threats to the fledgling state were much greater than what we face now.
By Ariel Kahana, ISRAEL HAYOM 05-26-2020
Now that everything is behind us – the election, the coalition, and even the start of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trial – a historic moment is here. Israel now has a window of opportunity the like of which it hasn’t seen since the 1967 Six-Day War. Backed by the only superpower in the world, Israel may now take over large parts of Judea and Samaria.
This is a step that only two or three years ago, even under US President Trump, would have been unimaginable. This is a decision that would have led to an international earthquake if it had been made under the Obama administration. And now, an event that approaches a diplomatic miracle is unfolding before our very eyes.
As with every historic watershed moment, the decision to apply sovereignty is not without its dangers. European nations oppose it. Arab states, especially Jordan, are making threats. While we must not dismiss these risks, we have an obligation to lay out the advantages and benefits, which are unmatched.
Like every other issue that involves the Palestinians, sovereignty has its opponents. The Left thinks that it leaves the Palestinians too little territory. The Right thinks it gives them too much. Supporters of the settlements are worried about the future of the smaller, isolated communities. Opponents of the settlements are disturbed that they will be made permanent.
With all due respect to these concerns, the ministers, the MKs, the decision-makers, and actually all of us as citizens, need to focus on what is important. The Trump vision is a one-time opportunity that won’t repeat itself. We should take note of what American officials are telling the Israeli Right: If they torpedo the offer, don’t come to us again.
It’s not only that American patience is running short. If we spurn what Trump is offering – and certainly if we do it after all the good things he has done for us at a time when he needs every vote ahead of the US election – the president could decide to give up on us. Trump will remember that if he’s reelected, but the worst-case scenario is that he won’t be reelected.
Because his opponent Joe Biden, who was Obama’s vice president, is the one making international waves because of Israel’s decision to move ahead with a construction plan for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in Jerusalem. Without sovereignty, the fighting with him will end with another construction freeze in the capital. If we have sovereignty, the arguments will be about canceling or restricting it. Isn’t the latter option preferable?
The decision is a difficult one, but at times like these we need to take history by the horns. David Ben-Gurion adopted the partition map with all its disadvantages, at a time when the threats from outside were much bigger than they are now. Therefore, when the dangers are so much less, and the advantages are as clear as daylight, we must not miss this chance.