INTO THE FRAY: The Humanitarian Paradigm – Answering FAQs (Part 2)

Sequel to the dispelling of  doubts regarding the feasibility – and morality – of largescale, financially incentivized emigration as the only non-kinetic approach for resolution of the Israel-Palestinian impasse. 

By MARTIN SHERMAN

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – (widely attributed to) Winston Churchill 

Readers will recall that last week I began a two part response to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) relating to the practical feasibility/moral acceptability of my proposed Humanitarian Paradigm (HP), which prescribes, among other measures, large-scale financially incentivized emigration of the Palestinian-Arabs, living across the pre-1967 lines as the only route to attain long-term survivability for Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

To recap briefly

In last week’s column, I addressed the question of the overall cost of the funded emigration project, and showed that, given the political will to implement it, it would be eminently affordable – even if Israel had to shoulder the burden alone. If other industrial nations could be induced to participate, the total cost would be an imperceptible percentage of their GDP.

I then went on to demonstrate that there is ample evidence indicating a wide-spread desire in large sections of the Palestinian-Arab population to emigrate permanently in search of more secure and prosperous livee elsewhere. This point was underscored by a recent Haaretz article , describing how thousands of Gazans had fled their home to Greece, undertaking perilous risk to extricate themselves from the harrowing hardships imposed on them by the ill-conceived endeavor to foist statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs.  Significantly, according to the Haaretz report, none of them blamed Israel for their plight—but rather the ruling Hamas-regime, which, it will be recalled, was elected by popular vote to replace the rival Fatah faction, ousted because of its corruption and poor governance.

Finally, I dealt with the question of the prospective host nations, pointing out that the funded Palestinian-Arab émigrés would not arrive as an uncontrolled deluge of destitute humanity, but as an orderly regulated stream of relatively affluent immigrants spread over about a decade-and-a-half, whose absorption would entail significant capital inflows for the host nation’s economy.  Moreover, given the fact that, globally, migrants total almost a quarter billion, Palestinian-Arab migration of several hundred thousand a year would comprise a small fraction of one percent of the overall number—hardly an inconceivable prospect.  

Following this short summary of previously addressed FAQs, we can now move on to tackle several additional ones. 

FAQ 4: Won’t fear of fratricide deter recipients? 

One of the most commonly raised reservations as to the practical applicability of the HP is that potential recipients of the relocation/rehabilitation grants would be deterred from accepting them because of  threats of retribution from their kin-folk who allegedly would view such action as perfidious betrayal of the Palestinian-Arabs’ national aspirations.

In contending with this question, it is necessary to distinguish between two possible scenarios, in which such internecine intimidation will be either a phenomenon whose scope is (a) limited; or (b) wide-spread and pervasive.

Clearly, if the former is true, it is unlikely to have any significant inhibiting impact on the conduct of prospective recipients of the relocation/rehabilitation grants.

If, however, the assumption is that the latter is the case, several points need to be made:

– If this objection  to the HP is to have any credence, its proponents must present evidence (as opposed to unproven supposition) that potential violent opponents of the HP program have the ability not only to inflict harm on prospective recipients (as opposed to issuing empty threats) , but that they can sustain such ability over time.

– In this regard, it should be kept in mind that implementation of the HP entails the disarming, dismantling and disbanding —if need be, coercively—of the ruling Palestinian regime, and reinstating Israeli governance over all territory under Palestinian-Arab control.

Inhibiting internecine intimidation

The HP is hardly unique with regard to this latter point. All other proffered policy alternatives for the failed, foolhardy two-state formula entail such measures—either by explicit stipulation, or implicit inference—since preserving the current Palestinian regime intact would clearly preclude their implementation.  Indeed, they are even endorsed by some pundits who do not discount the eventual emergence of a Palestinian state, such as Middle East Forum president, Daniel Pipes.

Clearly, the dispersal of the central Palestinian governing body, together with the defanging of its armed organs and the deployment of Israeli forces in their stead , will greatly curtail  (although not entirely eliminate) the scope for internecine intimidation and the capacity to dissuade potential recipients of the relocation/rehabilitation grants from availing themselves of the funds.

In addition, Israel should task its own formidable military and intelligence services to protect prospective recipients of these grants by identifying, intervening and thwarting attempts to intimidate those seeking to enhance their lives by extricating themselves from the control of the disastrously dysfunctional regime under which they live.

Moreover, the international community should be called upon to cooperate with and participate in this principled endeavor to prevent fratricidal elements within Palestinian society from depriving their brethren of the opportunity of better, safer lives. After all, violence against Palestinian-Arabs, who choose to reside within any given host nation, would comprise an intolerable violation of that country’s national sovereignty.

Appalling indictment of “Palestinian” society?  

Of course invoking the specter of large-scale fratricide as an impediment to the acceptance of the HP is an appalling indictment of Palestinian-Arab society.

After all, the inescapable implication of such an objection to the HP’s practical applicability is that its acceptance by otherwise willing recipients, wishing to avail themselves of opportunity to seek security and prosperity elsewhere, can only be impeded by violent extortion of their kin-folk.

Accordingly, if the concern over large-scale fratricide is serious, it is in fact, at once, both the strongest argument in favor of the HP and against the establishment of a Palestinian state.  After all, two unavoidable conclusions necessarily flow from it: (a) any predicted reluctance to accept the relocation/rehabilitating grants would not be a reflection of the free will of Palestinian-Arabs, but rather a coerced outcome that came about despite the fact that it is not; (b) Similarly, the endeavor for a Palestinian state is not one that manifests any authentic desire of the “Palestinian people” but rather one imposed on them, despite the fact that it does not.

As a result, any Palestinian-Arab state established under the pervasive threat of lethal retribution against any dissenter will not be an expression of genuine national aspirations but of extortion and coercion of large segments of Palestinian-Arab society, who would otherwise opt for an alternative outcome.

In summation then, if the fear of fratricide can be shown to be a tangible threat, it should not be considered a reason to abandon the HP formula. Quite the opposite! It should be considered an unacceptable phenomenon to be resolutely suppressed –by both Israel and the international community—in order to permit the Palestinian-Arab public the freedom of choice to determine their future.

FAQ 5: Would funded emigration not be considered unethical “ethnic cleansing”?

I have addressed the question of the moral merits of the HP extensively elsewhere (see “Palestine”: Who Has Moral High Ground?), where I demonstrate that the HP blueprint will be the most humane of all options if it succeeds, and the least inhumane if it does not.

I shall therefore refrain from repeating much of the arguments presented previously and focus on one crucial issue: The comparative moral merits of the widely endorsed two-state paradigm (TSS) and those of  my proposed Humanitarian Paradigm (HP).

Since there is very little doubt (or dispute) as to the domestic nature of any prospective Palestinian state, anyone seeking to disqualify the HP because of its alleged moral shortcomings must be forced to contend with the following question: Who has the moral high-ground?

(a) The TSS-proponents, who advocate establishing (yet another) homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny, whose hallmarks would be: gender discrimination, gay persecution, religious intolerance, and political oppression of dissidents? ; or

(b) The HP-proponents who advocate providing non-belligerent Palestinian individuals with the opportunity of building a better life for themselves elsewhere, out of harm’s way, free from the recurring cycles of death, destruction and destitution, brought down on them by the cruel, corrupt cliques that have led them astray for decades.

Furthermore, TSS advocates should be compelled to clarify why they consider it morally acceptable to offer financial inducements to Jews in Judea-Samaria to evacuate their homes to facilitate the establishment of said homophobic, misogynistic tyranny, which, almost certainly, will become a bastion for Islamist terror; yet they consider it morally reprehensible to offer financial inducements to Arabs in Judea-Samaria to evacuate their homes to prevent the establishment of such an entity?

FAQ 6: What about those who remain?

This is, of course, a serious question and a detailed response would depend on, among other things, the size of the residual Palestinian-Arab population who refuse any material compensation as an inducement to emigrate.

The acuteness of the problem would undoubtedly be a function of its scale. Clearly, the smaller this residual population, the less pressing the need will be to deal with it. For example it seems plausible that if, say, only a hundred thousand Palestinians remain, consideration may well be given to the possibility of offering them Israeli citizenship – subject to stringent security vetting and sworn acceptance of Jewish sovereignty as the sole legitimate source of authority in the land – without endangering the Jewish character of the country.

However, it should be remembered that, unlike the two-state approach which advocates perilous concessions, and the one-state prescription which calls for incorporating the Palestinian-Arabs resident across the pre-1967  lines into  Israel’s permanent population, the HP does not involve any cataclysmic irreversible measures.

At the heart of the HP program is a comprehensive system of material inducements to foster Palestinian emigration, which includes generous incentives for leaving and harsh disincentives for staying. As detailed elsewhere, such incentives would entail substantial monetary grants, up to 100 years GDP per capita per family in Palestinian terms; while the latter entail phased withdrawal of services (including provision of water, electricity, fuel, port facilities and so on) that Israel currently provides to the Palestinian-Arabs across the pre-1967 lines.

Accordingly, should it be found that the initial proposed inducements are ineffective, the former can be made more enticing, and/or the latter more daunting, until the proffered package is acceptable.

Seen in this context, it is difficult to envisage that many non-belligerent Palestinian-Arabs would prefer to endure the rigors of discontinued provision of services rather than avail themselves of the generous relocation/rehabilitation funds—especially given the dispersal of the Palestinian regime as an alternative source of such services. 

FAQ 7 What if the same kind of offer were made to induce Jewish emigration?

In addressing this question several points should be borne in mind:

The offer would clearly not be made by an Israeli government. After all, the HP is  intended as a measure to: (a)  Ensure – not undermine – the survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, and (b) Relieve the genuine humanitarian predicament of the Palestinian-Arabs—precipitated by the dysfunctional administration they have been subjected to since the 1993 Oslo process—not Jewish disgruntlement with the imperfect functioning of the Israeli government.

Of course, it would be impossible to prevent Arab elements from offering Jews financial inducement to emigrate from Israel, but in this regard it should be recalled that: (a) As a sovereign nation Israel can control the financial flows into the country and impede money from hostile sources reaching Israeli citizens, considerably complicating the transfer and receipt of  funds. (b) Arab governments have been singularly reticent in providing large sums  to advance the “Palestinian cause” and there is little chance (or evidence) that they would advance the hundreds of billions required to finance large scale Jewish emigration;  (c) The overwhelming majority of Israelis enjoy living standards of an advanced post-industrial nation with a GDP per capita around 20 times higher than that in the Palestinian-administered territories; (d) Accordingly, it would be commensurately more difficult to tempt them to leave. Indeed, sums offered would have to be considerably higher to create a comparable incentive, running into millions rather than hundreds of thousands per family. (e) Moreover, a slew of recent polls show the large majority of Israelis are satisfied with their lives – thus the prospect of material incentives to induce large-scale emigration seems remote.

Urgent Zionist imperative. 

The HP is the only Zionist-compliant policy prescription that can save Israel from the perilous dangers of the two-state formula and the specter of Lebanonization/Balkanization  inherent in other proffered alternatives. Embarking on its implementation is a Zionist imperative that is both urgent and feasible.

Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

June 8, 2017 | 9 Comments » | 128 views

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. :
    This Big Government guy is a recurring nightmare.

    He does not ever address, nor could he ever refute, the point that government-oriented solutions always:

    • suck.
    • are the worst possible approach to any problem,

    and that bigger government is a totally unecessary evil which only creates more and even worse problems.

  2. Israel can control the financial flows into the country and impede money from hostile sources reaching Israeli citizens

    :
    What a complete a-hole.

  3. Dr. Sherman continues to refuse to address the actual obstacles to his Utopian scheme. Let me review them. 1) The international community would regard his scheme as “ethnic cleansing,” and hence an indictable war crime. His proposal is remarkably similar to the policies allegedly adopted by Serbia and the Bosnian Serb republic in the 1990s Balkan wars. I think the allegations against the Serbs were misleading and unfair, but my opinion does not alter the collective judgment of the international community.

    Dr. Sherman’s proposal also plays into the “narrative” that Israel already evicted most of the Palestinians in 1948 and 1967, in order to steal their land. Again, I believe this to be both untrue and unfair. But this narrative, like the anti-Serb one, has gained wide acceptance in the international community. I would cause the Sherman plan, if Israel attempted to implement it, to be viewed abroad as yet another Israeli effort to evict the (allegedly) indigenous population and steal their land.

    Dr. Sherman imagines the whole world cooperating in implementing his plan in an orderly, humane way. This is Utopian fantasizing. The international community, for seventy years, has shown absolutely no interest in helping Israel to resolve its Palestinian problem.

    2) Israel’s largely unelected ruling elite is just as adamantly opposed to Dr. Sherman’s scheme as the international community, or perhaps even more so. It will never even consider implementing such a plan, because of its pro-Palestinian-Arab and anti-Zionist ideology (although they deny being anti-Zionist, in fact Israel’s ruling class is hostile to Zionist objectives. I am sure that Dr. Sherman is aware of this).

    Yet Dr. Sherman has ignored my proposal that he combine with other Israeli patriots in a campaign to dislodge this disloyal ruling class by changing the current system for appointing all-powerful officials without any reference to parliament or Cabinet officers. That , at least, is something that Israeli Jews could do for themselves without requiring the approval of the International community. Foreign governments are much less likely to take harsh reprisals against Israel for changes in its internal politics than they are for Israeli policies that they perceive as unjust to the Arabs.

    I hope that Dr. Sherman will at last respond to these realistic critiques of his proposal, rather than just knocking down the straw men as he has done in his past two columns.

  4. @ Adam Dalgliesh

    changing the current system for appointing all-powerful officials ..

    One will not fix government problems by changing the way in which its biggest bureaucrats are hired.

  5. Kudos to Martin Sherman, the HP will work , and should be implemented along another big political frame ” the Three States Solution ” . Gaza can be united to Egypt – Parts of Area A+B can be united to Jordan – The rest will be united to Israel .
    We are at the crossroads , the 2SS his vanishing as the pipe-dream of the weakest israeli leaders we suffered from 1992 to 2016 . The arab world is declining quickly , they have lost their oil leverage , Russia is a minor player always sitting with the loosing side , Trump will drive out Iran from Syria ; therefore we have more cards in our hands than we ever had . We must avoid at all cost the resurrection of the 2SSc silliness ; Now is the time to press on the HP and the three states solution .

  6. @ Adam Dalgliesh:
    You write ” any attempt to implement such a plan would bring down the wrath of the international community, which would regard it as a criminal enterprise, as they did when Serbia and the Bosnian Serb entity allegedly implemented a similar plan in the 1990s (they actually didn’t; but that’s not the point)”

    There is no similarity at all – and if I was not convinced of your good intentions I would find the comparison offensive.

    The Serbs never offered Muslims any relocation/rehabilitation funds generous or otherwise. There/their ethnic cleansing was based of coercive ejection and mass massacres ( eg Srebrenica genocide).

    Indeed, if I remember correctly, it was actually the the Serbs in Kosovo were ethnically cleansed by the Muslims without any vociferous world protest (seen for example Ethnic ‘cleansing’ threat to Serbs in Kosovo; and Ethnic cleansing)

    BTW – Populations transfers were common in the 20th century and Fridtjof Nansen was even awarded the Nobel Prize for facilitating them in the dispute between Greece and Turkey (1923) . As late as 1975 UN supervised population transfers brought stability to Cyprus after decades of inter ethnic fighting

    However what I am proposing is economic enhancement not ethnic cleansing

    You do not explain (only speculate) why would Israeli incur the wrath of world for providing non-belligerent Palestinians the opportunity of a better more secure life out of harms way free from the cruel corrupt cliques who have led them from debacle to disaster for decades; rather than acquiescing to the establishment of yet another Muslim majority tyranny whose hallmarks are gender bias, homophobia, religious intolerance, and political repression.

    Remember I always stipulate that Israel will need to company (indeed) precede the implementation with a massive public diplomacy offensive

    You write: “…the present ruling elite in Israel will never even consider your proposal.”

    Actually, that has not been my experience. But the same is true for any policy proposal other than the two-state formula or the non-Jewish one state.

    If the current elites endorsement is the a necessary condition for advancing a polcy proposal which di you suggest I support?

    You write: “Dr. Sherman has ignored my proposal that he combine with other Israeli patriots in a campaign to dislodge this disloyal ruling class by changing the current system for appointing all-powerful officials without any reference to parliament or Cabinet officers.”

    1. This of course is self contradictory. If the ruling elites consent is required for a policy to be adopted. Why/how would hey consent to a change that would diminish/eliminate their power. Why would securing such a change me more feasible than securing support of the my Palestinian-policy proposal??

    2. The epicenter of the “ruling elites” is their position on the Palestinians issue and Jewish control of Judea-Samaria. Nothing would do more to undermine their hold on power than discrediting the positions on this issue — and clearly this cannot be done unless one presents an alternative policy position

  7. @ ms:Dear Dr. Sherman,

    JL: You make some excellent points and call attention to some highly relevant facts in this reply. However, I still don’t think that you have made a strong case that your humanitarian solution will be implementable in the near future or even the middle term, although I hope that it can will be implemented eventually. At the present moment, I don’t even see much point in advocating it.

    I have inserted my own point-by-point responses to your responses below, which explain why my view of this prosal remains unchanged, despite the rational arguments for it that you advance.

    MS: You write ” any attempt to implement such a plan would bring down the wrath of the international community, which would regard it as a criminal enterprise, as they did when Serbia and the Bosnian Serb entity allegedly implemented a similar plan in the 1990s (they actually didn’t; but that’s not the point)”

    There is no similarity at all – and if I was not convinced of your good intentions I would find the comparison offensive.

    The Serbs never offered Muslims any relocation/rehabilitation funds generous or otherwise. There/their ethnic cleansing was based of coercive ejection and mass massacres ( eg Srebrenica genocide).

    JL:This is certainly the way the international criminal court, the international press, and the NATO governments described Serb actions. But I carefully studied press reports at the time the Yugoslav wars were actually fought, and came upon glaring inconsistencies which convinced me that this version of events was a lie. Subsequent research by Dr. Francisco Gil-White, publisher of the HIRSTORY web site, has confirmed my suspicions. A careful reading of New York Times dispatches, despite their extreme anti-Serb tone, revealed to me that many thousands of the non-Serb refugees were evacuated in an orderly way, patiently waiting for the UN High Commission for Refugees to arrange new homes for them, and or to set up well-equipped refugee camps where they could be temporarily housed while awaiting resettlement. During the waiting period, these prospective refugees were allowed to remain in their homes by the Serb authorities and were not mistreated. In most parts of Serb-held Bosnia,, the Serb authorities not only did not force the non-Serb inhabitants out, but actually discouraged, and in some places even prevented them from leaving. It is true that there were some Serb soldiers and armed civilians who committed atrocities; but no solid evidence was ever produced that most Serb soldiers behaved in this manner, or that atrocities were committed on orders from the government of Serbia or the Bosnian Serb republic. Even the alleged Srebrenica
    Massacre may not have occurred; years later, the New York Times published a brief reference to the victims having been killed “while attempting to escape.” This conflicted with the original Times version that the victims were killed execution-style while in Serb concentration camps. Instead, the altered account dovetailed with Serb claims that the victims were Bosnian-Muslim soldiers who were ambushed while they were attempting to evacuate Srebrenica following its fall to the Serb forces. Such an ambush of soldiers who are attempting a retreat under fire does not violate international law, even if it proves to be a “turkey shoot.”

    In other words, at least some of the resettlement of non-Serbs outside of Serb-controlled areas was conducted in the orderly and humane way that you suggest for your humanitarian solution. The Serb authorities assisted in this process in many parts of Bosnia. However, this did not persuade the “international community,” the criminal courts it set up (with politically appointed and subservient judges) or the thousands of journalists who took their cues from these organizations that the Serbs were not guilty of “ethnic cleansing.”

    The governments that passed judgment on the Serbs were neither truthful, nor reasonable or nor fair. But they had power. Is there any rational basis for thinking that the “international community,” including the Western powers, would treat Israel more fairly than they did the Serbs, if Israel were to openly attempt to alter the ethnic composition of Israel/Palestine? International treaties as well as court rulings have now defined any state-sponsored effort to change the ethnic composition of a country as “ethnic cleansing,” and hence a war crime. And while the international community often ignores or tacitly condones “ethnic cleansing” when it is done by governments that are not on its “S__ list,” Israel has been at the very top of this “S___list” for decades, even higher up on it than Serbia. Any Israeli policy that the “community” (meaning the United Nations and its associated network of organizations, NGOs, etc.) could plausibly depict as “ethnic cleansing,” however misleading and unfair this accusation would be, would provide Israel’s extremely numerous and powerful enemies with the plausible pretext that they need to convince the peoples of the world that harsh punitive sanctions against Israel are justified.

    It is true, as you point out, that the Serbs did not offer any financial compensation to the departing refugees. However, Israel has offered financial compensation many times to the Palestinians who left Israel during the War of Independence. This has not prevented Israel from being accused of “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian-Arabs during the that war. The unfair accusations, in fact, have been supported by many members of Israel’s intellectual and journalistic establishments, such as Benny Morris and Ari Shavit, as well as by leading politicians, such as Ehud Barak. The “international community” has in no way accepted that financial compensation legitimates state-sponsored ethnicity-based resettlement.

    MS: Indeed, if I remember correctly, it was actually the the Serbs in Kosovo were ethnically cleansed by the Muslims without any vociferous world protest (seen for example Ethnic ‘cleansing’ threat to Serbs in Kosovo; and Ethnic cleansing).

    JL:Quite true. But the Albanians are not on the community’s “S__list,” but rather are members of the club. The same is true of the Turks, whose brutal “ethnic cleansing” of Northern Cyprus in 1974 has never been labeled as such by the international community, which instead has quietly condoned and facilitated it. But again, the fact that “ethnic cleansing” is tacitly condoned by the UN et al when done by members in good standing with the community, does not mean it would be condoned if enacted by Israel.

    MS:However what I am proposing is economic enhancement not ethnic cleansing.

    JL: As explained above, that is not the way the Western powers, Russia, China, the OIC and its 57 constituent nations, or most other members of the United Nations would perceive your plan.

    MS:You do not explain (only speculate) why would Israeli incur the wrath of world for providing non-belligerent Palestinians the opportunity of a better more secure life out of harms way free from the cruel corrupt cliques who have led them from debacle to disaster for decades; rather than acquiescing to the establishment of yet another Muslim majority tyranny whose hallmarks are gender bias, homophobia, religious intolerance, and political repression.

    JL:Israel would incur the wrath of the world mainly because it is prejudiced against Israel and Jews. Whatever the original reasons for it, antisemitism is at least two thousand years old, and has become an integral part of both Western and Islamic culture. Any plausible “humanitarian” rationale that could be sold to the world as proof of Israel’s supposed inhumanity and evil will be exploited to punish and isolate Israel, and the fairly recent “ethnic cleansing” doctrine in one such plausible although fallacious rationale. As for “the establishment of yet another Muslim majority state whose hallmarks are gender bias,” etc., why should the IC object to the creation of one more such state, when there are already 57 such states in the United Nations, many of them possessing vast petroleum resources that the world covets, many of them very wealthy and with extensive investments in the West, major customers for Western armaments, construction products, etc? From the point of the world’s “statemen,” all that wealth and resources is much more important than fairness, justice and truth, even though they will never admit this in public.

    This last point of yours gets to the heart of where we differ; you appear to be convinced that most of the world’s governments are run by men and women as humane, progressive, and rational as you are, while I am convinced of exactly the opposite.

    MS: Remember I always stipulate that Israel will need to company (indeed) precede the implementation with a massive public diplomacy offensive.

    JL: Before that can be done, we need a government that is will to conduct such a campaign, run it properly, advance the correct arguments and policies, and of course provide the necessary funding.

    MS: You write: “…the present ruling elite in Israel will never even consider your proposal.”

    Actually, that has not been my experience. But the same is true for any policy proposal other than the two-state formula or the non-Jewish one state.

    JL:The second sentence of this paragraph explains why I think changes in the personnel who rule Israel, and making them accountable to the Israeli people, is necessary to make possible serious consideration of your proposal, and all other proposed solutions that are better than either the “two-state formula” or the “non-Jewish one state.” Before you can sell your proposed solution to the international community, you would first have to sell it to the Israel government. And that is impossible as long as the present clique of leftist ideologues remain in place. Leftist ideologues almost never change their minds in order to accommodate reality or human decency. They must be replaced before the Israeli government will consider yours or any other constructive proposals.

    MS: If the current elites endorsement is the a necessary condition for advancing a policy proposal which di you suggest I support?

    JL:I believe that it would be more useful at this stage in Israel’s history to promote changes in Israel’s ruling class rather than to seek the approval of the current elites for any proposal to achieve long-term security for Israel proposal. The most important proposal to advance now would be to replace the system by which the holders of positions that have vast power, including vast power to block pro-Zionist and national-defense-oriented policies. Changes in personnel, and in order to accomplish this, changes in the method by which key personnel are chosen, are the proposals that need to be advanced now. Only when these changes are adopted, perhaps through the passage of new basic laws, will it be possible to place people in charge who will at least be prepared to listen to yours, and other patriots’ proposals for achieving victory in the struggle for long-term security, stability and peace for Israel.

    Some other public diplomacy campaigns that it would be useful to conduct now would be to expose the systematic discrimination against Jews in land claims disputes in Judea-Samaria, the unjust detention and slander of “settlers” imprisoned without trial on the basis of shaky evidence, or confessions extorted by torture, exposing the myth of a “price-tag” campaign by settlers (and it is a myth), exposing the banning of patriotic books and attempts to use the legal system to silence patriotic activists publicizing recent legal scholarship that demonstrates that Israel is the true sovereign in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. I realize that you have done work in these areas in the past. I wish you would return to them, since so much more needs to be done on these issues. These are activist advocacy campaigns that could accomplish positive results in the near or at least middle term future, by enabling more settlement of the land of Israel, ending the destruction of settlements by Israel’s government, allowing patriotic activists freedom to be active, and preparing the public to grasp Israel’s legitimate right to our land. These preliminary steps will ultimately pave the way for the more sweeping measures that you advocate, but which can’t be accomplished until sometime in the fairly distant future. Let us concentrate on what can be accomplished now.

    MS: You write: “Dr. Sherman has ignored my proposal that he combine with other Israeli patriots in a campaign to dislodge this disloyal ruling class by changing the current system for appointing all-powerful officials without any reference to parliament or Cabinet officers.”

    This of course is self contradictory. If the ruling elites consent is required for a policy to be adopted. Why/how would hey consent to a change that would diminish/eliminate their power. Why would securing such a change me more feasible than securing support of the my Palestinian-policy proposal??

    JL:I don’t propose either to obtain the consent of the present ruling elites to major policy changes or to ask them to consent to their removal from power. I propose to remove them from power by appealing to the majority of Israeli Jews to mobilize to oust them from power, A revolution, if you like, although one that I believe can be accomplished peacefully, by applying public pressure on parliament to pass new basic laws.

    The epicenter of the “ruling elites” is their position on the Palestinians issue and Jewish control of Judea-Samaria. Nothing would do more to undermine their hold on power than discrediting the positions on this issue — and clearly this cannot be done unless one presents an alternative policy position.

    JL:An excellent point. I heartily agree in principle. But I believe that the Israeli public is not yet ready to consider your proposal, because they believe, correctly, that it is not now an implementable alternative. Why not work to give them actual power, and take it away from the entrenched minority that now possesses it? Once empowered, and once they see improvements in Israel’s diplomatic and military situation, the people may well consider yours as well as other constructive proposals for achieving long-term security, stability and peace for Israel.

Comments are closed.