INTO THE FRAY: The Humanitarian Paradigm – Hobson’s Choice for Israel (Part II)


By rigorous process of elimination, we are left with the Humanitarian Paradigm, as the only possible policy prescription able to adequately address the imperatives needed to preserve Israel as the nation state of Jews.

O, who can hold a fire in his hand; By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?

Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite; By bare imagination of a feast?

Or wallow naked in December snow; By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?

– William Shakespeare,  in Richard II, Act1 Scene 3, on the futility of self-deception

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. Sherlock Holmes, “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

Last week I began  a two-part analysis of the policy paradigms that have emerged in the public discourse for dealing with the more-than-century old dispute between Jews and Arabs over control of the Holy Land as the conflict approaches its third post-Oslo decade.

In it, I identified four such archetypical paradigms for its resolution—and one for its “management” (a.k.a. its perpetuation). Moreover, I undertook to demonstrate that only one of these alternatives, the Humanitarian Paradigm, advocating funded emigration of the Arab residents of Judea-Samaria (and eventually Gaza)—is consistent with the long-term survival of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. Accordingly, for those dedicated to the preservation of the Zionist ideal, it is nothing less than “Hobson’s choice”.

To recap briefly

Readers will recall that I confined the analysis last week to those policy proposals that eschew full or partial Israeli annexation of territory, deferring analysis of those that endorse such annexation for this week’s discussion.

To recap briefly: In the aforementioned prior analysis I dealt with the (a) idea of “managing the conflict” and (b) the two-state formula.

As for the former, it was shown to reflect disregard for the fact that, without appropriate decisive proactive initiatives, Israel is facing a growing threat and decreasing freedom to deal with it.

Accordingly, “managing the conflict” is little more than a pretext for backing away from confrontations in which Israel can prevail, while backing into a confrontation in which Israel might not prevail—or do so only at ruinous cost.

As for the latter, it has shown to be a fatally flawed formula, devoid of any sound theoretical foundation or empirical evidence on which to base its naïve prognoses for resolving the conflict by means of Palestinian statehood. Indeed, given the past precedents, there is little reason to believe—and  two-state proponents have never provided one—that any future Palestinian state will not rapidly become a mega-Gaza on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv, precipitating all the harrowing realities, wrought on the hapless residents of the South on those of the coastal megalopolis.

So having dealt with the policy paradigms that eschew annexation– whether full or partial–it is now time to assess those that endorse it.

One-state: Lebanonization of Israeli society

Some pundits on the Israeli “Right”, keenly aware of the infeasibility of the two-state paradigm, have in large measure adopted—albeit for very different reasons—a prescription very similar to that touted by their radical Left-wing adversaries—that of a single state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

According to this proposal, Israel should extend its sovereignty over the entire area of Judea-Samaria and offer immediate permanent residency to all its Palestinian-Arab residents, as well as the right to apply for citizenship at some undefined date, via some undefined process to ascertain loyalty—or at least the absence of disloyalty—to Israel as the Jewish nation state.

The rationale, allegedly underpinning this ill-conceived proposal, is the new, optimistic demographic assessments suggesting that even if Israel were to enfranchise the Muslim population of Judea-Samaria, it would still retain a more than 60% Jewish majority.

Even conceding that this may be true, such a measure is likely to herald disaster for the Zionist enterprise and the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews. For the initial electoral arithmetic is hardly the defining factor in assessing the prudence of this approach, but rather the devastating effect it will have on the socio-economic fabric of the country and the impact this will have on preserving Israel as a desired/desirable place of residence for Jews inside and outside the country.

It would take considerable—and unsubstantiated—faith to entertain the belief that Israel could sustain itself as a Jewish nation-state with a massive Muslim minority of almost 40% – as the societal havoc that far smaller proportions have wrought in Europe indicate.
Indeed this is a clear recipe for the Lebanonization of Israeli society with all the inter-ethnic strife that tore Israel’s unfortunate northern neighbor apart.

Lebanonization of Israel (cont.)

Any forlorn hope that life under Israeli sovereignty will somehow “domesticate” the Palestinian-Arabs into reconciling themselves to life in the Jewish nation-state should have been well and truly dashed by the behavior of Israel’s Arab citizens.

After all, despite living (and prospering) for seven decades under Israeli sovereignty—and more than  a half-century after military rule over the Arab population was abolished—they not only voted, almost en-bloc, for the vehemently anti-Zionist “Joint List” in the 2015 elections, but displayed great empathy in a mass funeral for the terrorists, from the Israeli town of Um-al Fahm, who murdered two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount.

Once the Arab population of Judea-Samaria becomes incorporated into Israel’s permanent population, at least two crucial elements of national life are almost certain to be dramatically—and in Zionist-compliant terms, negatively –impacted.  The one is the distribution of national resources; the other is population flows into, and out of, the country.

With regard to the former, clearly once the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria—whether enfranchised or not—become incorporated into the country’s permanent population, Israel will not be able to afford the kind of socio-economic disparities that prevail between the pre- and post-annexation segments of the population.

Accordingly, huge budget resources will have to be diverted to reduce these disparities – siphoning off funds currently spent on the Jewish population (and Israeli Arabs) in terms of welfare, medical care, infrastructure, education and so on.

Indeed, if enfranchisement (eventual or immediate) is envisaged, the electoral potential of the Arab sector is liable to be elevated from its current 13-15 seats in parliament to 25-30.  This will not only hugely bolster its ability to demand enhanced budgetary allotments, but also make it virtually impossible to form a governing coalition without their endorsement.

Moreover, collaboration   on various ad hoc parliamentary initiatives with radical Jewish left-wing factions is likely to nullify any formal calculations of an ostensible “Jewish majority”, and lead to legislative enterprises that ultra-Zionist proponents of annexation would strongly oppose – in an ironic manifestation of unintended consequences. 

Partial Annexation: The Balkanization of Israel

Thus, while full annexation of Judea-Samaria will almost inevitably result in the Lebanonization of Israel—i.e.  create a single society, so fractured by interethnic strife that it would be untenable as the nation- state of the Jewish people; proposals for the partial annexation of Judea-Samaria will result in the Balkanization of Israel –  (i.e. dividing the territory up into disconnected autonomous enclaves, which will be recalcitrant, rivalrous and rejectionist, creating an ungovernable reality for Israel.)

Proposals for partial annexation appear to be fueled by (a) concern that total annexation would be too drastic a step for the international community to “swallow”, and (b) a sense that some semblance of self-rule must be facilitated for the Arabs resident in Judea and Samaria. As will be shown, partial annexation will address neither of these issues effectively. Indeed quite the opposite is true.

Proposals for partial annexation are commonly of two types:  Those that prescribe including  selected areas of Judea-Samaria under Israeli sovereignty   (such as Area C as advanced by Education Minister Naftali Bennett) ; and those that prescribe excluding certain selected areas from Israeli sovereignty such as the large urban centers in  Judea-Samaria (such as advanced by Dr. Mordechai Kedar in his “Emirates” plan)

Sadly, neither of these paradigms will solve any of the diplomatic or security problems Israel faces today, and will in fact exacerbate many.

The Balkanization of Israel (cont)

It is hardly necessary to go into the intricate details of the individual proposals for partial annexation to grasp how impractical they really are.

For whatever the configuration of the un-annexed areas left to Arab administration –whether the disconnected enclaves of Areas A and B, or the micro-mini “city states”—they will leave the sovereign territory of Israel with dauntingly long and contorted frontiers, making it almost impossible to delineate and secure. Clearly if one cannot effectively demarcate and secure one’s sovereign territory, there is little meaning to one’s sovereign authority over that territory.

Although Haaretz is not my preferred source of reference, I find it difficult to disagree with the following assessment of Bennett’s plan for annexing Area C:

 “… Bennett’s plan is groundless from the security, diplomatic, legal and, especially, physical angles. It’s easy to discern that, contrary to what was presented in a video produced by Bennett’s…party recently, Areas A and B in the West Bank are not contiguous blocs, spreading over 40 percent of the West Bank. Instead, they consist of no less than 169 Palestinian blocs and communities, cut off from one another by innumerable Israeli corridors and unused IDF firing zones that are together defined as Area C”.

It correctly pointed out: “… in fact, Bennett is proposing to increase the length of the Israeli border from 313 kilometers to 1,800 kilometers (194 to 1,118 miles). If [one] believe[s] Bennett, he will doubtless back the dismantling of the security barrier that Israel has built to the tune of 15 billion shekels ($3.9 billion), but [one] will have to accept that annexing Area C means Israel will have to build a barrier along the new border at the cost of 27 billion shekels and allocate another 4 billion shekels per year for maintenance purposes.” 

Partial Annexation: Full political price

Similar criticism can be leveled at Kedar’s proposal for setting up an array of up to eight micro-mini “emirates” or city states.  It is not difficult to envisage the problems of future expansion beyond the highly constricted confines of disconnected enclaves, and of the need to severely curtail the authority of the local administration to deal with cross border issues such as pollution (particularly the carcinogenic emissions of the wide spread charcoal industry), sewage, pollution  from  industrial effluents, agricultural run-off, transmissible diseases and so on.

Of course, any hopes that partial annexation, which entails extending Israeli sovereignty over about 65-75% of the territory, leaving the Palestinian-Arabs with an emasculated  25-30%, in a quilted patchwork of disconnected enclaves and corridors, will in any way diminish  international censure, are utterly unfounded. The political “pain” involved in such schemes would be no less than annexing 100% of the territory—without having to deal with the attendant chronic problems associated with partial annexation (as detailed above).

Fanciful suggestions  that Nablus and Hebron might flourish into entities like Monaco and Luxembourg are as risible as those which, in the heady days of Oslo, predicted that Gaza would become the Hong Kong of the Mid East—and would be rightfully rejected as such.

Humanitarian Paradigm: Hobson’s choice

Even from the far-from-exhaustive analysis conducted over the last two weeks, it should be clear that an indisputable picture emerges as to the Zionist-compliant feasibility of the various policy paradigms proposed for dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


– The attempt to manage the conflict is little more than a formula for backing away from confrontations in which Israel can prevail, while backing into a confrontation in which Israel might not prevail—or may do so only at ruinous cost.

– The two-state paradigm will almost inevitably result in the establishment of a yet another homophobic, misogynistic, Muslim-majority tyranny, which will rapidly become a mega-Gaza on the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv, menacing the socio-economic routine in the commercial hub of the country.

-Full annexation of Judea-Samaria together with the Arab population will result in the Lebanonization of Israeli society and thrust the country into ruinous inter-ethnic strife that will imperil it status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

– Partial annexation of Judea-Samaria will result in the Balkanization of Israel, dividing the territory up into disconnected, rivalrous, recalcitrant and unsustainable autonomous enclaves, which will create an ungovernable reality for Israel.

Thus, by a rigorous process of deductive elimination we are left with the Humanitarian Paradigm, advocating funded emigration for non-belligerent Palestinian-Arabs to third party countries, as the only possible paradigm that can adequately address both the geographic and demographic imperatives needed to preserve Israel as the nation state of Jews.

As such, for Zionists, it is Hobson’s choice. Anything else is self-deception

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


August 10, 2017 | 12 Comments »

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  1. @ ms: No, Dr. Sherman, I don’t advocate doing nothing. Nor do I even object to you “humanitarian solution” in principle. Israel at some point will have to take measures to improve the demographic situation of Jews in Eretz Israel. My sole objection to the “humanitarian paradigm” is that it is not timely to raise this issue now, when it will not be possible to implement it for a very long time to come (at least not openly and avowedly) for all the reasons that I have explained many times in the past.

    I am working on an article with my own action plan for Israel, but poor health in recent months has slowed my progress in completing it. But I will give here the main outline of it:

    1. A fierce struggle to expose and oust the Israeli “deep state.” The specific practical measures that this campaign will seek will be a change in Israel’s basic laws that will allow only elected officials to appoint and dismiss other powerful officials . It will also require the Knesset to confirm these officials and subject them to public hearings before they are appointed. And it will severely limit the powers of the courts to veto legislation and executive decisions. This campaign will be prolonged and difficult, but nothing else of any consequence can be achieved in the struggle for Israeli-Jewish security and rights until this preliminary measure is accomplished.

    Step two will be a massive counter-propaganda and international education campaign to discredit the false accusations against Israel and demonstrate that the Israelis are the “good guys” in the conflict, and its enemies are the “bad guys.” You have of course proposed this yourself. But it won’t be possible until Step One is accomplished, because the deep-staters in power now will never permit it. It would also be necessary to give the officers appointed to implement this program thorough instructions in how political propaganda is conducted, and to deprogram them from their own self-defeating ideas in this regard.

    3, Vigorously oppose specific present-day policies and actions that limit Jewish settlement and encourage Arab settlement in the territories. This would include the outrageous discrimination against Jews residents in land-claim cases that the Supreme court has enacted. Of course this will require replacing the present justices with patriotic, pro-Zionist ones (vide Step One).

    4.Take advantage of the massive armed attacks on Israel that are bound to to be carried out in the future to not only repel the attackers, but also to improve Israel’s long-term security and and demographic situation, under the cover of strict communications censorship and “the fog of war.”

    5. Steel Israelis to the reality that peace is not at hand, and that are no diplomatic solutions or even unilateral Israeli measures that can end the conflict in the near or even middle-term future. Israel may have to endure besiegement, “low-intensity” warfare (i.e. terrorism ) and occasional high-intensity all out warfare for the next fifty to a hundred years–perhaps even longer. But if Israelis can steel themselves to this likelihood and to the need to endure and maintain faith in ultimate victory, I believe that that victory is attainable.

  2. @ adamdalgliesh:
    So the operational conclusion is ??????

    Do only what the “deep state” will permit???

    Submit to international pressure – no matter how perilous the consequences??

    He has never been willing to confront the immense obstacles to the implementation his plan or to demonstrate how it could be done without enraging the entire “international community” and bringing down very harsh punitive sanctions on Israel.

    The first order of business would be to devise and deploy a political “Iron Dome” to protect Israel from the incoming barrages of delegitimization and demonization…

    Perhaps the most important lesson the pro-Zionist advocates of today should learn from the Palestinians is this: “If you will it, it is no fantasy.”

    Israel’s greatest strategic challenge, its gravest strategic failure, its grimmest strategic danger is the (mis)conduct of its public diplomacy.


    Continued impotence and incompetence in the (mis)conduct of Israel’s public diplomacy is becoming not only strategic threat to the country but is beginning to imperil Jewish communities abroad.

    Nor has he offered any means of overcoming the adamant opposition to this plan by Israel’s “deep state” or semi-hidden permanent government, which is not accountable to the Israeli electorate or anyone else.

    Kindly peruse:
    See: Mission Statement; Methodological

    all of these columns have had absolutely no impact on Israeli government policy …

    On the other hand, the Oslo Process and the Disengagement DID make an impact – so perhaps that is not the most appropriate criterion to adopt

  3. “There’s none so blind as those who will not see”–English proverb”

    “Against stupidity, even the gods wage war in vain”–Roman proverb.

    “He whom the gods will destroy, they first make mad.”–Euripedes.

    Dr. Sherman has no repeated his “humanitarian” proposal in at least forty columns, if not more. But all of these columns have had absolutely no impact on Israeli government policy or public opinion. He has never been willing to confront the immense obstacles to the implementation his plan or to demonstrate how it could be done without enraging the entire “international community” and bringing down very harsh punitive sanctions on Israel. Nor has he offered any means of overcoming the adamant opposition to this plan by Israel’s “deep state” or semi-hidden permanent government, which is not accountable to the Israeli electorate or anyone else.

    As I have explained before, during the the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, the international press, led by the New York Times, which coined the term, depicted the supposed efforts of Serbia to rid Bosnia-Herzegovinia of its non-Serb “ethnic cleansing.” The UN Security Council, and two separate international criminal courts that it established, quickly adopted the term coined by the New York Times. declared it a “war crime” and a “crime against humanity,” and sentenced many Serbian officials to life imprisonment for this newly invented offense. A series of rulings by these courts further defined any effort to pressure or encourage members of a particular ethnic group to leave their country, in order to secure an overwhelming majority for the dominant ethnic group as “ethnic cleansing”, even when the methods used to accomplish this goal were non-violent.

    A second reason why the “international community” would impose severe sanctions on Israel if it ever adopted Dr. Sherman’s proposal, is that it would greatly reinforce and confirm the Arab “narrative” that the “Zionists” have been driving the Arab population out of the country for the past hundred years, in order to seize their land for Jews. This confirmation of the Arab narrative would provide the “international community” with yet another justification for harshly sanctioning Israel.

    The third major obstacle to the Sherman plan is that Israel’s administrative “deep state” shares these false perceptions of the international community and will never permit any Israeli government to implement it. Israel’s de facto permanent government is dominated by leftists who are anti-Zionist in fact, although not openly.

    Dr. Sherman’s unwillingness to confront the obstacles to his program, of which he is no doubt well aware, have meant that his constant reiteration of this proposal has had no impact whatsoever. It hasn’t moved his plan any nearer to implementation. It will never gain widespread public support in Israel, or much the less abroad. It is what Henry Kissinger once called a “non-starter”

  4. @ Bear Klein:

    I understand your point, but, in the long term, MY point is, that regardless of how co-operative and well behaved an Arab can be, and MAY be, he has an inbred hereditary hatred of Jews, which may or may not come out in his generation. If not then his son, or grandson, will be radicalised-to be polite..

    There’s no way around it, they are believers in the Koran, and sometime or other they will go out one morning…to kill a Jew. The Druze as far as I know, do not regard themselves as Muslims but of a completely different, esoteric faith. But yet again, there are some Druze who co-operate and work with the Islamists, for instance on the Golan, where they have cross border-ties.

  5. @ Edgar G.:
    I make the analogy any Arab who act like the Druze should have a shot at citizenship after years of examination and proof. Some carrots and not all sticks would apply. This would end up being a small amount of people. I am for getting rid of all terrorists and their supporters one way or the other. Encouraging others who are peaceful but do not want to be part of the Jewish State to emigrate with assistance.

  6. @ watsa46:

    Yes they do; Including Gaza it’s over a million and a 1/2 fewer than the PA “census”, which was done around 1995 by their demographic dept headed by their “expert” chief…..who happened to have been Arafat’s brother. He included Jerusalem Arabs twice, also overseas and emigrated Arabs, likely those long dead, and likely added another 500,000 for “luck”. You know they was Arabs doe things…… All liars, propagandists and deceivers.

    Yoram Ettinger an expert demographer has published this some time ago in this aite.. And there was a detailed census taken by a duo, can’t remember their names, also experts, who disputed the P.A. results by about the same amount or a bit more.

  7. Bear Klein has it right. All arabs should be termed palestinian and removed to Jordan if they don’t want to migrate elsewhere. This includes arab settlements within the green line as much as arab settlements within Judea and Samaria. The palestinians in Gaza can stay in hell if they want…

  8. @ Bear Klein:

    I am totally against allowing ANY Arab to become an Israeli citizen. We akready have about 24% Arab citizens. In answer to Caroline Glick’s mishugas of making ALL the YESHA Arabs into citizens, I’ve repeatedly written that a 35% Arab minority partly radicalised and terror permeated would be far to unstable a minority to handle. As we keep seeing, a major proportion of Israel Arabs are already strongly supporting Arab terrorism and increasingly taking an active part.

    They ALL need to be removed and Political Correctness neglected. We must be pragmatists, and do what’s needed.

    There should be little or NO hardship for the Israeli Arab population, which as a whole cannot be trusted, to remove to any of the Heinz selection of Muslim nations available to them. The sensible thing for them would be to remove to Jordan. ANYWHERE but Israel, and keep in their collective mind as another “tradition” that they brought it upon themselves.

  9. why would anyone in their right mind make the approximately 1,500,000 Arabs (of Area A/B in Judah & Samaria) Israeli residents yet alone citizens. This is a terrorist’s dream, to be able to freely travel all over Israel with an Israeli ID card.


  10. The oslo Declaration
    It was decided to issue a statement, the Potsdam Declaration, defining “Unconditional Surrender” and clarifying what it meant for the position of the p a terrorist personally. The American and British governments will strongly disagreed on this point—the State of ISRAEL wants to abolish the position and possibly try him as a war criminal, while the British wanted to retain the position, perhaps with abbarse still reigning.
    On the month of august, the State of ISRAEL, SHOULD released the OSLO Declaration announcing the terms for plo, pa, hamas etc. with the warning, “We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.” For the pali terrorist, the terms of the declaration specified:
    the elimination “for all time [of] the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people palies into embarking on world conquest”
    the occupation of “points in J – S territory to be designated by the ISRAELIS”
    that the “plo. pa sovereignty shall be limited to the lands of east of amman and such minor lands as we determine.” As had been announced in the mandate in 1922, palli lamd was to be reduced to her pre-640ad territory and stripped of any thoughts pre-war empire.
    that “[t]he pali terrorist military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.”
    that “[w]e do not intend that the pali shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our citizens.”

    A session of the Potsdam Conference – those pictured include Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Joseph Stalin, William D. Leahy, James F. Byrnes, and Harry S. Truman
    On the other hand, the declaration stated that:
    “The pali terror gang shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies in other lands. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.”
    “plo pa shallmot be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to rearm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall not be permitted. Eventual plo pa participation in world trade relations shall never be permitted.”
    “The occupying forces of the plo pa shall be withdrawn from all ISRAELI as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established, in accordance with the freely expressed will of the pali people,
    The only use of the term “unconditional surrender” shall came at the end of the declaration:
    “We call upon the u n, e u, usa. gb to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all plo paarmed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for the pallis is prompt and utter destruction.”
    thank you potsdam

  11. The Arabs (now called Palestinians) say their goals are liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque, the liberation of Jerusalem and the destruction of the State of Israel. They are now rejecting the Trump Team as middle-men to try and achieve peace and will soon revert back to diplomatic warfare sprinkled in with terror attacks to try and defeat Israel.

    Israel must for once and all say as the Palestinians have NO intent to make peace with Israel and that the premise of the Oslo Accords is Null and Void. Israel needs to then start on a long journey to stability and perhaps peace in the very long run.

    Step 1. Apply Israeli Law to all Jewish Towns & Cities in Judea/Samaria plus all the open Areas including the Jordan Valley and the remainder of Area C.

    Step 2. Israel Rounds up terrorists nightly this needs to continue including destroying their support base. Any terrorists or supporters after serving prison times need to be deported.

    Step 3. Starting in Area C and the Arab parts of Jerusalem start buying properties of Arabs who wish to emigrate and assist them in doing so financially and logistically. Those who wish to stay as loyal residents of Israel may stay as residents. Citizenship can be considered after 10 years for those who are loyal and demonstrate this by having their children sign up for National Service and informing on any terrorist activity. They also will be required to learn Hebrew.

    The above are the first steps. Eventually the goal will be for Israel to apply its law to all of Judea/Samaria. However, Israel needs to start progressing with its implemented paradigm. Once Israel has successfully integrated Area C it can then work on Areas A and B.

    Unless you can be sure you know how to successfully help Arabs emigrate overseas and integrate others why would anyone in their right mind make the approximately 1,500,000 Arabs (of Area A/B in Judah & Samaria) Israeli residents yet alone citizens. This is a terrorist’s dream, to be able to freely travel all over Israel with an Israeli ID card.