INTO THE FRAY: Touting Jewish ghettos – Moronic or malevolent?

By Martin Sherman

Given the resistance to removing hundreds of thousands of Jews from their ancient homeland in Judea-Samaria, an egregious idea is emerging: Instead of evacuation, abandonment

The settlements would remain Israeli enclaves inside a Palestinian state. This will enable the establishment of an independent Palestinian state without dismantling Israeli settlements and evacuating their residents…The idea is to prevent the need to evacuate about 100,000 Jewish settlers who will remain beyond the settlement blocs which will be transferred to Israel in exchange for Israeli territories which will be given to the Palestinian state… free access to these enclaves through the territory of the independent Palestinian state will be guaranteed. – Gideon Biger, “Israeli Enclaves in Palestine…”, Jerusalem Post August 15, 2017

The notion of abandoning Jews anywhere to the mercies of hostile regimes strikes me as frankly immoral. The idea that Jews living (with the full approval, I might add, of successive Israeli governments) in Judea and Samaria, should be somehow consigned to the whims of a Palestinian state, suffused with anti-Jewish racism, strikes me as frankly obscene.- Geoffrey Alderman,  “Plan for settlers that’s naive and dumb”, The Jewish Chronicle, January 3, 2014.

Just when you thought the political debate in Israel could not get any crazier—it does.

A cavalcade of craziness

The last two and a half decades, have seen the emergence of several wildly delusional proposals for dealing with the “Palestinian problem”—from both sides of the political spectrum.

Thus, for example, on the Left, the dominant paradigm has been support for the antithesis of all the values the Left professes to ascribe to i.e. the endorsement of a giant Gaza-like entity  on the eastern approaches of  Tel Aviv,  (mis)governed by a misogynistic, homophobic, Islamist tyranny—a.k.a. the two-state principle.

On the Right, proposals range from formulas for the Lebanonization of Israel (via annexation of all of Judea-Samaria, without any clear idea of how to contend with the Arab population resident there), to those for the Balkanization of Israel (via annexation of parts Judea-Samaria, leaving the recalcitrant Arab population largely encapsulated in scattered, disconnected enclaves).

Lately, these calamitous prescriptions have been embellished by similarly unhinged appendages—such as the suggestion to provide the terror-regime in Gaza with a port, despite the fact that, in times of non-belligerence, the modern port of Ashdod, barely 20 miles to the north, can supply all of Gaza’s needs—and in times of  belligerence, Israel has a keen interest in denying Gaza any port services!

In my column last week, I discussed the harebrained scheme to convert Judea-Samaria into a mega-South Lebanon by unilaterally removing the Jewish civilian presence there, but leaving the IDF deployed in a territory over which Israel eschews any claims to sovereignty—thereby, in effect, replicating the conditions that prevailed in the “security zone’ in South Lebanon, which precipitated the 2000 IDF unilateral withdrawal—with undignified haste.

A real doozy

This of course is not an exhaustive list of all the inane initiatives that have been inserted into the political debate in Israel.

Only last week, an additional idea surfaced—or rather, resurfaced.

It was a real doozy.

It  was the suggestion that, sometime somehow in the future,  it would be not only  possible politically, but acceptable morally, to leave (read “abandon”) Jewish communities across the  pre-1967 Green Line as enclaves, within  some future  Palestinian state, with no territorial contiguity with “mainland” Israel.

To the best of my knowledge, the proposal first emerged several years ago. It was articulated in an article published by the well-endowed Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), entitled Jewish Enclaves in a Palestinian State.  It was authored by Gideon Biger, professor emeritus in Tel Aviv University’s Department of Geography and Human Environment and Gilead Sher, a senior research fellow at INSS and head of its Center for Applied Negotiations, who formerly served as Head of Bureau and Policy Coordinator for Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Chief negotiator in talks with the Palestinians (1999-2001).

In it, they acknowledge: “…the evacuation of tens of thousands from their homes and their settlements, including forcible evacuation of those who refuse to leave at the behest of the government, is a difficult task for the country, and could potentially result in bloodshed and civil war.

Accordingly they suggest: Thus there is a need to examine other, less conventional ideas that could reduce the number of Israelis living beyond the final borders of the State of Israel who will need to be evacuated, including the idea of retaining Jewish settlements as enclaves within the borders of a Palestinian state”.

Doozy (cont.)

An article, published several months later by Prof. Alexander Yakobson, a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, entitled “How to deflate the settlements as an issue” expressed similarly egregious sentiments.

In it Yakobson writes: “…the number of settlers there is far higher than on previous occasions when Israel evacuated settlements in Sinai and in Gaza. Many believe that we are fast approaching – if we have not already passed – the point of no return, when the two-state solution becomes infeasible…”

Yakobson stoutly rebuffs any such pessimism regarding the prospects of two-statism.  According to his vision: “…if we are talking about real peace, why can’t there be a Jewish minority in a Palestinian state? The future peace …should recognize the right of those Jews who will find themselves on the Palestinian side of the border to continue living there … as a minority under Palestinian sovereignty”.

This is a question that is both callous and cynical—and one for which Yakobson himself provided the answer, admitting: …It is true that precedents for Jews living under Arab sovereignty, in the decades since Israel’s independence, are not encouraging: No Jewish community has been able to survive anywhere in the Arab world.”

This somber assessment of the ramifications of leaving Jews in a Palestinian state is shared by Biger et Sher, who, perversely, raise the prospect of precisely such a policy: “…there is a decided possibility of friction and clashes between the enclaves and their Palestinian surroundings, which could develop into a state of high intensity open conflict. Many experts believe that from political, security, and practical aspects, the idea is not at all feasible, even in a state of full peace.”

Reckless endangerment or depraved indifference?

In past columns, I have harshly criticized both Biger et Sher (see Infuriating, Insidious, Immoral) and Yakobson (see Mainstreaming Treason?)

Indeed, given the fact that they all seem entirely aware of the probable gory consequences of their proposal, it is difficult to repudiate the charge that it reflects features very reminiscent of the offences of “reckless endangerment” and/or “depraved indifference.

Without engaging in scholarly debate regarding the legalistic differences between the two concepts, it would, in informed layman’s terms, be true to say, that the defining characteristic common to both these terms is that they each entail conduct exhibiting a clear disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the act involved—wfhich creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to others. Significantly, the focus in these offenses is on the risk created by such conduct, not the actual injuries resulting.

So clearly, whatever the sentiments in the hearts of the enclave-enthusiasts, their proposal to abandon Jews living across the pre-1967 Green Line to Palestinian jurisdiction, in effect, comprises a call for conduct that displays stark disregard for foreseeable consequences of the measures involved, thus creating a substantial risk of serious injury to others.

So, reckless endangerment or depraved indifference?

As this is so glaringly apparent, one might have expected such proposals—or any like-minded derivatives—would have been long removed from the public discourse—once and for all.

Sadly, however, as we shall see, this is not the case.

Inverting Zionism?

Clearly, the proposal to abandon Jews to alien sovereignty comprises a grotesque inversion of the Zionist ethos, which always strove to achieve the opposite – bringing Jews to live under Jewish sovereignty.

Perhaps it was the uneasy recognition of this that has led to a recent revision of this pernicious and perilous proposal.

In an opinion piece last week, Biger once again referred to the idea, claiming that Netanyahu had raised the possibility with the Trump administration, stipulating that any Jewish communities left behind would—even if territorially detached—remain under Israeli sovereignty.

He notes: “A similar proposal has been raised in the past in discussions with the Obama administration. Later Netanyahu abolished the idea knowing that it would face right-wing opposition.”

Biger’s contention is corroborated by a Haaretz report, according to which Netanyahu did indeed discuss the “enclave option”. The report claims: “…Netanyahu brought up with U.S. officials the ‘Belgian-Dutch model,’ in which settlements that won’t be annexed will remain as Israeli enclaves”.

Astonishingly, Haaretz sees this willingness to abandon Jews as a “hardening” of Israeli positions, stating: “This is a harsher position than the one he [Netanyahu] presented Obama, when he suggested that settlers who wished to stay in their homes would do so under Palestinian jurisdiction”.

Reinstate ghettos-win a Nobel prize?

Despite all its fatal flaws, Biger still seems to cling to it with enthusiasm, claiming that it will obviate “the need to evacuate about 100,000 Jewish settlers” in the event of any agreement with the Palestinians.

In an attempt to establish the plausibility of this macabre proposal, Biger, who is credited with being, “an expert in international borders”, rattles off a list of locations on the globe where such enclave arrangements exist—each example conspicuous by its irrelevance to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in general and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular.

Indeed, it is difficult to grasp how Biger—or any other enclave-enthusiast—envisages how such isolated entities could be sustained over time—much less develop and prosper.

Clearly, any infrastructure systems serving them—such as power and water conveyance—would have to pass through Palestinian territory, leaving them hopelessly exposed to repeated disruption by the myriad of hostile elements among the local population.

Moreover given the fierce and unequivocal rejection by the Palestinian leadership of any notion of residual Jewish settlers remaining within the confines of some future Palestinian state, Biger’s prognosis that such enclaves “will remain under Israeli sovereignty and their residents will remain Israeli citizens in all respects….free access to these enclaves through the territory of the independent Palestinian state will be guaranteed”, seems wildly detached from any foreseeable reality.

No less risible is Biger’s whimsical question with which he concludes his article: “Will Netanyahu’s proposal to Trump be fulfilled and give Netanyahu and Trump the Nobel Peace Prize.  But on second thoughts, given the identities (and deeds) of several previous laureates, who knows…

Unsustainable sovereignty: Blueprint for bloodshed

Little analytical acumen is required to foresee the gruesome consequences that will evolve should this iniquitous idea be implemented. It is almost inevitable that the envisaged enclaves will be unwelcome in their hostile surroundings—and soon become a focus of friction.

There is no doubt that huge resources will have to be devoted to sustain such Jewish enclaves, preserve their security and the safety of the inhabitants.  It is unlikely that they will be afforded sufficient areas to sustain much local employment, not to mention future development and expansion. Residents will require constant and heavy military escort whenever they wish to avail themselves of the promised “free access”, to and from the enclaves. Every social outing or trip to work will become a perilous adventure.

Soon, calls within “Israel proper” will begin to clamor to curtail the expenditure on such futile entities and divert resources to other goals. The government will come under relentless and growing pressure to cut back on outlays devoted to the preservation of these enclaves, which will be left to wither and expire. Their inhabitants will be left to fend for themselves, literally risking being torn limb from limb—or to return, destitute, to “Israel proper”…

Abandonment- not evacuation

The emerging threat to the Jewish communities today is less government-coerced evacuation and more government-initiated abandonment.

So, although the device of “enclaves” is presented as a measure to preserve Jewish presence in Judea-Samaria, in reality it is little more than a pretext to dismantle it, in stages, and circumvent the inevitable resistance to proactive evacuation, and the national trauma that will entail.

Accordingly, it must be exposed for what it really is—and nipped in the bud before it can gather any significant momentum.

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

August 25, 2017 | 17 Comments » | 1,107 views

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17 Comments / 17 Comments

  1. Why is there still talk of land for peace? What happened to the Victory caucus?The PA has already stated they want to destroy Israel, and the people of Israel have decided they do not want to offer land for peace. Experience has shown that land giveaways do not bring peace. We already know that Abbas lies and does not keep his word in past treaties. Besides this, Abbas refuses to recognize that Israel is a Jewish state. He cannot “make peace” because any negotiation with Israel can cause Arabs to assassinate him. The only reason he shows up for such talks is to pretend he wants peace. He does not care about peace and doesn’t even want a state. Once the might get yet another terror state, it would mean the end of the funds from the world that provide Abbas with the mansion and weapons. The work of building a state is hard, and as we see in Gaza, Hamas would take over and not do much state building. The people in Gaza are suffering; does the world really want another Hamas terror state? People who fail to learn from past experience are doomed to fail and live in fantasy land.

  2. These infiltrated Left Wing, Political Correct euphemisms like …”A Palestinian” State, suffused with anti-Jewish racism”…..

    Why don’t they properly and TRULY describe the Arab obscenities and barbarism as “Anti-Jew Murder Incorporated”, a much more fitting description, unless it should be “Jew-Hate Murder Incorporated”….

    The P.A. is a prominent member of their “Board of Directors”…..contributing the Chairman,,,,, named Murderood Abbas.

  3. Dr. Sherman continues to devote time and energy to refute proposals that have no chance whatsoever of being adopted. The “international community,” including the United States, is willing to consider only one plan–the Saudi-Arab League-Quartet plan for a return to the 1949 Armistice Lines and the “return” of the descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees from Israel within the 1949 Armistice lines. Condemning other proposals by other patriotic Israelis, even though their proposals are just as unrealistic and stillborn as Dr. Sherman’s own “humanitarian” plan, merely serves to increase disunity within the “national camp,” which desperately needs to unite to resist foreign pressure on Israel to submit to the the Arab-League Quartet plan.

  4. Condemning other proposals by other patriotic Israelis… merely serves to increase disunity within the “national camp,” which desperately needs to unite

    Unite around…..?

  5. I believe Stephen Plaut’s proposal answers these problems but I have yet to see anyone debate the pros and cons. His white and black listed Arab villages based on whether or not there is violence is not something I have seen elsewhere. Remember, for many years after Independence, Israeli Arabs lived under military rule.

    Moreover, as you will see, it dovetails very nicely with the ultimate alternate solution because they don’t get Israeli citizenship, they remain Jordanian or Egyptian citizens if they already are, or stateless until they acquire citizenship from somewhere.

    The extent to which they have even autonomy or freedom of movement is based on the presence or absence of violence.

  6. It is not moronic or malevolent to say that, in principle, if Israel tolerates an Arab minority, an Arab state of Palestine must tolerate a Jewish minority and that it is racist to demand that as in fact, the PA does. The PA will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, the farthest it is willing to go is to acknowledge it as an entity of various others, for the time being, while demanding a Judenrein Arab state.

    In the real world, it’s all the stuff of fantasy, however, obviously. These people just want us dead.

    They must never have any kind of state in the Jewish Homeland, and those that do not presently have citizenship must never get it. They must be pushed out.

    And Israel must expand.

    Or die.

    It’s us or them.

    No democracy, no “right to self-determination” for our enemies. True, they are insincere, merely using our own concepts against us. But, it wouldn’t matter if they were sincere.

    Israel can probably safely see what they do with Jordan, 78 percent of the mandate. But, nothing West of the Jordan river. Never.

    All such proposals are crazy and dead in the water from the outset, regardless of what any of us want or don’t want.

  7. With the caveat that Mudhar Zahran is running Jordan. The last thing Israel needs is Hamas, Fatah or the Islamic State running Jordan, not to mention, Iran and its proxies.

  8. @MS

    What exactly do you mean by “Lebanonization”?

    Do you mean a solution which really isn’t a solution whereby the local Arabs are not dealt with properly. Similar to Lebanon, where the end to the civil war there dealt more with outside interests than with those of the local population?

    In other words, continued sectarian violence with outside influence?

  9. @ nfarbstein:
    If you allow me, after Israel withdrew from Lebanon, the minority Hezbollah became strong enough due to birth rates that they were able to control the country even though they are still in the minority.. That’s Lebonization. It used to be a Christian country. No longer.

  10. @ Ted Belman:

    Understood. Thanks.

    So MS is referring to the possibility of Israel being taken over by the Arabs which may or may not rapidly outgrow us (intentionally or by chance) if we do not implement his humanitarian paradign (and kick them out)?

  11. @ Ted Belman:

    Understood. Thanks.

    So MS is referring to the possibility of Israel being taken over by the Arabs which may or may not rapidly outgrow us (intentionally or by chance) if we do not implement his humanitarian paradigm (and kick them out)?

  12. @ nfarbstein:
    “Lebanonization” – refers to the process whereby a society in so riven by inter-ethnic strife between rivalrous ethnic groups that it becomes untenable

  13. Israel needs to win the conflict and impose its will on the Palestinians. Denouncing the Oslo Accords and the goal of a Palestinain State West of the Jordan River.

    You win by removing the terrorists and their supporters.

    New Paradigm for long term peace and stability for Israel

    If you want peace it is time to forget being politically correct and proportional in fighting Palestinian terrorism. It is time to be determined to win the conflict decisively and not just say the conflict will continue forever. It is not acceptable that every few months or years that Palestinians shoot rockets at Israelis, blow up bombs, kidnap children or resort to other forms of violence against Jews in Israel.
    Two states in the Land of Israel west of the River Jordan is a formula for war not peace. The Palestinian (Arabs) have for 100 years not accepted the permanent presence of the Jews.

    Israel has a legal, historical and moral right to the land of Israel west of the Jordan River.

    1. However, except for a small amount of people on the right Israelis do not want to incorporate large amounts of Arabs into Israel. The public does not want a bi-national state.

    2. To be able to buy Arabs properties and facilitate their peaceful emigration (buying them out) the terrorists must be jailed, deported or killed otherwise they will exact revenge on the families of those leaving or those leaving before they actually leave. They have a death sentence for selling properties to Jews.
    Once you accomplish number 2 above an NGO working with the government should start enacting an humane assisted program of Arab emigration starting with East Jerusalem and Arab villages in Area C near Jewish Towns. Learn as you go and what problems come up. This will be fraught with problems imagined and not imagined. Just like a franchiser learns by first working on a few locations before expanding widely.
    Annex Area C. Help the Arabs there emigrate.
    Register the people there. Ask do you want to stay and demonstrate loyalty to the Jewish Democratic State of Israel.
    This will require learning Hebrew; your children will be required to provide civil national service at age 18 to 20.

    You will be required to inform on anyone planning terrorist acts including family members. This will be a condition of residency!
    If after 10 years of residency they wish to apply for citizenship they may. There then will be at least a two year period to investigate if they have successfully fulfilled the requirements of residency prior to bestowing citizenship. If they and their immediate family have met the conditions citizenship can be bestowed upon them.
    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.
    Walk before you run and go step by step in this super risky proposition of incorporating a massive amount of Arabs into the State of Israel. If you can be highly confident that you can help large amounts of Arabs emigrate then you could start annexing parts of Area A (a City at at a time). Israel should NOT bring an Arab Trojan Horse into Zion. If you can NOT make sure a large amount of Arabs will emigrate, not do annex these areas and make these people residents.

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