The Humanitarian Paradigm: “If you will it, it is not dream”

By Martin Sherman, IISS

Extending Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria (and eventually over the Gaza Strip) is indeed a necessary condition for ensuring the ability of Israel to endure as the nation state of the Jewish people. It is, however, not a sufficient condition to ensure that worthy objective.  In fact, without additional complementary measures, such an initiative on its own is very likely to imperil Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel…in its entirety on both sides of the pre 1967 Green Line.

Twin Imperative

Accordingly, in order to ensure its long term survivability as the Jewish nation-state, Israel has to deal effectively with two imperatives: The Geographic Imperative and the DemographicImperative.

The first of these imperative calls for Israeli control (i.e. sovereignty) over all the territory east of the coastal plain up to the Jordan River—to prevent intolerable risks to its physical survival; the second imperative calls for significant reduction of the Arab presence in the territory under Jewish sovereignty to forestall the emergence of an intolerable demographic threat to its dominant Jewish character.


The need to contend with the exigencies of this twin imperative is virtually axiomatic. After all, if it fails to do so, Israel will either become untenable as the nation-state of the Jews geographically or demographically—or both.

Clearly then, any demand for Israeli sovereignty over Judea-Samaria must simultaneously provide a blueprint for the future of the Arab population resident there after the application of Israeli sovereignty.

“The Lebanonization” of Israeli society 

Regrettably, as I have pointed out repeatedly in the past, virtually all the proposals of the prominent advocates of Israeli sovereignty are, in this regard, arguably worse than the “two-state” formula, which they purport to replace, and constitute an even greater menace to the Zionist endeavor.

Of course, in a brief essay such as this, it is not possible to elaborate fully on the disastrous detriments entailed in most the proffered alternatives to the “two-state” principle. Accordingly, I will restrict myself to pointing out that annexation of Judea-Samaria together with the Arab population resident in these areas, will totally preclude Israel’s ability to contend adequately with the Demographic Imperative.

This dour assertion is valid even if the optimistic demographic assessments of the size of the Arab population in these areas are correct.


After all, with a Muslim minority of 35-40%–the vast majority of which not only do not identify with the Jewish character of the state but vehemently reject it—it will not be possible to forge a coherent cohesive society, especially not one with a predominantly Jewish nature.  Indeed, any such step would constitute a certain recipe for the “Lebanonization”  of Israeli society and an inevitable erosion of the Jewish component in it.

Incentives for leaving; disincentives for staying

Accordingly, the unavoidable conclusion is that to contend effectively with the Demographic Imperative, Israel must undertake assertive measures to reduce the scope of the Arab presence within the borders of its sovereign territory.

In the absence of conditions of wide-scale warfare, in which more “kinetic” measures may be acceptable, the only non-coercive manner to achieve this objective is to put in place an overall system of economic/material inducements designed to increase the incentives for the Arab population, resident across the pre-1967 lines to emigrate, on the one hand, and disincentives for them to remain, on the other.

In order to accomplish this, Israel must declare the Palestinian-Arab collective what it, itself, declares itself to be: An implacable enemy, dedicated to the total destruction of the Jewish-Zionist entity, wherever it may be in the Land of Israel—as is clearly articulated in the founding documents of all the major Palestinian organizations.

Israel, therefore, has no obligation—moral, legal or practical—to sustain the socio-economic edifice of a hostile collective, committed to its demise as an entity and to the slaying of its citizens, as individuals. Quite the opposite! Israel has a moral duty to induce its collapse—to stymie the efforts to destroy it and to slaughter its citizens, for whose fate it is responsible.

Gradual denial of service

Accordingly, Israel must publically retract its recognition of the Palestinian Authority, and announce its intention to gradually reduce—and eventually, totally terminate—the provision of all merchandize and services to the Arab population in Judea-Samaria, including water, electricity, fuel, port services and tax collection (as a disincentive for staying).

At the same time, in order to prevent the grave humanitarian suffering such a step would entail, Israel should offer generous relocation grants to non-belligerent Palestinian-Arab individuals and their families (as an incentive for emigrating)—so as to allow them to build a better and safer life for themselves, out of harm’s way, in third party countries, free from the clutches of the cruel, corrupt cliques, who controlled their lives for decades, leading them astray into disaster after disaster.

The only non-violent prescription

This policy prescription—which redefines the context of the “Palestinian context” and transfers it from the political/collective sphere to the humanitarian/individual one is the only non-violent paradigm that contends, simultaneously, with both the geographic and demographic pre-requisites for the long term survival of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Clearly, this brief synopsis, is a brutally condensed presentation of the Humanitarian Paradigm, and leaves open numerous questions regarding its feasibility as an actionable policy proposal that can be implemented in practice. (“What would the cost be?”; “Which countries would accept the Palestinian-Arab emigrants?”; “How are the recipients of the relocation grants to be protected from the fratricidal wrath of their more radical kin-folk?”… and so on).

These are weighty considerations, and the obstacles and challenges that stand in the way of the adoption and implementation of this policy paradigm should not be underestimated.  These difficulties do not, however, reduce the urgent need for it.

Moreover, it will be vital to accompany—even precede—its implementation with a robust global public diplomacy initiative to drive home not only the unavoidable necessity for the Humanitarian Approach, but to underscore its moral and practical merits, relative to all other alternatives.

Learning from the Palestinian experience

There will, undoubtedly, be those who will raise a skeptical eyebrow as to the chances of convincing the public, at home and abroad, as to the practical feasibility, the pressing need and the moral justification of the proposal. To these skeptics I would suggest learning from the experience of…the Palestinian-Arabs. After all,  imagine how hopeless and gloomy their situation must have seemed in July 1967—with the IDF’s crushing victory, the humiliating defeat of the Arab armies and the world-wide admiration for Israel.  But because they demonstrated resolve, resourcefulness and the ability to raise resources for their struggle, they managed to convert what appeared a seemingly lost cause into the dominant position in the mainstream discourse on the Arab Israeli conflict.

Could it be that, paradoxically, it is the Palestinian-Arabs who need to remind the Jews: If you will it, it is no dream?

March 8, 2017 | 15 Comments » | 63 views

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15 Comments / 15 Comments

  1. This guy is more than welcome to use his *own* money for the charitable purpose of funding Arab emigration; or any other benign goal.

    Leave Israel (i.e. the taxpayers) OUT of it.

  2. @ Abolish_public_education:
    So you would rather have Israeli taxpayers’ money being spent on sustaining the current situation – which according to some estimates have exceeded one trillion shekels (and counting)…

    Go figure – fiscal frugality in reverse

  3. If they were willing to leave if paid, the money would be pay for itself. This is practical. Solving the problem is worth spending money. The conflict costs a fortune.

  4. Anything which will make Israel free of Arabs I support, even the pearls of -sometimes- wisdom which come from Sherman, even in paragraphs, when sentences would suffice.

    But his plan, whilst the end result is laudable, (and i notice he is gradually becoming more comfortable with clearing them all) he may not have thought of the “Vietnam Trap”.

    I believe that some years ago I mentioned it in this site, or perhaps another one, but true it is, nevertheless, and events showed this.

    Before I’d ever heard of Vietnam, I met a tennis partner, brown as a nut, I asked how she got the unique tan, and she told me that she was a US State Dept employee home on leave from Vietnam. During our chats, she said, that last year we had 1,500 advisors there, this year it’s already 5,000 and in a couple of years there’ll be a half a million troops there. All this was “greek” to me as I had never herd of Vietnam other than geographically, and had no international political interests, other than a leaning to Israel.

    So it happened, the US built up their troops gradually, bit by bit, but it took a while…long enough for the Viet Cong to get their lines of supply arranged, and get used to the greater military pressure, so that by the time the 500,000 were there, the Viet Cong were ready and able to deal with them, by a variety of means developed as the pressure against them increased- slowly enough to be ratchet up their own defences.

    Of course the traitorous behaviour of the disgraceful youth and college age kids back home, instigated and led by infiltrators, for which the US security goons could never handle, helped a lot.

    The point is, that a quicker, stunning blow, leaving the opponent amenable to anything the victor suggests, such as in 1967; …a huge opportunity thrown aaway by a bumptious, show-off Dayan, flush with miraculous victory, giving away what was not his to give, thus allowing the apprehensive Arabs to settle into their groove… far better than slowly allowing a dogged resistance to build. Which is what has been going on for the past 60 years in Israel, never destroying the core and nexii, crowing in public over technological discoveries (to show how clever we are) which the Arabim try to adopt and use against us etc.

    Just my opinion.

  5. @ Edgar G.:
    The American and S. Vietnamese response to the Tet Offensive destroyed the Viet Cong S. Vietnamese guerrillas in 1968. After that, it was all regular N. Vietnamese troops. Not that you would have known it over here. It’s still being painted as a Communist victory. The enemy never had a chance militarily and they knew it. They gambled everything on politics and won. One of the books cited by David Horowitz in one of his books, was a memoir by one of the non-Communist leaders of the Communist insurgency in the South who later fled to France as one of the boat people. He said this was their strategy all along. Wars cannot be won as long as the West allows the freedom to dissent, something that was never permitted in wartime, anywhere, before the ’60s. Anti-War protest is sedition and lending aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime. It costs American lives. The famous Oliver Wendell Holmes quote about fire in a crowded theater comes from the Supreme Court case during WWI in which, speaking for the majority, he upheld the conviction and imprisonment of an anti-war protester. The anti-war Socialist candidate for President, Eugene Debs, had to run for office from prison.

  6. @ ms:
    Your thinking is concrete.

    The few (yet every) time that I’ve pointed out how Sherman’s proposals, if adopted, would be a pure (and expensive!) waste of tax dollars, you respond, pathetically, that since his plan could make the government less wasteful, that my opposition to him must mean that I support the government’s current fiscal policy.

    As if it really makes any difference to me whether the government throws X billion tax dollars down a rat hole, or else Sherman throws 0.9X down a rat hole and flushes 0.1X down the toilet.

  7. @ Bear Klein:
    Your confused.

    A government-oriented “solution” is the *worst* sort of solution: One which can be expected to make (whatever) the problem even worse. Often catastrophically so.

    Government spending is pure *waste*.

    Waste cannot “pay for itself”.

  8. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Sebastien, I’m not talking about the Tet offensive and thereafter, although the war still continued after that for another 6=7 years or so. The girl I got the info from talked about President Johnson, not long in office. This was probably about 1964, years before the Tet offensive, which I actually remember very well. I was following all the news without fail by then, when things began to heat up there.

  9. @ Abolish_public_education:

    The few (yet every) time that I’ve pointed out how Sherman’s proposals, if adopted, would be a pure (and expensive!) waste of tax dollars, you respond, pathetically, that since his plan could make the government less wasteful, that my opposition to him must mean that I support the government’s current fiscal policy.

    1. According to Sherman’s proposal the money would only be spent on de facto departing Palestinian-Arabs – and thus only spent for actual results in terms of reducing the Arab presence west of the Jordan River. No departures, no expenditure

    2. Can we assume that you oppose the expenditure on the current policy as well and that you favor, well…NO policy at all . And, accordingly, that you recommend that the government devote NO resources at all to deal with the “Plaestinian” issue??

  10. @ honeybee:
    I distinctly remember some very prominent politician saying exactly that in a speech, except he used the word “treasure” instead of money.

  11. @ honeybee:
    Only if you believe the “domino theory” was discredited which I don’t. The Left’s slogan was “One, two, Many Vietnams.” We did actually win that fight even if we the peoples of Indochina lost because we abandoned them, instead of protecting them as we did S. Korea — which was also a dictatorship in the beginning — look at Korea today. We made the spreading of Communist revolution so expensive and unpleasant that it gradually trickled to a halt. In Central America, Cuba’s dictator, Castro told Ortega of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas and the leadership of the Salvadoran FSLN to officially call for a mixed economy and a new kind of revolution because open Communist revolution would never be allowed to fly. Grenada was the last of it. Communist Angola went down with apartheid. Now it’s all Islamists. China, N. Korea and Cuba, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are just remnants. Only N. Korea is at war with us, aside from brandishing missiles and harassing S. Korea, mostly by helping our Islamist enemies. We won the war against Communism. Now we have to win the war against Islam. Then, as now, the liberals in Europe and at home side with our enemies. The enemies change but the knee-jerk treason of the Left remains a constant. The same fools who defended Russia when she was our enemy, now provoke cold war with her because she is not and they want to distract attention from our real enemy, Islam.

  12. I like the prescription of another Sherman, but unfortunately, we are living in the wrong century:

    “Sherman presented the city of Savannah and its 25,000 bales of cotton to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift.Early in 1865, Sherman and his men left Savannah and pillaged and burned their way through South Carolina to Charleston. In April, the Confederacy surrendered and the war was over.”
    Sherman’s March – American Civil War –

  13. @ ms

    1) It makes no difference to me whether the Government wastes tax dollars today or, with interest, in the future.

    The Government’s goals are not my goals, so whether or not it “accomplishes” what it claims it wants to do is meaningless to me, though I am always pleased to see the Government deliver a very spectacular failure.

    Oh, and in case you missed it, Sherman wants the Government (taxpayers) to fund an advertising campaign to inform the Arabs about the “free” exit-money available to them. So much for paying only for “results”.

    2) Your assumption is correct. The Government’s current policy, like every other government policy, is ridiculous and dangerous (varying only in degree). Better that the Government renounce any role dealing with the Arabs and let private individuals work out their differences (hopefully peacefully).

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