What’s wrong with territorial goals?

By Ted Belman

Isi Liebler writing in JPOST on the aftermath of the Gaza War, after saying we can’t give up security control, had this to say about what our policies should be regarding settlements :

That does not imply the long-term abandonment of a two state solution. We cannot retain our identity as a Jewish democratic state if we absorbed millions of additional Arabs. We must remain committed to achieving a separation as an ultimate goal and until that time, should encourage greater autonomy and enhance the living standards of the Palestinians.

Our leaders should now suspend their domestic squabbles and speak with one voice to the world, reiterating that a quick fix is impossible and that a Palestinian state will only be created when Israel’s security can be guaranteed. The Americans and Europeans must be persuaded that this approach is based solely on security concerns, not political or territorial goals.

In this context, we must now confront the devastating political fallout created by our chaotic settlement policies. We have every moral and legal right to construct additional homes in the Gush Etzion bloc. However, the timing of the announcement of new construction in the area, clearly motivated by short-term domestic political considerations, was utterly irresponsible and compounded by infantile assertions that it was a response to terrorism.

Ironically, despite all the hullabaloo, the statistics indicate that only 500 units were constructed in east Jerusalem and the settlement blocs.

The time has come for us to state our policy unequivocally. Other than natural growth, we will only permit construction inside the major settlement blocs and Jewish east Jerusalem – which all parties are fully aware shall remain part of Israel in any future settlement.  We should stress that this conforms with assurances extended by President Bush to Prime Minister Sharon, pledged as an incentive to encourage the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, in which Bush undertook that in any future negotiated settlement, the U.S would endorse Israel’s sovereignty of those areas which had undergone major demographic growth.

This is probably an accurate description of Government policy. That being the case, it can probably be accommodated in a settlement along the lines of ’67 plus swaps. But as we know, Netanyahu refused to negotiate on that basis. Perhaps the refusal was only verbal where in fact he negotiated along those lines.

Furthermore, this government has been very constrained in in its building policies even within the settlement blocs. It is obvious that the US doesn’t accept our right to build even in these areas.

Besides, what’s wrong with territorial goals. Res 242 did not require full withdrawal and sanctioned our presence in Judea and Samaria until such time as we had “secure and recognized borders”. The US has attempted to define for us what our security requires. Shouldn’t that be our decision alone? Besides the present formula of ’67 lines plus swaps doesn’t allow us any land for security purposes.

Israel should state equivalently that we will not return the ’67 lines even with swaps. That should be our mantra and not the one Leibler is recommending. We should decline to draw a map or a line. Just wait for an acceptable offer and in the mean time we should assert our rights and sovereignty by building more aggressively and by embracing the Levy Report.

September 10, 2014 | 4 Comments »

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  1. An expert on the ME wrote to say:

    In my experience you (Leibler) are probably the most honest person in Israel.

    However, I respectfully disagree with your position as stated in the New York Times. Israel should be very actively building in the areas that it will be absorbing in any peace arrangement. Israel should stop creating self-inflicted wounds and thoroughly reform its housing approval procedures. Now… before there is any building there are million public steps, each of which draws nearly automatic condemnation from the United States and the European Union and fury from the Palestinians. I would urge Israel to decentralize and allow, like in the United States, local towns, villages, and other authorities to issue building permits. The central role would be to establish electrical and other construction standards.

    The key is the HATRED FOR JEWS that existed well before Israel existed. It is a hatred for Jews, ……ALL JEWS….. anywhere in the world.

    A peaceful Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with a Jewish state—-What’s not to like?

    Painful concessions for peace (and I emphasize FOR PEACE) —What’s not to like?

    Get out of Sinai and Israel will have peace with Egypt. (So far, so good, but tenuous and very unpopular in Egypt.) And Sinai is a launching pad for terror attacks on Israel.?

    Get out of Lebanon and they have no reason to attack Israel. Israel got out of Lebanon and exposed its population to attacks from Hezbollah.?

    Get out of Gaza and they have no reason to attack Israel. Hamas missiles and rockets were the result.

    Get out of the Golan and Assad would have no reason to attack Israel. This was advocated by the highest levels of planning in the IDF. Is there a single Israeli who now thinks this would have been a good idea?

    Unfortunately compromise is not in the vocabulary of the Palestinians. It is that Israel blinked and they gained the victory on that path of one nation, Islamic from the river to the sea.?

    No matter what Mahmoud Abbas obtains, the Palestinians will keep demanding more and more.The Arabs on every opportunity rejected any approach to a 2-state solution. Current polling by Palestinian academics indicate more than 85% of West Bank Palestinians reject a 2 state solution and an overwhelming majority view a 2 state solution as a step toward redeeming sacred Moslem lands ( 100 % of the current state of Israel). In Gaza being accused of even contemplating cooperation with Israel is summarily punished with death . In the West Bank contemplating selling land to a Jew draws assassination which goes unpunished by the Palestinian Authority. Remember, the goal of the PA is a Jew-free West Bank and East Jerusalem?, and then Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc.

    As long as the Palestinians demand that any area they takeover should be Jew-free. ; maintain that even if they get a State, the residents of the camps on the West Bank, in Jordan, Syria, etc. would not be citizens of this new state but would have the right of unlimited return to the state of Israel; and that all of Israel is unredeemed Islamic territory… THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE.

  2. Why any further discussion of a two state solution to the Palestinian problem is beyond me. Haven’t the Palestinians already demonstrated that any land ceded to them will be used as a springboard for terror against Israel? The answer lies in limited autonomy for Arabs within Judea/Samaria. If the Arabs there are second class citizens of Israel,so be it. Israel owes nothing to a people who from childhood have been brought up to hate Jews.

  3. “Israel should state equivalently that we will not return the ’67 lines even with swaps.”

    Brief, succinct & to the point.

    Cut — Print — Wrap.

  4. Nothing is wrong with territorial goals. For people such as me, they represent everything that counts for the Jewish nation. But territorial nationalists involved Israeli society or governance tend to get the same treatment that Israel accorded Rav Meir Kahane.

    Instead, Israel is controlled by fools who imagine that authentic Judaism can co-exist with democracy, or on an even more empty-headed level of politics, that Israel as a Jewish state can co-exist with a large number of permanently hostile Arabs.

    All of you reading this post and these comments ought to give this issue stronger thought. The reason that Israel seems perpetually under the control of boastful weaklings such as Netanyahu, or outright crooks such as one of his recent predecessors, is that there is no serious level of support in the body politic for the thorough societal house-cleansing that is dangerously overdue in Israel today.

    If democracy is so important to you, you ought to strongly consider that democracy and nationalism cannot survive joined at the hip. But without nationalism, one day Israel shall be blown away into the pages of history books the same as the successor midget kingdoms that ruled in Eretz-Yisrael following the passing of kings David and Shlomo.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI