Seth Lipsky says, “Time to annex? If the Palestinians can’t govern…”
In today’s New York Post, Seth Lipsky said that the time has come for Israel to annex Judea and Samaria, and he endorsed an Israeli policy based on my book The Israeli Solution.
The collapse of a ceasefire plan for Israel and Hamas would be a moment to test the Jewish state’s super-weapon — Caroline Glick. Or, more precisely, her idea of a one-state plan for peace in the Middle East.
Glick laid out the plan in a book called “The Israeli Solution.” Her idea, which I wrote about in March, is to absorb into a single state — Israel — all of the West Bank and the Arab and Jewish populations who live there.
It’s as controversial as an idea can get. She leaves aside Gaza, where there is no Israeli presence and which is ruled by Hamas. Yet her plan for the West Bank fairly begs to be put on the table after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s press conference Friday.
Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the Mideast beat’s savviest columnists, characterized Netanyahu as abandoning his own support for a two-state solution.
It’s not, Goldberg reports, that Netanyahu “renounced his rhetorical support for a two-state solution. He simply described such a [Palestinian] state as an impossibility.”
In this sense, the premier is catching up to Glick. She counted more than a dozen two-state schemes over the past century (including nine that America got behind). All have been foiled by Palestinian Arab rejectionists.
So what — apart from endless war — might be possible? What Glick proposes goes back to the original aspiration of Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl, for Arab and Jewish amity in a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.
Glick’s critics see her plan as a recipe for a bi-national state, that is, an end to Zionism.
Netanyahu, in an interview with Goldberg earlier this year, called opposition to a bi-national state “the first point of consensus in Israel.”
The fear is that Arabs would soon outnumber Jews in the new, larger state — inevitably ending Israel as a Jewish state.
Yet Glick, too, rejects bi-nationalism. She argues that the demographics don’t confirm those fears.
She traces the idea that the Arab population would overwhelm Israel’s Jews to a highly politicized 1997 Palestinian census that the head of the Palestinian statistics bureau called a “civil intifada.”
That census claimed that by 2015, the number of Arabs living in Judea and Samaria would nearly double to 5.81 million. But Glick calls that finding a “fraud.”
It was exposed in 2005 in a study by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group — which charged that the Palestinian census had inflated the Arab base numbers and exaggerated growth trends.
Glick reports that in the past decade, the number of children per woman has been rising among Jews and declining among Israeli Arabs.
“What the real demographic data show is that even if all the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria are granted Israeli citizenship,” she writes, “Jews would still remain a two-thirds majority of the citizens of Israel.”
It turns out, in other words, that Israel’s Jews are pretty good at going forth and multiplying. This means that Israel doesn’t need to be so fearful about Jewish and Arab growth rates: “The demographic time bomb,” Glick writes, “is a dud.”
This week, a long article in the online Tablet Magazine sketches the demographic trends in the context of the disintegration going on around Israel in such neighbors as Syria, Gaza and Iraq.
“Between the Settlers and the Unsettlers, the One-State Solution Is on Our Doorstep,” is the headline. With all the chaos around the Jewish state, argues the author, David P. Goldman, “Israel will soon be the only state able to govern Judea and Samaria.”
That thought may be unnerving to the Obama administration, but what success can it show?
President Obama’s Middle East diplomacy is bankrupt; Secretary of State John Kerry is barely welcome in Israel or the Palestinian territories. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is beating the drums for a pivot to Asia.
The Palestinians speak through unelected leaders. There is no Palestinian entity speaking through a leader elevated in a free election. (Palestinian Authority boss Mahmoud Abbas is in the seventh year of his four-year term.)
If demographic trends beckon along with the best hope of good government for West Bank Arabs — who could seek citizenship — what would be the logic of ruling out the addition of Judea and Samaria to Israel’s democracy?