The Right Offers No Solutions

Posted: February 4th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Right | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

There has been some talk recently about a “three states solution” to the Palestinian problem. John Bolton, George Bush’s ambassador to the UN, promoted this idea in an op-ed in the Washington Post and Daniel Pipes, president of The Middle East Forum, wrote similar things in the Jerusalem post.

The idea is simple: instead of a forming a Palestinian state, Jordan and Egypt will regain control over the West Bank and Gaza for a generation or two, or even permanently, thus enabling Israel to evacuate these areas without putting its security at risk. The blogger Mary Madigan called it “the no-state solution”.

I won’t go to length in explaining why this idea is a waste of time. It would be enough to say that both Jordan and Egypt won’t have it, mainly for the internal problems it might cause them; the radical Islam is the main threat to the presidency of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, which is why he won’t want to add Gaza’s Hamas to his list of enemies from home; and in Jordan, the Palestinians were close to bringing down the regime in the early 70′s. And as for the issue of Israel’s security, there is no reason to believe that Arab soldiers will do a better job chasing rocket launchers and suicide bombers than we do now.

But my real problem with this line of thought– and this goes for Thomas Friedman’s “5-State Solution” in the NYT as well – is that we don’t lack solutions for the Middle East, but rather the political power and will to carry them out.

The two states solution was never really tried – do you remember a state called Palestine? – mainly because of leadership problems on all sides, including the US. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have never committed themselves to it. Instead, they preferred to achieve their political goals through violence, and to complicate things even more, the US under president Bush gave Israel cart blanche in Gaza and the West Bank. This led us to where we are now.

Call it what you want, the fact is most people know what the solution will look like: Israel withdrawing from most of the West Bank and east Jerusalem without accepting refugees into its own territory. What we really need are strong governments that will move the process forward, and not new packaging.

CAROLINE GLICK, THE JERUSALEM POST’S RIGHT WING COLUMIST AND EDITOR, tries to offer an alternative to both the two states and three states solution. It is a noble effort. The Right never presented a real solution to the Palestinian problem. Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, has an extensive section on his web site called The Issues, but try finding out where he stands on the question of a Palestinian state. It’s the elephant in the room he is working very hard to avoid.

Glick does have an idea though: she simply thinks Israel should stay in the West Bank and Gaza, even annex some parts of it:

AS FOR JUDEA and Samaria, Israel should continue its military control over the areas in order to ensure its national security. It should also apply its law to the areas of Judea and Samaria that are within the domestic consensus. These areas include the Etzion, Adumim, Adam, Ofra and Ariel settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley.

There are obvious contradictions on Glick’s thought that should be pointed out: she says this situations should last “a generation of two” but argues that we should continue settling the West Bank with Jews, what implies that we are never to leave the area; She wants to establish a “security zone” in the Gaza strip to prevent rocket launching – but the real meaning is conquering all of Gaza, since you can launch rockets to Israeli cities from any place in the strip; she rejects the “three states solution” but wants Palestinians to become Jordanian citizens, etc.

But the real problem with this idea is much more fundamental: staying in the occupied territories and annexing some of them means turning the de facto Apartheid in Israel into a permanent and official one, where millions of people won’t enjoy civilian and political rights as a rule. Even if we succeed in suppressing the Palestinians violent revolt against this plan, what will we do when they demand full democratic rights within the state of Israel? What Glick is calling “the Israeli solution” will open the door to a radical, post-Zionist, one-state solution. The irony is that Glick will surly find many partners in the european left to her idea.

Since I don’t think Glick is a post Zionist, it is obvious that her real plans consist of one of the followingtwo  options: expulsion of the Palestinians, or Apartheid. Both cases will be the end of the Israeli democracy, but anyway, I don’t see how the world will allow them. So the basic problem remains: the Israeli Right offers no solutions.

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