16 June '16..
Thirty years ago the idea of “two states for two peoples” was advocated only by a very few in Israel. In fact only the Hadash Arab communist party dared to raise this idea in its platform. Senior figures in the Labor Party, and even political parties that were to its left, did not dare contemplate such an outlandish idea.
In November 1993, during the drafting of the Oslo Accords, Shimon Peres found himself involved in a discussion in which he inadvertently said: “Eventually, a Palestinian state will be established.”
In reply, member of Knesset Moshe Katsav demanded of him: “Do you support a Palestinian state?” To which Peres replied angrily: “Are you deaf? I’m telling you: A Palestinian state will not be established.
What I said was that a Palestinian police force will.”
After the signing of the agreement titled, “Gaza and Jericho First” in Cairo in 1994, Peres said in interviews that “this agreement is an agreement on Gaza and Jericho.
As for what will come next – I am opposed to a separate Palestinian state. I’ve said so a thousand times, and I have not changed my mind.”
How is it then that nowadays, even a prime minister from the rightist Likud party is touting this idea? As I understand it, this change in the public discourse occurred primarily as a result of a well-oiled propaganda campaign of the radical Left. Its method was simple – for many years any leftist who was interviewed by the media, no matter what the subject was, always made sure to begin his reply with something along the lines of: “Everyone knows that in the end there will be two states here, and that a Palestinian state will be established alongside Israel...” Slowly but surely, this supposed “fact” permeated the collective Israeli consciousness to the point that it came to dominate the public discourse as if it were an undeniable truth.
Today, while nearly half a million Jews live in settlements throughout Judea and Samaria, and an additional million residents in Greater Jerusalem, it’s very hard to believe that anyone rational really thinks that a Palestinian state can be established here. Albeit, the Palestinians were given chances in the past to establish such a state – whether according to the 1947 Partition Plan proposed by the UN, or just a few years ago during the terms of Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert as prime minister.
But now this option seems to be totally unrealistic, and therefore no longer on the table.
This being said, it should now be clear to any reasonable person that in the future there will be only one state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – the State of Israel, with Israeli law and Israeli sovereignty applied over all parts of Judea and Samaria.
Since this is the case, now that we are entering the 50th year since the reunification of Jerusalem, it is high time to say so plainly and clearly, without stammering and most important – without continuing to delude the Arab population that one day they will have their own state.
This statement should not put us into a state of euphoria; on the contrary, it should make us realize that we need to enter a period of preparation.
Serious and appropriate preparation toward the implementation of Israeli law over Judea and Samaria.
This means that the government would do well if it set up operational committees to implement the plan.
Among other things, these committees should deal with the question of the Arab population.
Our value-based aspiration – based primarily on the biblical Jewish values and the principles of Israel’s Declaration of Independence – must insist on unequivocal protection of human rights for all, without ignoring the security risks inherent to the region. We need to prepare the infrastructure for the naturalization of all residents, with the necessary conditions.
For example, we must determine that in order to receive Israeli citizenship, one has to prove that for the past 10 years he did not belong to any type of terrorist organization.
As a Jewish and democratic country that has enacted the Law of Return, according to which every Jew who wants to immigrate to Israel receives financial assistance in the form of an “absorption package” to help him through the transition period – so must we determine that all non-Jews living here who want to migrate to another country should receive governmental assistance to help them through their transition period.
These of course are but a few of the many proposals that can be suggested, but first and foremost we need to make the right decision, state it unequivocally, and begin to implement it. Any ambiguity or hesitance only perpetuates the delusion of the two-state solution, and encourages the terrorists to try to impose this dangerous plan on us.
Yehudah Glick is a member of Knesset for the Likud.
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