Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Envisioning how Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria would work on a practical level - by Samuel H. Solomon

Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, and cooperation with hamulot, is the best, most viable and least risky approach. It is certainly worth considering.

Samuel H. Solomon..
22 June '20..

As I speak with well-intentioned and informed supporters of Israel, I often hear of their difficulty in envisioning how Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria would work on a practical level. Behind this comment is really the question of what will become of the Arabs living there. It has become a core issue of debate, as the Israeli government grapples with even limited application of Israeli law to the area, as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan.

The concern is completely understandable. In spite of Israel’s historic, legal and security rights to Judea and Samaria as the heartland of the Jewish people and state, fears of a demographic onslaught, international judgement and Western discomfort—and even denial of the reality of Middle Eastern culture, corruption and violence—create heightened worry about any movement towards Israeli sovereignty, including within the areas of current Israeli settlement where few Arabs reside today.

However, the lack of sovereignty creates numerous debilitating consequences for Jewish Israelis living in Judea and Samaria in towns and villages built by successive Israeli governments as part of official policy. They are, in many respects, second-class citizens in comparison to their counterparts inside the “Green Line,” the border determined in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors after the 1948 War of Independence.

This is clearly untenable.

How, then, will sovereignty work, and why is it superior—regardless of international preference and pressure on Israel—to a so-called “two-state solution”?

To answer the question, one first must assess the risks and returns for each approach in the broader context of the Middle East. Doing so is better than relying on “belief”—as it is usually articulated—in a two-state solution. Indeed, no course of action should be based on blind faith, particularly when pertaining to decisions that involve severe strategic consequences in the event of failure.

(Continue to Full Column)

Samuel H. Solomon is the Chairman of Hetz.org and may be reached at sam@arizal.biz. A more detailed analysis may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/yaedddkd and https://tinyurl.com/ycphwc9l

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