One State is All That’s Needed
Op-Ed by David HaIvri
The borders of the State of Israel have never been determined by our leadership based on an understanding of our national interests. Rather, the borders of the state came about by chance, as a result of wars forced upon us by the Arab countries who banded together to annihilate us in 1948 and then again in 1967. The de-facto borders of the State of Israel are the result of the territory lost by the Arabs in those wars.
The so called “pre-1967” borders had no resemblance to the suggested UN Partition Plan of 1947, a plan that was denied by all Arab countries and – ironically-embraced by the Jewish leadership. At the time, they were happy just to be acknowledged in any way, and to receive any part of our historic homeland.
Arab residents of areas that were captured by the Israeli army in that first war in 1948 were granted full Israeli citizenship. They have since been granted all benefits awarded to Jewish Israelis and are expected to fulfill some civil obligations, but not all. They are exempt from military or national service, but benefit from university scholarships and representation in the Knesset. They enjoy the full extent of Israel’s democratic nature, who some take advantage of in an extreme way when they use their freedom of speech to defame the very State that grants them those freedoms and rights.
The areas captured by Israel in 1967 were never officially annexed by the State of Israel. The Arab residents were not incorporated officially into the State of Israel as citizens. Rather, their municipal services are provided by the Civil Administration, a subdivision of the Israeli government. Acting schizophrenically manner, Israel on the one hand refrained from annexing the area captured from Jordan, while on the other hand it invested major resources in developing and settling Jews in communities built throughout the region.
Since the 1977 Camp David Accords the Israeli leadership has been debating different forms of autonomy to be granted to the Arab population in areas captured from Egypt and Jordan in 1967. This debate has evolved into the presently popular concept of a “Two State” solution. At the basis of the theory of the Two State Solution is the establishment of a new Arab country called Palestine, which would be located on the territory captured from Egypt and Jordan.
This concept was tested when Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and it failed terribly. All Jewish communities, homes and businesses were destroyed and the Jewish residents were displaced. The local “Palestinian” population elected their own government through democratic elections. The Islamic party Hamas won those elections and have been firing rockets into Israelis cities ever since. Not only has this development been a disaster in terms of the relations between Israel and the Arab population of Gaza (many of whom worked for Israeli employers before the change of government), but also for the local Arab population whose standard of living has deteriorated dramatically as a result.
Cross-posted at Avid Editor’s Insights
Arab mother strapping suicide bomb belt to child: Israel Universe Headlines April 2003