One State Plan

Annex West Bank, Regional Representation, and Citizenship

Michael L. Wise, Fall 2003

The One State Plan was proposed in 2003. In January 2005, it was confirmed that fewer than 1.4 million Arabs lived on the West Bank. The fact that fewer Arabs live on the West Bank than in green line Israel has dramatic implications and is discussed elsewhere. Though the Plan made no proposals with respect to Gaza, the unilateral disengagement in August 2005 and the war in Lebanon highlight the urgent need to resolve the status of the West Bank.

In 1967, after the Six Day War, Israel expanded and annexed the municipality of Jerusalem, but did not deal with the status of the West Bank. Israel must resolve the status of the West Bank. Terrorism and its leaders will flourish and attract followers if the State of Israel continues to pursue short-term solutions. Israel can no longer permit the West Bank Arab population to remain in an indeterminate ill-defined status. A clear, well-defined and permanent solution must be implemented. Efforts to destroy the terrorist infrastructures on the West Bank should continue, but they do not solve the underlying problems. Destroying the terrorist infrastructure may create temporary lulls in the ongoing violence. But, new terrorists will appear as a consequence of the perceived plight, condition and state of limbo represented by the status quo in the West Bank. West Bank Arabs will continue to struggle against what they perceive to be an occupation force. A people in a state of limbo, without passports, limited rights and subject to military law will be receptive to demagogic, brutal and corrupt leadership. The PLO/PA, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, whose primary purpose is Israel's destruction, have easily captured the loyalties of the West Bank Arabs. The status quo on the West Bank is bitterly opposed by people across the Israel political spectrum, West Bank Arabs and the international community. Even Prime Minister Sharon acknowledged that there has been a state of"occupation" of the West Bank for 36 years and concludes that it is unacceptable. On May 26, 2003, he said, "You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation -- to hold 3.5 million (sic) Palestinians under occupation I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians." Whether one agrees or disagrees with the PM's formulation, it is extremely difficult to defend the military occupation no matter how benevolent Israeli forces. No matter how violent and irrational the behavior of West Bank Arabs, the occupation cannot be defended in the court of public opinion. Mrs. Tony Blair has said, "As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up you are never going to make progress." Ted Turner has presented the case for moral equivalence and said, "The Palestinians are fighting with human suicide bombers; that's all they have. The Israelis ... they've got one of the most powerful military machines in the world. The Palestinians have nothing. So who are the terrorists? I would make the case that both sides are involved in terrorism."

PREVIOUS PROPOSALS TO RESOLVE THE STATUS OF THE WEST BANK HAVE FAILED

The architects of the Oslo Accord have published the Geneva Accord, a "Draft Permanent Status Agreement", a more terrifying version of the two-state solution than offered by the Oslo Accord. As discussed below two-state solutions inevitably lead to a major and tragic war between Israel and its neighbors.  In the face of massive internal and external pressure, the Israeli government has elected to submit (subject to Sharon's 14 "conditions") to President Bush and quartet pressure and pursue an alternative road map to Oslo.The "Road Map" was proposed as a way to end the "occupation" and as a way out of the current deadlock. In view of the ongoing failure of the Roadmap, other solutions have surfaced.  Other proposals to deal with West Bank Arabs have suggested severe punishment and/or transfer of the terrorists to unspecified locations. MK Eliezer Cohen (Yisrael Beiteinu) said, "This is war, not just terrorism, and we must fight back accordingly. They are fighting us with all of their resources and weaponry, and we must do the same. Our army knows exactly what to do, and it is time to do it." The Elon Peace Plan requires changing the nature of its Jordanian neighbor. The Plan states, "Jordan is Palestine. The Arab residents of Judea and Samaria remain in their homes and become citizens of Jordan with Amman as their capital." The Hashemite family that rules Jordan has not been consulted to implement such a transition and would be very hostile to adding to the already contentious majority Palestinian population.All two-state proposals suffer from fatal flaws. Two-state solutions will create an entity that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and enable that state to prepare for and commit violence. It will underwrite and support terrorism, lead to another war of attrition and finally to a major regional conflict. Moderate West Bank Arabs cannot displace terrorists who will claim credit for the establishment of the new independent state. The ultimate consequences will be exceptional violence and a demoralization and/or destruction of the State of Israel. No Arab organization or leader, even those who profess to recognize Israel's right to exist, has ever recognized the right of a Jewish State to exist anywhere west of the Jordan River. In today's world it is highly unlikely that such an Arab organization or commitment will emerge. The impossibility of creating an Arab state on the West Bank that will live in peace with the Jewish State of Israel is clear. Thus the time has come for Israel to assert its historic rights and its rights under the Mandate for Palestine and that: 
Israel formally annex and declare sovereignty over the territory west of the Jordan River exclusive of Gaza. 

ANNEXATION & DECLARATION of SOVEREIGNTY

Annexation will provide a clear and well-defined status for West Bank Arabs. The Oslo Accords will be declared null and void. The PA will disbanded and all terrorist infrastructures will be outlawed and dismantled.All residents of the West Bank will be subject to Israel law and all subversive, treasonous and criminal organizations will be subject to internal civil Israel law. Israel would no longer police the West Bank as an "occupation force". It is important to understand that after Annexation, Israel will have significantly greater flexibility in dealing with issues and problems on the West Bank. Those problems will all be viewed as internal problems of the State of Israel and not problems subject to constant international scrutiny by those who view the West Bank as "occupied"territory.Gaza is explicitly excluded from Annexation and Israel should immediately and simultaneously withdraw from Gaza in an orderly manner. The Gaza border would continue to be well defined and well protected. Possible long term alternatives for Gaza include status as an international free-trade zone and/or, annexation by Egypt, creation of an independent and expanded entity with the cooperation of Egypt and the addition of part of the Sinai, or ultimately becoming an added region of Israel. A group of experts will analyze issues relating to Gaza separately.

STATUS of WEST BANK ARABS

The day after annexation, Arabs living in the West Bank with no criminal record will become permanent residents and receive blue Israel ID cards similar to 95% of Jerusalem Arabs. They will be subject to Israel civil law not military rule. Permanent residents receive benefits currently available to the citizens of Israel including: health care, education, welfare, economic incentives, employment, social safety nets, etc. They will vote in local and regional elections but not for Knesset Members. The opportunity to one day becoming Israeli citizens must be very carefully planned. Its timing must include demographic, geographic, historical and social factors. The ultimate pathways and opportunity to become an Israeli citizen will for example include a public oath of loyalty to the Jewish State of Israel. The procedures and the details of the path to citizenship will be determined as an internal matter by the State of Israel. Each country determines its own citizenship rules. There are many models ranging from extremes like Switzerland where citizenship is often not granted for several generations, and the extremely restrictive standards set by Islamic States to the more liberal standards applied by other countries. The process will be phased in over time and will be adjusted appropriately as circumstances require. West Bank Arabs will no longer suffer under a violent dictatorial PA regime. The tragedy which befell them as a result of the Oslo Accords which imported 40,000 militant radical followers of Yasser Arafat and the PLO in 1993-1994 can now be undone. Furthermore, current Israel Arab citizens will no longer need fear the consequences of a terrorist state being formed in Israel's backyard. Dual loyalty and the need to demonstrate hostility to the Jewish state will no longer be attractive. Humanitarian social services, health care and education will be available to all. The success of many Israeli Arabs will encourage West Bank Arabs to also participate in Israel's success. Global "do-gooders" can turn their attention to other troubled areas in the middle east, Africa and Asia. The occupation will have ended.Those who do not commit to abide by the laws of Israel, will be encouraged and at times financially supported to relocate to Gaza, Jordan or to other Arab countries. 900,000 Jews left those countries since 1948[1] (often with only the shirts on their backs). Israel cannot and should not tolerate persons who will not commit to abide by its laws. As the irreversible nature of Annexation is made clear, persons with vested interests in land, businesses, homes and families will quickly realize the long term benefits that living in an democratic and open society offers. Just as many Israeli Arabs have participated in Israel's success and identify with Israel, so too will West Bank Arabs value their new found opportunities. Those who choose to remain hostile to the Jewish State of Israel may receive a one-time subsidy of $5,000 to help them relocate. A family of ten would receive $50,000. A possibly irresistible offer! It is reasonable to presume that given the choice of Israel residency, many West Bank Arabs will choose life, peace and the pursuit of happiness that Israel provides. In the current environment, with no alternatives other than those offered by brutal and violent organizations including the PA, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Tanzim etc., it is not surprising that West Bank Arabs appear to support violence and terror. 

THE BENEFITS of ANNEXATION

An important collateral benefit to Annexation will be a reversal of the trend of many Israeli Arabs who are beginning to display serious signs of disloyalty. It is not surprising that Israeli Arabs faced with the apparent inevitability of a terrorist Palestinian state have severe concerns that they will ultimately be branded as traitors or collaborators with the hated Zionist enemy. Those concerns weigh heavily on them and strongly influence how they conduct themselves as Israeli citizens. Similarly, after hearing repeatedly by Israeli, Arab, and internationl entities that the status of Jerusalem was subject to negotiation, the attitude and conduct of the Jerusalem Arab population underwent a dramatic change. That change was encouraged by concern about the ultimate status of Jerusalem's Arab population and how a future terrorist state would punish their cooperation with the Zionists. Historically, Israel as benefited from every Aliyah, or expansion of its population. Increasing its population has always spurred economic growth. In addition to the expansion factors associated with immigration, partnerships with Arabs businessmen will enhance Israel's economic and political influence in the Middle East. Every increase in Israel's population raised multiple concerns. However, eventually, all immigrant groups contributed to Israel's strength and success.

OBJECTIONS & CONCERNS

1.  Demographic: Arab fertility rates are high and Israeli demographers claim that there is an Arab majority west of the Jordan River.
2.  Electoral: If Israel is to remain a democracy, all of its residents must be granted citizenship. Arab voters together with left-wing parties will change the Jewish character of Israel.
3.  Political: Israeli politicians are afraid that they will lose their power bases.
4.  Global reaction: The world will object to Israel solving its problems unilaterally. The vision of a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel will not be abandoned.
5.  Jewish State: Israel will become a bi-national state and the original Zionist dream will be destroyed. 

The above concerns are legitimate and must be carefully analyzed. They are all resolvable. The status of West Bank residents must be carefully designed to deal with these and other concerns.
i.  Permanent residency provides all civil and religious rights.
ii.  The addition of new voters will only take place when regional violence ends and there is both external and internal acceptance of Israel as a Jewish State.
iii.  Paths to citizenship would be dependent and phased-in with appropriate guidelines and qualifications including allegiance to the Jewish state, family background, non criminal history, education, employment, health record, and other standards.

DEMOGRAPHICS

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS), there are currently about 5.5 million non-Arabs in Israel and 1.1 million Israeli Arabs. The Palestinian Authority and Israeli demographers claim that there are currently over 2.4 million Arabs on the West Bank. In view of the fact that the last ICBS survey of the West Bank less than 7 years ago indicated a population of about 1.1 million, the data on West Bank Arabs needs to be verified. It is highly doubtful that there are more than 1.5 million Arabs living on the West Bank. These numbers are based on the best current estimates and do not include future fertility, morbidity or emigration/immigration factors. Note that under no circumstances would citizenship be granted overnight. The path to citizenship will be closely monitored. Annexation does not create a new population, it eliminates a terrorist regime and moves to civil rather than military law. Jews have prospered over the centuries under much more difficult numerical relationships in environments that they did NOT control. Historically, fertility has been almost impossible to predict, especially in the current volatile local and global environment. Indeed, in the last 5 years, two of the most startling declines in fertility have occurred in Egypt and Iran. As modernization and westernization is introduced into the West Bank, fertility will plummet. Other significant factors and unanticipated events will inevitably impact the relative growth of populations in a rapidly changing world. Since the establishment of the State of Israel 1948 and before, all demographic calculations and forecasts of the disappearance of Israel or of the impossibility of a Jewish majority in a Jewish homeland have been mistaken. Immigration of Jews from Arab lands and Russia, and other unexpected demographic factors were not foreseen. There is no reason to rely on unreliable fertility forecasts as the prime factor to reject a sane solution to the current intolerable situation. If Annexation is not pursued, the combination of an external and internal enemy population reproducing for the sole purpose of destroying the State of Israel is not difficult to foresee. After Annexation, as an internal matter, government policies and incentives can be employed to encourage normal fertility. In October 2003, Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia demonstrated a very profound understanding of demographics. He claimed that "Jews rule the world by proxy" and "get others to fight and die for them." He also said that Jews "invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy" to avoid persecution and gain control of the most powerful countries. Mahathir said, "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews...because we are discouraged from learning of science and mathematics as giving us no merit for the afterlife, today we have no capacity to produce our own weapons for our defense. We have to buy our weapons from our detractors and enemies." The Prime Minister understands that raw numbers of people is only one element in analyzing populations and societal trends. Demographics is a very complex issue and its meaningful study does not lie solely in counting people. One of the more unbalanced demographic situations in the Middle East exists in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. More that 75% of its population claims to be "Palestinian". No one knows if or when the ruling minority will be overthrown and when Jordan will be established as a Palestinian State occupying the East Bank of the Jordan River. However, it is not unreasonable to presume that after Annexation, Palestinians will understand that if there is to be a Palestinian State it will be on the East Bank and not the West Bank of the Jordan River. The impact of a Jordan/Palestinian State on the entire question of citizenship and demographics will be very significant. It would be irresponsible for Israel to make any agreements in today's environment that would impact the possibility of a genuine two-state solution: a Jewish State on the West Bank and a Moslem State on the East Bank. Nonetheless, the question of one man one vote must be addressed. After all, Israel is and will remain a bonafide member of the world's representative democratic states, irrespective of the ultimate composition of Israel's citizenship population. The following discussion addresses an answer to the question: How can Israel remain both a democracy and a Jewish State?

A MORE REPRESENTATIVE KNESSET?

Currently in elections for the Knesset, Israel votes for the various parties who present a slate of MK's. The parties compete for votes primarily in the major population centers. This process assures that many parts of the country are not represented in the Knesset. Representation of the periphery is almost non-existent. The United States has the world's longest lasting and vibrant representative democratic forms of government that protects the inalienable rights of individuals and minorities. The approval of both houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate is required for all legislation and expenditures. Each of the 50 states elects two members to the Senate and a number of House Representatives based of its population. For example, the states of Rhode Island with one sixtieth the population of the state of California and the state of California, both send two Senators to Washington. Additionally, the President of the US is elected by the electoral college. As we all remember, Gore received almost a million more votes than President Bush, but was finally defeated. In the USA, most functions of government are the responsibility of local and state governments. The Federal government in Washington has broader responsibilities including defense, international dealings etc. Disputes between states are resolved by the Supreme Court. Each city, county and state has a lightly armed police force to preserve law and order. Long term planning suggests that Israel consider creating a similar governing structure. Israel could be divided into 15 districts. Local communities in each district would have responsibility for local governance within the national framework. Each district would send 4 MKs to the upper house of the Knesset. The other 60 MK's would be elected as today in a national election. The above structure, for the very long term, will preserve the Jewish nature of Israel and provide full rights and local governance for local non-Jewish majority populations. All would be encouraged to become productive members of society.

THE JEWISH STATE

The Law of Return to the Jewish State will remain unchanged and available only to Jews. Arabs are or should be welcome and free to live in any of 22 Arab countries, just as Jews are welcome and free to live in one small Jewish country. As determined by an appropriate panel, other defining characteristics of a Jewish State would be made the subject of irrevocable structural laws of the State of Israel prior to Annexation.

FINANCIAL

Israel should be spending resources on developing and rebuilding the West Bank social infrastructure, instead of building fences and amassing weapons. Nations with a vested interest in a peaceful resolution to the current conflict will be invited to participate and invest in the development of the West Bank society to create a democratic and prosperous environment for all its inhabitants.

TIMING OF ANNEXATION

Expeditious implementation of Annexation is essential. The following (not necessarily in order of importance) could create significant additional pressures on Israel and make the decision of Annexation more difficult:
1.   The global situation is rapidly deteriorating. Political, financial, and social crises exist worldwide.
2.   The risk of Bush losing the November 2004 US election. Even a Bush reelection does not assure continuing American support. And the apres Bush?
3.   Growing political influence of the Euro/Russian alliance inimical to Israel's interests
4.   A rising anti-Israel anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish sentiment because of the "occupation".
5.   Global terrorism and its impact.
6.   Mounting internal economic, political and social pressures in Israel resulting from limbo status
7.   Israel is being positioned as an Apartheid occupier and is being summoned to World Courts and other forums in a manner reminiscient of South Africa. The opportunity to remove the terrorist leadership and to simultaneously offer a normalized environment for West Bank Arabs is available. If Israel does not act now and proceeds to facilitate an interim two-state solution, there is little doubt that it will have to fight a major war with the new terrorist state and its treaty partners. After the next war, Annexation will appear even more attractive, but why not act now and avoid the suffering and the tragedies of another war? Israel must move forward now with Annexation. Annexation is only a matter of time. It will take place either:
1.  Now in a reasoned, planned, systematic manner
2.  After one or more mega terror attacks on Israel
3.  After the creation of a new terrorist state leads to a major regional conflict.

Some Source Documents
Sample annexation resolution: Annexation of Hawaii- 1898
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1898hawaii1.html

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[1] House of Representatives Resolution 311 calls for the international community to recognize the plight of 900,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries. It also calls on UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) to establish a program for resettling the Palestinian refugees that have been shamefully exploited by the Arab world. UNWRA currently funds their continued cruel existence in camps for political ends.