A POTPOURRI OF PEACE PLANS
By Shmuel Neumann, Ph.D.
The left keeps repackaging the same Peace Plan each and every time the plan produces catastrophic results. The repackaged plans include the Madrid conference, Oslo I, Oslo II, Wye Agreement, Camp David memorandum, Tenet Plan, Burns plan, Mitchell Plan, the Saudi Plan, the Powel Plan, the Roadmap, the Geneva Accords, and now Sharon's unilateral Peace Plan, an Imposed Peace Plan.
The Right of Center has put forward less varied proposals. The best known is Moledet's Beni Alon's Peace Plan declaring Jordan the Palestinian state and fostering transfer of the population of the so called West Bank to Jordan and of Gaza to Egypt. The Likud branch called Manhigut put forth Moshe Fieglin's plan which strives to make "Israel a Jewish State by providing education towards Love of Israel, Torah and the Land. He advocates granting voting rights to diaspora Jews who tie their fate to the State of Israel, the liberation of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, the cancellation of the Oslo Accords, accelerated application of sovereignty over the settlements, renewal of democracy and the Justice System on the basis of national values, Jewish labor for an effective, creative and moral economy, the forbidding of the employment of foreign workers and to return moral strength and the restoring of the power of deterrence to Israel's Army."
YeshaHomestead and Hamotzi added to the plethora of alternatives. Their position is that not only are the fundamental assumptions made by other plans irrational, but more egregious, they elicit the opposite of the desired effects.
The left makes two basic irrational assumptions: 1) that any Peace can only be achieved by negotiation and 2) that the end result must inevitably lead to an independent Palestinian country. Both assumptions are patently absurd. The last three years of incessant violence and the Palestinians non-compliance with any agreement or inerrant accord demonstrates the futility of negotiated agreements. More importantly, it is the establishment of a Palestinian country that insures perpetual worldwide violence.
National Identity and Status
The fiction of the Palestinians must be brought to an end. The so-called Palestinians are not Palestinian. They are Jordanian citizens living in the so called West Bank and Egyptian citizens living in Gaza. Their status should be no different than that of a Bulgarian citizen who wishes to remain in Israel. Just as a Bulgarian citizen can acquire permanent residency status if qualified, Egyptian citizens that want to remain in Gaza and Jordanian citizens that want to remain in Yehuda and Shomron should be required to obtain either a temporary or permanent residency visa. According to existing Israeli law, permanent residents can vote in local municipal, county and state elections. There is no need to establish any new state as the Arabs already have self-determination in running all local municipal and county affairs.
Citizenship will be restricted to those eligible to serve in the Israeli armed forces. Non-citizens may remain as permanent residents or on a temporary resident visa restricted to a six-month term. Visa violations will be as strictly enforced as they are in the United States. Non-citizens certainly will not receive child welfare checks, free education, free healthcare and subsidized higher education. Furthermore, non-citizens will not be permitted to own property and must deed it to the Jewish state or sell it to private Israeli citizens.
Arabs are the only citizens of the Israel that are not required to serve in the Army or even perform community service in lieu of Army service. While Jewish boys are required to be at risk and sacrifice the best three years of their lives in full time Army service, the Israeli government in a reverse discrimination policy provides University education gratis to Arab adolescents. Israeli Arabs derive all the benefits of citizenship without assuming the obligations of citizenship.
Jews should have this same option. Many Jews hesitate to make Aliya as they are not prepared to forfeit their children's adolescence. That should be an individual decision. When their child reaches the age of maturity, they should be permitted to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be full citizens and serve in the Army. It is impossible for Jews to move to Israel and remain non-citizen residents as a professional license to be a physician, lawyer, social worker, nurse, etc. cannot be processed unless the individual makes aliya. Without making aliya, a Jew cannot become a member of a Jewish settlement. Even after making aliya, a Jew who defers military service may not work. That means that a Jew who wants to live in Israel without obligating their children to serve in the Israeli Army cannot obtain professional licenses, cannot work, and cannot become members of Jewish settlements in Yehuda and Shomron.
It is time to establish two classes of citizens. Full citizenship with the right to vote for those that are eligible to serve and virtual citizenship for those that are exempt from Army service. These virtual citizens could buy houses, get professional licenses, and work even in professions, but would not have the right to vote in national elections, would not get higher education scholarships, and would not receive National Insurance assistance based on the number of children in the family. The Law of Return can be simply revised to automatically grant virtual citizenship to anyone who is a Jew and who wishes to be exempt from Army service. In order to provide closure and an end to the illusion that any form of Palestinian state is viable, abolish the Palestinian Authority and grant virtual Israeli citizenship to the one million Israeli Arabs, three million Palestinians, one million Palestinian refugees, and the thirteen million Jews worldwide.
The Israeli Arab, Palestinian Arab and Jewish virtual citizens will vote only in local elections in the areas in which they reside. The virtual citizens will not be a drain on the taxpayers' pocket. Just as Jewish virtual citizens do not serve in the Army, pay for their own health insurance, pay for their elementary and high school education, and do not receive National Insurance child allowance, the Moslem virtual citizens likewise receive the benefit of exemption from the Army at the cost of self-sufficiency. In contrast, those that bear the burden of full citizenship receive the benefits of full citizenship. Druze and Bedoins that serve in the Army retain their full citizenship, continue to serve in the Army and continue to vote in national elections.
Until virtual citizenship is implemented, the violence can be instantly stopped without a Roadmap or interim State, merely by providing sufficient physical distance between populations so that they are each out of range of sniper or homicide bomb attacks. Simply creating buffer zones around Jewish and Arab towns and villages, along major roads and along the green line ends all possibility of attack.
A system of buffer zones must be imposed to prevent the possibility of attack. In order to prevent Jews from being within range of snipers and bombers, clear a two-kilometer buffer zone around every Jewish holy site and tomb, around each Jewish community and along the roads in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Any Arabs that have houses and farms within these buffer zones who can prove ownership, with papers delineating the chain of title from the Ottoman, British and Jordanian records, should be compensated. Others are squatters who have no rights to this land.
Establish Separate States within the West Bank and Gaza
Just as the Sharon, Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee and Negev are separate jurisdictions within Israel, which could be defined as "states." They are free to pass additional state or municipal ordinances, just as any other state or municipality within Israel has that prerogative.
Rather than an interim Palestinian state by 2005, liquidate the terrorist Palestinian Authority, and in its stead, elect new local governments that provide civil services and enforce local ordinances. The so called Palestinians can begin to lead productive useful lives and enjoy prosperity derived from mutual cooperation rather than the current destructive, empty and useless lifestyle that breeds a culture that idealizes suicide bombing.
Equal Application of Law
Israeli law must be equally applied to all residents, citizens and permanent residents alike; Jews and Arabs alike.
It is unconscionable that Jewish Israeli citizens forfeit due process rights if they live in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where martial law rather than civil law prevails. Israeli citizens are imprisoned without charges, are prevented legal representation and contact with lawyers, etc. They are citizens and the same due process should apply to them on both sides of the Green Line.
We must insist upon equality under the law. Jews must be guaranteed the right to directly purchase homes and land from Arabs. In the event that Moslem clerics threaten the Arab seller, they must be prosecuted for terrorisic threats in addition to civil rights violations. In the event any Palestinian group impedes fair trade practices, then they must be held accountable and fined and those actively involved, imprisoned. If any Palestinian group kills an Arab that sells to Jews, then Israel must be legally compelled to process this act of terrorism in the same way that they respond to terrorism against Jewish Israelis.
Permanent residents that join a terror organization must have their visas revoked and be deported. The lawlessness of the Palestinian Authority must be brought to an end. Israeli law must apply to the permanent residents who live in Areas A and B. They are free to pass additional municipal ordinances just as any other municipality within Israel has that prerogative.
Just as every Jew that lives in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) must prove ownership of their property, every single Arab living in Yehuda and Shomron must be made to show that they have similarly registered their land, proving their ownership through the Ottoman, British and pre-1967 Jordanian records. If they cannot prove ownership, they must be removed from those properties.
Area C, 58% of the West Bank, is legally inhabited by Jews and illegally inhabited by Arab squatters. By fining these squatters and forcing them to move, the entire area can be either purchased by Jews or is Israeli government land and, therefore, de facto annexed to Israel. Of the remaining 42% of the West Bank, Arabs in Area B must prove ownership. Those Arabs in illegal possession of land around the villages in Area B must be compelled to evacuate. This land, together with land in Area B that was purchased by Jews, will also be de facto annexed to Israel.
Annex All of Biblical Israel
There is absolutely no justification in perpetuating the delusion that the West Bank is not Israel. Palestine was a name the Romans gave Israel when they conquered it in 77 CE. It was always a colony, first of the Roman Empire, then of the Ottoman Empire, and, after WW I, a colony of the British Empire. The British divided Palestine along the Jordan River: the East Bank, 80% of Palestine, was given to Arabs and renamed Jordan, and the territory of the West Bank of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean was returned to the Jews for a Jewish homeland. This became Israel - a mere fraction of its original size. In 1948, the Egyptians and Syrians attacked the new Jewish state, and, until 1967, Jordan illegally occupied the West Bank.
In the Six-Day War, Egypt committed an act of war by blockading the Straits of Tiran and Israel used military force to remove the blockade. After the second day of the Six-Day War, Jordan attacked and the West Bank was restored to Israel. The United States takes the position that as Israel fired the first bullet, it technically attacked Egypt and therefore is unjustified in retaining Gaza. However, even the United States must agree that as Jordan attacked Israel, they have no legal claims to the West Bank.
Israeli annexation does not need to be an overt action. Applying Israeli law to this region as it applies everyplace else will have the same effect.
Resolution of Land Disputes:
The holy land of Israel will be restored to the Jews. All so called Palestinians will be required to prove sole ownership with clear title through the Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Israeli land registrations, the same burden of proof that Jews are required to produce in order to register their land. All land and houses that are not privately owned will be nationalized as is all unregistered land and houses in the rest of Israel.
Currently, the Palestinian Authority governs 99% of the Palestinian population. This 99% of the population lives on 42% of the approximately one and a half million acres that comprise the West Bank and Gaza. It is that one percent of the Arab population that is peppered in Area C that is critical to the successful resolution to the disputed 58% land mass. A large part was Jordanian government land and is now either officially a nature reserve or Jewish National Fund land. The small portion that is privately held by Palestinians is what prevents Israeli annexation of this 58% of the West Bank and Gaza.
We can end the conflict simply by investing. By buying out just 1% of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, Jews can reclaim 58% of the land, because 99% of the Arabs live in concentrated areas on the other 42%. We must flood the courts with motions to compel Israel to evict any so-called Palestinian who does not possess valid title to their land and homes.
We must pool our resources to purchase all property in these buffer zones from the so-called Palestinians. From the standpoint of Israeli security, there will be no need for the security fence, but rather there will be sufficient buffer zones between populations. In the long run, the cost to the government in providing security to its citizens will be markedly reduced. From the standpoint of aliyah, the affluent, accomplished Jews of the world will be attracted to the scenic open space in this newly reclaimed land.
With so-called Palestinians confined to cantons, the option remains open for them to sell and find a better life elsewhere. The United Nations Charter gives them this right. Their right to emigrate is an inalienable basic human right. The so-called Palestinians are prevented from exercising their right of free trade by racist fatwas, or religious decrees, of Moslem clerics who issue a death warrant for any Moslem who sells land in Israel to Jews. In a country of law, this must not be tolerated. Ordering the death of the seller is conspiracy to commit murder, plain and simple, whether the terroristic threats are acted upon or not. The cleric must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Palestinian web sites proudly display execution of land dealers, complete with video and pictures of the execution.
Purchasing Palestinian's land and homes in Area C, thereby creating buffer zones that are easy to patrol by passive electronic equipment, would substantially reduce Israel's defense budget. The overwhelming majority of these scattered peoples are squatters that have no lawful right to this land and houses. These squatters would, for a small sum, abandon ownership or sell to Jewish Agencies, such as Keren Kayemet, or to investors, or to organizations that have been redeeming the land. The government should also encourage residents of scattered villages in Area B to move, if not out of the country, then into the more settled areas in Area A. Only when Palestinians are confined to Area A, can security forces effectively protect the Israeli citizen from harm.
Each Jewish family may claim their portion of the holy land. They will receive their proportionate share of acreage provided they consent to actively farm it in accordance with Jewish law. This land cannot be sold.
Undeveloped land in Judea and Samaria must be cultivated. Just as farmers may apply for agricultural land within Israel, either in joint co-operative projects, as in moshavim or kibbutzim, or in private farming ventures, permits to farm land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza that is owned by the Israeli government must be offered to Israeli citizens. For unowned land, Israel should copy the United States Homestead Act of 1867, permitting citizens to farm abandoned land and record ownership after a number of years. This would simply reinforce the existing Jordanian law that is in full force and effect in the so-called West Bank that permits farming abandoned property. In order for the homesteads to not become a burden upon the Israeli armed forces, homesteaders must be ex-soldiers with valid permits to carry firearms and who have proven ability to protect themselves from infiltrators.
This law is certainly not in violation of the Geneva Convention when applied only to the so-called West Bank. One may debate whether Egypt's blockade of the Straits of Tiran in 1967 was an act of war. If it was, then even though Israel fired the first weapons, it was a defensive war. If it was not, then Israel's use of military force against Egypt was an offensive rather than defensive act. However, no one can debate Jordan's role. Jordan attacked Israel after the second day of the Six-Day War despite Israel imploring the Jordanians not to enter into the conflict. Jordan is unquestionably the aggressor in that war and their loss of the West Bank is permanent. The Geneva Accords definitely do not apply to this territory. As such, even the most extremist view that the Geneva Convention prohibits citizens of one country inhabiting the occupied territory of a conquered country, could only apply in Gaza. To be above reproach, the Homestead Act should at first be passed on so-called West Bank areas.
Jewish refugees from Europe will waive their right to reclaim the lands, houses and valuables confiscated before and during World War II. To compensate the Jewish refugees, the European Union will build six million houses to house the refugees and their descendants. Middle East countries will compensate the million Jews that had to evacuate their countries with just the shirts on their back. They will build another three million houses in Israel to house the second-generation Jewish refugees that had to flee Arab countries.
The Egyptian and Jordanian citizens who seek to emigrate from the West Bank or Gaza should be permitted to freely emigrate. The Israeli authorities frequently deny these Arabs a pass to leave. Ironically, we have become like the Soviet Union that for decades withheld exit visas of three million Soviet Jews who sought to exercise their basic human right of emigration. We must insist upon equality under the law. Those Egyptian and Jordanian Arabs that wish to emigrate should be categorically permitted the equivalent of an exit visa.
Furthermore, anyone who is either a security risk or participates in the violent overthrow of a government is routinely deported in every democratic country. Just as a Jewish, non-Israeli malcontent who foments racism or is guilty of incitement is deported to his country of origin, Arab malcontents must similarly be deported. Deport the entire terrorist infrastructure from top to bottom.
As the Arabs do not want the return of three million Jews into Arab countries, the Arab countries agree to absorb three million Moslem refugees. The Arab Union will pay all costs for the emigration of Moslems from Israel. The Arab Union accepts that Jews will exclusively occupy Israel. To make sure that the three million Jewish refugees do not return, the Arab Union will pay for a publicity campaign to encourage Jews worldwide to have a second home: their first in Israel, and their second wherever they now live.
Access to Religious Sites
Israel will accept Islam's prohibition of Jews visiting and praying in a minyan in Mecca. The Arab Union agrees that Arabs will be barred from the Temple Mount, the Tombs of the Patriarchs and all other holy places in Israel.
Both citizens and virtual citizens benefit from stimulating the growth of the West Bank settlements and encouraging creation of many new West Bank communities and commercial and industrial zones that will provide jobs and services. As with the Jews and Arabs in the Galil that have amicable working relationships, only by fostering interdependence will both populations find cooperation more in their mutual self-interest than fanatical confrontation.
Currently, the Palestinian Authority governs 99% of the Palestinian population. This 99% of the population lives on 42% of the six and a half million dunam that comprise Yesha. It is that one percent of the Arab population that is peppered in Area C that is critical to the successful resolution to the disputed 58% land mass. A large part was Jordanian government land and is now either officially a nature reserve or Keren Kayemet (JNF) land. The small portion that is privately held by Palestinians is what prevents Israeli annexation of this 58% (3,770,000 dunam) of Yehuda and Shomron. The Palestinian Authority must simply be restructured as a system of local municipal and county administrations.
While implementing this plan will upset a handful of demagogues who corruptly abused their position of power, it is in the best interest of the so-called Palestinian people. Rather than remaining locked into an armed struggle that they can never win and rather than falling victim to fanatical, corrupt self-rule, this is the best accommodation they can hope to achieve.
In the early 20th Century, their families moved to what is now Israel in the hopes of a better future for themselves. In the new Jewish state, there were jobs aplenty, education for their children and the promise of a modern democracy. Instead, they were turned into a scapegoat for the entire Arab world, forced into the role of oppressed refugees by their own crooked leadership, contained in poverty and exploited by the Western anti-Semitic media. This is their chance for freedom.
Hundreds of thousands of so-called Palestinian Arabs have elected to relocate abroad. They want nothing more than a chance for a normal life. They want to live in an area free of tyranny, injustice and free from those who have exploited them for generations. They understand that were they to stay, they are condemning their children to a lifetime of poverty, abuse by the so-called Palestinian leadership, and anarchy. They do not want to become full-fledged Israelis, which in the future would require three years of army service from their boys and girls just like any other Israeli citizen. They certainly do not want to pay the high taxes that other Israelis pay. They want out. The United Nations charter guarantees the right of emigration as a basic human right.
We should help them out.
Shmuel Neumann, Ph.D., is actively involved in creating communities for English-speaking olim, and in an emigration program for Palestinians. He currently resides in the Shomron.