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There is Life Without a Solution

Elyakim Ha'etzni
Policy Paper No. 135, 2002


The political outcome to which we should aspire is the dismemberment of the Palestinian Authority because this body personifies two terminal demands upon the very existence of the Jewish state: The “right of return” for all the Arab refugees and the demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Western Eretz Israel. Negotiations are possible only with local bodies and can only refer to the search for a modus vivendi, not for “peace” or a “solution”.

Those who support the establishment of a Palestinian state condition their agreement upon:

  1. Demilitarization.

  2. A prohibition on signing military treaties.

  3. Supervision over the exploitation of the mountain aquifer.

  4. Supervision over the border crossings.

  5. Control over the air space above the Palestinian state.

No Palestinian government will ever honor these restrictions, but without them life in Israel will become a nightmare.

The Arabs are unable to conclude a European peace, aside from “Hudaibiya”-style agreements, which they are commanded to violate at the first opportunity. Therefore we have to return to a life without agreement and without “solution”, life in the midst of a conflict.

Paradoxically, the internalization of the absence of peace may produce psychological alleviation, people realizing that the Jewish state was not created to spare the need to fight, but to provide the capability to do so.

The sole possible model for a modus vivendi is autonomy.

Autonomy will not arise under an agreement. It will emerge de facto, not de jure, but gradually and in a modular fashion. Those who would take part in its implementation need not assume political responsibility.

It is the Israeli Knesset that will legislate autonomy for the Arab residents, retaining security (aside from internal policing), foreign affairs, basic infrastructure and supervision over entry and departure at international boundaries.

The residents of the Autonomy will elect concerning their home rule, not vote for the Knesset. Their national voting will be in the country of their citizenship which is Trans-Jordan – the Hashemite Kingdom or a Palestinian Republic therein.

The boundaries of the Autonomy will be fixed to encompass the majority of the Arab population, not according to the “Green Line” or the Oslo A-C areas. Arabs detached from the Autonomy will have the option of receiving Israeli citizenship, according to the East Jerusalem model.

To solve the problems of the Arab refugees and the problem of the increasing population density, resources in land and finance located outside the area of Western Eretz Israel are essential. The Gaza strip is over-crowded, whereas the areas of northern Sinai are empty. The empty expanses of Jordan belong organically to the political and economic context of the Palestinians.

And yet, a realistic response to the question “what is your solution?” is the continuation of Zionist praxis by unilateral action.

Zeev Jabotinsky, in his famous article “ The Iron Wall”, saw this 68 years ago:

One cannot dream of a voluntary agreement between us and the Arabs over the Land of Israel... When every crack in the iron wall will be sealed, then will influence pass to more moderate groups...the only way to attain an agreement in the future is to totally abandon any attempt to reach an agreement in the present.

A version of this paper was published in Hebrew in the March 2002 issue of NATIV.

For the complete text of this article (in English), click here.