Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


ACPR Research – Summary


YESH"A (Judea, Samaria and Gaza):
Open "Mosaic" Sovereignty

Yuval Arnon-Ohanna

Policy Paper No. 145 (Hebrew), 2003

“Nobody has an alternative,” is a very common saying usually plastered against any criticism of the Oslo Agreement. This article's goal is to present an alternative aimed at two targets: Internal – to lay a basis for the re-creation of a new consensus between the Left and Right wings within the Zionist Movement, and External – to grant independence and sovereignty to the Palestinians on one hand, while hindering their recurring attempts against the existence of Israel, on the other. The following alternative is based on Arab – Islamic legitimation as well as on the international law.

According to the 1858 Ottoman Land Law which is still valid (with minor justifications) in Judea and Samaria, the land is divided into Private Domain (48%), State Domain (40%), Deserted Land (10%), and Jewish Private Land previous to 1948 (2%). Due to various reasons all the Arab towns and villages are built on Private Domain, while all the Jewish settlements – towns, and villages, are built on State Domain only. This division is total. Except for few settlements built on private Jewish land, there are no Jewish settlements on Private Domain, nor an Arab town or village on State Domain.

This situation, based on Ottoman legitimation accepted and obeyed both by Arabs and Jews, enables us to form the proposed “Mosaic Sovereignty” in the Territories, in which both Jews and Arabs may fulfill their own independence in their own premises. The road and air-space will remain open to all. That proposal is the only one by which no village will be destroyed, no house is to be deserted and no people will be dominated or subdued by the other.

Since Jordan renounced their sovereignty over the West Bank on July 31, 1988, a jurisdictional – political vacuum exists in this territory and Israel has the international legitimation to present the “Mosaic Sovereignty” proposal. It has also every possible justification to reject any Arab demand to establish the State of Palestine in the West Bank and absorb millions of Palestinian refugees on Israeli soil.

It is proposed that Israel will present the Mosaic Sovereignty solution to the Palestinians. If accepted – the ancient, historic conflict is over. If rejected – Israel may assume that solution unilaterally. By all means a well-based unilateral arrangement is preferable to a shaky, crumbling bilateral agreement which is doomed to collapse because of the partner's caprices.  

For the complete article (in Hebrew), click here.