Friday, June 22, 2012

Discussing Yesha

From today's panel at President Peres' Facing Tomorrow 2012: conference on "Border Experts from the Right and Left Debate Israel's Future Borders":-

Former Territorial Brigades Commander of Judea & Samaria Gen. (Ret.) Ilan Paz stated that, in his view, “the demographical threat should dictate Israel’s action over geographical concerns.” Citing a population of more than 4 million in the Palestinian Territories, and the current Israeli population of 49% Jewish, 47% Arab, he claimed that, “by 2015 Jews will be the minority in Israel. This is really the existential threat – and this is the gist of the conflict between the left and the right.”

Caroline Glick, Senior Contributing Editor of the Jerusalem Post and Head of the Israel Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles, disagreed with Paz, stating that these figures were highly skewed, and claimed that the demographic future belongs to the Jewish people. She argued that the Jews will still maintain a 2:1 ratio over the Arab population, citing the convergence of fertility rates and the potential mass Aliya (immigration) to Israel. Additionally, when referring to Jerusalem, she maintained that no one can argue that a sole sovereign model is the best solution when it comes to the protection of Israel’s citizens.  “We have seen that sole Palestinian sovereignty –in Gaza- has failed. We have also seen that shared sovereignty in Judea and Samaria does not work. We have fulfilled our international obligation to attempt to reach an agreed reconciliation with the Palestinians. They have made it clear that they are unwilling to make peace with Israel and have shown that they are not interested in a Palestinian State. Instead they have focused their efforts on destroying the Jewish State.” In her opinion, Israeli withdrawal is the worst option and that “Israel belongs to the Jews by law and right and should stop hemming and hawing and just say it and rule it.”

Naftali Bennet, founder of the Yisraelim Party and former Director General of the Yesha Council suggested that the Palestinian Territory should have autonomy but should not be a State, and thus have no army and not be able to accept the influx of Palestinian refugees from the region. He highlighted the importance of not forcefully expelling any citizens from their homes, explaining that the implications of uprooting more than 120,000 additional people in Judea and Samaria is very worrisome. “I urge everyone to go out, walk the land, meet the people and see the life in Judea and Samaria,” he said.  “If we had a Prime Minister like Begin who would apply sovereignty on Judea and Samaria, we would undoubtedly be condemned by the world for a few days but then life would move on.  The world has bigger things on the agenda than Israel – including Greece and Syria. We need to do what’s right for the Jewish State.”


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