Thursday, July 26, 2012

The NYTimes Hosts Yesha Council Head's Op-ed

We have, perhaps, a first. The New York Times hosts Dani Dayan's op-ed:

Israel’s Settlers Are Here to Stay

My campaign has succeeded.

Okay, we're still "settlers" and not Jewish residents.

"Settlements" and not communities.

We're in the "West Bank" (Maale Shomron, West Bank) and not Judea and Samaria but those geopolitical historical terms are used throughout.


From the op-ed:-

WHATEVER word you use to describe Israel’s 1967 acquisition of Judea and Samaria — commonly referred to as the West Bank in these pages — will not change the historical facts. Arabs called for Israel’s annihilation in 1967, and Israel legitimately seized the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria in self-defense. Israel’s moral claim to these territories, and the right of Israelis to call them home today, is therefore unassailable. Giving up this land in the name of a hallowed two-state solution would mean rewarding those who’ve historically sought to destroy Israel, a manifestly immoral outcome...

...The insertion of an independent Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan would be a recipe for disaster.  The influx of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and elsewhere would convert the new state into a hotbed of extremism...the Palestinians have repeatedly refused to implement a negotiated two-state solution. The American government and its European allies should abandon this failed formula once and for all and accept that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are not going anywhere.

On the contrary, we aim to expand the existing Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and create new ones. This is not — as it is often portrayed — a theological adventure but is rather a combination of inalienable rights and realpolitik.

...more than 350,000 Israelis live in Judea and Samaria. With an annual growth rate of 5 percent, we can expect to reach 400,000 by 2014 — and that excludes the almost 200,000 Israelis living in Jerusalem’s newer neighborhoods. Taking Jerusalem into account, about 1 in every 10 Israeli Jews resides beyond the 1967 border...

The attempts by members of the Israeli left to induce Israelis to abandon their homes in Judea and Samaria by offering them monetary compensation are pathetic. This checkbook policy has failed in the past, as it will in the future...Our presence in all of Judea and Samaria — not just in the so-called settlement blocs — is an irreversible fact...

Given the irreversibility of the huge Israeli civilian presence in Judea and Samaria and continuing Palestinian rejectionism, Western governments must reassess their approach to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They should acknowledge that no final-status solution is imminent...Today, security — the ultimate precondition for everything — prevails. Neither Jews nor Palestinians are threatened by en masse eviction; the economies are thriving; a new Palestinian city, Rawabi, is being built north of Ramallah; Jewish communities are growing; checkpoints are being removed; and tourists of all nationalities are again visiting Bethlehem and Shiloh.

While the status quo is not anyone’s ideal, it is immeasurably better than any other feasible alternative. And there is room for improvement. Checkpoints are a necessity only if terror exists; otherwise, there should be full freedom of movement...
Yossi Beilin, a left-wing former Israeli minister, wrote a telling article a few months ago. A veteran American diplomat touring the area had told Mr. Beilin he’d left frightened because he found everyone — Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Saudi Arabia — content with the current situation. Mr. Beilin finds this widespread satisfaction disturbing, too.

I think it is wonderful news. If the international community relinquished its vain attempts to attain the unattainable two-state solution, and replaced them with intense efforts to improve and maintain the current reality on the ground, it would be even better. The settlements of Judea and Samaria are not the problem — they are part of the solution.

Dani Dayan is the chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria.


1 comment:

Thermblog said...

It's a good article although in the event of a creation of a new state, it is not the intention of the PA/PLO to allow refugees return to it. This was made clear in the run-up to last September's attempt to vote in the new state.

Two ideas to assist in finding solutions:

1) Insist that all involved countries participate in the solution; this means the countries that attacked in 1948 and after and countries that kicked out Jews, creating more refugees. Perhaps even Russia could be pressured to cough up assets taken from departing Jews.

2) Solve the refugee problem FIRST by settling them where they are now.

Now we have a smaller problem and a bigger number of countries directly interested in solving it.