Humanitarian Relocation of Arabs may be Israel’s only Remaining Option
By Richard Mather
Consideration should be given even to the heroic remedy of transfer of populations […] the hardship of moving is great, but it is less than the constant suffering of minorities and the constant recurrence of war – US president Herbert Hoover, 1943.
The relentless murder of Israeli Jews and the irreparable collapse of the peace process means that Israel and the international community must now consider the “heroic remedy” of population transfer. After decades of terrorism, it is clear that the majority of Arabs in Judea-Samaria and east Jerusalem are incapable of living alongside their Jewish neighbours. The failure of the Oslo Accords, the rampant criminality inside the Palestinian Authority, as well as decades of Islamic terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement, clearly demonstrate that Jews cannot afford the liberal luxury of uninhibited co-existence with an Arab population that clings to the fascistic and immoral ideology of Palestinianism.
It is important to remember that Palestinianism is not a genuine liberation movement. It is an anti-Semitic strategy designed to undermine the legitimacy and security of the Jewish state. The invention of Palestinianism – which is symbolised by the invention of the Nakba and the ambition to divide Jerusalem – is a political tool intended to undermine Israel’s existence and security. The absurd notion that the “Palestinians” are the indigenous people of a country called “Palestine” is a fabrication designed to undermine the moral and legal foundations of the world’s only Jewish state. The Arabs have rejected the possibility of peaceful co-existence with Jews and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise.
Since the start of the 21st century, the Palestinian Arabs have had three major opportunities to establish an independent state. Yasser Arafat walked away from the Camp David talks in 2000 despite being promised 92 per cent of the so-called West Bank, 100 per cent of Gaza and east Jerusalem. Talks held in Taba in 2001 also broke down due to Arafat’s irrational insistence that the Palestinians control the Western Wall. A resolution was also put forward by the Israelis in 2008, in which the Arabs would receive Gaza, the majority of the West Bank, parts of east Jerusalem, safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, and the dismantling of settlements in the Jordan Valley and eastern Samaria. Unfortunately, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not give a final response on the matter and negotiations ended.
Instead of agreeing to any of these generous proposals, Arafat and Abbas have provoked – or sponsored – terror attacks against Israeli (and other Western) civilians. They have repeatedly called for the destruction of the Jewish state and have manipulated Western guilt over the Holocaust by casting themselves as the “new Jews” deserving of sympathy and foreign aid. Instead of planning for the future, Arab schoolteachers and television programmes teach children to hate and kill Jews. Meanwhile, Arab terrorists behave like “wild beasts,” roaming the country looking for Jews to stab. The situation is intolerable and cannot be allowed to continue. There is only option left on the table – and that is the transfer of the Arab population out of east Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria.
Back in 2009, Daniel Pipes, a respected Middle East commentator, opposed the idea of “transfer,” that is, forcibly moving Arabs out of Judea and Samaria. Pipes claimed it was “morally wrong” because “a government cannot force people to leave their homes only because they speak the wrong language, have the wrong faith, or pursue the wrong politics.” Yes, it is true that language is not a good reason to expel the Arabs. But he is wrong to suggest that religion and political beliefs are not relevant. On the contrary, the religion of Islam and the anti-Semitic politics of Palestinianism and Arab nationalism are the driving forces behind the murder of innocent Jews. Until Palestinianism is snuffed out in Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Jericho, the murder of men, women and children will continue unabated.
Pipes’ second objection is that forced expulsion would “turn Israelis against their state” and that some Israelis would leave Israel. Good. If radical left-wing anti-Zionist Israelis want to leave Israel, let them do so. Does Israel need people like Ezra Nawi, a Jewish far-left activist and a convicted statutory rapist who helps Palestinian authorities find and kill Arabs who sell land to Jews? Does Israel need people like Gideon Levy, a Haaretz journalist who supports the economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel? If such people want to leave Israel, let them leave. Dissent is one thing but supporting an enemy entity that wishes to destroy the Jewish homeland is treason.
Pipes’ third objection is that forced expulsion of the Arabs would infuriate the United States. He has a point, but isn’t America already hostile to the State of Israel? Obama has thrown Israel under the bus on several occasions. Who’s to say that a future Democratic or even a Republican president won’t be hostile to Israel? Israel has already started to pivot itself towards the East by building links with India and China. Besides, if America’s power and influence continue to wane over the coming decades, Israel will have no choice but to build new alliances with emerging powers.
Pipes’ final point is that expulsion would inflame the Arab enemy. To my mind, it seems a bit late to start worrying about rousing the passions of Arab nations who have spent the best part of a century agitating against the Jewish homeland. Whatever Israel does, the Arabs are against it. The Arabs need no excuse to demonise or attack Israel, so Israel may as well take action now in order to secure its future.
The status quo cannot be allowed to continue. The stabbing intifada, the history of Arab rejectionism and Israel’s indefensible borders illustrate that an Arab state in Judea and Samaria is impossible. And Caroline Glick’s dream of a single Israeli state with a large Arab population having Israeli citizenship is now unthinkable. After decades of terrorism, it is inconceivable that the Arabs who reside in Judea and Samaria can live peacefully alongside their Jewish neighbours. Apart from the death toll, billions of dollars have been wasted propping up the Palestinian Authority.
The only option – indeed the most humanitarian option – must be something along the lines of the solution proposed by Professor Martin Sherman. He believes that Israel and the international community should provide generous relocation grants to Arabs who currently live in the Israeli administered territories, with the proviso that this is done on an individual/family basis and not via any official Palestinian organisation such as the PA, which should be dismantled. The grants would help the Palestinian Arab families build a better life for themselves in third-party countries of their choice.
There is some evidence that such a plan could work. A poll commissioned in 2004 by the Jerusalem Summit (and conducted by Maagar Mohot and The Palestinian Center For Public Opinion) showed that over 40 per cent of Palestinian Arabs in the territories had considered emigration, while up to 50 per cent were amenable to the possibility, even without any material inducements. Significantly, the figure grew to more than 70 per cent when material compensation was suggested. These findings were substantiated by a poll conducted by Bir Zeit University, which showed that nearly half the Palestinian youth would emigrate if they had the opportunity.
In the words of Professor Sherman, “Each household breadwinner would be confronted with three possible choices: life under the rigors of Israeli rule; life under the harrowing hardships of some Palestinian regime, with commensurately dimmer prospects of a better life for the family; or a sum of money equivalent to the life earning of an average citizen in countries that could serve as an appropriate alternative place of residence – probably, but dominantly Arab or Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa, or countries with significant Arab/Moslem communities in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.”
Arabs who choose to remain in the so-called West Bank would be categorised as resident aliens or offered Israeli citizenship – but only after being subjected to rigorous security checks. Moreover, they would be asked to swear allegiance to the Jewish state. Refusal to do so, as well as any act of terrorism or insurrection, would result in the offender being deported, along with his or her dependents, and without compensation.
I would also add that Arabs who currently live inside the Green Line, i.e. in Israel ‘proper,’ should be allowed to stay, but acts of terrorism or incitement should result in the deportation of the offender and the offender’s family – perhaps to Gaza. Having said that, a long-term solution to Gaza is also needed. Eradicating Hamas and reconstructing Gaza under the auspices of an international mandate is one option. Or we could apply Professor Sherman’s solution to Gaza and bypass Hamas altogether by offering generous relocation grants to the families of Gaza. Israel could then annex the territory and permanently secure its southwestern border.
Something needs to done – and now is the time to do it. Why wait? Enough Jewish blood has been spilled because of Palestinianism. Creating irreversible facts on the ground would send a message to the Arab world that Israel is a permanent fixture on the world’s landscape. If Netanyahu wants to go down in history as the man who solved the Israeli-Arab conflict, he should listen to Professor Martin Sherman and explore the humanitarian transfer option. It may be the only resolution to a conflict that has endured for nearly a hundred years.
The writer is a freelance journalist who lives and works in Manchester, England. He writes for the Arutz Sheva and the Jewish Media Agency, which is dedicated to the task of countering anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
[The opinions, facts and any media content are presented solely by the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Jewish Media Agency.]