הפגנה מחאה שמאל נגד סיפוח שטחים דמוקרטיה כיכר רבין תל אביב
Anti-Annexation protestors at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square
Photo: AFP
Anti-Annexation protestors at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square

When it comes to annexation, 'compromise' is not a dirty word

Opinion: The national-religious sector, which is at the forefront of the settlement movement, has addressed the issues of 'the Land of Israel' with an 'all or nothing' approach, rejecting compromise of partial annexation and subsequently tearing Israeli society apart

Mordechai Shklar |
Published: 06.16.20 , 00:02
As the deadline, set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to declare Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank nears, the public appears to show very little interest.
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  • Among the reasons could be the problematic way in which parts of Israeli society would like to see their aspirations fulfilled.
    הפגנה מחאה שמאל נגד סיפוח שטחים דמוקרטיה כיכר רבין תל אביבהפגנה מחאה שמאל נגד סיפוח שטחים דמוקרטיה כיכר רבין תל אביב
    Anti-Annexation protestors at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square
    (Photo: AFP)
    They disregard those with opinions that contradict their own and those who call for a compromise on the matter of annexation, which now seems like a utopian dream.
    Instead of looking at a compromise as a dialogue between conflicting viewpoints, these people would prefer to see an all-out war with those holding different views.
    The question of sovereignty is important in the long-term. Its importance not only when it comes to the physical borders of Israel but also in the search for historic justice that would prove were are an inherent part of this land and not its conquerors.
    What's also important is to have an ability to compromise, a trait lacking in our society. We have grown accustomed to the language of the media that sees the world in black and white, in patterns of good versus evil, peace-lovers versus warmongers, supporters of Israel versus occupiers of land.
    Unfortunately, even those of the right who wish to adopt the compromise of a partial annexation, consider it no more than a tactical move. They’re willing to accept only out of an understanding that otherwise, it might not happen at all.
    Public discourse surrounding the annexation plan lacks the courage to grab the bull by its horns. To see the Trump peace plan as a window of opportunity for compromise inside Israeli society that could satisfy the aspirations of all sides: On the one hand, the biblical promise of settling the land would be advanced and on the other, the occupation as it is considered by many, would end.
    ראש מועצת בקעת הירדן ויו"ר מועצת ישע דוד אלחייאניו ראש מועצת שומרון יוסי דגןראש מועצת בקעת הירדן ויו"ר מועצת ישע דוד אלחייאניו ראש מועצת שומרון יוסי דגן
    Leaders of the settlement regional councils stage a sit-in in protest of the planned annexation
    Of course, there is nothing like having one's full aspirations fulfilled but the fulfillment of compromise between different ideologies and viewpoints would is no less valuable.
    Even though the U.S. plan could have been broader and could have promised sovereignty over more parts of the West Bank, it would be wise to calculate the cost- efficiency of such proposal, due to its ability to deepen the rifts in the Israeli society.
    The national-religious public that is at the forefront of the settlement movement must ask itself why other Jewish values such as observing Shabbat, for example, are susceptible to compromise while matters of the Land of Israel are approached with "all or nothing" mentality?
    And, most importantly, why still have so many of the leaders of this sector remain silent on issues that tear the Israeli society apart?

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