The world does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty in east Jerusalem, and now the United States forbids us from building there. However, Israel is paying a dual price: It’s not recognized as having rights in the city’s Arab sections, yet at the same time it financially supports the residents of these areas.
We offer welfare payments, allowances, medical services, pension plans, education, infrastructure, and all the other social benefits accorded by law to 250,000 Palestinians, most of whom reject Israel and view themselves of part of a future Palestinian state, should one be established.
As we applied Israeli law to these areas, the Arabs who live there enjoy the status of resident, they get an Israeli ID card, and they can freely travel across the country, with all the terroristic and criminal implications this entails. We are dealing with thousands of people who have no attachment or connection to Israel, and whose inclusion within Israel was a historical mistake.
The time has come to correct it now; this absurd situation cannot go on any longer. Fortunately, these people boycott the local elections in Jerusalem, which they do not recognize. Had they participated in the vote, they could have taken over city hall.
As the naïve Israel continues to financially support the Palestinians living in Jerusalem, they move there en masse. Many people enter marriages of convenience with east Jerusalem residents, as this means that the Israeli wallet opens to them immediately; in addition, they are granted Israeli IDs, of course.
For some reason, there is no difference between the IDs granted to citizens and to residents. And for some reason, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics insists – for motives that should be looked into – to count these 250,000 residents among the Arab Israeli population, thereby creating the fictitious figure of 20% of Israelis being Arab.
Stun the world
The time has come to seize the moment and take advantage of the international pressure in order to annul the Israeli law through most of the “Arab” areas of east Jerusalem, with the exception of the Old City and its environs. From that moment on, by law, 250,000 Palestinians will no longer be receiving allowances and the Israeli ID cards will be taken away from them. Meanwhile, the percentage of Arab Muslims within Israel’s population will automatically decline from 20% to less than 15%.
Moreover, the whole world, including the Palestinian Authority, would have to laud this move, as it has been demanding it for many years now.
An immense burden – on the political, defense, economic, and public relations fronts – will be lifted from our shoulders when the status of Palestinians in east Jerusalem will be the same as that of Palestinians across the West Bank. This will happen eventually in any case, according to the world, so why not do it now?
Israel, which erred when it annexed these areas – including a refugee camp and villages that were never part of Jerusalem – would be the one to correct the mistake.
The time has come to stun the world while safeguarding our real Jerusalem; that is, the Old City and its immediate vicinity. There is no need for more; in fact, more is less. Once we put an end to the social benefits, we’ll see the population growth rate, which had proven very beneficial for Palestinians, slow down as well.
The time has come for Israel to stop stuttering and show helplessness in the face of initiatives offered by others, most of whom are uninterested in its wellbeing. The time has come for Israel to take the initiative and stun our enemies. Stop providing for our enemies, as we did in south Lebanon and as we’re doing in the Gaza Strip to some extent to this day. Instead, make them assume responsibility.
So we’re being pressured? Well, the time has come to put things in order and correct a twisted reality.