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Scene of Tuesday's terror attack in Har Adar
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Ben-Dror Yemini
A modest hope for sanity instead of repeated clichés
Op-ed: There is no magic solution to terrorism or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but there is a way that will save us from one binational state and put us back on the path toward a Jewish state—separation with continued control.
There’s something frustrating in the predictable reactions to Tuesday morning’s terror attack in Har Adar. Once again, we heard clichés—the same clichés—repeated both by the Left and by the Right. The two camps' representatives, almost all of them, are fixated on an out-of-date division. Both the Left and the Right have failed, and this serious attack is only making them sink deeper into their own quagmire.

 

 

The Left wants a “renewal of the peace process.” Has the peace process ever prevented terror attacks? Are the people who carry out terror attacks pacifists who are trying to advance peace in somewhat violent ways? After all, there were deadly terror attacks in the years and days in which the peace process prospered and blossomed. After all, the major wave of terrorism, the second intifada, arrived after Israel crossed the Rubicon and accepted, for the first time, both a Palestinian state and a division of Jerusalem. It was a wasted effort.

 

Security forces in Har Adar. Between ‘a renewal of the peace process’ and ‘a proper Zionist response,’ both the Left and the Right are sinking deeper into their own mud (Photo: AP)
Security forces in Har Adar. Between ‘a renewal of the peace process’ and ‘a proper Zionist response,’ both the Left and the Right are sinking deeper into their own mud (Photo: AP)

 

The Right wants “a proper Zionist response.” In other words, more outposts called “new neighborhoods.” Since when does mixing populations solve problems? Where exactly has it worked? And when did the PLO’s old dream, to create one big binational state, become a Zionist vision? That’s exactly what the "Palestinian Rejectionist Front" wants. It’s what BDS activists want. So it’s now the Right’s job to fulfill it? Does the response to terrorism have to be a fulfillment of the terror perpetrators’ vision?

 

Admittedly, there has been terrorism and there will be terrorism—with or without peace. Because terrorism exists both in places ruled by Sharia laws and in Germany, England and France, which do not maintain roadblocks or an occupation. And terrorism has its own logic, which isn’t directly connected to what Israel does or doesn’t do.

 

We must also remember and remind people that Israel actually accomplished the task of minimizing terrorism. The second intifada terrorism was defeated. And while it isn’t over yet, the wave of knifing attacks has calmed down. And there have been and will be, on both sides of the Green Line, individual attacks that are not affiliated with any organization.

 

But one thing is clear: The more we mix hostile populations, like outpost residents and Hamas supporters, the higher the level of violence is going to be. Whoever wants more terrorism should approve more outposts next to more and more villages. Separation doesn’t eliminate terrorism, it only reduces its level. But there is no partner today for separating through an agreement. And even if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offers the Clinton Parameters to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow morning—and it’s a shame he isn’t doing so—we already know Abbas will say no.

 

So only one plan remains, a plan that many good people from the undogmatic Right and the undogmatic Left have been focusing on in recent years: Separation with continued control. This plan has been initiated and suggested by many former defense officials. It’s known as “the commanders’ plan.” On the one hand, the Palestinians would receive much more autonomy, much more self-government, while on the other hand, Israel would continue its control both on the Jordanian line and in every crucial security point.

 

There is no magic solution to the problem of terrorism and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But there is a way that will save us from one binational state and put us back on the path to a Jewish state. This path doesn’t have the utopian glitter cliché lovers are trying to sell us. But it does offer a modest hope for a bit more sanity and normalcy.

 

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