How to get out of the Palestinian trap
Op-ed: While the government preserves the existing state of affairs, leading to a continuing erosion of security and to an escalation potential—as demonstrated by recent events—the INSS outlines a sophisticated 6-steps plan that makes use of our strength today to secure the future of the Jewish national home and ensure a better tomorrow.
Wednesday morning's rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. and Israel's retaliatory attack in the strip, made it clear that a serious military escalation is closer than regulation. Murderous attacks take place in the West Bank, and professionals warn of an escalation there as well. The security establishment is committed to providing the best response to security challenges, but the political echelon is obligated to challenge itself and examine ways to establish a long-term policy with the Palestinians.
It turns out, once again, that the way in which both the left and the right relate to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not correspond with reality. Israel must formulate a path for itself that will lead to a separation from the Palestinians.
The reality in which we live proves that Greater Israel (Eretz Israel HaShlema) cannot be preserved, it is impossible to reach a "complete" peace agreement, and a second disengagement cannot take place.
However, the Israeli government adopts a policy which preserves the existing state of affairs, leading to a continuing erosion of security and to an escalation potential, as we can clearly see now. In the future, will not be able to preserve the vision of a secure and just Jewish-democratic state.
What shall we do? We get out of this rut and adopt a new national strategy that will ensure the existence of a democratic state with a solid Jewish majority, and stop deluding ourselves over a Palestinian partner.
We get out of this trap through a policy that does not offer two states now, but prevents the formation of a single state tomorrow.
We need to create a new reality in the West Bank that does not repeat past mistakes like the disengagement, does not include a return to the Green Line borders, does not tear our nation apart by evacuating settlements, does not cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but marks the future border of Israel, and mainly keeps control over security in our hands.
A comprehensive study conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) over the past couple of years has led to the formulation of a realistic and creative political plan that will realize all these goals.
At the core of the study is the definition of the national objective: ensuring the existence of Israel as a secure and just Jewish-democratic state.
To realize this objective, we need to immediately and decisively put an end to this motion towards a reality of one state—which will not be Zionist— without endangering our safety.
The following are the six main steps outlined in the plan: first, Israel will reaffirm its willingness to sign a comprehensive peace agreement if and when the Palestinians recognize the Jewish people's right to a state, agree to end the conflict without the right of return, and accept Israel's security demands.
Second, the West Bank area will be redistributed by creating a contiguous Palestinian territory (which will cover 65% of the area) and three Israeli areas: the blocs area slated to become part of Israel's territory in times of peace, a security area in the Jordan Valley, and an area that engulfs the isolated settlements.
Third, construction of settlements east of the security fence will cease, while construction of settlements west of the fence will continue. Fourth, the IDF's full military and intelligence freedom of action will be maintained throughout the West Bank.
Fifth, construction work on the security fence will be completed to help shield Israel and its large settlement blocs from Palestinian terror. Sixth, a comprehensive and ambitious economic plan will be launched for the development of Palestinian territories with international and Arab funds.
We Israelis are so innovative, sophisticated and creative, but from a political stand point—for the past several decades we have not been innovative, or sophisticated or creative. Israel is stronger than ever. Several threats of the past have been weakened or put on hold. But it is precisely for this reason that we must not sit idly by. We must use our strength today to ensure tomorrow, to take our fate into our own hands and secure the future of the Jewish national home.
This article was written by Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amos Yadlin, Head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)