IDF on Lebanese border

It's time to divorce the Palestinians

Op-ed: Annexing the West Bank constitutes an existential threat to the Zionist enterprise. It is essential to begin a civil separation process from the Palestinians, while maintaining the security control in the West Bank until an agreement is reached.

Neutralizing Hezbollah's cross-border tunnels, the only partially-reported developments in the Syrian arena and in more distant Iranian-backed areas, the intermittently rounds of fighting in the south, as well as reports about thwarted terror attacks in the West Bank demonstrate the rapid rate of Israel's security events.



These are not challenges to be taken lightly. However, it is important to note that neither of them constitute a threat to our existence. Israel is significantly stronger—and not just security-wise—than all of those attempting to challenge it. The IDF, the Shin Bet and the entire defense establishment are repeatedly proving their impressive capabilities, and providing the government with a leeway to formulate a political strategy.


The political echelon, on most fronts, is experiencing hardships in developing a political initiative that will change the conditions in the regional arena, and is dragged by the enemy's initiatives. But on the only front—which constitutes the sole existential threat to the Zionist enterprise—where Israel's power is almost absolute, the government is not dragged by our enemies, rather by our own flesh and blood, a minority in the country and in the Knesset that possesses an unusual power in the coalition: the supporters of the annexation.


As one who has experienced the ramifications of friction between the Palestinians and the Israelis in the West Bank, and as one who oversaw decision-making processes in the international arena, I fear the possibility of a minority implementing its declared intent to pass annexation laws.


Clashes in the West Bank (Photo: EPA)
Clashes in the West Bank (Photo: EPA)


The minority's claim that it is capable of ensuring "a top-notch" annexation with as less Palestinians as possible while staving off the security and additional escalations provoked by the move, does not meet the test of reality.


The Knesset's decision to pass annexation laws, no matter what is the size of the annexed territory, would be perceived in the region and the international arena as a national decision to abandon the negotiations strategy, to unilaterally determine facts, and would slam the door on a future separation from the Palestinians.


This message will eliminate the intra-Palestinian justification for continued security cooperation with Israel—praised by the IDF and the Shin Bet—which would create a security void that violent elements could fill with crime and terrorism.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L), and PM Netanyahu  (Photo: AP, EPA)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L), and PM Netanyahu (Photo: AP, EPA)


In response to this development, or with the intention of preventing it, the IDF would have no choice but to recapture the entire West Bank, with its millions of residents, making Israel responsible for the Palestinian Authority's (PA) collapse and crowning Hamas as the undisputed leader of the Palestinian people.


Therefore, before passing any laws, the government must instruct the National Security Council (NSC) to conduct an extensive and through Inter-ministerial staff work, examining the annexation's influence on Israel's security, economy, international status and relationship with its neighbors.


Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AP)
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AP)


Since we are talking about a decision that might gravely harm the Zionist vision of a secure democratic Israel with a solid Jewish majority for generations to come, the examination's findings should be presented to the public with complete transparency, and be brought to a referendum.


I completely agree with the warning recently heard and seen throughout Israel: "For Israel's security, it's time to divorce the Palestinians." The Commanders for Israel's Security movement and its hundreds of members, who are former defense establishment officials, know what they are talking about: It is essential to begin a civil separation process, while maintaining the security control in the West Bank until an agreement is reached. It is imperative to stave off irresponsible annexation initiatives, and it must be done now.


Gadi Shamni served as the military secretary of two prime ministers, the GOC Central Command and the Defense Attaché in Washington.


פרסום ראשון: 12.10.18, 23:59
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