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Humanitarian Transfer of Palestinians the Solution for Israel’s Dilemma?

“Virgil” in today’s Breitbart report had a provocative assessment of Middle East issues in the wake of this Tuesday’s Victory by incumbent Israeli PM Netanyahu, The Future of the Middle East: Ominous Scenarios and a Possible Solution for Israel:

If we think hard, we can envision that Israel, the U.S., and the cause of moderation and modernization in the Middle East all have a real chance to make solid gains. But we will need to be alert to opportunities as they arise—and be ready to jump on them, making tough choices.

We can identify three likely future scenarios, potentially dangerous and, for sure, consequential:

Despite international pressure, Israel will not agree to the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

“Virgil” said this about the irresolvable Palestinian issue facing Netanyahu and Obama:

First, no Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has long opposed the creation of a Palestinian state, albeit quietly. And then, on March 16, on the eve of the Israeli election, he opposed it—loudly. And as a result, he rallied the nationalist right within his country and was re-elected by a wide margin, far wider than most experts had anticipated. Since then, under enormous pressure from the Obama administration and the mediaNetanyahu has sort of backed down—except, of course, that he doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t want a new Palestinian state, and neither do Israelis.

As a result of this flare-up, whatever lingering wisps of affection that might have existed  between Netanyahu and President Obama have now vanished.   So the immediate challenge for Israel will be to ride out the deep hostility of the Obama administration.

“Virgil” proposes something familiar, humanitarian  transfer as a solution to the Palestinian state impasse:

Since the Israelis believe that they need the land of the West Bank, permanently, for their own physical security, perhaps it’s best if the Palestinians depart. Okay, if one wants to put it more bluntly, perhaps it’s best if the Palestinians are forcibly removed from the West Bank.

In Israel today, the idea of removing the Palestinians is known as “transfer.”   Indeed, Breitbart News’s Ben Shapiro endorsed the idea back in 2003:

Here is the bottom line: If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It’s an ugly solution, but it is the only solution. And it is far less ugly than the prospect of bloody conflict ad infinitum. When two populations are constantly enmeshed in conflict, it is insane to suggest that somehow deep-seated ideological change will miraculously occur, allowing the two sides to live together.

Shapiro concluded: “Transfer is not genocide. And anything else isn’t a solution.”

Transfer would be controversial and it would not be easy. But if, in the next ten or more years, the three scenarios we have described come to pass—that is, the Palestinian problem continues to fester, the Muslim world continues to be shaken by sectarian strife, and Iran continues its march toward nuclearization—not to mention whatever else might be happening in the world, then Israel could have the opportunity, as well as the obligation, to change the demographic facts on its ground while the rest of the world might be preoccupied with other issues.

Moments in history such as that don’t come very often.

“Virgil” of Breitbart is extolling the solution of Humanitarian Transfer to solve Israel’s Palestinian Dilemma.  It is a solution that both Dr. Arieh Eldad, former National Union MK, and Palestinian Jordanian Murdar Zahran have proposed. “The Jordan is Palestine”  option that  the Obama Administration, the Netanyahu coalition in the last government, King Abdullah of Jordan, the now defeated Zionist Union and left parties in the Knesset have implacably opposed. Although Netanyahu’s ‘clarification’ of his no Palestinian State election stance post election prompted the ire of President Obama virtually icing relationship with the new Israeli government once formed.  Watch this post Knesset election Huffington Post interview with the President.

Here is what Dr. Eldad said in our 2008 interview,republished in our collection, The West Speaks:

Eldad: Humanitarian resettlement of Arab refugees is neither original to me nor is it new. Arab refugees are not under the responsibility of the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, but instead are controlled by a special agency designated only for Palestinians. – The UN Refugee Works Relief Administration or UNWRA. 50-70 million refugees have been resettled since the end of World War II. More than four million Palestinians are the only ones still in these UNWRA refugee camps. Because the UNWRA camps are virtually administered by Palestinians, these UNWRA refugees, now in the third generation in 60 years, have been taught incitement to hate against Israel and Jews, all thanks to funding of nearly a half billion dollar annually donated by tax payers in the West. … I am convinced that these people must be resettled, preferably in Jordan. Jordan is effectively, Palestine. 70% of the Jordanian population are Palestinians. This is the de facto fulfillment of “the two state solution.” If a large scale international program was created to bring water, energy, housing and jobs to a designated area in Jordan a willing transfer could happen. Within a few years we would be able to resettle 2-3 million refugees in Jordan.

This plan will not solve the problem of Arab Israeli citizens who oppose the state of Israel as a Jewish state. They do not want individual rights. They want national minority rights in Israel. They demand that Israel become a Bi-National state. They are not satisfied with Jordan as the Palestinian state. They want a third state for Palestinians only. Effectively what they are seeking is a ‘Judenrein’ (Jew free in German) state in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. They seek to undermine the State of Israel and reject it as a Jewish state. They want to eliminate Israel so that Jews will not have a state of their own in the world. They want to change the national Anthem “Ha’tikva” to something else that they can identify with, change the flag, and erase “the law of return” that grants Israeli citizenship to every Jew who makes Aliyah. In other words they are the enemies within the Jewish state of Israel.

Murdar in his 2012 Middle East Quarterly, article, “Jordan is Palestinian” wrote:

Thus far the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has weathered the storm that has swept across the Middle East since the beginning of the year. But the relative calm in Amman is an illusion. The unspoken truth is that the Palestinians, the country’s largest ethnic group, have developed a profound hatred of the regime and view the Hashemites as occupiers of eastern Palestine—intruders rather than legitimate rulers. This, in turn, makes a regime change in Jordan more likely than ever. Such a change, however, would not only be confined to the toppling of yet another Arab despot but would also open the door to the only viable peace solution—and one that has effectively existed for quite some time: a Palestinian state in Jordan.

[…]

In most countries with a record of human rights violations, vulnerable minorities are the typical victims. This has not been the case in Jordan where a Palestinian majority has been discriminated against by the ruling Hashemite dynasty, propped up by a minority Bedouin population, from the moment it occupied Judea and Samaria during the 1948 war (these territories were annexed to Jordan in April 1950 to become the kingdom’s West Bank).

As a result, the Palestinians of Jordan find themselves discriminated against in government and legislative positions as the number of Palestinian government ministers and parliamentarians decreases; there is not a single Palestinian serving as governor of any of Jordan’s twelve governorships.

Witness this comment from Yossi Halevy of the Shalom Hartman Institute, the only voice  of reality during a biased Charlie Rose Show panel discussion on the 2015 Knesset Elections, ” Israelis believe that Palestinian State maybe both an existential solution and a threat given the impasse over negotiations”. Halevy conveyed  that view that Israelis across the spectrum view Obama consummation of an Iran nuclear deal an existential threat. Halevy quoted left wing author David Grossman saying that Obama Administration on Iran nuclear deal is “criminally naive and perilous for Israel.”

The Charlie Rose panel was composed of the usual suspects, save Halevy.  It included with Jeffrey Goldberg of The AtlanticAri Shavit of Ha’aretz, Ronen Bergman Military Intelligence Columnist of Yedioth Ahronoth, Yousef Munayyer of the US Campaign against Palestine Occupation and Jerusalem Fund advocate for Anti-Israel BDS, and Lisa Goldman of  leftist +972 Magazine and Israel –Palestine Fellow of the New America Fund.

The comments of Goldberg and Ronen were especially problematic and controversial. Ronen suggested that only the international BDS campaign could change things by hitting Israelis in their back pockets, calling out Netanyahu as the virtual unbeatable “Caesar from Caesaria.” Goldberg, who has virtually unlimited interview access to the Obama West Wing,  thought Netanyahu drawing attention to Israeli Arab votes was equivalent to a “Lee Atwater “southern strategy” suggesting that the narrow Right wing government would fall in a year with new elections. Suffice to say he warned that relations will (have) gotten worse with Obama. Shavit was his usual  self bemoaning the progressive peacenik failure on the Left in Israel, Israel losing its soul, portending looming violence -a reference to a Third Intifada-  and demographic problems ahead. Munayyer hewed to  his usual pro- Palestinian anti-Israel stance calling it a tribal election.  Goldman  in her comments praised the Joint Arab List third place in the Knesset elections as an important development for “Palestinian Israelis” but pooh-poohed  comments of Shavit  that a Third Intifada was not in the cards; “the West Bank is in lock down”. She is living now in Brooklyn and a colleague of Peter Beinart at the NAF who is a decidedly anti-Israel, liberal Zionist. Watch the Charlie Rose panel discussions:

“Virgil”, Eldad and Murdar may be correct that humanitarian transfer for Palestinians from Judea and Samaria may be a logical solution to the current impasse. But if isolated Israel under the new Netanyahu coalition ever considered such a unilateral move it would erupt in a firestorm of international criticism and spike the already toxic relationships between the Obama Administration and Israel and possibly rupture completely the existing Jordanian Israeli peace treaty. The irony is that the Sunni nations in the region witnessing the rise of nuclear hegemony over four Arab capital by the Shia Mahdists in Tehran, wouldn’t be troubled by such a proposal. Unlike, Obama and the EU, they do not believe any longer that peace in the Middle East doesn’t run through Jerusalem.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.