Recently The Jerusalem Post included an issue of “Sovereignty” in its Friday edition, published by an independent right-wing group. They propose that Israel should extend its sovereignty to “The West Bank” (Judea and Samaria or Judah and Shomron). They also proposed to transfer the Palestinian Arab population to Sinai. Here is my response to their positions.
I have for long advocated the annexation of Judah and Shomron to the State of Israel. But, for me the emphasis must be where it belongs, not on political or economic aspects, but on security.
Israel cannot allow the Palestinians to form their supposed State on the heights overlooking the coastal plain of Israel where millions of Israelis live. One disaffected Palestinian terrorist could hold the State to ransom by lobbing mortars into Ben Gurion Airport or into the Knesset. If Hamas or a like-minded terrorist organization should take over the supposed State then it would mean another costly war. The mini-State would be a magnet for all the anti-Israel and anti-Western terrorists left over from the various conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere in the failed Arab world. Israel cannot be allowed to commit suicide by trusting to the intentions of a similar failed Palestinian State.
But, the idea of transferring the population of the so-called “West Bank” to the Sinai is a non-starter. They simply won’t go and Israel cannot transfer then forcibly. Also, Egypt will never agree to give up its sovereignty or allow the troublesome Palestinians to settle within its borders.
I agree with my friend Robert Wolfe, the former Jerusalem approach (adopted after the 1967 War) is a model for accepting the Palestinians as residents in Israel, but not conferring on them citizenship or voting rights. As we increased our population in the current State of Israel, so we shall increase our population in Judah and Shomron. There will be incentives for Olim and Israelis to move there. Let the Jewish people of the Diaspora face the challenge of aliyah to the new territories of the growing State.