Op-Ed: Annexing Area C in Judea and Samaria
Ted BelmanThe author is a retired attorney and the editor of Israpundit. In 2009 he made aliya and is now living in Jerusalem.
I spent the entire day today at the President’s Conference 2012. It was a huge event with thousands in attendance.
The panel discussion on borders started with a presentation by Mr. Dan Rothem, Israel – Senior Research Consultant, S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace; Expert on Israeli-Arab final status issues. He and the Abraham Centre are left wing.
Rothem was there to provide the audience with demographics from the left which basically stuck with the figure of 2.6 million Arabs in J&S and not once did he say those numbers were in dispute. He also used old fertility rates and said we were losing the demographic battle. This really bothered me because on both counts he was intellectually dishonest and wrong.
The next speaker made use of such numbers and argued for making a deal ..fast.
Naftali Bennet, former CEO of the Council for Judea and Samaria and a candidate in the primaries to head the national religious Jewish Home Party, stressed the point that this is our land historically and legally and faulted the government for never saying so.
He advised that there were over 300,000 Jews in Area C and only 55,000 Arabs, 4% of the entire population of PA Arabs. His plan is to extend Israeli legal sovereignty and law to these lands and give the Arabs there, citizenship. I introduced myself to him afterwards and he told me he reads my website Israpundit which made my day. We agreed to get together to discuss his plans and my ideas.
Caroline Glick informed everyone that the left overestimated the Arab numbers by over one million (demographer and publicist Yoram Ettinger has shown that) and that Arab fertility rate was in decline and the Jewish one was on the up tick. They are now almost the same. Caroline advocated for a full annexation right to the Jordan River. She supported citizenship for the Arabs as we would still have a 2:1 majority. Finally in support of her plan, she said we can’t afford to have another two million Arabs come into Palestine which would happen if such a state would ever be created.
I have a strong preference for Bennett’s plan. We could always spend the next 20 years negotiating autonomy with the Arabs of Areas A and B, but why bother, they have it anyway.
Rather than make a declaration of annexation or of extending Israeli law I feel we should do it quietly and that we should lift the freeze.
Editor's note: Those on the right who are opposed to Bennett's plan- not for reasons of world opinion - say that it de facto gives up on Areas A and B which at present have complete and partial autonomy, respectively, for the Palestinian Arabs (that is where Abbas and Fayyad run the Palestinian Authority). Those who favor it, like Belman, present the arguments above. For Bennett's plan, click here.