Creative Resolution

How many dead Jews does it take to change a government?

Prof. Shmuel Neumann

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
How many dead Jews does it take to change a government?

The United States has cynically imposed upon Israel an unprecedented standard of conventions of warfare: proportionate response. For as long as the enemy kills handfuls of Jews, Israel is entitled to blow up some vacant buildings, eliminate the leader of the terrorist group, or stop terrorists on their way to another attack.

It is inevitable that Muslim extremists will escalate their attacks. What will it take to provoke Israel to permanently root out terrorism?

In a not-unlikely scenario, instead of suicide bombers, the Palestinians will send suicide bio-bombers, adolescents or children infested with a highly infectious and deadly cocktail virus, something like a blend of influenza and Ebola. Israel will have no alternative but to quarantine the infected Jews, and will be required to quarantine potentially infected Arabs. All Arabs from the so-called West Bank will be quarantined in an isolated section of Gaza. After they recruit Israeli Arabs in these bio-attacks, Israel will have no alternative but to evacuate all Israeli Arabs to this same portion of Gaza.

Not content with killing only a few hundred thousand Jews, they will then explode radioactive bombs on Jewish population centers. Israel will then have no alternative but to retaliate in kind, thereby permanently excising the malignancy.

With the new Israel, a safe haven for Jews, mass Jewish immigration will double the Jewish population and the brain drain from the West will make Israel the undisputed world leader in medicine, biotechnology, genetics, nuclear physics, computer innovations, high-tech agriculture and a myriad of other specialties in which Jews have excelled. It will be the golden age of Israel.

This or a similar scenario is the inevitable, direct result of disengagement, status quo or "final status" agreements.

So, how many dead Jews does it take to change a government?

A Sharon-Peres government is not a change, but more of the same. Before the ink is dry on the Disengagement Plan, with Ariel Sharon asserting that by 2005 there will be no Jews in Gaza, certain American officials (e.g., Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, etc.) insist that Sharon immediately remove Jews from their private farms and new communities in Judea and Samaria. It is sad that it is specifically Black American leaders that advocate apartheid and transfer. The gauntlet is thrown down and the process of de-humanization of settlers will now escalate as their spin doctors will work overtime to eliminate public sympathy with the Wild West (Bank) settlers.

As a matter of fact, settlements are not an obstacle to peace, but an obstacle to aggression. Settlements provide buffer zones between Palestinian terrorists, including the Palestinian Authority, and Jewish population centers. They provide economic development to an otherwise impoverished, abandoned, neglected area. Were the Palestinians left to their own devices, they would have no electricity, no running water, no telephone lines and no public transportation. Their roads would remain dirt roads with a few old, rutted, asphalt roads. There certainly would be no industrial centers. It is the settlements that brought these modern services and employment opportunities.

If the so-called West Bank was filled with settlements and Jewish farms, the region would flourish, not only in economic prosperity, but in security. Contiguity between settlements with Jewish farms prevents the possibility of terrorism, as the terrorists would have lost their easy access to Jewish population areas and would have lost their access to locations from which they are able to shoot passing cars on all major roads in the so-called West Bank.

It is not settlements, but the Peresites that are the obstacle to peace. Without fail, whenever there is a hiatus from incessant terrorist attacks, they meet with the enemy, raise the enemies' expectations, publicly slander Israeli government policy and Israeli army guidelines and invariably trigger another wave of terrorist attacks. It is these Peresites that turned international public opinion against Israel.

The real obstacle to peace is the Peresites that have leeched onto and are entrenched in a number of government offices. For example, the land registration office in Beit El is staffed by leftist extremists that unbelievably perpetuate a blatantly anti-Semitic policy with impunity. It is these Peresites that will seamlessly record ownership in property sales if it is from Arab to Arab, but take anywhere from 3 to 25 years to record a property sale from Arab to Jew. What is even more unbelievable, but true, is that they facilitate a conspiracy to commit murder. By providing the names of Arabs that sell to Jews to the Palestinian Authority, the sellers, and in some cases, their families, are killed.

There are entrenched Peresite leeches in other offices that obstruct property sales. Each and every purchase of property in Judea, Samaria and Gaza by a Jew from an Arab has to receive the express permission of certain military officers. Invariably, they refuse permission for purchase in most parts of Area C, and all property in Areas B and A. It is incredible that Israel permits the clearly illegal, racist practices that prohibit purchase of land and houses by Jews. It is a policy against Jews, not against Israelis, as an Israeli Arab or Christian may purchase property in the so-called West Bank and is afforded the right of quiet enjoyment of their property.

There is no movement to remove Israeli Arabs or Christians from the so-called West Bank, as there is no objection from the United States State Department for American Christians who wish to settle in Bethlehem or Moslems who wish to settle in Jenin. They are, however, angered by Jewish United States citizens settling in Hebron.

Israel must insist upon equality under the law. Palestinian Arabs must be guaranteed the right to sell their homes and land to Jews. In the event that Moslem clerics or others threaten potential Palestinian Arab sellers or emigres, they must be prosecuted for incitement, conspiracy to commit murder, making terrorist threats and any other applicable crime under Israel's criminal code.

Further, any group that impedes fair trade practices must be held accountable and fined. If any person or Palestinian group kills an Arab who sells to Jews, then Israel must prosecute that murder in the same manner that it would prosecute the murder of an Israeli. This should not require any new or special laws, just the willingness to treat the Palestinian Arabs as being entitled to engage in these free trade acts ? acts which also serve Israeli interests, as well as the overall prospect for peace.

Not only do Peresites obstruct property sales, but other well-placed Peresites obstruct Palestinian emigration. They retain positions in the Israeli military government that does not assist, does not protect, and too often because of security claims or bureaucratic red tape, does not allow Palestinian Arabs to leave the embattled towns of Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Almost unbelievably, Israeli government bureaucracy makes it difficult for these Arabs to leave.

For example, many Palestinian Arabs cannot get emigration visas, because, even after their papers submitted are deemed to be in order, they must obtain a one day pass to Tel Aviv to be interviewed by an official of the foreign embassy.(1) Because of security concerns, those passes are not easily acquired. In this respect, the effect of Israel's bureaucracy is reminiscent of the effects of the policy of the Soviet Union, which for decades withheld exit visas of Jews seeking to exercise their basic human right of emigration. With limited exceptions, those Palestinian Arabs who wish to emigrate from Judea, Samaria and Gaza should be permitted the equivalent of an exit visa.

Even if would-be emigres succeed in obtaining immigration visas, and further assuming that they have the financial resources to emigrate, they still need clearance from the Israeli security forces to leave. However, Israel frequently denies approval for their emigration requests, citing security concerns.(2) The Israeli government will not approve the exit of those Arabs who are known terrorists or are suspected of being affiliated with terrorist organizations.(3) Further, it will not approve the emigration of Arabs who are in positions allowing them to provide Israel with important information.

This perverse, self-defeating policy must be changed immediately. Israel should allow all Palestinian Arabs, except for known terrorists, to emigrate, should protect those who are seeking to leave, and where appropriate, should assist in the purchase of land from Arabs desiring to sell. As necessary, Israel should assist the sale of the properties and emigration by developing methods of obtaining required approvals from the Israeli government that do not require the posting of bonds or the crossing of checkpoints at all. And Israel should offer protective custody for the prospective seller or emigre, as well as his family, whether closely related or remote, who desire that protection.

There is one other obstacle to peace: cognitive rigidity. Despite the unambiguous message to Ariel Sharon from his party membership, the Peresites have pressured him to coerce approval of his Disengagement plan. The single-minded Peresites creatively rename their counter-productive formula from the Madrid Conference, to Oslo, to Wye, to Camp David, to the Powell Plan, to the Burns plan, to the Zinni plan, to the Mitchel plan, to the Bush vision, to the Roadmap, to the Geneva Accords and now to Disengagement. Manure by any other name is just as odoriferous.

We need not remain obsessed by the one strategy that is a proven failure. We must try untested alternatives.

We need to provide a mechanism whereby Jews can purchase land from Arabs and the Arab seller is not killed for selling to a Jew; and whereby a Jew can record ownership as seamlessly as an Arab can.

We need to permit Jews to exercise their property rights by insuring that a Jew may farm land that he purchased, even if that land is in Area A or B; and by insuring a Jew his inalienable right to live in the house he purchases, whether that house is in an Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem or in Hebron.

We need to provide an open door to those Palestinians who desire to emigrate, by providing the one day pass to the foreign embassy, under armed guard, if necessary; and by providing an avenue for exit.

We need to legally redefine the so-called Palestinians, by giving all Arab residents of the so-called West Bank and Gaza identity cards as Jordanian citizens who are technically temporary residents of Israel; and by granting rights to these Arabs that are enjoyed by other temporary residents of Israel. Thus, they can vote in local elections, obtain professional licenses and obtain construction and work permits. They will not vote in national elections, will not collect national insurance, nor unemployment insurance, and will not have free health care.

We need to make irrelevant the Arabs' intractable resistance to negotiations and their violation of previous agreements, by creating a confederation between so called "Palestine" and Israel for as long as Israel is proving them with money, jobs, water, electricity and telephone service; and by returning to Israel not just military control of Areas A and B, but civil control as well.

We need to cut off the flow of money and utilities until the Arabs consent to this confederation and we need to make this "interim" arrangement so palatable for both sides that it is irrelevant whether they continue to stonewall "final status" negotiations.

This should be a component of any peace proposal, and obviously must be the first part of any proposal involving the completion of the population exchange that began 60 years ago.

(1) The decisions have no legal guidelines, but are discretionary and up to the individual security officer. There is no right of appeal.

(2) "As the Israeli authorities control all of the crossing points into Jordan, they can deny passage on security grounds. In principle, however, Palestinians with West Bank identification cards can go to Jordan without crossing through Israel. Since the Cairo Agreement of May 1994 between the PLO and Israel, Israel no longer requires West Bankers to obtain special permits to go to Jordan. They must leave on a valid Palestinian Authority travel document issued by the PA after clearance by Israel. Until September 2000, these West Bankers could travel from Ben Gurion airport (Tel Aviv) after obtaining a special Israeli 'airport permit'. Since the outbreak of the current conflict (intifada), such one-time permits are only issued in exceptional cases, usually on humanitarian grounds. Very few ever had access to the now-closed Palestinian airport in Gaza mainly because Israeli permits to enter Gaza are rarely issued to West Bankers, even to visit close family.

"If there are no curfews or closures in Gaza, Palestinians with Gaza identification cards who have already obtained a magnetic card and an entry permit into Israel can probably leave the Gaza Strip for Jordan or abroad through Ben Gurion airport. Airport departure requires the same permit procedure as described above for West Bankers, although it is more difficult to obtain airport permits from Gaza than from the West Bank. Until the Palestinian airport was closed and the runway destroyed three years ago, Gazans could leave that way. Israel controls the only crossing point into Egypt (Rafah) and may deny passage on security grounds. At some times, the Rafah crossing is closed and on other days is only open for limited hours. To successfully cross, however, Palestinians must have a valid but difficult to obtain Egyptian visa. (From 1948-1967, Gaza was under Egyptian administration, which issued a travel document for Palestinians in Gaza, but this Egyptian document required its holder to have a visa to enter or even transit Egypt.)"

(3) "For alleged security reasons, young Palestinians under 35 years no longer receive visas to travel abroad or even to move from one city of the Occupied Palestinian Territory to another. Hospital gates are often blocked by tanks preventing doctors and nurses from entering the premises. An increasing number of ambulances are made to wait for hours at the checkpoints, even when they transport injured or old ill people in need of urgent treatment. It is also reported that a number of expecting mothers could not reach the nearest hospital in time and gave birth at checkpoints under disastrous hygienic conditions. Many secondary school students failed to reach the examination centers in time for their yearly exams in June, as they had to cross many checkpoints and travel roundabout routes. About 200 taxis and sometimes even ambulances are hired to transport students. Taxi drivers are imposed considerable fines for using roads forbidden to public. It is difficult to provide precise statistics on the number of students concerned, but in one instance a group of 23 students was involved. Some of these students may have authorized access to their schools one day and be denied access the next, causing them to repeat the full curriculum the following year." (From the "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories", United Nations General Assembly, Distr. A/58/311, 22 August 2003, Fifty-eighth session, Item 85 of the provisional agenda.)