Zionist Camp Knesset member Eitan Cabel has turned the left-of-center political landscape into a tizzy. In an op-ed, he called on his party to support an annexation of the “settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria. More than that, though, he declared the Oslo process a failure.
Furthermore, he wished his colleagues would “sober up and shake off” their adherence to the idea of “land-for-peace” paradigm of the Yitzhak Rabin-era, and wrote that only if Labor takes “a world view that reflects reality” can it expect the public to return it to power.
Avi Gabay, the Labor Party leader, told a reporter that Cabel’s plan would not become party policy as Labor “is for separation, not annexation.” Gideon Levy wrote “the Zionist left does nothing but imitate the right’s positions.” Peace Now demonstrated outside his home and filmed a video clip in protest.
The view that the lack of peace is all Israel’s fault in that only Israel can provide a solution, as if the Arabs are not really partners in all this and their century-old violent opposition to political Zionism somehow need not factor into the situation has become so entrenched that those demanding Israel withdraw, endanger its security or worse, engage in a denuding of Jewish national identity that some put forward insane ideas.
I have recently discussed the thinking of IfNotNow and fellow travelers, as well as the saying of Kaddish by Jewish youth for Hamas terrorists. We now have heard Michael Chabon’s rant at a Reform Movement’s Hebrew Union College’s graduation ceremony, courageously protested by the walkout of Morin Zaray.
Bernard Avishai, a hard-core leftist in his recent Guardian op-ed, who sees himself as “fight[ing] to define the very essence of Israel,” put things this way:
Behind the seemingly intractable Palestinian conflict lie deeper questions about what Israel wants to be: an “open” globalised democracy or a “closed” Jewish state
and continues, writing that two states, Israel and Palestine, are not enough. There must be:
the separation of religion and state and the retiring of old Zionist institutions
I have a supposition that part of the Arab rejection of any diplomatic resolution and their refusal to grant any validity to Jewish national identity is part of a game, to see just how far and crazy some Jews will go to adopt ideas and plans to placate the Arabs.
But to return to Cabel’s idea.
Recently, the idea of a one-state solution has been covered by The New York Times and the NPR, catching up with University of Pennsylvania’s Ian Lustick, a veteran promoter of a form of the idea who insists it is already an actuality which the left refuses to acknowledge. In fact, the left has been refusing to recognize this idea since the times of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and his 1934 proposal updated as “The Arab Angle Undramatized.”
In Chapter Four of Walter Reich’s book, A Stranger in My House, I myself proposed how this approach could work dealing with cultural autonomy, demographics and political rights. The Techiya Party platform deal with this in quite a detailed fashion in 1981. And let’s not forget Caroline Glick and her 2014 book, The One-State Solution.
In her promotional op-ed, she wrote that the plan:
involves applying Israeli law—and through it Israeli sovereignty—throughout all of Judea and Samaria … [and that the] embrace of the two-state model has worked to blind U.S. policymakers from both parties to the realities of the region and so guaranteed the failure of US Middle East policies … [the] move by Israel will free the Palestinians from life under the PLO’s terror supporting kleptocracy and provide them with full civil and legal rights as permanent residents of Israel. They will also have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship.
Despite the criticism, if not outright deriding, by the left of Zionism’s right-wing camp, the idea is workable and under the circumstances provides the best possible outcome.
Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and author.