Sunday, October 7, 2012

Leading Israeli Scholar: No 2-State Solution - the Settlements are Irreversible

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A leading scholar who once was solidly against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria now says a two-state solution is a falsehood: “Settlements are here to stay."

For decades, former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Meron Benvenisti was a leading scholar in Israel’s pro-Arab camp, working diligently to curtail development of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria (AKA The West Bank). He founded the West Bank Database Project in 1984 which documented social, economic, and political developments in the region, and reported on growth of the Jewish towns to Western powers which sought to halt the influx of Jews to their ancient towns.

Meron Benvenisti, Wikipedia

In an Oct 4th 2012 interview, Benvenisti told Haaretz Newspaper that a division of the land into a two-state solution is not practical, and that the settlements are irreversible.  

The following quotes do not purport to summarize the main points of the Haaretz interview, but rather demonstrate a growing trend amongst Israeli opponents of the Jewish return to Judea and Samaria. They, these very same leaders of the struggle for Palestinian Statehood, now recognize that it is too late – the Jewish towns of Judea and Samaria cannot be uprooted.

“Today, we are talking about 350,000 settlers. If you take into account (the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern) Jerusalem, then there are 550,000 settlers,” he said. ”Therefore, everyone understands now what I said 30 years ago: it’s irreversible. Nothing will help Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert or Tzipi Livni – it’s irreversible. You can’t get out of this mess.

“I am not offering solutions. It’s not my job. I am coming to say that today’s dominant paradigm [of a 2-State solution] is a falsehood, and I am fighting it. If you try and force an unjust division, you will get a crippled, hurt and upset Palestinian State, which will turn to violence.

"Regarding this scenario, Israel’s Right is correct. Look what happened in Gaza. The Disengagement [from Gaza in 2005] didn’t solve anything and put Hamas in power. Therefore, division is not a solution to the problem, but rather an escalation of the problem… At one time, it would have been possible to divide the land, but not today.

Benvenisti added: “The time has come for you and your friends in Tel Aviv to understand – you cannot divide the land of Israel. It’s impossible. You can’t tell the Arabs to forget about Yafo (Jaffa) and Akko (Acre). They won’t forget. No Palestinian will commit to signing an end to the conflict. They won’t sign.

He called the 1949 Temporary Armistice Lines, now known as the Green Line, “the left’s great alibi [that] no longer exists. The Green Line is dead… Dividing the land is apartheid. The people in Tel Aviv don’t want to understand this, but the Land of Israel is a united, geopolitical unit. Therefore, a division of the land is impossible from geographical, physical, and mental standpoints."

The above quotes suggest that we are at a fascinating turning point. Because while world headlines continue to highlight possible breakthroughs in negotiations towards a two-state solution, Israel’s intellectual elite is gradually recognizing that Palestinian Statehood is no longer a viable option.

A recent report prepared by Knesset Member Yaakov Katz (National Union Party) based on figures from the Interior Ministry's population registry shows the precise number of Jews in each town in Judea and Samaria.

Yossi Sarid, former head of the Meretz Party, also recently admitted that the Jewish towns of Yesha are here to stay.

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  1. Thank you. I doubt if poor Benvenisti has come around to the logical conclusion of having retreated from Gaza and received missiles that this is indeed a fight between a nation that loves peace and another which glorifies war and destruction. There is no meeting in the middle, no possibility of compromise for us 'sons of apes & pigs' with arab racists and victimisers of minorities.

    The only way forward is for Yesha to grow and become strong enough to defeat the arabs in this war.

    One day you will win and our land will be freed from your arab persecutors.

  2. It is has been obvious for a long time that the two-state solution is dead. It was never really viable in the first place. Without Judea and Samaria, Israel is only half a country. The Jordan valley forms a natural border with Jordan, which is the true Palestinian nation. After all, Jordan was given to the Arabs in 1922 and now has a 70% Palestinian majority.

  3. Hi. I wonder where can I get an article that deals with the settlements issue and that explains the reasons why Israel is right. Thank you.

    1. Jaime, a Christian view of Israel's right to all the land of Canaan based on the Bible, which after all is not only the oldest historical documentation of that right, but also the very charter that enables that right, can be found at "Five Key Biblical Arguments For Israel’s Right to the Land{1}
      by John S. Kanter, M.A." Kanter also gives many useful references for this discussion.

  4. Well hello there! It was such a huge pleasure to visit your personal blog and especially to read this blog post. And there is one thing that I wanted to ask you. How do you feel about guest blogging?


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