For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:
The rumored “ultimate deal”:Potential payoffs and possible pitfalls.
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The potential impermanence of the positive measures already undertaken by the Trump team should not be the only reason for Israeli concern over the brewing “ultimate deal”
It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAELI FRONTLINE: http://www.israelifrontline.com/2018/09/into-the-fray-the-rumored-ultimate-deal-potential-payoffs-and-possible-pitfalls.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22772
JERUSALEM HERALD: (To be posted )
JEWISH PRESS: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-rumored-ultimate-deal-potential-payoffs-possible-pitfalls/2018/09/26/
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2018/09/21/into-the-fraythe-rumored-ultimate-deal-potential-payoffs-possible-pitfalls/
Several short excerpts:
…we will not put forth a plan or endorse a plan that doesn’t meet all of Israel’s security issues because they are of extreme importance to us – Jason Greenblatt, Assistant to the President & special representative for international negotiations, JNS, September 12, 2018.
…To defend itself Israel must retain control over the Jordan valley…[A]ny future arrangement must include Israeli control of the mountain ridge and a demilitarized Palestinian state…[T]o defend itself Israel must control the airspace over the West Bank – Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, May 25, 2010.
…Arab officials say, Mr. Kushner is pushing the idea of a confederation between Jordan and the Palestinian rump of the West Bank. Far from new thinking, this recycles one of the oldest mantras of Israeli irredentism: that the Palestinians already have a state — Jordan. – David Gardner, “”, Financial Times, September 5, 2018.
In recent weeks, there has been a spate of media speculation that the White House is soon to release details of the Trump administration’s ultimate peace deal to end the century-long conflict between Jew and Arab over control of the Holy Land…
Some transformative measures
Since the start of his presidency, Donald Trump has undertaken some bold, far reaching measures that have, in some significant ways, potentially transformed the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. These have all been unequivocally favorable to Israel and considerably undermine long-held Palestinians positions.
The question of durability
Although these are, of course, greatly welcome developments from Israel’s point of view and were totally inconceivable under earlier administrations—the previous one in particular—a word of caution is called for…
Thus, just as a presidential decision precipitated the US’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem, the shuttering of the PLO office in Washington, the defunding of UNRWA and emerging rejection of the “Right of Return,” so can any contrary presidential decision reverse them—or at least largely neutralize them.
The hazards of hubris
Of course, this caveat should not be interpreted as a call for reticence in accepting the GOP’s warm embrace…It should however, be seen as warning against complacency and as a caution that more inclement times may well be ahead. For, at this stage, little can be more hazardous than hubris…It is essential that Israel now undertake a vigorous initiative to cement these unexpected favorable developments and ensure that they cannot be easily undone by future administrations.
Rumors cause for concern?
But the potential impermanence of the positive measures already undertaken by the Trump team is not the only reason for Israeli concern over the brewing “ultimate deal”. For the rumors swirling around the ongoing contacts between US officials and various figures in the Arab world could also well be cause for alarm…These rumors relate to the eventual source of authority envisioned for the governance of the territory beyond the 1967 lines in Judea-Samaria and Gaza.
The autonomy paradox?
…for Israel to…endure as the nation state of the Jews, it must extend its sovereignty over all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River—including the highlands that protect Israel from invasion/infiltration from the East, and ensure the security of its coastal megalopolis in the West. But Israel’s sovereignty over this territory is incompatible with providing authority to any other party that does not acknowledge the legitimacy of that sovereignty…This is something that the rumored formats of Trump’s “ultimate deal” seem to overlook. After all, the only reason to suggest allowing Arab governance (whether Jordanian or Palestinian) over the Arab population in Judea-Samaria is that they reject the legitimacy of Jewish sovereignty.
The sovereignty imperative
[The problems will be] particularly acute at the interface between areas under full Jewish sovereignty and those under Arab autonomy and in contending with cross-border issues, such as pollution … sewage, pollution from industrial effluents, agricultural run-offs, treatment of transmissible diseases, compulsory inoculation of livestock and rabies and so on Who would be charged with setting standards for dealing with these matters and for enforcing those standards? Israel or the Arab entity? …
In the final analysis
In the final analysis, there is only one “ultimate deal” that can ensure Israel’s long-term survival as the nation-state of the Jewish people. This requires Israel extending its sovereignty over the entire territory—from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
The only way Israel can do this, without being compelled to rule over a recalcitrant non-Jewish population, which rejects the legitimacy of its sovereignty, is to remove that population from the territory over which it must exert sovereign rule.
The only way it can do this without engaging in forced expulsion, is by material inducements—a.k.a. incentivized emigration.
So simple. So logical. So incontrovertible ! The real conundrum is why others don’t embrace it as the “ultimate deal”.