INTO THE FRAY: Will the “New Right” get it right?

For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:

Will the “New Right” get it right?

(Kindly consider “liking”, sharing, tweeting – please use hash-tag ‪#‎IntoFray)

If the “New Right” is to really advance “Right wing” causes, it must abandon schemes that lead to the Lebanonization or Balkanization of Israeli society & work towards legitimizing the idea of incentivized emigration of the Arab population of Judea-Samaria

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

ISRAELI FRONTLINE : (To be posted)
JERUSALEM HERALD: (To be posted)

Several short excerpts:

The road to hell is paved with good intentions – An aphorism thought to have originated with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (c. 1150)

Last week, Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, and Justice Minister, Ayalet Shaked, dropped a political bombshell when they announced that they were breaking away from their current party, “Jewish Home”—which, in large measure, owed its existence to them—and were setting up a new party, with the (somewhat bland) name of the “New Right”.

Decisive and daring

It is, of course, still far too early to judge whether the abrupt break-away will yield positive results. However, two things can already be determined. The first is that by their decisive action, Bennett and Shaked have demonstrated that they have the necessary nerve and ruthlessness for taking high risk decisions—an indispensable requisite for the positions of leadership they seek. The second is that they have identified, at least partially, an important gap in Israel’s political landscape, which, almost inexplicably, has been left unfilled for decades…

Left-leaning hawks?

Yitzhak Tabenkin, a founder of the Movement for Greater Israel

This is a common fallacy that flies in the face of both logic and historical fact… there is a sound secular rationale, backed by historical precedent, underscoring the folly of concessions to despotic adversaries…historically, among the most hawkish opponents of territorial withdrawal was the hard-Left (i.e. socialist) Ahdut HaAvoda faction of the Labor Party, led by Yitzhak Tabenkin, one of the leading figures of the Kibbutz movement, who vehemently opposed any territorial withdrawal after the 1967 Six-Day Way…Significantly, the Movement for Greater Israel…was founded mainly by prominent individuals with roots in the Labor Party…

A latent constituency waiting to be tapped?

… it could well be that Bennett and Shaked have shrewdly diagnosed an inherent lacuna in Israel’s body politic and have identified a significant, yet untapped constituency of secular hawks…This is the constituency comprised of those who recognize the folly and futility of persisting with a policy of ceaseless concessions to the Palestinian-Arabs, but find the Likud too equivocating on security and overly accommodative of the ultra-Orthodox demands…

Aiming of the Center

… it will be intriguing to see what positions the “New Right” adopts on matters such as public transport on Shabbat; recognition of pluralism in Judaism, opening of convenience stores on Saturday…—and whether it can remain a coherent and cohesive political entity despite the intra-party tensions such issues will inevitably generate…These domestic issues, and the position the “New Right” adopts on them, are important in light of Bennett’s stated intention not to target potential voters for “Right-wing” parties but to draw off support for purportedly “Centrist” parties..

The litmus test: Policy for “Palestine”

Naftali Bennett and new “New Right” member, Caroline Glick

But with all due respect to these domestic issue, the real litmus test of the New Right’s strategic value will be in the manner it impacts the discourse on the “Palestinian” problem…In this regard, there are considerable grounds for concern—both because of views Bennett himself has expressed, and because of those expressed by his party’s new acquisition, acclaimed journalist, Caroline Glick…Both Bennett and Glick have done an admirable job in pointing out the disastrous defects of the two-state formula… however, they have advanced poorly thought-through alternatives to replace it

Partial Annexation: The Balkanization of Israel

Area C: A contorted, almost 2000 km long frontier

…Bennett’s blueprint for annexing 60% of the area would, in all probability, involve the same “political pain” as annexing 100%. Moreover, it is unlikely to solve any of Israel’s prevailing security and diplomatic problems. Quite the opposite, it is highly likely to exacerbate them. So, in the final analysis, it is an almost certain recipe for the Balkanization of Israel – i.e. dividing the territory up into disconnected autonomous enclaves, which will be recalcitrant, rivalrous and rejectionist, creating an ungovernable reality for Israel.

Full Annexation: The Lebanonization of Israel

Glick’s proposal…entails annexing the entire area of Judea-Samaria, together with the Arab population—on the assumption that this will still allow a Jewish majority of 60-65%….Even conceding that this may be true, …[i]It would take considerable—and unsubstantiated—faith to entertain the belief that Israel could sustain itself as a Jewish nation-state with a massive Muslim minority of almost 40% …Indeed, this is a clear recipe for the Lebanonization of Israeli society with all the inter-ethnic strife that tore Israel’s unfortunate northern neighbor apart.

Incentivized Arab emigration: A Zionist imperative

…for a Jewish Israel to survive over time, it must contend effectively with two fundamental imperatives: The Geographic and the Demographic.The former rules out any policy that entails large-scale territorial withdrawal from Judea-Samaria; the latter rules out any annexation that entails including large portions of Judea-Samaria’s Arab residents in Israel’s permanent population—whether or not they are granted citizenship.

Accordingly, the only policy proposal that can address both these imperatives, without the use of considerable “kinetic” force, is to induce large-scale Arab emigration by means of a comprehensive system of material incentives to leave, and disincentives to stay…

Accordingly, if the “New Right” is really to advance “Right wing” causes, it must abandon schemes that inexorably lead to the Lebanonization or the Balkanization of Israeli society—and work towards legitimizing the idea of incentivized emigration of the Arab population of Judea-Samaria to third party countries…That should be the New Right’s Zionist imperative.

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,
Best wishes,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *