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March 09, 1984 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-03-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


24 Friday, March 9, 1984

Against Annexation: Arguments Oppose Keeping Judea, Samaria

* * *
of the Jewish people.
If the Zionist movement
Sociological School:
accepted the 1947 UN reso-
Different Criteria
lution calling for partition
other school of
of the British Mandate of
Palestine, this acceptance thought, the sociological
should be viewed as a tem- school, views the decision to
porary measure only, to be be taken by Israel against a
revised if and when condi- different set of criteria. The
main argument of the
tions permit.
According to the territo- sociological school is that,
rial school, such an occasion when Israel comes to decide
presented itself to Israel in on and negotiate about its
1967. The West Bank — borders, it should focus not
Judaea and Samaria in He- on the quantity of territory
brew — as well as Gaza are under i;s control but on the
an inseparable part of the quality of the society Israel
historic Jewish homeland. would become.
According to the sociolog-
Zionism, and the state of Is-
school, if Israel ulti-
rael, should do their utmost
to guarantee that these mately absorbs the West
areas will never again come Bank and Gaza, it will add
under another sovereignty 1.2 million Arab Palesti-
nians to its population. In-
or jurisdiction.
In this interpretation of cluding the Arabs already
Zionism, the more territory living in Israel proper, this
of historical Eretz Israel is means that the population
being controlled, by the of Israel in its expanded
Jewish state, the more borders would consist of 60
Jewish and the more Zionist percent Jews and 40 percent
that state is going to be. Arabs.
Such a country, the
Therefore, Jewish settle-
ments should be put up in sociological school argues,
these areas, both to demon- would be less Jewish, and
strate their inseparability less Zionist, than an Israel
from Israel within its pre- with more limited territory
1967 borders and to make a but with a clear 85 percent
reversion to such borders Jewish majority. More
either impossible or ex- territory means upsetting
the demographic and ethnic
tremely difficult.
balance of the Jewish state
and thus spells catastrophe
for the Zionist dream of
creating a Jewish common-
In an Israel 40 percent
of whose population was
Arab, the sociological
school sees an utter per-
version of the Zionist
dream. In such a society,
the large Arab minority
would tend to become the
class of a
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the whole social vision of
Zionism as a social revo-
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lution would disappear.
Moreover, ultimately Is-
rael would be faced with
the problem of political
rights for such a large
Arab minority.
If— as a democratic coun-
try, committed to equal
rights — it were to grant
this Arab minority equal
political rights, Israel
would become virtually a
• •

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parliament, civil service
and army consisting of
Arabs. This would be a far
cry from the Zionist vision.

(Continued from Page 1)
Both schools view the
issue of the future of the
West Bank and Gaza on a
much broader canvas
than that of the future of
an area or its population.
For both schools of
thought, the debate is
about the nature of Israel
— the kind of society it
will become, its main go-
als, the hierarchical
order of its value system.
The territorial school
argues that the most impor-
tant criterion for Israel
decision-making should be
the maximization of Jewish
control over as much terri-
tory of historical Eretz Is-
rael as possible. According
to this school, the whole
land of Israel is — and
should be — the homeland




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Alternatively, if such an
Arab minority were denied
equal rights, Israel would
become another South Af-
rica. If one considers that
the Arab birthrate is higher
than the Jewish one, the
large Arab minority could
even become a majority in
the not too distant future.
The main question facing
anyone ready to consider an
Israeli withdrawal from the
West Bank hinges, ulti-
mately, on the question of
finding an adequate partner
for negotiations and
peacemaking. This is not a
mere abstract question of
rights; it is a concrete ques-
tion of politics and diplo-
macy as a means of realiz-
ing claims of such rights.
Discussions of the Middle
East sometimes overlook
the fact that the main prob-
lems are not territorial is-
sues but questions of
legitimacy. While the pre-
sent Israeli occupation of
the West Bank and Gaza
certainly exacerbates the
Arab-Israeli conflict, that is
not its origin or primary
cause. Its cause lies in the
Arab refusal to accept any
form of Jewish sovereignty
over any part of Palestine.
Until 1977 this Arab refusal
was universal and total.
Once (Israel's) legiti-
macy was accepted by
Egypt, Israel was able
and willing to make the
territorial concessions
that led to Camp David
and to the evacuation of
Sinai and its return to
Egyptian sovereignty.
The same problems arise
over the West Bank and
Gaza: With whom should Is-
rael negotiate? Who should
be seen as a legitimate
spokesman for the Palesti-
nians? What should be the
political organization of the
West Bank and Gaza after
Israel leaves?
To these questions there
are basically two sets of an-
swers. One would have the
West Bank and Gaza consti-
tute an independent Pales-
tinian state, either headed
by the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) or
under a more moderate
The other would look to
Jordan and would prefer a
solution linking the West
Bank and East Bank of the
Jordan in some sort of polit-
ical entity. The main argu-
ment of the second school is
that the two banks of the
Jordan are inseparable,
economically as well as

* * *

Independent State
Is Unsatisfactory

The reason I think the es-
tablishment of an indepen-
dent Palestinian state on
the West Bank and in Gaza
is the least satisfactory
solution does not stem from
any fear for the future of Is-
rael. A West Bank and Gaza
state, even if it were un-
friendly to Israel, would not
be a "mortal danger to Is-
rael," as former Prime
Minister Begin sometimes
called it. But it would not be
an adequate solution to the
Palestinian problem; it

would be a basically de-
structure and — given Arab
stabilizing element in the
realities — not too-
Middle East, and it would
oppressive bureaucracy,
not become a foundation for
with its economic base and
a lasting peace between Is-
outlet to the sea and other
rael and the Palestinians.
Arab countries — such a
The reasons why a West
Bank and Gaza state is joint West Bank-East Bank
entity would have a much
viewed as unsatisfactory by
better chance for stable and
myself — and by many in
peaceful development.
Israel who would like to see
an Israeli withdrawal from
The PLO, whether riding
the occupied territories —
high as it did before the
are many and complex. Let
Lebanon war or splintered
me enumerate a few of and harassed as it is now,
cannot become a viable
First, the 1.2 million
partner for negotiations .. .
Palestinians in the West
Israel should reach out to
Bank and Gaza are merely
those Palestinians who
one-third of the Palestinian
would be ready to negotiate
people. There are about
their future through Jor-
600,000 Palestinians who
still live in refugee camps in
Such a Jordanian op-
Lebanon, Syria and Jordan
tion still leaves a number
east of the river- If a true
of difficult issues to re-
solution to the problem is to
solve. The most intracta-
be found, these people must
ble is Jerusalem. No Is-
be settled on a permanent
raeli government can be
basis somewhere within the
imagined that would give
historical boundaries of
up the unification of
Jerusalem, and no
A West Bank/Gaza state
would be so small, over-
coalition can be expected
populated and basically
to cede East Jerusalem
poor that these refugees
explicitly to Israeli sov-
could not settle within its
boundaries. The West Bank
Once the other outstand-
has been an area of emigra-
ing issues between Israel
tion for the last four de-
and a Jordanian-
cades, and it could hardly
Palestinian entity were
absorb a significant number
worked out and had proved
of refugees for resettlement.
practicable, there is a rea-
It has neither the arable
sonable chance that posi-
land nor the resources to
tions on Jerusalem might
support such a massive set-
eventually soften on both
tlement effort.
If, on the other hand, a
Another issue is that of
joint West Bank-East Bank the Jewish settlements on
solution were sought, the the West Bank, where about
East Bank — which is 10
30,000 Jews now reside.
times as large as the West
This is certainly not an easy
Bank — could become the
problem. But for all the dif-
area of refugee resettle-
ferences between the West
ment. Because it is also part Bank situation — with its
of historical Palestine, the holy sites and historical
East Bank is not alien coun-
associations — and that of
try for the Palestinian refu- the Sinai settlements, it is a
gees, nor is its population,
fact that the settlements
since 60 percent of the
were not, ultimately, an in-
people on the East Bank of surmountable obstacle to
the Jordan are of Palesti- the Camp David agreement,
nian origin.
much as they made life dif-
Of the population of the ficult for all concerned.
East Bank, about one mil-
Some of the settlers would
lion are Palestinians, and
leave once it be-
they too have a right to be
came clear that the area
part and parcel of a Palesti-
would not remain under Is-
nian homeland.
Last but not least, even raeli control. Others might
those Israelis who are have to be lured away from
ready to give up the West their newly-acquired homes
Bank and Gaza realize by adequate — and some-
that these areas could times more than adequate
become bases for anti- — compensation, as was the
Israel operations and in- case in Yamit.
Still others might de-
sist on some guarantees
to stay, even under
that this would not hap-
pen. One way of taking Arab sovereignty, and
care of such legitimate though their number
Israeli concerns would might not be large, it
be demilitarization of the should be emphasized
that there is no reason
West Bank and Gaza.
why, under conditions of
Now, if the West Bank
and Gaza were to become a peace, a number of Jews
should not live in an
separate, independent
state, this would mean in- Arab-controlled West
sisting that the whole terri- Bank. There are about
tory of this new state, the half a million Arabs in Is-
symbol and epitome of rael proper, so why does
Palestinian sovereignty it have to be assumed that
a small number of Jews
and self-determination, be-
come demilitarized. This is would not be allowed to
a demand that no state live in an Arab country, if
they so wish and if they
would find acceptable .. .
commit themselves to fol-
* *
lowing the law of the
land? •
With Jordan
Finally, some of the
An association with Jor- settlers would have to be
dan, with its relatively forcibly evacuated.


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