Thursday, January 15, 2009

In the comments...

In the comments below:

Max writes: "The fact remains that settlers in general hold strong anti-Palestinian sentiment, and could not be a civil component of a Palestinian state. That should be argument enough for forced removal."

TNC asks: "Is this also an argument for the forced removal of anti-Zionist Arabs from Israel? If not, why not?"

Good point.

My thoughts, off the top of my head--anti-Zionist Arabs do not present the same level of political inertia that the settlers in the West Bank can. In other words, the settlers represent an actual obstacle to a two-state solution, whereas the anti-Zionist Arabs present no such obstacle. They may, however, present a security threat, and once the two-state solution is realized, there may be a case for some forced-immigration to Palestine, though I would hope not.

The major difference, I suppose, is the Israelis are settling in the West Bank. I'm pretty sure the Israeli Arabs have been in Israel proper since 1948.

Just some thoughts.

Here's one more question: Can a Palestinian State ever become a reality with two disparate geographical regions (Gaza and the West Bank) separated by Israel in the center? Is this a possibility or merely a pipedream? Are we dealing with anything more than the geography of defeat, and do we need a new partition?


Max said...

interesting that you all should bring the issue up, as it's a debate that's starting to heat up (or was). Livni set things off with her comments here:

Remember, that's the sentiment of somebody left of the major right-wing party in Israel. Some of us have been debating the issue at Chaim Watzman's new Jewcy article, if you're interested in reading that:

Anti-Israel sentiment among Israeli Arabs is not as big a deal to me as the raw demographic issue. Israeli-Arabs are already at the margin of Israeli society, and could not pose a credible threat if they wanted to (which the vast majority of them do not -- they've chosen to be 'Israeli' Arabs for a reason, after all.) Settlers, on the other hand, are well-armed, and have posed a credible threat to Palestinians since they built their homes simply by removing so much territory from a Palestinian state. (And beyond that, once you've seen video of settlers harassing Palestinians during the olive season, or burning their fields down, it's pretty hard to act as if there's any kind of 'live and let live' relationship there that resembles the Israeli-Arab attitude.)

E.D. Kain said...

Exactly, Max. I think you've summed it up perfectly.