Moreover, your little ones who you said would be carried off, your children who do not yet know good from bad, they shall enter it; to them will I give it and they shall possess it. Deuteronomy 1:39 (The Israel Bible™)
Imagine there was a region in China. Now imagine that this region boasted both low crime and low unemployment rates. Most importantly for the government, this same region produced the most loyal soldiers and servicemen who reached the highest ranks of military prowess compared to their counterparts in other regions. They produce the most loyal soldiers who are ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for their rulers. It’s safe to say that the Chinese government would show them some level of favoritism.
Now what if I told you that Israel has a region within its borders that fits that very description?
It does – Judea and Samaria.
And you might be shocked to hear that not only does Israel not roll out the red carpet for the residents of this region, they actually punish them and treat them categorically worse than every other citizen inside pre-1967 Israel.
Lower value citizens
Despite paying taxes and serving in the Army at a higher rate than any other region in the country, the Israelis of Judea and Samaria are treated by the Israeli government as second class citizens. All construction and zoning is regulated and approved by the IDF and not by the democratically elected government that sits in Jerusalem. Settlers are also usually those who receive the brunt of terrorism largely due to military incompetence, negligence or perhaps for far more nefarious reasons.
And finally, the Shabak (General Security Service) witch-hunts Jewish teenagers, usually minors, and often try them on trumped-up charges. The Shabak has been proven to frame settler youth for hate crimes against Arabs that they did not commit. That’s because Israel’s secret police who should be focused on Arab terror, have for some reason, created a unit dedicated to perusing “Jewish terrorism”. And it’s an open secret that if there isn’t any Jewish terrorism, The Shabak will invent it using settler children as their patsies.
What settlers want
And yet despite the despotic treatment, the consensus among the settler community is a collective aspiration to be annexed by that same government.
However when they say annexation, they’re almost always referring to Area C only. Which won’t really solve much vis-a-vis the Arab problem.
On the one hand, they know that they don’t want a Palestinian state. On the other hand, they don’t necessarily call for annexing those areas. This places them in a quagmire.
That’s because unfortunately, anything short of annexing Areas B and C along with A, won’t change anything significant.
Nothing will change
Yes, on the bureaucratic level, if Area C alone is annexed, zoning approval won’t have to go through the army. And that will certainly be a welcome, important change. But in the big picture, nothing will really be different – Arabs will continue building on state land illegally and the government won’t make any greater efforts to crack down on terrorism.
How do I know?
Easy. Just look at East Jerusalem, East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel. Now tell me – do the brave Jewish residents who live in places like Mount of Olives really have it better than their neighbors in Maale Adumim? Does the island of Jews in neighborhoods like Shuafat enjoy any significant advantages that those of the island of Jews in the city of Hebron?
Do the farmers in the Galilee enjoy any more protection than the farmers in Samaria? Is there any less illegal Arab building in the Negev than in the southern Hebron hills?
The answer to all these questions is No.
So why are settlers so excited about the prospect of annexation?
The answer is because many of them are still traumatized by what they saw in Gush Khatif and northern Shomron, where the government managed to evacuate 8,000 Israelis from their homes in Gaza without firing a single shot. If the Judea and Samaria is annexed, it’s a type of guarantee that there will not be another similar evacuation in that region.
This fear is unfounded for two reasons.
One – even left wing politicians are talking about annexation. They realize that the idea of repeating Gush Khatif in Judea and Samaria will harm their interest as well. After all, they see what happened to Sderot following the Disengagement and don’t want Kfar Saba to be next.
But secondly, and more importantly,unlike the settlers, the left realizes that the task of evacuating 500,000 unwilling Israelis from Judea and Samaria is a logistical impossibility…if the settlers simply refuse to leave. I’m not even talking about violently resisting the evacuation violently. I’m saying that if even 50% of the Jews living in Judea and Samaria peacefully refuse to cooperate with a future evacuation, it could never be done. The amount of resources, manpower and mutiny it would cause within the IDF (remember, settlers comprise a good chunk of the military), would make the task a non-starter.
By the way, the only reason the Gaza Disengagement went so smoothly was because not only did those Gazan settlers not resist peacefully, they willfully left their homes hugging (seriously) the IDF troops who came to kick them out. If they refused to leave on their own volition, the Gaza disengagement simply could not have been done.
A different solution
So If annexing Area C only won’t change anything fundamentally, what’s the alternative?
They could go with Rabbi Kahane’s original plan which was to annex all of Judea and Samaria and give the Arabs an ultimatum – either you’re with us (accept Israel as a Jewish state and defer voting rights) or we’ll pay you to leave. This proposal was also adopted by Moshe Feiglin’s Zehut party.
This solution is ideal as it keeps the nation of Israel as one united country. The problem is that too many people in Israel have been convinced that it will turn Israel into some sort of ‘Apartheid’ state. That’s because the Arabs who will be living on Israeli territory would not get to vote. Unfortunately for many Israelis, the worst thing they can be called is apartheid so anything they think will give the Israel-haters another excuse to call them that is unacceptable, Even some of the more right-wing Israelis are afraid to go there.
Not on the horizon
Although it’s in Israel’s security interest, the fact is that annexing Area C of Judea and Samaria hasn’t happened yet. Even hawkish Prime Ministers like Begin and Sharon refused to annex it. And despite Netanyahu’s campaign promises, everyone who understands what’s going on with the now-irrelevant Deal of the Century realizes that even annexing Area C isn’t on the horizon.
A different solution
That is why I’d like to present another alternative solution to the current stalemate – a new independent Jewish Country in Judea and Samaria -in areas A, B and C.
A ‘State of Judea’ will be a new, independent country whose borders encompass all of Judea and Samaria from Areas A-C. This ‘Judexit’ will give the settlers living there a clean slate creating a state that can learn from all of the mistakes Israel has made (and is making).
It will be a new country that unlike Israel, will enjoy an open, capitalist economy without suffocating regulations. More importantly, he Torah will be our constitution and serve as our judicial system’s guiding light.
Yes, I realize that there will be challenges and naysayers along the way. But with a little Jewish brain-power and some faith in God, I believe that they will be overcome.
Even the left will welcome it
The Israeli left should welcome the idea. That’s because the State of Judea will relieve them of Israel’s responsibility of ruling in Judea and Samaria. They no longer need to worry about what their friends in Europe will say about the “occupation” as it will no longer Israel’s problem. And if the Israeli left doesn’t welcome the idea, it’ll expose them as hypocrites who continually claim that they don’t want their government to rule in that area.
Beyond Judea and Samaria
Additionally, I believe that once the Galil and the Negev regions see how our model protects its citizens from terror and theft and allows for an open, capitalist economy, the residents of those regions will want to join our new found state.
That’s because the farmers (and civilians in general) feel that like the settlers, the Israeli government has abandoned their security.
The bottom line
Now even if you don’t agree with this proposal, it’s important to at least acknowledge that the Israeli government does not want to rule in Judea and Samaria. Sorry, but they just don’t. Successive Israeli governments have failed to get rid of Judea and Samaria in the form of ‘peace’ accords just about every leap year. Jerusalem couldn’t get rid of Judea not because they didn’t want to, but because the Arabs wouldn’t agree to it.
So there you have it – two entities, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Neither wants to rule over Judea and Samaria, And since that’s the case, I, as a settler, with a Biblical claim to the land, will happily step up and lead the residents of Judea and Samaria to fulfill their shared destiny.