NOT EVERYONE IS AWARE of this, but there has been a plan at work since August of this year to build a de facto Palestinian state in areas currently controlled by Israel.
When I first read of this, I thought it was just somebody’s odd idea, and we’ll see how it goes. Many of the particulars – building infrastructure, making improvements in the economy, supporting civil institutions – have been part of the Israeli plan for creating a viable Palestinian society from the “bottom up” for quite some time now. I would be getting off the track of this post to list the details here on how the Israeli administration of the West Bank has already created a significantly higher standard of living for the Arab population, partly due to the basic altruism inherent in the Jewish culture, but also largely out of the practical sense that building a good next door neighbor is really the surest path to peace. (Come to think of it, that topic alone needs to be addressed more fully than I am allowing myself space to do here. As with most of Israel’s efforts to achieve peace, the international media have done their best to obscure the facts. I encourage the reader to look into some of the details in places like this, or here. Alongside of this is the observation I made earlier that a recent Harvard study found a majority of Arabs who are currently living within Israel’s boundaries would, if given the choice, prefer to remain under Israeli authority, thank you very much.)
But enough of all that. I’m writing this post now because an article in Ha’aretz caught my eye a few days ago that mentioned a “secret understanding” between Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad and the Obama administration to grant diplomatic recognition to this new state whenever Fayyad should give the signal, and for the UN and possibly several European nations (not to mention the 57 Arab States) to follow suit.
Now that would create a whole new ball game. Under the previously presented scenario, you have what on the surface appears to be a useful plan to build up the Palestinian society to the point where they could at some point actually be ready for statehood, but according to this new revelation, we may be witnessing an end run around every diplomatic principle having to do with the validity of the State of Israel up until now, including UN Security Council Resolution 242 and the Oslo Accords – agreements to which Israel has diligently adhered, often to its own disadvantage. Even the jurisdictional authority of Mr. Fayyad rests under the auspices of Oslo, which he is simultaneously violating and undermining through his efforts. Sounds like a hair-brained scheme, doesn’t it? Yes – except that it already has substantial backing, financial and otherwise, from the UN as well as from the US, the Quartet, and other European leaders. (If it sounds like I’m making all this up – and don’t I wish I were! – I refer the reader to the thoroughly documented analysis by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs which can be seen here.)
So, where would this scheme leave Israel if it is brought to completion? Well, for one thing, it would effectively release Israel from the obligations and commitments it has honorably kept since 1967. It would leave Israel free and unconstrained to defend itself against all comers, hell or high water. Does Israel really have nukes? I don’t suppose there would be any reason not to pull out all the stops if it comes to this. This is a scary thought, but perhaps we’ll soon see the playing out of what the prophet Joel said:
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, for my people and my inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they shared out my land.”
I must admit that I find that idea scary mostly because I belong to one of those nations that will be severely judged according to this prophecy.
Oh, and there is one other factor which, astoundingly enough, is naively ignored by the Palestinian plan: the very real and serious threat of a nuclear Iran. Iran has said many times that (in effect) it doesn’t give a flip about what happens to itself or any other nations, as long as it can make an Israel-sized hole in the crust of the earth.
Be careful, gentlemen, be very careful – you’re getting awfully close to the edge of the cliff.
lineman, awaiting the snap.