Settlers' 9-Step Plan To Kill The Two-State Solution
Joel Braunold on the Yesha Council's initiative to put a million settlers in the West Bank and scuttle any prospect for peace.
With Obama visiting Israel, many groups are trying to get his attention to let the president know what they think he should do. In addition to the pleas from the peace camp and the Free Pollard camp, there is a document prepared by the Yesha Council titled “Judea and Samaria—It’s Jewish, It’s Vital, It’s Realistic.” This Kafkaesque document contains explanations of why demographics are on the settlers' side; why the Palestinians are stealing water from Israel; and a history of the legal nature of the settlements themselves. Most interesting, however, is the nine-step plan that the Yesha Council has included at the end of the document to fulfill its vision.If we look at each step we can start to understand many of Habayit Hayehudi’s moves over the past few weeks.
Step 1: Renewing the strong belief in the supremacy of the Jewish claim to the Jewish Homeland and the justness of taking measures to maintain control of it.In the coalition agreement between Likud and Habayit Hayehudi, there was a bill to make the Jewishness of the State supreme.
Step 2: Uniting the nation and its leadershipThroughout the coalition talks, Bennett was the peacemaker between Lapid and Netanyahu, and has pledged to be a leader for all of Israel, not just the settlers. His party has also taken over key ministries that can affect the cost of living across Israel.
Step 3: Military strength and control of the territory by the security establishment
Though many ex-military and security men veer to the left after they finish, the new Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon most defiantly veers to the right and was the first choice of the settler community.
Step 4: The elimination of terror and cessation of incitement in Palestinian schools
While all Israelis want to see an end to terror and incitement, the previous government's complete rejection of the State Department’s school textbook report demonstrates a total unwillingness to examine the issue of incitement on both sides of the border.
Step 5: Creating a situation where it becomes clear to the international community that another state west of the Jordan River is not viable.
The serious policy community is split on whether the two-state solution has already been killed by the Yesha Council or whether it is on life support. Needless to say, the Yesha Council is well on the way to achieving this step. The new Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin already believes this to be the case.
Step 6: The further immigration of one million Jews to Israel to secure a permanent Jewish majority in Israel.
In the coalition talks, Bennett managed to carve the Diaspora portfolio out of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and into his own portfolio. The reason for this now becomes crystal clear.
Step 7: One million Jews in Judea and Samaria, tripling its Jewish population.
With the housing and trade ministries, Habayit Hayehudi can now start working on this. Expect to see low-income housing built over the green line with huge economic incentives. With the new settler-friendly defense minister, the previous block to this (Barak) is gone.
Step 8: The creation of large residential areas surrounding the current communities of Judea and Samaria
See step 7—if the plans don’t already exist, they will soon.
Step 9: The execution of a construction, development and economic plan for the million residents of Judea and Samaria.
Habayit Hayehudi has already indicated that they would rather release prisoners and transfer taxes to the PA than freeze settlement construction, and that they will never accept that request. Looking at this nine-step plan, it is easy to see why they would rather grant any other ‘confidence-building measure’ than allow the slowing of the settler population.
This is the strategic effort to kill the two-state solution. The Yesha Council is very open about its aims, objectives and methods. If people want to do more than pay lip service to the idea of two states, they must oppose the Yesha Council at every turn of this plan.