Enno Raschke is a researcher and historian for Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Center in Jerusalem. I am happy to say that we occasionally cross swords, but I respect the guy. It is, after all, difficult for me not to respect a historian with Yad Vashem.
On Facebook, I recently put out a brief note claiming that “The two-state solution is dead. Get over it.”
This seems pretty self-evident at this point, but people — particularly Jews — will always disagree about almost anything. Enno responded in a way that I consider entirely reasonable. He wrote:
People who say “The Two State Solution is dead” never have a credible, doable alternative solution (as in: one that is acceptable for people outside of their own political bubble). And as long as that remains the case, the 2SS is not dead.
This is a core question among those of us who care about the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel.
Enno seems to think that there is no other possibility than continuing to pursue a two-state solution that the Arabs have rejected since at least the Peel Commission of 1937. That is to say, he refuses to take “no” for an answer. He wants us to go on and on and on requesting peace while the Arabs always refuse.
What I am considering is more along the lines of Caroline Glick and Martin Sherman. It is one possible answer to Enno’s question. Annex Judaea – Samaria, up to the Jordan River. Those hillsides above Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are traditional Jewish land. The Arabs, along with others, conquered it, but the Jews are the only extant indigenous people to that land. That is our land and we should not respect the rights of conquerors to steal it from us, particularly within living memory of the Holocaust (Shoah).
There are two major fears concerning the Jewish annexation of Jewish land. The first is demographic and the second is international reaction. What I propose — with some modesty, thank you — is that Israel annex Judaea – Samaria up to the Jordan. The demographic problem need not be a problem if it is dealt with in a straightforward manner. A reasonable percentage of non-Israelis who live on that land would need to be interviewed. Those who despise Jews would need to move elsewhere. Those who do not express any such hatred would need, just like Jewish citizens of Israel, to do a few years of national service. Those who complete good report should be offered Israeli citizenship.
The international reaction to a Jewish annexation of Jewish land is more complex. Western-Europe, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Democratic Party leadership essentially despise the Jewish people and our state. If Israel were to annex our own land they would throw a fit. But if we fail to do so in coming years than we will never be able to do so and we will remain forever back on our feet. We will always be at the mercy of Europeans who think that persecuting Jews is a matter of “social justice” and Arabs and Muslims who simply want us dead or gone from our own historical homeland.
But if there was any a moment in recent Jewish history to claim our land, now is probably the time. Not only do we have an ally in the White House, but we have greater economic, technological, medical, scientific, and diplomatic reach than in any time in Jewish history.
What I would suggest to my friend, Enno, despite the fact that I am sitting in my perch in northern California, is that perhaps now is the time for bold action.
First published at Israel Thrives