In every attempt, those involved in cutting deals between Israel and the Palestinians have always tried going through the settlers, a self-defeating tactic because doing so only gives them more power. A new approach is to outmaneuver them – set a border that’s defensible for Israel and functional for Palestine, and urge the settlers to either get behind that border, with government assistance, or become a Jewish minority in the Palestinian state.
An ultimatum to settlers would force them to choose between the modern state of Israel and its biblical promise, possibly encouraging many to acquiesce without major incident. Those who remain could retain their Israeli citizenship, with an open invitation to return, but would become Palestinian citizens. Living no differently from other diaspora Jews, they would be subject to the laws and values of their state.
The idea of withdrawing Israel but leaving Israelis has yet to go mainstream, but there have been hints. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said as much at the Aspen Ideas Festival last July, when he declared that Jews would be welcomed in a future Palestinian state.
Gershon Baskin, co-director of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information, proposed in a recent Jerusalem Post column to “link the rights, privileges and obligations of Palestinians in Israel to those of Jews in Palestine … to close the gaps of discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and prevent the discrimination against Jews in Palestine.” read it all here
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