Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why isn't anyone discussing Palestinian Emirates?

Sar Shalom

In defending the application of pressure on Israel to accept that Jewish rights end at Jordan's 1949-line of conquest, President Obama observes that no one has explained to him how Israel could hold onto the entirety of Judea and Samaria, grant civil rights to all its inhabitants, and remain a Jewish-majority state. However, there is a plan that has been suggested that would recognize that Jordan's 1949-conquest is not grounds to abrogate Jewish rights, extends civil rights to those who dwell in Judea and Samaria, and does not threaten Israel's status as a Jewish state. That plan is Mordechai Kedar's Palestinian Emirates.

A summary of the features of the Palestinian Emirates plan: The major Arab population centers of Judea and Samaria (except for Bethlehem) would each become independent emirates as would Gaza. Israel would annex the remaining parts of Judea and Samaria with full civil rights extended to the Arabs living in those territories. The Arab population centers in Judea and Samaria are: the Arab section of Hebron, Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqiliya, and Jenin. Those population centers include roughly 90% of the Arab population of Judea and Samaria, thus extending civil rights to the remaining Arabs would not threaten Israel's Jewish character.

While I have other reasons to support Kedar's plan, one notable asset is that if the alternative to full evacuation of "the West Bank" is Palestinian Emirates, Obama would not be able to say that full evacuation is required in order for Israel to remain both a Jewish state and a democracy that extends civil rights to all under its jurisdiction. This doesn't mean that Obama would not be able to come up with other reasons to demand full evacuation, however, any reason to favor full evacuation over Palestinian Emirates would be a harder sell than the "preserve Israel as a Jewish democracy" argument has against the alternative of preserving the status quo. Given that, why does no one besides Kedar himself even mention Palestinian Emirates?


  1. 50 years ago, I would think this would have been feasible. But anymore I think the stumbling block is this -

    "That plan is Mordechai Kedar's"

    Israeli unilateralism to settle this conflict once and for all is something I support. As long as that ends at the borders of the Jewish State of Israel, I don't think the resulting sound and fury from Europe and elsewhere will ultimately amount to much.

    But Israeli unilateralism going so far as to tell the Palestinian-Arabs what to do with, and how to govern, 'their' lands will, unfortunately, in this day and age, leave the door open for endless continual attacks upon Israel, and false comparisons to South Africa, etc etc.

    If the Palestinian-Arabs as a people ever rise up beyond their current horrible leadership, from both Fatah and Hamas, and demand such a thing as this, it could definitely work. But for now, to impose such a thing from Israel's end would be folly, in my opinion.

    It makes a lot of sense, perhaps even the most sense considering the history and the solid points brought up, but considering the times we live in at this very moment of history right now, I don't think proposals from Israel along the lines of creating numerous, small, disconnected Palestinian-Arab city states is the smartest tactical move.

  2. I am open to the possibility, but my view is in flux.

    For many years I favored the two-state solution until I finally came to the conclusion that the Arab players have no intention whatsoever of ever living in peace with Israel.

    Why should they, after all? Ongoing hostilities cost them virtully nothing and are legitimized by Western liberals who believe that "Palestinians" have every right to try to kill Jews.

    What I like about Kedar's plan is its apparant unilateralism. Nothing will be accomplished via negotiations because one cannot reasonably negotiate with eels. What I do not like about the concept of "emirates," however, is that the enemies of the Jewish people will scream to the heavens about "bantustans."

    By the way, are you guys aware that Professor Kedar figures somewhat prominently in Harris-Gershon's book? I forget the details, but Kedar helped usher Harris-Gershon through red tape.

    You may recall that Kedar was later accused of promoting rape as a war tactic by unconscionable Daily Kos morons. Kedar, of course, did no such thing, but guess who refused to come to his assistance among the dkos people?

    That's right. David Harris-Gershon sat on the sidelines and watched Kedar get savaged by irresponsible morons within his own little knitting circle.

    What a disgrace.

    1. To be fair to David, it's impossible to stand up when one doesn't have a spine.

    2. It would have cost him so little to set the record straight and I watched it in real time and HOPED that he was going to jump in to protect the reputation of a friend, but he did not.

      I do not know why.

    3. Perhaps because he knows all too well what happens once the rabid, antisemitic mob at Daily Kos turns on somebody.

      After all, he conducts them like a symphony himself.

    4. I wonder what he would say in his own defense.

    5. He's already saying it. Preemptive defense in the form of his own antisemitic anti-Zionism.

  3. "Ongoing hostilities cost them virtully nothing "

    as a matter of fact, it PAYS. Generational refugee welfare; pensions for terrorists; billions on aid that went where? etc etc etc

    Nice scam.

  4. There seem to be two objections. One deals with what the PE plan gains us in terms of dealings with the Palestinians. The other concerns what the PE plan gains us in terms of dealings with the western world.

    Jay raises a legitimate point that the Palestinians have to want an alternative to Fatah and Hamas. However, I would say that working at lower levels, as PE would have us do, would lower the barriers for an alternative to Fatah and Hamas to gain traction. This assumes that implementation of PE would not require establishing all emirates at the same time. Thus, for an alternative group to attract a critical mass in any one population center would be less of a hurdle than to attract critical mass in Judea and Samaria overall. For instance, if Israel were to declare Hebron an independent emirate with Sheikh Fared al-Jabari as its ruler, it might be feasible to make it actually happen in fact. Making Sheikh Jabari the ruler of the Palestinian Authority in its entirety would not be feasible.

    A further benefit requires some background. There are two types of coercive measures that could be used against a negotiating partner. The obvious one is direct action like that used against Arafat during his untimely (that is to say about 12 years too late) final days. A more subtle one would be to bestow favors on his domestic rivals. The problem with the first is that there's a limit to what can be done without raising international ire. The problem with the second is that Abbas has no serious domestic rival who is in any way tolerable to us. PE would change the calculus on that front. For instance, if Jenin's education system were to teach that Jews are nothing but interlopers in the region while Jericho's were to teach that Jews are the natives but that today's Palestinian Arabs should not be made to suffer for what their ancestors did, Israel would be able to pressure Jenin by bestowing favors on Jericho.

    A final note would be that negotiations would not be with the PA. They would be with the parties that would come to rule the to be established emirates.

    I am aware that our enemies would shout "bantustans," and have had one do so at me when I mentioned that PE for the reason I mentioned in the post. Two things about that. One, what the haters say is irrelevant, all that matters is what people in power have to say, those people care about not coming across as haters. Two we need to characterize what made bantustans bantustans. Ask those leveling the charge to define bantustan in a way that would not make Singapore a bantustan. Follow up asking what tangible benefit would be provided to the Arab residents of Jericho by having a Palestinian state occupying the entirety or close to the entirety of Judea and Samaria that those residents would not get by having an independent emirate and be prepared with concessions that would reduce that margin of benefit as low as possible. It likely won't convince the haters of anything, but it would make it harder for the haters to convince the uncommitted that their demands are for anything to help the Palestinian people.

    1. I am not hostile to the idea, but I do question its feasibility.

      My main concern is the international community, but that is also my main concern around an imposed unilateral single-state ala Sherman and Glick.

      The truth is, the West has Israel's back up against a wall. The "status quo" can go on for a very long time, but it is not desireable. However, the only way to really change things is through unilateral action, but any unilateral action that Israel might take will result in across the board condemnation throughout the world.

      That does not necessarily mean that it is not worth it, however.

    2. Another concern would be the potential for serious violence within the emirates and between the emirates and Israel.

      Here is a question:

      Would we end up in a situation wherein each emiriate would be surrounded by the IDF? Given the likelyhood of Arab push-back it seems probable that the new reality might be one of tiny, impoverished and hostile Arab enclaves surrounded by Israeli military forces.

      When put in these terms it does not sound very desirable.

      Where am I going wrong?

    3. I think concerns around the response of the international community to unilateral action in the form I favor are generally overblown.

      After all, in that case (unilateral declaration of final borders, withdrawal of IDF to within same, let the Palestinian-Arabs do whatever the hell they will with the lands they're left, and respond to any future attacks from them with a devastating-enough response to ensure that they will never attack Israel again), Israel is only freeing themselves from an endless death waltz with Palestinian-Arab 'leaders' who have been led to believe that if they just keep holding onto Israel tight enough, in the form of pretending to play along with 'negotiations' while yet fully knowing they'll never agree to a fair resolution, they'll eventually be rewarded with Israel's destruction.

      In the PE situation, I think concerns about the international response may have slightly more merit, since Israel would still appear to be involved in 'ruling' the Palestinian-Arabs in meaningful ways.

      My preference is just get them the hell out of Israel's 'life,' so to speak, once and for all. Or at least until such a time as they show signs of being a responsible, peaceful neighbor.