I received a flurry of messages last night from all my friends on the right side of the political spectrum following our new Defense Minister’s stated support for a 2-State solution.
“You see, Liberman zig-zagged again”, “Liberman’s showing his true colors”, “Liberman got power and shifted Left” and “Liberman’s going to be another Sharon”.
I’d say it’s open to debate if Liberman really zig-zags left and right all the time, or if he simply prefers to sometimes emphasize one aspect of his statements when convenient, while other times emphasizing the other half – leaving him open to criticism of zig-zagging, while allowing his spokespeople to emphatically deny any zig-zagging at all.
Though I don’t see much wiggle room in his statement that he plans to take out Ismail Haniyeh in just 1 more day – leaving us to wonder if perhaps Liberman is really more bark than bite.
To remind my friends, Liberman has always supported a 2-State solution. He’s said he would evacuate his home in Nokdim for peace. I believe he would.
But everyone forgets the parameters of Liberman’s 2-State solution plan – “The Populated-Area Exchange Plan“.
It’s not a one-way street.
Liberman envisions a Palestinian State consisting of all the Arabs on this side of the Jordan River – with no Jews, and an Israeli state on this side of the Jordan River – with a lot less Arabs citizens.
Liberman contends that the only way to end the conflict is to end the friction resulting from 2 opposing religious and nationalist groups occupying the same space – and it makes no sense (nor is it fair) to create a Palestinian State with no Jews, while keeping Israel as a dual-nationality state with an antagonistic Arab minority who self-identify as “Palestinian”- nor is it fair or right to make anyone physically move.
In Liberman’s plan, Israel would annex the major settlement blocks, while transferring the major regions of Israel where there are a majority of Arabs, over to the Palestinian State.
Israeli-Arabs, who constantly identify themselves as “Palestinians” would lose their Israeli citizenship but immediately gain Palestinian State citizenship. They wouldn’t have to move out of their homes – the borders would be redrawn around them – mostly in the “triangle” region in part of the Galilee.
I personally disagree with his solution for a number of critically important and fundamental reasons (to be discussed another time), but there’s certainly no denying Liberman’s correct identification of the problem and that his plan treats all sides equally (even if it is a left-wing plan).
Strangely enough, the group who should be supporting the plan the most are the most vehemently against it – Israeli-Arabs who self-identify as “Palestinians”.
In a poll in the year 2000, 83 percent of Israeli-Arabs opposed the plan, with only 11% were in favor.
You would think, that all these Israeli-Arabs demanding a Palestinian State, waving “Palestinian” flags and touting their “Palestinian” identity would love the idea.
But they don’t – they don’t want to be citizens of a Palestinian State – they want to be citizens of the Israel they hate – the Israel that gives them equal opportunity, equal rights, and isn’t under Arab control.
Interestingly enough, a friend of mine was talking yesterday with some Arabs from one of the villages under Palestinian Authority control and they said the same exact thing.
These PA Arabs want Israel to come in, kick out the Palestinian Authority and bring back the “Occupation” – they want life to be good again – as it was under Israeli rule. Most of their village wants that.
Liberman’s plan is unlikely to be implemented, simply because the Arabs themselves don’t want to live in a Palestinian State – which says a lot.
If anything, the first step Liberman should really be taking for peace is helping the poor Gazans escape from the terror of Hamas.
Set up an emigration plan – one-way tickets to Europe and Detroit with cash in their pockets and full bank accounts.
Within a year, the only people left in Gaza would be Hamas supporters, if even that.
And then Liberman could prove to us that “Mila zu mila” and take out Ismail Haniyeh.