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The Alternative to Oslo: A Modest Proposal


If the Oslo carnage in Israel continues at its current pace, the number of Israelis murdered since the signing of the Rabin-Arafat ‘Peace Accord’ in 1993 soon will be larger – when measured as proportional to population size – than the total losses by the United States in the Vietnam War.

Let me repeat that. Israel’s mindless politicians will have produced a death rate that exceeds the losses of the United States in Vietnam when measured as proportional to population size. With the obvious difference that almost all Americans who died in Vietnam were military personnel killed in combat, whereas almost all Israelis murdered by Oslo since 1993 were civilians sitting on buses and in cafes, and a huge number were children. This is the ‘peace process’ produced by the Cult of Oslo.

I believe that one of the most harmful aspects of the Oslo psychosis has been the convincing of Israelis of the fallacious doctrine of inevitability. The argument goes something like this: Everything that has occurred until now and that likely will occur soon, down to and including Palestinian statehood, was always inevitable. It was pre-ordained and predetermined. Israel never had any alternative to Oslo and has none today. Israel has no choice now but to seek dialogue and negotiations with the PLO.

The Six Day War made the first intifada inevitable, or so this argument goes, and that made Oslo inevitable, and that made Palestinian statehood and Israel returning to the 1949 borders inevitable. The first Camp David of Menachem Begin made Palestinian violence and ‘liberation’ inevitable, leading to the inevitable second Camp David.

But is it true that Israel never had any choices, that everything was inevitable? Is it true that Israel today has no choice but to continue Oslo?

The simple truth is that not only was it not inevitable, but Israeli policy always had a clear and successful role model it might have followed to defend itself and bring about peace.

That role model was denazification. The denazification programs applied by the Americans and Allies to Germany, Italy and Japan. Israel could have adopted the main features of denazification starting in 1967 (and maybe earlier among Green Line Arabs), with its own innovations and adaptations as needed.

How would denazification of the Palestinians work?

First, after restoring complete Israeli martial rule over the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip, those Palestinians who were involved in suicide bombings and similar atrocities at any level (including planning and financing), would be quietly taken away and properly disposed of.

Other members of terrorist organizations would be jailed without trial for indefinite periods or deported. The political leadership of the PLO and Hamas would be tried as war criminals and as enemies of humanity in Nuremberg-like trials and executed. Israel would make it clear that terrorism is war and not civil crime.

Second, democratic institutions would be imposed upon the populations of the West Bank and Gaza ruthlessly, without niceties and regardless of their acquiescence. The Palestinian schools would be managed directly by Israel, which would dictate the curriculum and oversee informers to weed out radicals among teachers and students. Ditto for the Palestinian mosques and churches. The Temple Mount would be controlled by Jews and Israel; the control over its mosques would be granted to Turkey.

The territories would be under permanent martial law with no apologies. They would be closed to Israeli and foreign journalists. Reporters entering these areas would be arrested and deported — and risk being shot by snipers overseeing the tranquility of the streets.

The media would be closely monitored, and the slightest hint of approval for Palestinian terrorism and violence would be grounds for immediate loss of press credentials and confiscation of equipment; for foreign correspondents the penalty would be swift deportation.

Every Palestinian teacher and public servant would be required to take loyalty oaths on sacred books, swearing to oppose violence and inform on terrorists and acknowledging the legitimacy both of Israel’s existence and its martial rule in the territories – all in writing and filmed signing. Those who will not sign will not work.

Israel would then prepare two lists – the White List and the Black List. On the White List would be names of people, families, clans, villages and towns who are entitled to privileges.

The privileges would include simple mobility around the territories (as opposed to indefinite house arrest); the right to day jobs in Israel, to electricity, water, sewer service, phone service; the right to have a bank account; and the right to vote in local elections for municipal representatives.

A White List political organization would be set up, based somewhat on the Northern Alliance set up by the United States to govern Afghanistan. It would be a political puppet controlled by Israel, not an independent Palestinian political entity, although its members would enjoy certain privileges.

The Black List would consist of those who are entitled to none of the above. Any act of violence would place the entire extended family of the perpetrator on the Black List indefinitely, whether or not the perpetrator had been killed. The slightest act of violence in a town or village would put the entire village on the Black List. The involvement of a person in any sort of terrorist activity, including expression of verbal support for violence, would put that person’s family on the Black List.

Black List members would be offered no alternatives for employment and sustenance. They would be provided with bread and water. Their only privilege would be the right to emigrate.

White List members would stay on the list only if they collaborated with Israel and informed on those Palestinians planning and perpetuating violence. Families whose children throw rocks or curse soldiers would be Black-listed. The lands and property of the extended families of those involved in terrorist violence would be confiscated with no trial, only with a martial hearing or military tribunal. Israel would announce officially and make it clear that should any Palestinian minors be injured or killed while throwing rocks at Jews, Israel would regard their own parents as morally and legally liable for the injuries.

Anyone on the Black List would be permanently curfewed and prohibited from moving about freely, unless it would be to emigrate. No reporters of any sort would be permitted in the areas under martial law. Palestinian sympathizers with terrorist organizations would disappear off the streets in the night, with no explanations offered by Israel. Capital punishment would be applied broadly and readily.

Those on the White List could run for local municipal office. They would need to swear a loyalty oath to non-violence and to the legitimacy of Zionism. They would be monitored. They could speak freely about municipal affairs. The slightest comment suggesting support for violence or questioning the legitimacy of Israel or Israeli martial law would move the elected person to the Black List and result in the forfeit of all municipal powers.

Municipalities that failed to elect White Listers would be shut down and prohibited from providing any municipal services. No schools, no street lights, no garbage collection, no water.

There would be no habeas corpus or ‘due process’ in the territories. The extended families of those engaged in terrorist organizations and activities outside Israel would be black-listed or expelled, with property confiscated.

Of course none of the above is democratic. Neither was the American administration of Japan and Germany. It is not supposed to be liberal; it is supposed to root out fascism violently and forcefully. It is supposed to save Jewish lives.

As democratic institutions imposed upon the Palestinians take root and acquire legitimacy, martial law might be selectively relaxed by Israel in the future. But it would all depend on the Palestinians and their behavior. It will take as long as it takes. The Americans occupied Okinawa for 35 years.

Over time, the Palestinians would be denazified, just as the Germans were. Like them, the Palestinians could gradually be granted limited autonomy in a permanently demilitarized fashion, with no possibility of establishing diplomatic or other relations with non-democratic Arab powers.

Sovereignty would be out of the question and demanding it would move the person to the Black List. Pressures would be put on black-listed families and towns, where emigration is their main viable alternative.

White List membership could be offered to those who join Israel-led and controlled Palestinian militias, or who serve Israel militarily. These militias would be utilized to kill terrorists and suppress Palestinian fascism, somewhat like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

Only White-Listed people would serve on public bodies controlling Waqf lands or operating the mosques.

Yes, all the above is mere fantasy today. But sooner or later, this is what Israel will do because there is no other alternative.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


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