Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90
The Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, Israel.

A senior Israeli source close to the peace negotiations has told Maariv that Israel has proposed to the U.S. a population exchange with the Palestinian state that will not require a physical transfer.

The idea is to turn over the “Arab triangle,” where about 300 thousand Israeli Arabs live today in the eastern Sharon Valley (near Netanya), in return for the “block settlements” in Judea and Samaria, which include Gush Etzion, the Shchem area, Maale Adumim near Jerusalem and possibly the Hebron area. Such a swap would also most likely include the Jordan Valley.


The proposed swap would not include the “outposts,” which are more scattered and whose legal status is in dispute.

From the tone of the official speaking to Maariv, it appears that the idea could catch fire at this point in time, because it is far more likely to be embraced by a majority of Israeli Jews. It’s greatest claim to fame is the fact that it “only” removes 100 to 150 thousand settlers from their homes, a number which many Israelis could live with. This number has been bandied around by Science Minister Yaakov Perry in recent days, as the unavoidable “painful sacrifice” the Jewish state must endure for the sake of peace.

Kerry might be tempted to entertain this idea in public, even if he does not end up actually endorsing it, because it would appeal to the right wing in Israel as well as in the U.S. Fewer people get hurt, Israel is rid of part of a significant ethnic minority that can threaten the Jewish character of the state (Remember the ticking demographic bomb? It ain’t ticking so much, as Arab birthrate has been declining, but it still sounds good).

Last time this idea was contemplated, by current Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, it evoked a very negative, even angry response from the left, and from the Arab Israelis, who accused Lieberman of racism.

Hard to tell why physically uprooting Jews is not racism, but merely redrawing the border to the west of an area rather than its east is racist.

Of course, the main reason the Triangle Arabs hated this proposal, and no doubt will despise it again, is because they’re nobody’s fools: why move from a Western democracy to a third world PLO (and later Hamas) dictatorship?

Also, the 100 to 150 thousand settlers and their loved ones will not be enamoured with the expulsion part.

And, of course, the Palestinian negotiators will hate it because, to be fair, it kind of favors Israel, legitimizing upwards of half a million Jewish settlers, while at the same time helping it unload an ancient security problem—the Arab Tiriangle.

In my humble opinion, while I remain certain of the hopelessness of the Kerry effort, beginning to end, I must admit that this is just the kind of out of the box thinking that would boost the near-defunct 2-state solution.

Did you hug a released Palestinian terrorist today?



  1. Bear Klein · Having said that, what do you propose to do once a majority of Israelis vote in favor of the 2-state? Hold your breath until they change their mind? Alas, calling something stupid won't make it go away, and we need to think like grownups.

  2. When the Palestinians agree to a Jewish State of Israel, agree to Israel's security needs, agree to the Settlement blocks and Israel's continued control of all Jerusalem, give up on the idea of the right of return then we will know they are actually ready for peace.

    Now we see they teach their children that Tel Aviv is Palestinian and Jews are monkeys and should be killed. Hamas and the PLO completely reject the concept of Jews having a country for perpetuity in the middle east. So however talks of a two state solution is so naive they probably still believe in the tooth fairy!

  3. No Palestinian leader could go with that. He would be lynched by his people. After all, Abbas had been urging the Palestinians never to acknowledge Israel. He could hardly go back on his word now. But hey, with Obama doing everything in his power to secure a State for the Palestinians, at Israel's cost, they don't have to do a thing.

  4. Who says that Israel leadership is sane? Wasn't this done before in Gaza ? Then it was only 10,00 Jews kicked out of their homes. 10,00 or 150,000 ? What difference does it make to these psychopaths? These are the ones who should be kicked out of their homes and confined in mental institutions.

  5. Once again, Tsipi Livni forgets to ask the people "swapped" for their opinion. Not only are the Jews in Judea-Samaria supposed to be brutally taken away from the birthplace of our people to accommodate the racist PA's desire to have a Jüdenrein state, but the Israeli-Arabs are supposed to be carved out of Israel against their will. Earth to Livni: The Israeli-Arabs chose their side in 48 and deserve to be asked for their opinion. As far as the Jüdenrein dream state of the PA, it has no legitimate claim to existence. The (Hashemite) Kingdom of Transjordan Palestine already exists across the Jordan. If an exchange of population is to be done between two homelands, let the "Palestinians" be sent across the Jordan in exchange of all the Jews thrown out of Arab countries between 1920 and 1970.

  6. oh for goodness sake what a load of nonsense. livni wants to give away all our land to her arab lovers…this is a diaster. a true diaster. out of the box. hell the traitors of irsael need to be locked in a box and thrown away. no the nation will not accept this. what nonsense

  7. Then jews should also multiply like rabbits unless they want Israel to be gobbled up by the Muslims doing so all around them. The Muslims don't realize it,but their exploding popuation around the world has started turning our planet into a desert – with summer tempeatures reaching record highs and winter temperatures dropping to record lows – just like in the deserts.

  8. We are facing the same Muslim population explosion in India as well. Plus increasing number of illegal Muslims coming into India has exponentially raised the incidents of rapes of Hindu girls. Muslims don't consider non-Muslims as human, just as pieces of flesh to be had.

  9. Another stupid idea from her. The Arabs living here would never agree to live under PA rule, not after experiencing living under a democracy. In any case, I have no problem living with an Arab minority.

  10. sidverma007 – Israeli Jews have a slightly higher birthrate than the Arabs. The Arab birthrate is declining, as they move to a more urban environment, while Jewish birthrate, especially among the National Religious and then the Haredim, is rising constantly.

  11. sidverma007, I'm truly sorry this is happening in your country…it breaks my heart as I have 3 daughters in the US. Jews have families that they love and respect. Muslims just multiply with as many wives as they choose with no more regard for their women than they do for the people of other races and religions. It's very very sad and NOT the way GOD teaches us to act.

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