- Max Hyman
This Could Tear Apart the World
I cannot overstate this blog post's importance to peace, safety, and our organization's mission. It's totally understandable that you haven't read Israel or Palestinian news, but of all things that have happened in the last several years, I must discuss what has happened this week. Keep in mind that these events could spiral the conflict into full-scale war, with threats already abound when I say this - Israel made a different government. Why should Israeli politics change their relationship with Palestine at such lengths? To understand this, you must understand the two largest (but not only) political parties in Israel - the Likud party and the Blue and White party. The Likud party's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been the prime minister for about two decades now, but the Blue and White party's leader, Benny Gantz, has been gaining support. And just a few days ago, the two party leaders formed an emergency unity government which allows a path to annexation of Palestinian territory.
Yes, in a time of worldwide struggle that just a few weeks ago had brought Israelis and Palestinians together in unity, we face another great crisis. Why is it so bad? Well, one of the key reasons that peace has been so difficult is that the Israeli government continues settlements in Palestinian territory, which delegitimizes such territory (West Bank). This unity government essentially allows legislation for West Bank annexation to be advanced in the cabinet or Knesset (legislative) - both of which had right-wing majorities. This is huge, as adding this second route almost guarantees it to pass, especially with 5 right-wing parties in the Knesset voicing support for annexation. The US has largely "given its blessing" to such annexation efforts, and is more than likely to support such an action. The Blue and White party leader, Gantz, was reluctant and claims he was "forced" to compromise, despite that European leaders with interests in peace warned him not to do so.
So, as I see it, this is a lose-lose situation for Israel, Palestine, and everyone who is peace-oriented, and here's why. When, not if, Israel begins to annex any part of the occupied West Bank, internationally-recognized Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned "appropriate action". Palestinians have been working to rally support for an opposition of Israel's intention, which would include, most likely, all Arab countries with historical and religious reason to support Palestine. Some of the smaller measures threatened would be the suspension or termination of security establishment between the IDF and Palestinian forces, or the END to Palestinian recognition of Israel. And if things get ugly, and the frustrations evolve into war, we would be looking at the US and Israel (and other allies) against most or all Arab nations. This is a world-changing proposition. Not only would it devolve any hope of peace in the coming months, but the coming decades.
Secondly, even if war does not occur, and even if Israel somehow is successful in their endeavor, experts say, we essentially have a not diplomatically reached but forced one-state solution. Along with all cons of such a solution for both sides (check out the page on potential solutions), Israel as we know it would cease to exist, and the Zionist dream of a Jewish haven would be over. The birth rate of Palestinians would soon overtake the Israeli population and, all the while, with tensions that could at any time spiral into a civil war. So, the fact is, that both sides recognize this as the end to the two-state solution. Either we devolve into war or head in the direction of a single state. This should and cannot be accepted. Please take 20 seconds of your time to sign your name to J-Street's (a Jewish pro-two state and pro-peace organization) Stop Annexation protest. Because, if this happens, our organization's mission is deemed impossible. Thank you.