Jewish Road Map



Search our Archives:

» Home
» History
» Holidays
» Humor
» Places
» Thought
» Opinion & Society
» Writings
» Customs
» Misc.

The Jewish Israeli Peace Plan

By Professor Paul Eidelberg

I. Introduction: Parliamentary Democracy and Human Nature

The principle of national self-determination can only flourish in a parliamentary democracy. Parliamentary democracies, however, are products of decades if not generations. This is only one reason why the Road Map to a Palestinian state is a colossal mistake and should be rejected outright. Although the Elon Plan is infinitely preferable, its suffers from an irremediable flaw (discussed later).

Self-determination can flourish in parliamentary democracy because parliaments, by definition, are based on the primacy of speech, the distinctively human attribute. What indeed is a human self if not one that governs itself by speech? Speech lets reason in, as force does not. Reasoned speech opens the door to merit. A parliamentary regime, though capable of dealing forcefully with other nation-states, prefers to deal with them by speech. But only if those nation-states share its fundamental understanding of human nature can this dialogue mean anything other than a charade.

By contrast, consider a Palestinian nation-state under Yasser Arafat’s (or Abu Mazen’s) Palestinian Authority (PA). (Alternatively, one might observe it as exemplified by Arafat’s patron, Egypt.) We see no promise of meaningful parliamentarism there. The Palestinian Authority is a monstrous dictatorship. In addition to absconding pubic funds, it summarily executes critics of the regime, indoctrinates Arab children to hate Jews, and trains them to become suicide bombers. (Incidentally, can anyone take Hosni Mubarak’s parliament seriously? No more so than we can look to Egypt’s media for reasoned discussions and truthful reports.) The “self-determination” so touchingly proclaimed by Arab propagandists confines itself to the will of the ruling elites. That will has little to do with reasoned speech. For them, consent is a problem resolved by force alone.

The primacy of force in Arab regimes is symptomatic of a radically different view of human nature. Not reason, not merit, but chance rules such regimes: the chance of who happens to get the power to impose his will—for the moment. Reason serves force and force serves the ruler’s will, inverting the moral universe of Jeffersonian democracy. It is no accident that military, not civilian, control characterizes these regimes.

Truly, a country’s form of government—its true form, not always the form it shows the world—reflects its understanding of human nature. Whereas a nationalism based on that which is distinctively human, on reasoned speech, need not destroy itself by escalating irrational, absolutist demands both in the world and within its own borders, a nationalism based on will, on force, inevitably attacks the world and convulses itself. For the passions cannot restrain themselves. Their only limit is exhaustion or destruction.

II. Arab-Islamic Barbarism

To cite but one example of Arab-Islamic barbarism, ponder George Will’s account of the suicide bombing that occurred in Jerusalem’s Sbaro restaurant on August 9, 2001, where 15 Jews were killed and more than 100 were wounded, many maimed for life. Mr. Will first quotes a report by USA Today’s Jack Kelly, who was 30 yards away when the terrorist detonated a bomb packed with nails:

“The blast … sent flesh flying onto second-story balconies a block away. Three men were blown 30 feet; their heads, separated from their bodies by the blast, rolled down the glass-strewn street…. One woman had at least six nails embedded in her neck. Another had a nail in her left eye. Two men, one with a six-inch piece of glass in his right temple . . . tried to walk away…. A man groaned…. His legs were blown off. Blood poured from his torso…. A 3-year old girl, her face covered with glass, walked among the bodies calling her mother's name…. The mother … was dead…. One rabbi found a small hand against a white Subaru parked outside the restaurant.”

Mr. Will, a gentile political scientist and one of Americas most respected journalist, comments:

As with the June bombing that killed 21 at a Tel Aviv disco, children were not collateral victims -- they were the targets. Abdallah al-Shami, a senior official of Islamic Jihad, celebrated "this successful operation" against "pigs and monkeys." That is a familiar rhetorical trope among those whom the calamitous Oslo "peace process" cast in the role of Israel's "partners for peace." In yet another of the constant violations of the Oslo requirement to stop anti-Jewish incitements, this was a recent broadcast from the moral cesspool that is the official television station of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority: "All weapons must be aimed at the Jews … whom the Koran describes as monkeys and pigs…. We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors…. Blessings to he who shot a bullet into the head of a Jew."[1]

Lest it be thought that Islamic Jihad is an aberration of the Arab-Islamic world, Muslims throughout that benighted world gleefully celebrated the Sbaro massacre. In fact, most Palestinian Arabs support the suicide bombing of Jewish civilians. Even in Jordan with which Israel has a “peace” treaty, Jews are regarded as sub-human. In August 2001, Israeli businessman Yitzhak Snir was murdered outside his home in Amman. The killing was applauded by various Jordanian newspapers, one of which ran a headline that read, “A Dog that Died.”[2]

This analysis of Arab-Islamic culture and of self-determination on the one hand, and the evidence of Arab Palestinian savagery on the other—which evidence can be multiplied a thousand-fold—will convince any candid reader that it would be utterly irrational and inconsistent with democracy to allow these Arabs to form an independent nation-state. Such a nation-state on the “West Bank” would eat at Israel’s heart: geographically, militarily and, most of all, in spirit. By definition that nation-state would never satisfy itself; by its nature it could not. And with a burgeoning population it would not. Here let us pause.

* * *

Presently there are 5 million Jews in Israel. (The 5.4 million recently reported as Jews includes some 400,000 gentiles, mostly from the former Soviet Union, who arrived in Israel under the “grandfather clause” of the Law of Return.) There are some 1.2 million Arab citizens in Israel, and their birthrate is about twice that of Jews. There are approximately 3 million Arabs in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza whose birthrate is also prolific.

Now, as Middle East expert Daniel Pipes has pointed out, it will take at least two decades to overcome the murderous hatred of Jews and of Israel that has been instilled in these Arabs by the Arafat regime. Long before that, however, there will be far more Arabs than Jews between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Even if these Arabs were made Jordanian citizens, as proposed by the otherwise meritorious Elon Plan, it is wishful thinking to believe they will live in peace with the Jews in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Accordingly, even though the Elon Plan, like the Yamin Israel Plan, calls for the complete elimination of the Palestinian Authority and Jewish sovereignty over the heartland of the Jewish people, it is not a viable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. This being the case, is there a realistic and humane alternative?

III. How to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Before addressing this issue, it needs to be pointed out that certain politicians advocate a Palestinian state only as a means of solving Israel’s Arab demographic problem. For it is widely known, but hardly ever made a subject of public discussion, that such is the prolific birthrate of Israel’s Arab inhabitants that, sooner or later they will outnumber Jews—some say in twenty years. The democratic principle of one adult/one vote will then enable these Arabs to control the Knesset and, by perfectly legal means, transform the Jewish state into an Arab state. Obviously such a state will not be democratic. This self-destructive logic of (contemporary) democracy can be avoided, or so some naively believe, by creating a Palestinian state in the “West bank” to which Israel’s Arab population may immigrate and there become citizens. Alternatively, these Arabs may remain in Israel, but their citizenship, hence their Israeli voting rights, will be transferred, as it were, to the new Palestinian state.

This scenario can only be spawned by those who refuse to take Arabs or Islam seriously, or who simply lack the intellectual integrity or moral courage to acknowledge the obvious: the Arabs of Israel are committed to Israel’s destruction, and they are multiplying to hasten that end. Year after year these Arabs have committed hundreds of politically motivated assaults including stabbings, shootings, arson, and sabotage. They have collaborated with the PLO and other terrorist organizations and have even formed terrorist cells of their own. Several have been implicated in suicide bombings. But even as early as 1990, no less than 62% of these “Israeli” Arabs openly supported Saddam Hussein despite his threat to incinerate half of Israel! No wonder they are exempt from military service.

These Arabs have no intention of leaving Israel. Here they enjoy all the rights of Jews as well as educational opportunities unequalled in the Arab-Islamic world. In Israel, moreover, they can refrain from paying taxes, commit crimes without punishment, and receive subsidies for large- families to facilitate their eventual political ascendancy. Hence it is futile and sheer folly to try and solve Israel’s internal demographic problem by creating a Palestinian state on Israel’s vulnerable eastern border.

Israel’s internal demographic problem can be solved by vigorously addressing the more urgent Palestinian problem. An honest and honorable government will:

(1) Abrogate the Oslo Agreement and, in one swift and sweeping attack, disarm and dismantle the entire Palestinian Authority and its terrorist network. (Every delay increases the likelihood that the PA will acquire deadlier weapons.) The only justification Israel need offer the world is the U.S. response to September 11. There is no moral difference whatever between the U.S. destruction of Osama bin Laden’s al-Quada terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan—6,000 miles from Washington—and Israel’s destruction of the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure next door to Jerusalem.

(2) Declare Jewish sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (including unequivocal jurisdiction over the Temple Mount) while broadcasting evidence from Biblical and American sources confirming Israel’s God-given as well as superior legal right to these areas. (The Arabs in these areas will of course retain the civil rights they enjoyed under Israeli law.)

(3) Relocate certain cabinet ministries into Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. (This will convince Arabs that the Jews intend to remain in these areas permanently.)

(4) Sell small plots of land in these areas at very low prices to Jews in Israel and abroad with the proviso that they settle on the land, say for a period of six years. This would diminish the dangerous population density of Israel’s large cities and, at the same time, encourage Jewish immigration to Israel. (Enfranchising Israelis living abroad would encourage tens of thousands of these Jews to return to their homeland.)

(5) Develop model cities in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza by attracting foreign capital investment on terms favorable to the investors. Based on past experience, and given Israel’s Gross Domestic Product of $106 billion, another 200,000 Jews can be settled in Judea and Samaria within a few years. Their presence will prompt more and more Arabs to leave, as they have done in the past and as tens of thousands are doing even now.[3]

(Had such policies been implemented shortly after the Six-Day War, the idea of a Palestinian state would have died before it was born.)

Once Israel seizes the initiative vis-à-vis the Palestinian Arabs, it will be psychologically primed to deal with the internal Arab demographic problem.

IV. How to Solve the Arab Demographic Problem

Few people realize that the influence of the Arab vote on Israeli politicians is a basic cause of the Arab Palestinian problem and will continue to hinder the dissolution of that problem. Arab voting power can decisively influence who will be Israel’s prime minister and thereby shape not only the character but the borders of the state. Israel’s political elites have long been aware of this fact. Thus, on May 6, 1976, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said this to high school graduates about to enter the army:

The majority of the people living in a Jewish State must be Jewish. We must prevent a situation of an insufficient Jewish majority and we dare not have a Jewish minority....There is room for a non-Jewish minority on condition that it accept the destiny of the State vis-a-vis the Jewish people, culture, tradition, and belief. The minority is entitled to equal rights as individuals with respect to their distinct religion and culture, but not more than that.

Rabin’s last sentence obviously refers to Israel’s Arab inhabitants. It clearly implies that their rights as individuals do not include equal political rights! In May 1976, however, Rabin’s Labor Party was not dependent on the Arab vote as it was to become a year later when Labor’s 29-year control of Israel’s Government came to an end. Labor’s electoral base was shrinking. Religious Jews, with a much higher birthrate than secular Jews, were shifting to the less secular Likud Party, a loss magnified by the tens of thousands of secularists leaving the country. To regain power Labor had to win the burgeoning Arab vote whose kinsmen were the Palestinian Arabs and whose champion was Yasser Arafat. To put the Arab vote solidly in Labor’s camp in the 1992 Knesset elections, it would be necessary (in violation of the law) to contact and solicit the support of Yasser Arafat in Tunis. The price was Oslo.

Now we can better understand how the Israel’s internal demographic problem is intimately related to the Palestinian problem.

Inasmuch as no Government of Israel is going expel the country’s million and more Arabs despite their hostility to the Jewish state—and no Arab state will accept them—what should be done to save the Jewish state from its burgeoning, hostile Arab population?

The only solution is to make the State of Israel increasingly Jewish and proud on the one hand, and classically democratic on the other! This will result in a steady emigration of Arabs and, at the same time, erode the nationalist ambitions of their party leaders. How can this be done?

Most commentators will say: “Increase the Jewish content of public education.” Of course, but no less important, indeed, more urgently necessary, is radical reform of Israel’s political and judicial institutions.

(1) Democratize Israel’s parliamentary electoral system to increase the impact of Jewish convictions on those who make the laws and policies of the State. The only way to do this is to make legislators individually accountable to the voters in multi-district elections—the practice of 74 democracies. The existing system makes the entire country a single electoral district in which parties compete on the basis of proportional representation. This makes every vote count in apportioning Knesset seats. As a consequence, virtually every Jewish party seeks the support of Arab voters, which can only be purchased by compromising Jewish national interests.

(2) Replace the inept, divisive, and irresponsible system of multi-party cabinet government with a Presidential system comparable to that of the United States.

(3) Democratize the method of appointing the Supreme Court, which has become a self-perpetuating oligarchy whose decisions diminish the Jewish character of the state. Presidential nomination of judges (initially recommended by a professional counsel) and confirmation by the legislature would make the Court more representative of Israeli society, the bulk of whose population more or less identifies with the Jewish heritage, which the Court frequently scorns. (Alternatively, it may be wise to replace the Supreme Court with a “Constitutional Court” whose jurisdiction would extend only to laws that directly affect the organization of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government.)

(4) Enforce Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that negates the Jewish character of the State.

(5) Enforce the 1952 Citizenship Law, which empowers the Minister of Interior to nullify the citizenship of any Israel national that commits “an act of disloyalty to the State.” (The law should be amended to clarify the term “act” in such a way as to protect freedom of speech and press.)

(6) Rescind large-family allowances, with the understanding that the Jewish Agency will assume the function of providing such allowances to Jewish families, while Arab philanthropic agencies may do the same for Arab families.

(7) Rescind the “grandfather clause” of the Law of Return, which, as previously indicated, has enabled hundreds of thousands of gentiles to enter Israel.

(8) As proposed earlier, enfranchise Israelis living abroad. This will increase the power of the Jewish vote.

(9) Phase out U.S. military aid to Israel (now less than 2% of the country’s GDP), as well as American participation in Israel-Arab affairs. Both undermine Israel’s material interests as well as Jewish national pride.

(10) As Kemal Ataturk did in Turkey, terminate Arabic as an official language of the State. This will counter the anti-Zionist idea that Israel is a bi-national state or that it should be a “state of its citizens.”


If Israel were true to its heritage, it would be the best chance for democratic enlightenment in the Middle East, an enlightenment enriched by Jewish values. This chance will be lost, and Israel’s own existence will be jeopardized, if a Palestinian state is established in the “West Bank.”

The Middle East is the place where the Occident and the Orient reveal their nature, their limitations, and their destiny. It is here that the genuinely human confronts absolutist irrationalism. This is what is at stake in the conflict between Israel and the Arab-Islamic world.

[1] Washington Post, August 17, 2001, p. A23. Will quotes Al-Shami as boasting that "no border restriction will stop" suicide bombings.

[2] Jerusalem Post, August 24, 2001, p. B3. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s counter-terrorism adviser warned: “If you are an Israeli and you go downtown in Amman you are in danger of being lynched.” But in no country does Jew-hatred thrive as in Egypt. See Arieh Stav, Peace—The Arabian Caricature: A Study of Anti-Semitic Imagery (Jerusalem: Gefen Publishers, 1999).

[3] Having formed no distinct culture or solid infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, the Arab’s attachment to the land is superficial—avowals to the contrary notwithstanding. Indeed, while Jordan ruled the area from 1949 to 1967, about 400,000 Arabs moved from Judea and Samaria to the eastern side of the Jordan River. During and immediately after the 1967 war, 200,000 more Arabs—roughly one of every five inhabitants—moved to the East Bank.


from the June 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine




The Jewish Magazine is the place for Israel and Jewish interest articles
The Current Monthly Jewish Magazine
To the Current Index Page
Write to us!
Write Us
The Total & Complete Gigantic Archive Pages for all issues
To the Big Archives Index Page