Israel’s trilemma


in Bombs and rockets, Politics

The Economist created a graphic illustrating how Israel must choose between three objectives, without being able to achieve all three at once and with objectionable features arising from choosing one pair over the other options:

They need to make some choice between giving up occupied land, ceasing to have a Jewish electoral majority, and being a fully democratic state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comment that Israel is the homeland “only of the Jewish people” suggests that this government at least is willing to prioritize continued occupation and a Jewish majority over equal treatment of all citizens.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

anon May 17, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Israel’s determination to persist with racist policies will gradually cost it the support of the world, except the US which is controlled by evangelical Christians with delusions about the role Israel will play in the forthcoming end of the world.

. July 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm

Besides, the growth of Jewish settlements makes a two-state deal ever harder. Establishing a Palestinian state would probably require the removal of settlers in its territory. Israel had trouble enough evicting 8,000 Jews from Gaza in 2005. There are more than fifty times as many in the West Bank. Even excluding East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel, the number of Jews east of the “green line” (the pre-1967 border) has risen from 110,000 in 1993 to 425,000. New home approvals nearly quadrupled from 5,000 in 2015-16 to 19,000 in 2017-18, according to Peace Now, a pressure group.

. July 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Mr Netanyahu may do yet more lasting damage. In the final days of the campaign he vowed to annex parts of the West Bank beyond Jerusalem, something no previous leader has thought prudent. This risks killing any chance of peace based on a two-state solution—which involves the creation of a Palestinian state—and of thus turning Israel into a rogue nation.

In the end, Israel faces a stark choice. Jews and Arabs count roughly equal numbers between the Mediterranean and the Jordan river. So Israel cannot permanently hold on to all the land without sacrificing either its Jewish majority or the ideal of a proper democracy that does not discriminate against Arabs. The more Mr Netanyahu abandons land-for-peace, the more the choice will be annexation-for-apartheid. That dilemma is something even Bibi cannot conjure away.

. September 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows to annex ‘all the settlements’ in West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to annex “all the settlements” in the West Bank, including an enclave deep in the heart of the largest Palestinian city, in a last-ditch move that appeared aimed at shoring up nationalist support the day before a do-over election.

Locked in a razor-tight race and with legal woes hanging over him, Mr. Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival. In the final weeks of his campaign, he has been doling out hard-line promises meant to draw more voters to his Likud-National Liberal Movement party and re-elect him in Tuesday’s unprecedented repeat vote.

“I intend to extend sovereignty on all the settlements and the [settlement] blocs,” including “sites that have security importance or are important to Israel’s heritage,” Mr. Netanyahu said in an interview with Israeli Army Radio, part of an eleventh-hour media blitz.

Asked if that included the hundreds of Jews who live under heavy military guard amid tens of thousands of Palestinians in the volatile city of Hebron, Mr. Netanyahu responded “of course.”

Israelis head to the polls on Tuesday in the second election this year, after Mr. Netanyahu failed to cobble together a coalition after April’s vote, sparking the dissolution of parliament.

. November 25, 2019 at 4:27 pm

‘Israel is joining an ugly club,’ says rights group as director expelled

Human Rights Watch’s Israel director Omar Shakir leaves for Jordan under 2017 law

Israel has deported the local director of Human Rights Watch for his alleged support for a boycott campaign, a move the advocacy group said placed the country in an “ugly club” of authoritarian regimes.

Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine representative, lost a landmark supreme court case this month that centred on Israel’s ability to expel its critics. The government had refused to renew Shakir’s visa, and Monday is the deadline for him to leave.

At a press conference in Jerusalem hours before his flight, the researcher condemned the decision as an escalating assault on the human rights movement.

“If the Israelis can deport somebody documenting rights abuse without facing consequence, how can we ever stop rights abuse?” said Shakir. Israel argues its objection is to Shakir alone, not human rights campaigners generally.

. January 28, 2020 at 11:11 am

America’s decision to recognise Israeli settlements makes peace less likely

Annexation could eat up so much land that what is left would not leave a coherent or functional Palestine. The resulting death of the two-state solution would present Israel with terrible options in the occupied territories. One path would be to give the Palestinians equal rights and watch as they matched or even outnumbered and outvoted the country’s Jewish population. Another would be to turn them into second-class citizens or corral them in Bantustans, both of which would turn Israel into a place with different laws for different peoples—an apartheid state.

. February 5, 2020 at 2:34 am

‘Israel is joining an ugly club,’ says rights group as director expelled

Human Rights Watch’s Israel director Omar Shakir leaves for Jordan under 2017 law

. February 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm

UN publishes list of companies with ties to Israeli settlements | Weather | The Guardian

. February 20, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Netanyahu vows thousands of new settler homes in East Jerusalem

Israeli NGO calls settlement expansion ‘state suicide’ as it severs East Jerusalem and connection to Bethlehem.

. July 11, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Israel’s high court struck down a law that sought to legalise Jewish settlements built on private Palestinian land as long as the Palestinians are compensated. The law would have retroactively legalised thousands of homes built in the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, the Palestinian prime minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, said the Palestinian Authority would declare an independent state if the Israeli government follows through on its plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

. July 23, 2020 at 1:00 am

Whether Israel annexes the West Bank or not, a two-state solution is no longer viable | Ahmed Moor | Opinion | The Guardian

. July 30, 2020 at 3:32 am

Israel’s nightmare: The dissolution of the Palestinian Authority | Palestine | Al Jazeera

. August 5, 2020 at 5:48 am

Will the Gulf-Israel rapprochement be derailed by annexation? | GCC | Al Jazeera

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