Israel’s trilemma

2019-03-09

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.

{ 3 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.

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