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Shmuel Rosner’s RX in the NYT: Occupation forever

Israel/Palestine
on 15 Comments
Reuven Rivlin

Reuven Rivlin

I find this New York Times op-ed by Shmuel Rosner, “Don’t Annex the West Bank,” pretty radical. Here are its main points:

1. The settler right of Uri Elitzur and left of Reuven Rivlin are ready to annex the West Bank and grant citizenship and equal rights to everyone. Don’t do it! says Rosner.

2. Fences work. See also Rosner’s article in Salon on that.

3. A majority, “like me” says Rosner, have little faith in a peace process.

4. No unilateral withdrawal, citing Gaza.

5. Last paragraph sets forth two (inevitable?) consequences of annexation: (1) annexation without granting rights to Palestinans (which the world won’t accept) or (2) Annexation with citizenship ala Rivlin, leading to bloody warfare (?)(!) Rosner: “Or it could seek one peaceful state for two warring peoples, a road that would destroy Israel’s essence, endanger the Jewish majority and perpetuate a bloody conflict.”

Rosner, on twitter

Rosner, on twitter

The implication here is what we pretty much heard from everyone on our trip: do nothing (occupation forever).

Occupation forever because we want to “maintain Israel’s essence” and not “endanger the Jewish majority” sounds very dubious as a moral vision for Zionism.

Rivilin and Elitzur do have the moral high ground.

Roland Nikles blogs at this site. He recently visited Israel and Palestine and wrote about his trip in several dispatches here

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15 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    June 6, 2014, 1:19 pm

    just reading rosner’s article now. what is this?:

    Annexation of the territory that was taken from Jordan in the 1967 war (apart from East Jerusalem and the Old City, both of which Israel declared to be legally under its jurisdiction) has long been an option.

    israel ‘declaring’ something legal is meaningless!

    Why then has annexation suddenly become politically kosher?

    The obvious reason is the failure of the peace process. For 25 years, Israelis and Palestinians have tried to negotiate a mutually agreed separation — the so called two-state solution. They failed not for lack of professionalism, but rather because they couldn’t agree on the terms for separation. A growing number of Israeli leaders are reaching the conclusion that this old idea is dead. Since they think the status quo is unsustainable, they are searching for new ideas.

    having all of the ‘eretz israel’ under israeli jurisdiction is definitely not a ‘new idea’. and the reason the ‘peace process’ has failed time and again is not because ‘they couldn’t agree on the terms for separation”, it is because some political factions have no intention of ever allowing a palestinian state, which became quite evident with the release of the palestine papers.

    new ideas force Israel to forgo core building blocks of the old peace process: to sacrifice the element of “agreement,” or to sacrifice the element of “separation,” or both.

    ‘force’ israel to forgo the peace process? ha! ‘sacrifice’ agreement? ‘sacrifice’ separation? as if forgoing the peace process and coming to an agreement was ever in the interest of right wing political parties in israel. read the old likud charter!

    then rosner goes on to frame this ‘sacrifice as Giving up on the idea of an agreement ….leading them to support unilateral annexation! and doubling down writing Giving up not once but twice.

    the people pushing annexation are not giving up anything, they are getting exactly what they want.

    but the wort aspect of rosner’s article is the fact there is absolutely no mention of the fact that area c has been ethnically cleansed of 3/4 of its palestinian population for the purpose of annexation. giving the remainder of palestinians rights, which are not equal by any means because plans are already in place to corral those remaining palestinian citizens into banastuns inside area c, is disingenuous (and that’s a nice way of putting it).

    annexing 60% of the WB and giving 50 thousand palestinians israeli citizenship while millions remain on the rest of palestine is criminal.

    and it’s a glaring issue, not subtle, but in your face. because show me the plan where Rivlin (called the “old-school Likud liberal. He talks about equal rights and he means it.” or Elitzur are calling for the entire WB to be annexed and all the palestinians given equal rights. (even palestinian israelis do not have equal rights inside israel today) show me that plan, because i don’t think it exists for the “old-school Likud liberal”.

    Rivilin and Elitzur do have the moral high ground.

    compared to whom? why can’t they even create equal citizenship for palestinian israelis inside israel yet?

    maybe i am just too pessimistic.

  2. Krauss
    June 6, 2014, 1:44 pm

    Rivlin doesn’t have the higher moral ground. The point of annexation is to gobble up more land with minimal amount of citizenship given.

    Remember, Israel is actively pushing out Palestinians by making their life very hard on purpose, it is also very difficult for many to even gain citizenship for their spouses and the like, leaving many to even leave Israel(and then magically getting their citizenship revoked).

    Rivlin is simply following the old Labor/Mapai model. If Nikles somehow points to Rivlin as someone occupying the “higher moral ground” you do kind of worry about his attachment to reality.

    • Woody Tanaka
      June 6, 2014, 4:13 pm

      “The point of annexation is to gobble up more land with minimal amount of citizenship given.”

      That’s exactly right. They want the land, but not the people, in their unforgivable non-Jewishness. So they run off the Palestinians and look to steal the “empty” land.

      • AlGhorear
        June 7, 2014, 12:56 pm

        Woody, that sums it up perfectly: They want the land, but not the people, in their unforgivable and unacceptable non-Jewishness.

  3. Woody Tanaka
    June 6, 2014, 2:08 pm

    Shmuel Rosner is the new George Wallace: “segregation occupation now, segregation occupation tomorrow, segregation occupation forever”

  4. seafoid
    June 6, 2014, 4:21 pm

    “Occupation forever because we want to “maintain Israel’s essence””

    Israel is rotting from the inside. It can’t ever be stable. The essence is putrid.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decomposition

  5. seafoid
    June 6, 2014, 5:40 pm

    “Occupation forever” sounds too much like bukra fi mishmish.

    I used to wonder why the First Jewish kingdom didn’t endure and it came down to numbers and regional power fade.
    Why would now be any different? Because Israelis are going to concentrate? They don’t understand the risk that goes with YESHA

  6. yonah fredman
    June 6, 2014, 6:55 pm

    The fact is that Rosner does not offer a prescription, he rejects all the offered prescription so the upshot seems to be the status quo. In fact he needs to offer a prescription and in the lack of one we can mock him and indict him for the status quo. But he in fact offers no prescription.

    The rejection of the one state solution from sensible leftists from Derfner to Amos Oz to Shlomo Sand causes me to pause. These are reasonable men. When the rejection of the one state solution comes from centrists like Rosner whose approach to the negotiation process gives too much leeway to Netanyahu’s negotiating stances which seem unreasonable to the leftists, this seems sufficient cause for mockery, but the “pie in the sky” aspect of the one state solution is not only rejected by centrists like Rosner, but by leftists who I listed above.

  7. piotr
    June 6, 2014, 7:29 pm

    “Mr. Rivlin is an old-school Likud liberal. He talks about equal rights and he means it.”

    Likud liberal means a moderate fascist (like Mussolini in his good years before Pact of Steel). He appreciates that in this day and age the discrimination is better applied by a democratically elected parliamentarian majority, but let us face it: in Israeli politics, the notion of equal rights is pretty alien to the right of Meretz. Rivlin is particular about procedures etc. so he opposed various measures like expelling Arab members of Knesset and so on.

    Perhaps he does have high moral ground compared to Rosner, but expect formalistic “democracy” and vigorous defense of all tribal privileges of the Jews in Israel, annexation or not. I strongly suspect that the right-wing one-staters want to preserve the Jewish majority by excluding Gaza.

  8. talknic
    June 6, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Reuven Rivlin has only Zionist excuses & nonsense, none of which have any legal basis

  9. surewin
    June 6, 2014, 10:52 pm

    Isn’t this Naftali Bennet’s long-term strategy? Israel will “manage the conflict” until, well, never mind when.

  10. wes
    June 6, 2014, 11:04 pm

    annexation is the way forward.but at the same time it is a trap much like gaza was a trap for the arabs.
    annexation will force arabs to find a democtatic solution as opposed to a military solution and that in turn will relieve the pressure on israel both economically and strategically.
    those resources wasted on managing the security situation can be used to absorb the west bank arab population in a postive way
    and that is the crux of the matter
    intergration

    in europe intergration has failed especially in france and the right wing has arisen

    intergration ………………. The bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association

    intergration of the 3 companions is the only way forward to create a harmonious whole.surely after thousands of years,with the knowledge that we have today, a solution can be found.

    3 flames one light

  11. Talkback
    June 7, 2014, 3:57 am

    Again, nothing special. Just the usual Zionist policy to occupy all of Palestine.

  12. amigo
    June 7, 2014, 11:08 am

    Occupation forever???.

    Apparently not!!!.

    From j,post.

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Knesset members in shock this past Monday by suggesting that Israel would have to “separate” from the Palestinians, according to a report which appears in Friday editions of the nationalist-religious newspaper Makor Rishon.

    According to the report, which was written by the newspaper’s political commentator, Ze’ev Kam, Netanyahu told lawmakers serving on the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach “a separation from the Palestinians.”

    Kam quotes unnamed members of Knesset who were present at the meeting as saying that Netanyahu left some of them “stunned,” since they could not recall the premier ever using the word “separation.”

    Recently, Netanyahu has indicated a willingness to consider unilateral steps in the wake of aborted peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, which led some lawmakers to speculate that the prime minister may be considering a unilateral withdrawal.

    Knesset members from both the Right and the Left sought clarifications from Netanyahu regarding what he meant by “separation,” though none was forthcoming, Makor Rishon reported.

    Indeed, during his session before the committee, Netanyahu ruled out discussions with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

    “We will not talk to a government in which Hamas is taking part,” the premier told the panel.

    It was after Netanyahu was asked about the government’s intentions in the wake of the breakdown of negotiations that he dropped a bombshell, according to Makor Rishon.

    “I don’t want one state from the Jordan [River] to the [Mediterranean] Sea,” the premier is quoted as saying. “Even if the demographic balance doesn’t change to our detriment and there is a Jewish majority, it is still obvious that we need to have a Jewish majority that is overwhelming and for that state to be democratic.”

    “And that is why we need to come to a separation,” Netanyahu said

    “http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Is-Israel-planning-a-unilateral-withdrawal-in-the-West-Bank-355527”

    So these absurd miscreants think they can just go ahead and steal whatever they please with impunity.

    File those charges right away Abbas.Lets get that smirk off the face of Ali BIBI and his forty thieves.

  13. Baldur
    June 7, 2014, 1:06 pm

    I don’t, like Kant, believe in necessity of good intentions, so I do agree that in some sense Rivlin has the moral high ground in this matter. With a full annexation, Israel would be forced either to give West Bank Palestinians voting rights, which would change the Israeli political landscape enough to lead politicians who are actually interested in genuine equal rights to the front. Either that, or you would openly admit Israel is in reality an Apartheid state. Rivlin might not see the big picture, but he’s holding big and important pieces to the puzzle.

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