All Palestinians can become Israeli citizens, but they can’t vote, says lawmaker in Netanyahu’s party

Israel/Palestine

Everyone always asks, If there’s not going to be a Palestinian state, what does Israel plan to do with all those Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem under its control? Here’s a visionary answer from an up-and-coming member of the Knesset from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, Miki Zohar, speaking on Israeli television Sunday.

That’s right, this is Zohar’s vision, on the English language program The Spin Room.

The two state solution is dead. What is left is a one state solution with the Arabs here as, not as full citizenship. Because full citizenship can let them to vote to the Knesset. They will get all of the rights like every citizen except voting for the Knesset.

Journalist Ami Kaufman: Is that a democracy?

Yes it is a democracy because they will get full rights and all the needs to get to prospect and to succeed here in this country. But they won’t be able to vote to the Knesset. But my idea is that we can let them to vote to the Knesset with only three things that they need to do like every other citizen. One, to go the army or to go serve the country, like everyone else here in Israel is obligated to do.

Journalist Tami Molad: You want 2.5 million Palestinians serving in the Israeli army?

I promise you, they won’t serve in the army, they will let go the option to vote. They won’t vote to the Knesset. They would prefer not voting and not donating to this country, believe me.

It’s astonishing to think that Miki Zohar, a lawyer and religious Jew of 36, thinks he has come up with a brilliant solution, when his answer is just as old as Jim Crow and apartheid and white supremacy. The good thing about his comments is that he is expressing openly what Israel has gotten away with for decades now, governing a people who are not granted the right to vote for their government. And yet our leaders call Israel the only democracy in the Middle East.

Zohar’s comments are a lot like settler Yishai Fleisher’s view of Israel’s future, published without rejoinder by the New York Times two weeks ago, in which Fleisher also dispensed with the idea of a Palestinian state– and treated Palestinians as so much human matter to be moved around by Israeli shovels. These guys are helping to create Israel’s new global image.

About Scott Roth and Phil Weiss

The authors are publisher and co-editor of this website

Other posts by .


Posted In:

18 Responses

  1. HarryLaw
    March 6, 2017, 4:50 am

    One thing good thing Trump has brought to the Israel/Palestinian problem has been to concentrate the minds of Israeli lawmakers in the event that a one state solution is forced on the Palestinians. These interviews by Miki Zohar [a lawyer] and Yishai Fleisher, international spokesperson for the illegal settler community in Hebron. are so instructive, [thank you President Trump]. First thing is Zohar contradicts himself “Yes it is a democracy because they will get full rights and all the needs to get to prospect and to succeed here in this country. But they won’t be able to vote to the Knesset. But my idea is that we can let them to vote to the Knesset with only three things that they need to do like every other citizen. One, to go the army or to go serve the country, like everyone else here in Israel is obligated to do”. That’s only one thing, what are the other two requirements? If joining the army is a condition in order to vote, then that is indirect racial discrimination [imposing a condition on Palestinians which is not applicable to others in the community]. Scott Roth and Phil Weiss are correct when they say Zohars views are “just as old as Jim Crow and apartheid and white supremacy”. Fleisers views are more inflammatory one of which “Jordan is Palestine.” Palestinians in the West Bank would be given Jordanian citizenship, with democratic rights there, “but live as expats with civil rights in Israel.” “encourage emigration” and “offer compensation to emigrate voluntarily”. Ah! the transfer solution. Those that can’t be encouraged to leave will live in Bantustans and “administer” themselves, Gazan’s will live in another Bantustan but called an “emirate”, Naftali Bennett gave similar Bantustan solutions a few weeks ago. You just could not make this up. Give them credit though, they have been honest, and people should thank them for setting out their Zionist vision, which incidentally will horrify the rest of the world.
    It may not horrify British residents of Northern Ireland [NI] who were put into a British Bantustan when the Northern Irish electorate were forced into governing Northern Ireland with administrative devolution in the 1920’s [they wanted to be governed as any other part of the UK from Westminster, realizing that this inappropriate constitutional arrangement meant in practice Protestants governing Catholics, with all its explosive potential, which did eventually do just that in the late nineteen sixties]. It is only recently that residents in NI have had the chance to join and vote for the parties that actually govern them, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats. Recently the Labour Party have formed the Province wide “Labour Party forum” in NI which for the first time enables British citizens resident in NI the opportunity to join the party as full members and consider standing as candidates against the sectarian Catholic and Protestant parties, enabling them to transcend those tribal politics foisted on the electorate in the 1920’s. Think about that situation, because you could not vote for one of the major parties governing you, and had no alternative other than to vote for one of the local provincial parties, you effectively had no vote. Of course NI did send 12 MP’s [now 18] usually 10 or 11 Ulster Unionists and 1 or 2 Irish Nationalists to Westminster but they could only influence the major parties in the event of a hung parliament, which in turn placed those parties in the unenviable position of having to do deals with those sectarian parties which their predecessors insisted should govern NI to the exclusion of their rights and constituents rights at Westminster. The moral of the story is, the Palestinians will be offered many novel constitutional arrangements, like the NI electorate, they must insist, 1/ If they cannot have a two state solution based on full Palestinian sovereignty based on the 67 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, then a one state solution with full civil rights including the right to vote in the Knesset will be the only alternative.

  2. HarryLaw
    March 6, 2017, 7:08 am

    Here is an analogy to my Northern Ireland constitutional monstrosity. Imagine the state of California although an integral part of the USA, but anyone resident there was not allowed to vote for either Republican or Democratic candidates, instead they could only vote for candidates peculiar to California and with the added strain of those parties views conflicting as to whether California should become part of Mexico [Mexican Nationalist or American Unionist] or remain in the USA. That situation would be a recipe for trouble. Imagine [as in NI] Republican or Democratic residents of California who would normally vote along party lines, could not do so, therefore they would be mainly excluded from the decision making process in Washington conducted by those two major parties elected in the rest of the USA. I don’t doubt there are better analogies, but I hope the Palestinians don’t fall for anything like that or the Northern Irish second class citizen situation.
    Zohar should be congratulated for being honest about these things, other Zionists in Israel seem to think as Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield did that “Something will turn up”.
    It will, but not to anyones liking.

  3. eljay
    March 6, 2017, 7:21 am

    A Zionist believes that Israel should continue to exist as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”. What a surprise.

  4. AddictionMyth
    March 6, 2017, 8:26 am

    Yes it’s reprehensible, but a very good sign at the same time – for the reasons you mention – it shows some acceptance and progress. However the key here is to embed free speech and religion into the constitution without exceptions. Otherwise there will be endless triggers for violence. E.g. the comedian who was fined for insulting the memory of Bibi’s brother. I mean come on.

  5. Maghlawatan
    March 6, 2017, 9:01 am

    Israel must have been following the stockmarket launch of Snap where stockholders renounce the right to vote.

  6. iResistDe4iAm
    March 6, 2017, 9:23 am

    Israeli minister: US warned Israel about annexing West Bank
    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/aed1d3988bdb4275a4ff56515cbf2cff

    “JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister said Monday the U.S. has notified Israel that imposing Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank would lead to an “immediate crisis” with the Trump administration.

    We received a direct message — not an indirect message and not a hint — from the United States. Imposing Israeli sovereignty on Judea and Samaria would mean an immediate crisis with the new administration,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at the start of parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee meeting. Judea and Samaria is the biblical term for the West Bank, land Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and continues to occupy.”

  7. RobertHenryEller
    March 6, 2017, 9:23 am

    Palestinians can become Israeli citizens, except they can’t become Israeli citizens.

  8. Kaisa of Finland
    March 6, 2017, 11:27 am

    And in this “Jewish democracy”, would there still be walls surrounding the area of West Bank and maybe Gaza too?? Would the jews living in the area of West Bank still have their own roads and for the palestinians their own, if wishing to travel to Jerusalem?? And the Gaza citizens?? Would they, as the citizens of Israel, have full access from and to Gaza and to other parts of Israel?? Or would these “new israelian-palestinian citizens” be kept in their own fenced areas like cows with their jewish fellow citizens as their shepherds??

    This plan leaves many open questions.. I’ll be interested in hearing more about the plans of the becoming “Jewish democracy”..

    • eljay
      March 6, 2017, 12:14 pm

      || Kaisa of Finland: … And the Gaza citizens?? Would they, as the citizens of Israel … ||

      Zionists don’t seem to want Gaza as part of Israel. It contains too many additional “threatening demographics” (i.e., non-Jews). It seems they’re content to leave Gaza to Egypt or to have it set aside as a “Palestinian State” into which they can justify offloading unwanted Palestinians (such as non-Jewish Israeli refugees and “troublesome” non-Jewish Israelis).

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 6, 2017, 2:09 pm

        Eljay: Well yes, the “Gaza problem” just underlines the destination of this project “Jewish democracy”.. The most undemocratic democracy in the world.. (I would smile here, if the matter was not this serious..)

      • eljay
        March 6, 2017, 3:08 pm

        || Kaisa of Finland: … The most undemocratic democracy in the world … ||

        To a Zionist, that makes perfect sense:
        – The boast: Israel is a “moral beacon”, a “light unto the nations” and a “Western-style democracy”.
        – The defence: Israel is not as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        March 6, 2017, 5:29 pm

        Eljay: I was just thinking here, that until year 1971 homosexuality was a crime in Finland, until the year 1981 it was considered as an illness and finally last week we legalized the gay marriages here, so maybe there is hope for the palestinians too. For there will always be those who are opposing and argumenting against equality and the equal human rights for everyone, but there must be those who believe in the change ’cause that is the only way the change will happen.

        (And just now I remembered, that about 10 years ago I visted a refugeecamp near Betlehem and a palestinian boy said to me, that he believed that there would one day be peace and one state, but it would propably take about 100 years to it.. So it is still 90 years left to reach that dream..)

    • jackal
      March 10, 2017, 12:46 pm

      I have an idea for the future tear-down of the walls (if anyone hasn’t mentioned it before). Use them to build the new roads for the new Palestinian citizens of Israel. Or perhaps they could replace the walls of all the homes bulldozed by their former oppressors and now their new citizen sisters and brothers.

  9. Jane Porter
    March 6, 2017, 3:09 pm

    @ Harry Law
    Why vote in the Knesset? No knesset, No Israel, It was Palestine since 2000 years or they must together find a new name for a total new history of this land.
    But how do we get rid of the horrible settlers and the likes of Nethanyahu and his gang,
    Both sides must choose completely new people to lead them, with two historical persons
    Marwan Barghouti and Vannunu, and a lots of young generous people from both sides who
    were working together already
    and dismantle the nuclear Dimona and the weapons.
    But with the interference of the corrupt UN and Western states nothing of this will happen.
    But what is this stupid idea the comments seem to accept that the palestinians become citizen of israel. Israel was the last colonial project, and why should the people who always lived there in a land called Palestine should become Israeli citizen.
    Some french who had lived in aAlgeria for generations chose to become Algerian, In Angola
    many portuguese chose to stay and became Angolan, and also in other portuguese coloniesl
    Why are zionists so self centered and don’t accept being born in Palestine to be palestinian
    or call the land Arab-Jewish Republic. AJR or something like that.

  10. Ossinev
    March 6, 2017, 3:18 pm

    So Herr Zohar how does your dynamic new brave new proposal square up with Ziolands Declaration of Independence viz:

    “The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations”

    Without even knowing what the other two criteria which you propose to apply are I think that “complete equality of social and political rights” holes your Ziononsense below the waterline. Unless you believe in your “heart of hearts” that the authors of the declaration were despicable self loathing Jews. In that case you should be berating them for leaving the door open for the natives.

  11. Sulphurdunn
    March 6, 2017, 5:42 pm

    Citizens living in ghettos who have the same rights as everyone else except the right to have a say in determining what those rights are. You just can’t make stuff like this up.

  12. rosross
    March 6, 2017, 9:45 pm

    Israelis clearly do not do irony. Neither do they live in the real world. Their racism is so entrenched they cannot even see the insanity of what they propose, and clearly have no comprehension of how a civilized world cannot help but loathe what they represent.

Leave a Reply