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Monday, December 08, 2003

ISRAEL’S CHOICE IN A NUTSHELL This is a really neat summary of the general choice that Israel has to make:

The Israeli public needs to pick a pair out of these 3 options:
A) A Jewish state.
B) A democratic state.
C) Keeping the whole of the West Bank & Gaza Strip.
Only two things can be maintained together (any 2), all 3 options do not combine together

Personally I can’t see how Israel could keep the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and be a democracy. On a fundamental level a democracy require the consent of the ruled to be a part of their respective political community. I can not imagine the circumstances in which the Palestinians would willingly submit to being ruled by Israeli Jews, which a democratic bi-national state would inevitably involve to some extent. (For that matter, Israel’s Arab minority is fairly disgruntled, as this piece, that is linked to in the comments section shows; so the problems with including the Palestinians would be magnified to the point of impossibility) Of course the reverse would also hold true. As someone who is neither Jewish nor Israeli I don’t care much about the Jewish state thing, but Israel’s democracy is something of which I can say it should be maintained as it is. So, in respect to the nutshell form: B) is where to start; B) and C) are incompatible; in the long-run A) and C) will also be unsustainable; therefore C) is not a workable option; B) is also the best way to maintain A). The obvious conclusion is that Israel should try to extract itself from the West Bank and Gaza Strip as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Just so that is cleared up. As to the how, that is very different matter and I’ll adress that at a later date. After all, even though I may disagree with the claims to the importance the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has for the wider world, it is an issue that is often the focus of public debate so I will try to formulate my own response to it.

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