There’s really a very simple answer to the problem of so-called “illegal Jewish settlements” in Israel. And like the answers to previous conundrums that were presumed unsolvable, it has been staring us in the face for years.
The answer relies upon the same formula used by Winston Churchill and the British government when they first created Transjordan (Jordan) out of the mandated Jewish homeland in the early 1920s, thus turning Transjordan into a Muslim-only territory. It’s worked for Jordan all these years, why wouldn't it be just as successful for Israel.
To make a long story short, all of Israel, that is to say all of the land remaining from the League of Nations’ original mandated Jewish homeland, should be Jewish. From the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea; from Lebanon to the Sinai Desert; all 11,000 square miles of the land that remained of the intended Jewish homeland should be owned and/or controlled by Jews. The only exceptions would be international embassies and Christian religious sites. There should be no Arab settlements or enclaves, no Arab Gaza or Arab Jerusalem or Arab Bethlehem or Arab Hebron, and no Muslim religious sites. The only exceptions might be for those individual Arabs currently residing within the aforementioned borders that swear allegiance and peaceful existence with and within an everlasting Jewish state. If they can't or won't pledge themselves accordingly, out they go.
See that, it’s a remarkably simple answer. Even the implementation would be relatively simple once a sufficient number of moving vans could be scheduled to assist those Arabs who will be relocating to Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Canada. The biggest problem may be in finding enough furniture pads and hand-trucks.
Now I know that there are some people that will disagree with me. They'll think that the answer is not that straightforward or that it conflicts with Jewish tradition and international law. And there are those that would argue that such an action would be un-democratic, as if the establishment of a Jewish homeland was intended to protect the institution of democracy instead of the Jewish people. But their arguments are wrong. It’s all very doable, democratic, and follows accepted international and religious precedents.
Let me start from the beginning. A hundred years ago there were no such distinct and independent countries as Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Israel. There was just one great big territory owned by the Ottoman Empire, called “Greater Syria.” Regions were identified according to geographical features or historical and biblical references, but there were no defined national borders. At the conclusion of the First World War in 1918, Great Britain and France (along with a few lesser-allied countries) divvied up the nearly 1.3 million square miles of land won from the Ottoman Empire. These divisions established the borders and names for all the countries that make up what we know of today as the Middle East (incidentally, the term “Middle East” was only coined in 1902 by historian Alfred Thayer Mahan). Moreover, prior to the Allied victory, there was no such people known of as Lebanese, Jordanians, Saudis, Iraqis, or Iranians. Ironically, “Palestinians” referred to Jews or Christians that lived in the “Holy Land”, the area generally relating to historical/biblical Israel.
As the borders of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt became defined, the boundaries of Palestine were also fixed. Falling under British control, with the purpose of restoring a Jewish homeland, Palestine included approximately 45,000 square miles of territory on both sides of the Jordan River. When the League of Nations was established in 1920, the organization accepted and validated (with minor revisions) the borders, political declarations, and treaties that produced the various Arab countries and Palestine. Without any reservations, the League of Nations adopted the plan and intention to create a Jewish homeland, using the entire 45,000 square miles. The only proviso was that the rights of non-Jewish Palestine inhabitants not be unfairly compromised.
In 1921, Winston Churchill concluded an agreement with Abdullah Hussein, a Hashemite Arab from the Hejaz region of Arabia, to partition Palestine into two parts. The territory to the east of the Jordan River was named Transjordan and would be forever after Arab only: closed to Jewish habitation, immigration, and land ownership. The area to the west of the river was to be reserved for the Jewish homeland. Although neither Abdullah nor any of his family had any claim to the newly created territory, it was decided that Abdullah would be placed temporarily in charge of Transjordan and its “Palestinian Arab” inhabitants. The result of this action was that approximately 75% of Palestine, (about 34,000 square miles of land) which was mandated to become part the Jewish homeland, was now off-limits to Jews. This agreement was also validated by the League of Nations, and eventually the temporary rule of the Hashemite Hussein family in Jordan became permanent.
Effectively, this partition could have and should have satisfied any Balfour Declaration or League of Nations’ proviso that rights of non-Jewish Palestinian inhabitants not be unfairly compromised. The overwhelming majority of the land promised to the Jews was given to the people who are today referred to as “Palestinians.” And Jordan is still predominately inhabited by those same people. Any land rights that they may have had were more than fairly respected.
Consequently, the entire remaining portion of land, some 11,000 square miles, should have been reserved exclusively for Jewish control or occupation. It was the responsibility of the British government and the League of Nations to guarantee it.
The plans for the Jewish homeland were universally known and accepted, even by the entire Hussein family who represented the Arabs on the battlefield against the Ottoman Empire and at the peace conferences at the end of the war. There was no surprise sprung on unsuspecting Arabs: The Jewish homeland was going to be restored. If any Arab didn't like what was happening, or didn't want to live amongst Jews, then all they had to do was not move from Damascus to Hebron, or from Cairo to Jerusalem, or from Beirut to Haifa which tens of thousands of Arabs did in search of a better life working at Jewish businesses and farms. For the relatively few Arabs that already lived within the remaining 11,000 square miles of land, if they couldn't tolerate living and working within a Jewish state they should have picked themselves up and relocated to Transjordan or any one of the other new Arab nations.
In 1946, when the League of Nations was officially dissolved, the new United Nations adopted all the articles and resolutions that the League had accepted with regard to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Unfortunately, in their efforts to satisfy the problems in the Middle East, the UN Commission’s Partition Planners overlooked the League of Nations original resolutions and forgot, or disregarded, the fact that Palestine had already been partitioned, with extreme favor to the Arabs. Therefore, when they recommended partitioning the remaining 11,000 square mile Palestine, it was the rights of the Jewish people that were (again) being unfairly compromised.
The 1947 partition plan further whittled away what was once 45,000 square miles to less than 8,000 square miles (versus the more than 1.2 million square miles of land that was given to the Arabs from the Ottoman Empire).
In any event, an overwhelming majority of the Jews in Palestine and the nations of the world agreed with and accepted the UN Plan. The Arab nations and people did not; they rejected it. They condemned the very notion that an independent Jewish State could and should exist in the historical land of the Jewish people. The Arab nations went to war against the Jewish people and State, several times. In addition, they sent terrorists across Israel’s borders to attack and kill women, children, the elderly, and the defenseless. Arab leaders sent terrorists around the world to commit equally despicable acts against people of all ages, races and religions. And, as we all know, this terrorism continues nearly unrestrained up to this very day.
When an athlete rejects an offer he or she forfeits the rights and benefits contained in the offer. The athlete can't just show up on game day and expect to go out on the field to play. The athlete can't just show up at the Paymaster’s window on Friday and expect to receive some compensation. Likewise, when a renter or home buyer rejects or abrogates the terms of a contract, that person forfeits any of the rights and privileges granted by the acceptance and adherence to the contract. If you don't sign the lease and you don't agree that you won't raise cattle in your apartment, then you cannot move in. This is very simple stuff.
The Arabs took, and took, and took. They used the authority of the League of Nations and other sanctioning bodies to provide for them, but time after time they rejected and rebelled against any other idea or deal that might provide some improvement to the condition of others. In their rejection of the UN Partition Plan, and by their continuous war against the Jewish State and people, Arabs have forfeited the right to live as a distinct nation anywhere in the region bounded on the east and west by the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, and on the north and south by the Lebanese and Egyptian borders. The only illegal settlements that exist within that boundary are Arab.
Joseph Farah recently wrote, “The (illegal Jewish) ‘settlement’ issue is a canard. It's a propaganda ploy to suggest that only Jews are newcomers to the region.”
Of course, Farah’s comment is correct, and in actuality the land of Israel holds no particular historical, biblical or religious significance to the Arabs, aside from it having been the site for a number of Islam’s conquering efforts. Even the importance of the cherished mosques on the Temple Mount is merely a fabrication. Until Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, commenced restoration in the 1920s and ‘30s as a way to politically invent a religious Muslim connection to the area, the mosques had been little used and had fallen into terrible states of disrepair. (Pre-restoration photographs and additional information about the mosques can be found at http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/templemount.html.)
It’s time to end the illegal occupation of Israeli land; the illegal Arab occupation. It is time to settle the settlement issue, now and forever. Obviously that the Arabs will never live in peace in Israel or with Israel, so it’s time to remove the problem. Circle the moving vans and gather up the furniture pads, there’s heavy lifting to be done! And since no Islamic religious sites should remain in Israel, the Arabs must dismantle the mosques on the Temple Mount and move them to Medina or Mecca or Damascus (in the same manner that the original London Bridge was moved from England to Arizona). I don't feel competent enough to debate whether a new (Third) Jewish Temple should be built, but without doubt the Temple Mount would be the place to build it.
Moreover, it’s time to remove the problem from within Israel’s Jewish community itself. A Jewish homeland was desired and needed in order to protect the Jewish people and their religion. The intention was always to provide a safe haven for Jews. A Jewish homeland was not intended or designed to be a tribute to American-style Democracy or to be a replica of America’s great melting pot society. There are Jews living in Israel that are at odds with Israel’s goals to remain Jewish and to defend itself. These Jews should not be living in Israel. You don't tell the Pope to be less Catholic in Vatican City, so don't tell Jews to be less Jewish in Israel.
I'm not necessarily saying that they are bad Jews or that they don't deserve to be Jewish, but they certainly don't deserve to be living in Israel. If someone is Jewish and they want to live in a diverse melting pot society that is more concerned with the rights of criminals and murders than it is with the victims, then they should leave Israel. There are plenty of other countries for imbecilic Jews to go to where they can spout their left wing, anti-Semitic claptrap.
Would the removal of anti-Jewish people and sentiment mean that Israel would cease to be a democracy? Well, so what if it did? China is not a democracy, and yet it’s a permanent and respected member of the United Nations; a major trading partner with the United States and other countries. None of the Arab nations are democracies, and yet it hasn't stopped the world from recognizing them and trading with them. These countries have highly restrictive, inhumane, even barbaric societies. Israel would have to go a long, long way before they would sink to the level of Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Syria. And then, if they did, so what? The goal of a Jewish homeland was to provide a sanctuary for its religion and people. The continued objective of Israel should be to protect the Jewish religion and people.
The removal of destructive people and ideas from Israel does not mean that Israel would cease to be a free and democratic society, not at all. A democracy need not be in the exact mold of the United States to be a democracy or for its people to keep their basic human rights intact. Just look at Canada, at Great Britain, at France, at Japan, at Italy, at Germany, at Sweden, or at the world’s largest democracy, India. Although India’s constitution may have borrowed from the U.S. Constitution, it is not a duplicate. India has been rightfully concerned about protecting the culture of its majority population, and they've passed or changed laws to do so. Those changes haven't diminished their distinction as the world’s largest democracy; the amendments have only strengthened and perhaps preserved it for future generations. Canada’s interpretation of freedom-of-speech and freedom-of-the-press is significantly different from America’s it’s far more restrictive. It would be a pissing contest to argue over which version of democracy is better, or that one might not be a democracy at all. We may have the greatest democracy in America, but we don't have all the answers. The melting pot lunacy appears to be on the verge of destroying our country. It’s ludicrous to expect a country like Israel to live up to a principle that we shouldn't be continuing.
Israel can survive and prosper as a Jewish State and as a Jewish democracy, but it must be free from constant attack by its enemies, both within or from outside its borders, be those borders physical or metaphysical. To do so, Israel must assert and secure its legal boundaries: from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, from Lebanon to the Sinai Desert.
About the author: Marc J. Rauch was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1952, and lived in the metropolitan area until “emigrating” to the West Coast in the early 80s. He is a multi-award winning TV/film writer, producer, and director, and has been a broadcasting and marketing executive since the 1975. Marc lectures on various subjects concerning broadcasting, new media, and the Middle East at conferences and seminars throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 1994, he authored a book on advertising and has had several business and industry articles published in a variety of related magazines. His political commentaries are regularly published in several print and online publications.