Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Book On Rethinking Israeli Sovereignty Over Judea and Samaria--The West Bank

Last week, I reposted an email Arlene Kushner sent out as part of her "From Israel" series on the issue of retaining Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria--the West Bank. Kushner describes a conference on the issue and a summary of the positions of 4 speakers there: Yoram Ettinger, Danny Dayan, Dr. Mordecai Kedar and Caroline Glick.

Now Mordechai Nisan has come out with a book, Only Israel West of the River: The Jewish State & the Palestinian Question

According to the product description on Amazon:

This book offers a coherent paradigm to contend with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It first clarifies the national Jewish character of Israel, the danger of domestic Arab challenges, and the imperative of Israeli rule throughout the area west of the Jordan River. It secondly considers the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria, and the complexity of arranging Jewish-Arab accommodation and political stability. The book then argues for the consolidation of a Palestinian entity east of the river in Jordan. This innovative approach to conflict-resolution offers the only reasonable political solution for a problem that is more than one hundred years old. The two-state solution, currently monopolizing political discourse, is a non-starter; our proposal is the only worthy and serious option to consider.
Yoel Meltzer, who was involved with the conference offers a review of the book on his blog:
“The political debate in Israel, as to whether an independent Palestinian state would be a blessing for Israel or a curse, is more of a self-contained monologue than a dialogue with ideas and adversaries. The paradigm of the two-state solution has closed all debate.” These powerful words from Mordechai Nisan describing the political reality in Israel, is what this new book, Only Israel West of the River, is trying to overcome.

In a concise 151 page book Nisan manages to analyze various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian issue with clarity and understanding that is illuminating. Rather than ignoring or glossing over difficult issues, Nisan tackles them in a way that is direct and honest without being abrasive or confrontational. Agree or disagree with his analysis, it is evident that he is being intellectually honest.

His goal is to change the paradigm of how Israel deals with the Palestinian issue since he believes that the closed debate regarding the two-state solution is detrimental to Israel’s future. He writes, “It is the responsibility of government and the creativity of its leaders to address a problem in a spirit of realism; the threat emanating from the problem can catalyze energies to formulate a solution. Inasmuch as Israel’s very existence is threatened by the Palestinians (and their Arab brothers and allies), there can be no resolution without a sound accounting of the immediacy and urgency of the problem.” In this realm he believes that Israel’s politicians have failed; they have not honestly addressed the problems and therefore they have not provided proper solutions. Still further, he claims that the way Israel deals with this issue will ultimately have an effect on Israel itself. “For how Israel deals with and treats the Palestinian problem will indicate what kind of Israel will emerge along the political highway of its future.”

By trying to change the paradigm, it is obvious that Nisan wants to assure a healthy future for Israel. In this regard he envisions Jordan, with its 70% Palestinian population, eventually becoming the hoped for Palestinian state alongside an Israel having complete sovereignty west of the Jordan River. This he sees as the only realistic solution that can bring stability to the region. In this vein he bemoans the current way of thinking which only perpetuates the problem. Nisan writes, “It is difficult to make the argument that Jordan’s survival in its present constitutional character carries greater moral weight than the political rights of the Palestinians and the region’s need for reconciliation and stability.” He then adds “Hashemite regime survival cannot be a more legitimate imperative than Palestinian national self-expression and political rights.”

For anyone who is genuinely concerned about Israel and the Palestinians yet tired of the usual rhetoric, this book is a must.
It's time to rethink the current paradigm.

Hat tip: My Right Word

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NormanF said...

A Palestinian Arab state cannot be either politically or economically viable. This is the reality none of the proponents of the two state solution want to tell the public. There can be no honest solution without seriously discussing what kind of future the Palestinian Arabs will have. They won't have one without Jordan, Israel and Egypt. Whoever dismisses this is engaging in wishful thinking.

Mordechai Nisan deserves credit in reopening the debate on the subject.

Daled Amos said...

No one is looking past the mantra.