Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Modest Proposal For A Second Jewish State (Update: Kahane Said It First!)

As many Israel advocates are fond of mentioning, there are a number of Arab states and only one Jewish State. So why not establish a second?

The Palestinian Authority has made clear its intention to go before the UN General Assembly in September and request it to declare a Palestinian state. Dovid Efune, Director of the Algemeiner Journal has a suggestion: let's beat them to the punch and create a second Jewish state?

If Israel were to cede control of the areas to a new entity, governed by the local Jewish inhabitants who have an extensive historical connection to the land, what grounds for reckoning would be left? Israel would no longer be involved, as the dispute would now be between the West Bank Jews and the West Bank Arabs. After all, historically Jewish sovereignty was divided at times between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.

Of course, because of the strategic importance of the area militarily, economically, and agriculturally, Israel would need to maintain an extensive bilateral defense and trade pact with the new entity.
Efune believes that there may be other benefits that will result from the establishment of this second Jewish state:
The precious underdog status that has so expertly been transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Arabs over the last number of years may be assigned to the Judeans as they struggle to build their newly independent Jewish State.

Faced with a new geopolitical reality, and understanding of Jewish fortitude and determination, the local Arab population, maintaining their refugee status, may have more of an incentive to seek resettlement elsewhere in the Arab world. They may finally even be assisted by the international community.
I don't know how effectively world opinion could be turned around to the extent that the same "settlers" who have been demonized by both the West and the media would suddenly become the underdogs. If anything, I imagine the Arabs would present this as another example of the "settlers" setting up obstacles to the peace process. Neither am I convinced that the Arabs would be daunted by this "geopolitical reality"--if anything, the first reaction is likely to be one of increased violence.

Still, there is something appealing about taking the bull by the horns and co-opting the Palestinian tactic before they take their case to the UN. It would open up all sorts of debate.

It will also never happen.

But it is still an interesting idea.

UPDATE: In the comments, Soccer Dad points out that the idea of a second Jewish state of Judea was first suggested by Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Wrath of Truth writes:
One of the most controversial ideas Rabbi Kahane introduced however, was after his Knesset career ended, it was just before his assassination – the creation of a separate Jewish State – the State of Judea. This second Jewish state was to comprise of all the lands that are part of the Land of Israel but not part of the State of Israel. On the surface of it, it seemed like a great idea – this move would end all the dialectics of “occupied territories”, “pre-1967 war territories”, “green zone/ outside of green zone”, and other terms our enemies use to question and undermine our presence in the land. He wanted to create this state by appealing to the UN for unilateral recognition.

Today, with the similar move by PA for unilateral recognition of itself, despite lack of consensus, we can see how the idea of the State of Judea was similarly flawed and headed nowhere. To begin with, Kahane lacked the necessary support among the Jewish people within and outside of Israel. Even the settlers who lived in “uncharted waters” so to speak, outside the green zone, opposed it. Of course, that was before the Gush Katif evictions and at the time, many did not dream that a day could come when IDF would remove a population of ten thousand Jews from their homes in a political appeasement blunder. Maybe if they did, they would support Kahane’s project.
Here is information on the flag for the State of Judea:


In the Flags of Aspirant Peoples 1994 chart appears "27. Judea (State of, 1989) (West Bank, Judea & Samaria) - Israel". Similar to the national flag, but the Magen David is replaced by six blue triangles forming a kind of dislocated Magen David, shifted to the hoist. The upper right triangle includes a white menorah, the lower left triangle includes something not identified (it reminds me some ritual object, but I am not able to say more - a talith maybe?). There is something written in Hebrew between the hoist and the lower part of emblem.
Ivan Sache, 13 September 1999

Well, it took me some time to figure it out, but what is supposed to be written there is Gur arie Yehuda (Juda [is a] Lion cub).
Dov Gutterman, 14 September 1999

[This flag is] not in use. It was in use just for a very short period by a very small group of right-wing settlers as a protest against the government. I do not think that they took it too seriously (at least no other one did) and it did not impress the government so this episode was soon to be over. I would not call them aspirant people.
Dov Gutterman, 14 December 2000

The symbol on the bottom left is a head of a lion, as in the inscription, which is blue as well. I happen to own this flag. The State is a project, of sorts, of followers of the late Rabbi(s) Kahane, whose usual symbol, a fist over a Star of David is illegal in Israel. However, while the idea of the State, never officially declared as far as I know, is still mentioned (ironically by some left-wingers as well), the flag seems to have fallen into disuse.
Nathan G. Lamm, 4 June 2001

In fact there is a movement (State of Judea Independence Movement) that still exists that aims to set up a Jewish state in Judea and Samaria if their homeland is transferred to the Palestinian Arabs.
Gary Selikow, 8 February 2002

The correct State of Judea flag (as shown above) does exist. I own one, professionally made. (My mother actually bought it for me, years ago, mistaking it for an Israeli flag — little did she know that I would know exactly what it was. I think I got Kach and Kahane Chai flags at about the same time.) The movement is mostly a Kahanist idea, but they have their own flags that they use, neglecting this one (again, the real one). I have never seen it at Kahanist meetings or rallies, not even in pictures of the Congress of the State of Judea. The idea has also not been mentioned in a while, especially as Kahanists have grudgingly gone along with their (involuntary) removal from politics, now focusing their energies elsewhere. Some left-wing columnists have suggested it, perhaps only half-seriously, but that is all.
Technorati Tag: and .


NormanF said...

Agreed. National religious Jews are just too passive to lay the groundwork for another Jewish state and its not like parts of the IDF and police would go over to their side.

Still its a more viable notion than a Palestinian Arab state that after almost two decades of autonomy isn't really prepared to assume the responsibilities of an actual state.

Soccer Dad said...

Rabbi Kahane, years ago, proposed the state of Judea in Yehuda and Shomron. This isn't a new idea.