Published September 16, 2011
The solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a three-state plan involving Israel, Jordan and Egypt. The implementation of this annexation plan, followed by full sovereignty, is imperative to ensure that Israel’s borders, citizens and livelihood remain safe and secure.
Under the three-state solution, Arab-Israelis residing within Israel would be welcome to join the official new State of Israel. The remaining enclaves of Palestinian towns and villages in Judea and Samaria would become part of either Egypt or Jordan, and the Egyptian and Jordanian borders would extend accordingly to these designated towns.
President Obama and numerous other political figures have continually called for a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. However, Israelis have become more realistic. Many remain hopeful for peace, but after experiencing the terror that occurred when Israel withdrew from Gaza and Hamas took over, they are skeptical that the trading of land for peace with the Palestinians is a viable solution.
In fact, I would argue that an independent Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would pose a grave threat to Israel. It is highly probably that control of the Gaza Strip by Hamas -- and its troubling connection to Iran-- would be extended to the West Bank and result in yet another terrorist state in Israel’s backyard.
Any illusion that the situation could be different was shattered when Hamas and Fatah formed an alliance in May. The recent attack by Palestinian terrorists crossing through Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula is yet another worrying sign, as are the ongoing threats from Hezbollah to the north.
The Palestinian Authority’s decision to bring the issue of Palestinian statehood to a vote in the U.N. on September 20 is a clear violation of the Oslo Accord, which clearly states that the final borders between Israel and Palestine should be decided via negotiations. As a result of this unilateral move, Israel will no longer be bound by its diplomatic, security and economic commitments to the Palestinians.
Consequentially, many Israeli citizens now share my belief that Israel has the right to implement full sovereignty over the Jewish communities of the West Bank, which we commonly refer to as our historic homeland of Judea and Samaria.
In the Knesset, I recently introduced the Annexation for Declaration Initiative, which calls for Israel to annex the areas of Judea and Samaria where Jewish communities reside. Numerous Knesset members from across the political spectrum have since declared their support for this plan.
Until now, Israel has honored the Oslo Accords and fulfilled its promise not to build any major new communities in the disputed area. Throughout this period, the Israeli government has also in good faith attempted to negotiate a peace settlement with the Palestinians, but to no avail. Despite Obama’s declaration that he would bring change and lasting peace to the Middle East, nothing positive has happened since he was elected.
On the other hand, both Jordan and Egypt have expressed strong support and concern for Palestinians living in the West Bank. If they truly care so much, then they should readily agree to a three-state solution and incorporate the Palestinian towns located adjacent to their current borders.
Palestinians already constitute more than half of Jordan's population, and they actively participate in all aspects of the country. They hold positions in political office, prosper economically, and are socially adept.
Since 1950, approximately half of Jordan's prime ministers have been Arab Palestinians. In fact, it was King Abdullah of Jordan in 1948 who claimed, "Palestine and Jordan are one.” And again in 1981, King Hussein stated, "the truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”
Egypt has also shown its support for the Palestinians, by playing a crucial role in supporting their government over the years. With its reopening of the Rafah border crossing to Gaza and continued public expression of support, Egypt has become increasingly pro-Palestinian. In fact, Palestinians living in Egypt have been granted residency with the right to work and travel. They also receive education subsidies, and enjoy the advantages of Egyptian citizens while maintaining their Palestinian identity.
Given these facts, I do not think it is unreasonable to ask both Jordan and Egypt to play their part in bringing lasting security to the region by embracing the three-state solution, enabling the region to finally live in peace and prosper economically and socially.
Danny Danon is the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and Chairman of World Likud. For more on this topic, including a petition to sign calling for Israeli sovereignty over Jewish communities in Judaea and Samaria, click here.