Israel’s Potential Annexation
by Enes OVALI
West Bank: it is a land located on the west bank of the River Jordan and it is surrounded by Israel to the north, west, and south. Israel has occupied the land since the 1967 Middle East war but its final status has been left unresolved. Also, it became a home to some 430.000 Israeli Jews who built settlements under Israel’s occupation, though the settlements are considered illegal under international laws. Last year, President Donald Trump came with a peace plan that unarguably favors Israel, a plan that allows Israel to incorporate the settlements. It is also a sharp shift from West Bank policy for the United States. So, it is expected Mr. Netanyahu to get it done before November elections and start to annex the lands to which he claims historical and religious rights and where Israel’s presence is strategically important for its defense. But it seems that coronavirus, the warnings from friend and foe countries, and the disputes and protests within Israel changed Mr. Netanyahu’s mind about annexation’s date nowadays.
It is thought too risky to annex any of the territories beyond East Jerusalem by the PM’s of Israel, despite the settlements and Israel’s support for them. They thought it could be the end of the two-state solution. The two-state solution is based on an easily understandable notion: Palestinians obtain international recognition of a State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. Israel wins national security and retains a Jewish demographic majority. But there have been always minor or major problems as both parties are trying to reach a peaceful and durable solution. This summer, another one that worries UN and neighbor countries is coming: Mr. Netanyahu is underestimating the risks of annexation. According to President Trump’s peace plan, Israel will have the right to hold 30 percent of the West bank but most of the countries say the borders should fallow the lines before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. If Netanyahu starts to incorporate West Bank to Israel, he would left his country with the problem of uncomfortable decision: Would they grant Palestinians full Israeli citizenship and therefore risk realizing them one day outnumber and outvote Jews? It is necessary to add that there are also millions of refugees waiting at neighbor countries for coming back to their homeland. That was what the leaders of Israel couldn’t risk. There is another option they would choose that segregating them and isolating them in reservations with minimal rights. Both of the options confront with Israel’s two core components of national identity: Jewish and democratic. They would have to choose between one of them. According to a 2015 poll by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 74 percent of Jewish Israelis agreed that “decisions crucial to the state on issues of peace and security should be made by a Jewish majority.” That pollster also found that, from 2010 to 2014, Jewish Israelis became much less likely to say that Israel should be “Jewish and democratic,”. The vast majority says that democracy comes first, in other words, Jewish first. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)