Those who want to effectively integrate the West Bank, with its millions of Palestinian residents, into the State of Israel, should support the application of sovereignty to all Jewish communities and outposts in Judea and Samaria. Anyone who wants to see Israel slowly slip into this terminal situation can continue to fantasize about a historical compromise with the Palestinians.
However, those who want to begin the difficult and protracted process of unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians, while rendering them unable to undermine and endanger Israel, should support extending sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.
A change to the status of Judea and Samaria cannot be a repeat of the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian enemy in Nablus and Hebron will bring radical, Iran-backed elements to fight Israel in Jerusalem and the greater Tel Aviv area, not to mention the various sensitive assets Israel has along its coastline.
This is where the need to physically cut the Palestinian off from all of these is rooted, and it is also the reason Israel must defend Hashemite Jordan in the process. But this kind of disengagement can only be achieved by giving Israel permanent control of the Jordan Valley, and permanent control can only be achieved through sovereignty.
The main external obstacle to a safe disengagement is a paradigm created in by the 1993 Oslo Accords that for some reason has not been shelved despite the failure of the peace process. The superficial and false narrative that Oslo advocates have been able to convince the world is, “All of us, except the extremists, know how this story will end – with a Palestinian state and with security arrangements, minor border adjustments, and land swaps.”
This narrative does not reflect the unbridgeable gaps between Israel and the Palestinians on issues like the “right of return,” borders, security, and the degree of sovereignty. Moreover, its main problem is the assumption that the Palestinians would agree to a historical compromise – something that anyone with any common sense must acknowledge will never happen.
It is this false paradigm that must be debunked and eradicated with a proactive Israeli move.
When a US-backed opportunity to disarm the Palestinians from their ability to undermine Israel presents itself it cannot be missed. And while, unfortunately, this move excludes the strategy of a wide-scale disengagement from the West Bank and bringing the settlers into the larger settlement blocs, it guarantees such strategy must be devised in the future.
Without Israel securing conditions that would physically prevent the Palestinians from using their “state” to endanger it, Israel cannot allow for the inception of even a seemingly demilitarized Palestinian “state,” which will only be bound by worthless agreements imposing temporary restrictions on it. Based on such physical presence, Israel will be able to take calculated risks.
Naturally, the international community will oppose such moves, as it does whenever Israel prioritizes its own interests.
*This commentary, with a different title was published by Israel Hayom, on June 25, 2020