Further to the discussion of the one-state outcome… I just learned that on Sunday (Dec. 20) one of Likud’s young and more hawkish parliamentarians, Tzipi Hotovely, told an Israeli security conference,
It’s time to lift the question mark over Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and view the people living there as citizens with an equal status. Thinking ahead, strategically, we should consider granting gradual citizenship to Palestinians based on loyalty tests.
This is a fascinating development that needs a lot more analysis than I have time for here.
HT to Noam Sheizaf for that news snippet. His piece is also cross-posted on his own blog, where one of the commenters writes– I think correctly– that former Likud foreign minister Moshe Arens talked about this publicly at one time.
Of course, Likud hardliners have their own reasons for not wanting to see any final national border separating the west bank from 1948 Israel. And of course, Hotovely would feel that for her own supporters she has to be very clear indeed about stating the requirement for a “loyalty test.”
Under those circumstances, the number of the West Bank’s 2.3 million Palestinians who would apply for Israeli citizenship, were it to be offered, could be expected to be almost nil. Just like the number of East Jerusalem Palestinians who have taken up the offer of Israeli citizenship that’s been open to them for 42 years now.
For all these Palestinians, applying for Israeli citizenship implies a recognition of the legitimacy of Israel’s rule over the land.
Note, too, that Hotovely was very clearly talking about annexation only of the West Bank, and not including Gaza in either her territorial ambitions or her citizenship proposal. So of course, this proposal is, once again, an example of Israel’s long-pursued strategy of “slicing and dicing” the Palestinians under their control.
But still, notwithstanding all these caveats, the fact that this apparently up-and-coming young Likud politician talked openly about this subject is, I think, very noteworthy.