Left and Right’s Solutions Won’t Work: Welcome the Reality Solution
Three major media outlets tried last week to arrange a live debate between me and Oslo architect, Yossi Beilin. Interestingly, their choice of representatives of each side shows that they all reached the same conclusion. The main figure who propelled the Oslo Accords forward and is still in the public eye today is Yossi Beilin. And the main figure who struggled to stop the Accords is yours truly. Beilin vs. Feiglin.
All three attempts to arrange the debate went as follows:
“Hello, this is Channel…”
We are arranging a discussion on the topic of 25 years to Oslo. Would you be willing to participate in the discussion opposite Dr. Yossi Beilin?
In all three instances, we set a date and a place. Everything was arranged – and cancelled at the last minute. At a certain point I understood that Beilin simply was refusing to appear opposite me. He is totally right. It is not that I am a better polemicist or rhetorician than he. It is simply that the situation is approximately the same as bringing the drunken driver who ran over a child to debate against the person who tried everything possible to keep him off the road. What does Beilin need that for?
Yesterday, I was interviewed on Radio 103FM immediately following Yossi Beilin. The following are translated excerpts from that conversation. It is interesting to read what Beilin has to say. And don’t miss his call for American Jews to make Aliyah!
Shalom Dr. Yossi Beilin. What do you say about Trump cutting the aid to the Palestinians?
The fact that the US is going to cut 200 million dollars in aid to the Palestinians is interesting, because it can change the situation. I think it is time to close down the Palestinian Authority. It was supposed to exist for five years, not twenty five. The Palestinian Authority is a comfortable arrangement for both Israel and the Palestinians. We are not paying for their expenses, as we were until the Oslo Accords in 1993. We have very close security coordination with the Palestinians – closer than the two sides are willing to admit. And it gives the Palestinians an autonomous governing body.
If there is no Palestinian Authority, what will there be instead?
If there is no PA, there will be no security coordination. If the US takes away 200 million dollars, they will have to close down the PA. What will happen is that Israel will return to be what it was before Oslo – an occupying force that funds them until some sort of solution can be found.
Won’t there be some sort of administration, a remnant of the PA?
No. I don’t think they will do that. And then it will be urgent to find a different solution.
What is “a different solution”?
There are two alternatives: Dividing the land with an agreement or dividing the land without an agreement. Without agreement means a unilateral withdrawal.
But there are other options. Most of the public thinks we should stay there.
No, no, no, not at all. Look at the polls. The polls show that the majority does not want all of the territory or to annex it. There is a minority – in the Knesset as well- that favors a solution like that. Most of the public is in favor of a two-state-solution, but does not believe it will happen in the near future.
But Mr. Beilin, we saw the results of a unilateral withdrawal.
I didn’t propose that. I was among the heads of those who opposed it. But the annexation solution means a Jewish minority rules over a Palestinian majority. That is an unsustainable solution. That is why dividing the land is the only solution. And major figures on the Right, from the Prime Minister and down, have reached that conclusion over the last years.
But Netanyahu said he would never evacuate settlements?
That is something else. I am not sure that that is the only solution. Most of the settlements can remain under Palestinian control.
Although you said that the majority of the public prefers a two state solution, the impression is that we are heading toward one state.
No Zionist prime minister will be willing to have one state in which we are the minority. It will not happen because we will never give the Palestinians under our rule voting rights.
But today they have voting rights in the PA. If there was no terror, they would be able to live much better lives. The Right’s solution does not allow for equality. But the Left’s solution is too risky. We saw what happened when we left Gaza. We are not going to take that risk in Judea and Samaria. So the solution is somewhere in the middle. Some sort of autonomy. And if they want to live with us in peace, they will have good lives.
The main thing that interests me in my public life is to ensure that Israel will be Jewish and democratic. We could have an arrangement with Jordan. There could be an arrangement between Jordan and the Palestinians. It is no coincidence that I wrote the London Accords in ’87, which were initiated by Peres. How exactly we divide the land doesn’t interest me. But it is vital to divide it in order to ensure a Jewish majority here. This is a debate between the Center Left and the Center Right since ’37. Since then we have not managed to create a Jewish majority here, west of the Jordan River, unfortunately. If all the Jews in America were to come here, the entire story would be different. But as long as that is not happening, we must divide the land.
Now we have Chairman of the Zehut party with us, Mr. Moshe Feiglin. Good morning.
You see, it never ends. It doesn’t matter that the Hezbollah greatly increased their strength after we retreated, that Gaza turned into Hamastan after we retreated, and that the Arab cities became terror hubs after we retreated from them during the Oslo years. It makes no difference. We are still talking about dividing the land. What is your solution?
Their goal was never peace. The architect of the Oslo Accords, Dr. Ron Pundak, explicitly admitted that in April 2014. He said that the entire purpose of the Oslo Accords was to make Israel a state of all its citizens instead of a Jewish state. Dr. Yossi Beilin is telling us how wonderful things are today in Judea and Samaria. He forgot to say that since Oslo, 6 times more people have been murdered here, 20 times more have been wounded, and the Accords have cost us 1.2 trillion shekels. That is the cost of a free house for every young couple in Israel. The Negev is burning, Tel Aviv is in Hezbollah missile range, our entire country is on its knees before a terror organization and all of that is in the merit of the wonderful Oslo Accords.
Actually we wanted to ask you about how you see the US government’s decision to cut 200 million dollars in aid to the Palestinians.
What is happening with Trump is amazing. Just as the US President forced the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem upon Netanyahu him against his will - now he is forcing him to end the Arab refugee status.
I don’t understand why Netanyahu doesn’t want it.
Israel’s government has no strategy. Israel’s Right has never had any strategy. And so Netanyahu does not want any change. Finally an American president is looking at reality the way it is, and solving the problem.
Now let us look at what is happening in Gaza. After World War II and Israel’s War of Independence, there were 50 million refugees in the world. The only refugees left of all those millions of refugees are the so-called Palestinian refugees.
How do you explain that?
It is simple. The world, particularly the “Israel-loving” Europeans, decided to perpetuate their refugee status and to allow them to bequeath their refugee status from one generation to the next. There is no other example of this in the world. To this end, a special agency for Palestinian refugees, called UNRWA, was formed. Now the US president has come and said “This is the end of the story. You are not refugees.”
So where are you going to send them?
Over the recent month of Ramadan, Egypt opened the Rafiah Crossing with Gaza for a few hours and look what happened. Between one third to one half a percent of the Gazan population left Gaza for Europe via Alexandria. The EU must accept them because they have refugee status. That happened in the space of a few hours. What is amazing is that the solution that Zehut has been talking about for years is happening without us.
So what is the solution?
Reality is going to triumph. The Venezuelan solution will triumph. There is going to be hunger in Gaza, because they live from the US aid. As soon as the crossing will be opened, they will leave and all will be well.