Saturday, May 10, 2014

 The ‘peace process’ – failure foretold
(Part I) By MARTIN SHERMAN   5-8-14


Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.

Between the River and the Sea there will exist either exclusive Jewish sovereignty or exclusive Arab sovereignty. This is not right-wing extremism or religious fanaticism, merely sound political science.

 Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former head of the National Security Council,  remarked, half a decade ago: “The maximum any Israeli government can offer is less than the minimum any Palestinian leader can accept. The real gap between the sides is much greater than perceived, and that gap is growing.”

The validity and viability of the paradigm that has dominated the discourse – the two-state land-for-peace approach – is being questioned by mainstream pundits across the political spectrum.

Thus in 2007, Maj.-Gen. Uzi Dayan, formerly deputy chief of staff and head of the National Security Council, observed: “The land for- peace idea has now collapsed.
We have to find another way, and a new concept is urgently needed.”

Echoing  the same sentiments,  left-wing pundit Prof. Carlo Strenger wrote in Haaretz: “It is time to have a clear-headed, hard look at reality: The two state solution is dead.


There is no way to arrive at a stable geo-political configuration that involves dividing the sovereignty over this territory between Jews and Arabs And let me stress, I make this determination as a political scientist – not a as religious fundamentalist or radical right-wing ideologue.

 To understand the reasons for, and the nature of, the impasse, we need to recognize that for Israel to survive over time as the nationstate of the Jewish people, it must contend with two vital imperatives: 
The Geographic Imperative :
The Demographic Imperative.

In addressing these two imperatives, Israel faces two mortal dangers:
 The two-state paradigm – which does not address the Geographic Imperative; 
The one-state paradigm – which does not address the Demographic Imperative.

Not ‘right-wing scaremongering’ 

The visuals distributed to the JNF audience prior to my{Martin Sherman} address (“Israel: Through the binoculars of a Palestinian intelligence officer”), clearly illustrate why the two-state proposal would make Israel geographically untenable.

Not only would the width of the country – in its most populous areas – be reduced to a minuscule 15-25 km. (roughly the distance from Beverly Hills to Malibu along Sunset Boulevard), but these would be completely dominated topographically by the limestone hills that comprise the “West Bank” and rise above it from the east. Any forces – regular or irregular – deployed on their western slopes, will command: 
• Virtually all major airfields in the country (civilian and military), including the only international airport; 
• Major sea ports and naval bases; 
• The fresh water system; 
• Main land transportation axes (road and rail); 
• Principal power plants; 
• The nation’s parliament;
• Crucial centers of government and military command; 
• Eighty percent of the civilian population and the commercial activity in the country.

In any two-state scenario, all of the above would be in range of weapons being used today from areas already transferred to Arab control. This can therefore no longer be dismissed as right-wing scaremongering, for it is merely a prudent extrapolation of the empirical precedent.

In Part II 

( next week), I shall deal with the remaining topics raised in my address: 
• The Arab Spring as a threat multiplier 
• The irrelevance of assumed Palestinian “sincerity” 
• The Hamas-Fatah rapprochement 
• The one-state paradigm – A precursor to Muslim tyranny 
• Mirror images of desperation: Proposals for unilateral withdrawal vs unilateral annexation/enfranchisement of Arab residents in Judea-Samaria 
• My assessment of what Netanyahu is liable to do 
• My assessment of what Netanyahu ought to do 

I will end next week’s column with the very same words with which I end this one:

 In the final analysis, between the River and the Sea there will exist either exclusive Jewish sovereignty or exclusive Arab sovereignty.

The side that will prevail, is the side whose national will is the stronger and whose political vision is the sharper.

This is not right-wing extremism or religious fanaticism.

It is merely sound political science.