Is anyone still enthusiastic about the Deal of the Century? Israel’s far-right is against it. Israel’s far-left organized a major protest against it (as did the Israeli Arabs). The Palestinians are against it. Even the Sunni Gulf States – who use Trump (and to some extent Israel) as their guardians against Iran are against it. Israel’s mainstream left is against it because Netanyahu was involved in the process. And now, even Israel’s mainstream right, despite showing some initial enthusiasm, realizes that since annexation won’t be implemented until after the elections, it’ll probably never happen. So even they are against it too. It seems as though the only one still celebrating the Peace Deal is Jared Kushner.
So despite all the hype, this leaves a settler population full of false hopes and right back to where we started – In the exact same situation we’ve been in since 1993.
Second Class Citizens
The disappointment is compounded by the fact that in recent years, a serious push has been made in the settler community to compel the Israeli government to annex Judea and Samaria. This movement is understandable. That’s because despite paying taxes and serving in the Army at a higher rate than any other region in the country, the Israelis of Judea and Samaria are treated by the Israeli government as second class citizens. All construction and zoning is regulated and approved by the IDF and not by the democratically elected government that sits in Jerusalem. Settlers are also usually those to receive the brunt of terrorism largely due to military incompetence, negligence or perhaps for far more nefarious reasons. But annexing Area C only is unlikely to solve the terrorism problem as the borders of Area C are indefensible.
And finally, the Shabak (General Security Service) witch-hunts Jewish teenagers, usually minors, and often try them on trumped-up charges. The Shabak has been proven to frame settler youth for hate crimes against Arabs that they did not commit. That’s because Israel’s secret police who should be focused on Arab terror, have for some reason created a unit dedicated to perusing “Jewish terrorism”. And it’s an open secret that if there isn’t any Jewish terrorism, The Shabak will invent it using settler children as their patsies.
But despite living under the rule of what can easily be described as a military junta, Israel’s settlers ironically have a better quality of life than many of their counterparts who live inside pre-1967 Israel.
For example, Settlers have a better quality of life than those in southern Tel Aviv who wake up every morning to streets littered with illegal aliens from Africa. These migrant workers roam the streets with near immunity from prosecution and often terrorize the Jewish Israeli residents of neighborhoods like Shapira, Lewinsky, and Yad Eliyahu on a daily basis. Sexual assaults, drunken brawls are a nightly occurrence. Meanwhile, junkies and alcoholics dot the landscape with the scent of urine in the backdrop. No such phenomenon exists in the Samarian town of Shiloh.
Additionally, farmers in Israel’s Negev in the south and Galilee in the north suffer from a greater degree of agricultural theft by local Arabs than do the Jewish farmers of Judea and Samaria. Additionally, none of the farmers or business owners in Israel’s Biblical heartland are forced to pay protection money to local Arab mobsters like they are in pre-1967 Israel.
And of course, the children in Judea and Samaria don’t have to run into bomb shelters every hour as do those in Sderot, the Gaza Belt communities and Ashkelon. Yes, they suffer from terrorism but at least it can theoretically be avoided by staying at home. Sderot, who is inside pre-1967 Israel has no such luxury.
The point is that even without sovereignty, settlers are actually living a just as good, if not better quality of life than do many throughout the rest of Israel. And even if Israel annexes Area C of Judea and Samaria, it doesn’t guarantee that the local Arabs will stop building uncontrollably in that very area. After all, illegal Arab construction happens all the time in pre-1967 Israel and like Judea and Samaria, is also met with government inaction – even in instances of national security threats.
That’s why the goal of the settler community must not be to wait helplessly to be annexed by an impotent government. Instead, we should start considering alternatives to not only the two-state proposal but also the annexation of Area C only. Both put us settlers at the mercy of a government that not only despises us but is apathetic towards their own citizens living in Yel Aviv, Sderot and Mishmar HaEmek.
In other words, if Israel was a country whose government actually protected its citizens, the need for annexation would make sense. But since it’s not, there’s no shame in considering other solutions to an unsustainable status quo.
So what’s the solution?
Establishing a second independent Jewish state in all of Judea and Samaria should certainly be on the table. After all, how much more of this teasing can we take? Dreaming of one day getting annexed by a corrupt and inept government isn’t where our focus should be. Rather, settlers need to begin thinking of themselves as an integral part of the nation of Israel but with a different, more Torah/land-centered agenda. Could our way of life coexist with Israel’s current government?… It doesn’t seem like it. This is why the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria need to seriously consider establishing a state of our own…And not just in Area C.
That’s because the status quo just isn’t working. Even worse – it isn’t changing. It’s time for settlers to overcome their Stockholm syndrome. It’s time to put the proposal of liberating Judea and Samaria into the settler community’s conscious. Just like we always demand the two-state robots think out of the box, it’s high time we practice what we preach. It’s time for an independent state. It’s time for freedom.