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March 29, 2011 3:20 pm

Declaring a Second Jewish State

avatar by Dovid Efune

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View of Har Homa. Photo: James Emery.

In September the United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York. It is widely anticipated that the Palestinian Arab leadership will unilaterally push for the declaration of a State, seeking approval and diplomatic acceptance from among the gathered representatives.

It is unlikely that this initiative, that would essentially amount to an effort to seize control of the West Bank, will materialize. However if it did, it could cause a great deal of concern for Israel. Now consider for a moment what the implications would be if at the very same time, a movement to declare a second Jewish State in Judea and Samaria was gathering pace.

Sounds farfetched? Maybe, but the idea is not my own. Political activists in Israel and around the world have begun to debate the merits of this concept, and as interest grows, the embryo of a movement may begin to be taking shape. The residents of cities, villages, towns and outposts throughout Judea and Samaria have often borne the brunt of Arab aggression, and their future is constantly subject to political whims. Israeli civil law does not apply to residents of these areas and the ability for communities to defend themselves is restricted.

The recent brutal and barbaric Itamar slaughter underscored the kind of threats that these communities need to take into account. Following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit of consolation to the Fogel family, the following comments by their oldest daughter Tamar gives an indication of how isolated many Jewish West Bank residents feel. “The Prime Minister said, “They murder us and they try to…and we build. We build. We build. We…just continue on.” So I told him, “And then afterwards you expel people (from their homes).” She continued, “And during the expulsions, it’s not just expelling people from their homes; there is also a war between brothers going on.”

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As communities feel more isolated, movements that call for Judean independence may begin to gather more steam. The argument, although not unflawed, is in many ways quite sound. First of all, as many Israel advocates are fond of mentioning, there are a number of Arab states and only one Jewish State.  So why not establish a second?

According to most in the international community, Israeli control-and certainly inhabitance-of the West Bank, is illegal and Arabs refer to the land as ‘occupied’ territory. Even to those observers that defer minimally to the laws of impartiality, the area is referred to as ‘disputed.’ If Israel were to cede control of the areas to a new entity, governed by the local Jewish inhabitants who have an extensive historical connection to the land, what grounds for reckoning would be left? Israel would no longer be involved, as the dispute would now be between the West Bank Jews and the West Bank Arabs.  After all, historically Jewish sovereignty was divided at times between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.

Of course, because of the strategic importance of the area militarily, economically, and agriculturally, Israel would need to maintain an extensive bilateral defense and trade pact with the new entity.

Besides the immediate effects on the ground, the benefits for Israel in the ongoing arena of world opinion could go even further. The precious underdog status that has so expertly been transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Arabs over the last number of years may be assigned to the Judeans as they struggle to build their newly independent Jewish State.

Faced with a new geopolitical reality, and understanding of Jewish fortitude and determination, the local Arab population, maintaining their refugee status, may have more of an incentive to seek resettlement elsewhere in the Arab world. They may finally even be assisted by the international community.

These committed pioneers have settled the Jewish homeland in its entirety and have shouldered the burden of peoplehood and the hardships of actualizing the dream of a Jewish return to Zion. They may yet open up a new frontier in the battle for the Jewish right to self-determination and it may go a long way in reframing the Israel-Arab conversation.

The Author is the director of the Algemeiner Journal and the GJCF and can be e-mailed at defune@gjcf.com.

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  • Jacobo Viskin

    A second Jewish state in the West Bank, without the Gaza strip, and with the East side of Jerusalem? great, fabulous idea, only for the right reasons.
    Could be called Samaria, like the Jewish kingdom that existed in those territories over 2,500 years ago. And fully independent from the state of Israel.
    Being an independent state, their inhabitants will decide whether they want to install a democratic or a theocratic state. Consider its demographics will be not too different from todays. It will have a well organized Jewish minority, but a minority after all.
    The non-jewish population will not be composed of new settlers; their roots to that land go back for more than one hundred years to say the least. Should they not leave, and should they get full civilian rights, Samaria will very soon convert into a secular if not Muslim state with a large hard core minority of fervent religious jews. Should they not get full civilian rights, Samaria will definitely become an apartheid state, who cares…
    All ardent orthodox new Zionists could have intact their right of return to Samaria, their promised land.
    And let democratic jewish Israel to continue its path, continue to strive for excellence, for secular government, concentrate in resolving its internal social problems, and maintain good relations among all nations of the world.

  • Br

    Only in mideast commonwealth after paying $2.5 trillion for land to cover losses to Arabs. Then a gov with Jewish leaning but still allowing existing stay or leave plus religious freedom. NO Hollywood Jewish crap.

  • Boogie Golani

    I think it’s a great idea. And it would make sense. But the separation from Israel would be bloody. The Palestinians would see to that. You would also have issues with recognition in the international community. And you would likely face the very real possibility of a JDL or Kach takeover of the Jewish government in these areas. A second Jewish state along these parameters would be less likely to be secular, and would be likely to be run by Jewish hardliners no matter what Israel does, and it would be a lot more difficult to live in the settlements than it is now, at least for the foreseeable future.

  • patricia, canada

    Another Jewish state? I love it! Yes! Yes! Yes! Am Yisrael Chai! A wonderful solution!

  • Ploni

    Israel did not create the Palestinian refugees alone, why must they make land concessions alone? Lets see Syria give the Palestinians southern parts, Jordan the West Bank, and Egypt to give a part of the Sinai. Gaza could expand and benefit from some of that oil Israel discovered there. Agriculture in the south of Syria and West Bank to feed their new country and the city centers in whatever parts of the West Bank they get in the negotiations, Israel gets to keep the areas of the West bank it needs for religious purposes and security. Israel gets defensible boarders, there is a Palestinian state big enough for people to get the right of return to and the other parties that contributed to the conflict pay their just due in solving it… 2 Jewish states? Hey! I think that is great, but I would rather see a 24 hour Israeli News in English channel. If we had that we would never have gotten into this situation to begin with.

    • Ploni

      I meant agriculture in the East Bank.. All those areas are relatively undeveloped so it is perfect for the Palestinians to get them in addition to some of the West Bank.

    • br

      The jew lost the land and when they went to the promised land from Egypt they paid their way. God provoked the inhabitants to be destroyed by the jews. It is written in Zech that Ammon and Edom will escape out of the princes hand in the last chapters of Daniel. You will note the UNEASY alliance with the Saudis and Jordanians against ISIL and Iran. This is a god thing so you did with the info he supplys. The possibilities of this state are almost impossible but that’s why it will probably work.

  • Jakob

    In addition

    Knesset passes the law changing the name of Israel to Palestine.

    The name for the ‘West Bank’ state could be Judea and Samaria, or ZR Israel(Zionist Republic of) , or perhaps ‘West Bank’..

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