by Ram ben Ze'ev (Conservative Values)
The Israeli-Arab conflict, particularly the violence originating from Gaza, has persisted for decades, resulting in the murder of many thousands of innocent Jews.
Most recently, on 7th October 2023, exactly 50 years after the start of the Yom Kippur War, thousands of Arab terrorists in Gaza launched an unprovoked attack against Israel, resulting in the loss of more than 1,400 innocent Israeli lives (השם יקום דמם) and severe injuries to over 4,000 Jewish people.
These Arab terrorists murdered men, women and children. They raped women and girls and they beheaded children and infants and this brutal assault spared no one, including the elderly and survivors of the Shoah. Shockingly, nearly 200 Israelis, including small children, have been kidnapped and are now being held hostage in Gaza by these savages, and one can only imagine the depth of suffering experienced by these captives.
That being said, once the threat of ongoing Arab terrorism from Gaza has been eradicated by the Israeli military, it will be essential to pursue a sustainable resolution for the territory. Given the tragic loss of over 1,400 innocent Israelis and the shortcomings of the well-intentioned but unsuccessful Israeli government's experiment, the imperative now is for Israel to reintegrate Gaza within its borders. The objective is to strive for a more inclusive and peaceful coexistence, encompassing the remaining Arabs who aspire to a better quality of life.
The conflict between Israelis and Arabs is deeply entrenched in historical, cultural, and political complexities. Gaza, a densely populated strip of land, has been a focal point of the conflict since the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Tensions heightened after the Arab invasion of Israel and the occupation of parts of the newly formed state. The situation escalated during the Six-Day War in 1967 when Israel regained control of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. Despite numerous attempts at peace and coexistence over the years, the Arabs' refusal to negotiate and their collective resort to violence against Israelis have consistently thwarted progress, resulting in the current volatile situation.
Due to extensive corruption and the exploitation of humanitarian aid for terrorist agendas by Arab leadership, Gaza confronts significant challenges. These include insufficient infrastructure, elevated unemployment rates, shortages of food and water, and limitations on external movement due to the substantial risk of weapons and munitions being imported into the area by Iran and other nations. These states openly and covertly support Arab terrorists. A majority of the population of two million people in Gaza not only shields these terrorists but also provides cover for munitions, thereby exacerbating recurrent conflicts. This obstructs development and sustains recurring cycles of violence.
A lasting resolution entails Israel's reintegration of Gaza into its nation, aligning with the original intent of the British Mandate for a Jewish State. This reintegration, governed by Israeli law, is expected to bring about substantial enhancements in infrastructure, healthcare, education, and employment prospects. Israel can achieve an improved quality of life for Gazans by efficiently channeling resources and fostering a more stable and prosperous region. This reintegration will allow Gaza to access the economic prowess and technological advancements of Israel. Concurrently, extending Israeli law to all parts of Judea and Samaria is essential for a comprehensive approach.
Returning Gaza to Israel will enhance security in the region, reducing violence and terrorism. Israel, with its robust security infrastructure, will implement measures to ensure safety and curb extremist activities. Additionally, this proposal will lead to more controlled movement of goods and people, enhancing stability.
The integration would require a commitment to upholding human rights and equality for all inhabitants of the region, regardless of their ethnicity or background. A carefully designed legal framework would be crucial to ensure the protection of individual rights and the peaceful coexistence of diverse populations.
Simultaneously, Israel needs to enact previously suggested measures aimed at restricting voting rights for non-Jewish citizens and residents of the country. This initiative will ensure that it doesn't infringe upon anyone's personal rights but rather aims to disallow non-Jewish citizens and residents from participating in national elections. This proposal is not unusual. For instance, in the United Kingdom, non-citizens are explicitly barred from voting in national elections, though they retain the right to vote in local council elections. This restriction doesn't provoke accusations of human rights violations against residents of the UK who are denied the right to vote in national elections. Interestingly, all Arab nations also withhold voting rights from foreigners, and there's no widespread objection to this policy. In this particular case, Israel was founded as a Jewish State and should continue to uphold this identity in the future.
Resolving the Israeli-Arab conflict, especially the situation in Gaza, is a complex and sensitive task that demands innovative solutions. The proposal of Israel taking steps towards integrating Gaza within its borders aims to initiate constructive discussion and exploration of alternative paths to peace. A negotiated, inclusive, and human-centered approach is essential to find a sustainable resolution that fosters prosperity, stability, and a better future for all in the region.