Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago, and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His areas of specialization include ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics. He is the author of several books, including “We Have Overcome: An Immigrant’s Letter to the American People” (Bombardier Books/Post Hill Press). Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.
The Morality of Israel’s ‘Annexation’
With some degree of the annexation of Judea and Samaria imminent in the next few months in Israel, recent statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
With some degree of the annexation of Judea and Samaria imminent in the next few months in Israel, recent statements by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (who oversees a massive kleptocratic terrorist regime that endorses a massive Pay-for-Slay program that provides Palestinian suicide bombers, terrorist murderers, and their families with lifelong financial security), sound more like conceptual inanities than they do reasoned disagreements by a serious politician.
Abbas said last week that he was terminating all agreements with Israel and the United States as a result of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to extend Israeli law to parts of Judea and Samaria under the stewardship of the Trump peace plan. Well, no one really cares if he terminates any agreement with the United States. The PA is irrelevant to the United States except as a disgraceful moral stain on our foreign policy record for having financed a terrorist rogue political institution for decades. What would be truly humorous, were it not backed with the routine rampant anti-Semitism and support of the European Union, is his statement on the order of: Israel has “annulled” the Oslo Accord with its intention to apply Israeli law in occupied Palestine.
No Abbas, the Palestinian National Authority and other militant groups acting under its aegis long ago nullified the Oslo Accord with the Second Intifada when it sought to repay Israel’s generous peace-and-land offerings by repeated bloody attacks against the state of Israel and her people from September 2000 until February 2005. By all accounts, the Intifada lasted for 4 years, 4 months, 1 week, and four days. Four years of bloody murder and unleashed terror against Israelis for their generosity.
But let us retreat for a moment. The Oslo Accord was always a sham agreement made to cripple Israel to begin with. This will be debated by many. What is not debatable is that the Oslo Accord was never legitimate because it was nullified on origination by the charters of the PLO/PA. Once said charters remain in existence, they are, indeed, permanent declarations of war against Israel. All Palestinian charters, including the one created by Hamas, call for the obliteration of the state of Israel and the removal of Jewry from the region.
Along with the indoctrination school curriculum promulgating hatred and debasement against Jews and Israel by the PLO/PA, the charters support all Palestinian political parties that engage in a state of war against Israel. The Second Intifada, orchestrated by then PLO leader Yasser Arafat, completely neutralized the Oslo Accords. This means that any action Israel takes against the PA and those who vote it into power—such as the refusal to confer citizenship and voting privileges to a population that votes terrorist organizations into power—are moral responses to a declaration of permanent war by sworn enemies of the state. There can be no peace once those charters exist.
The only moral response the U.S. can have to Abbas’ revocation of ties with the United States of America is:
Good riddance! What was offered by the United States was never really a peace plan which was made impossible by the mere existence of the PA’s charter. It was a Security and Victory Plan morally delivered to the ethical state of Israel.
Aid to the PA has been futile against the historical backdrop of how the Palestinian National Authority has neutralized the Oslo Accords by invoking the Second Intifada after the 2000 Camp David Peace Summit. So, let us briefly recall two major issues. They are ways in which Arafat and then Abbas twice rejected generous peace offerings and a literal Palestinian state inside the state of Israel.
In July 2000, President Clinton brought Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat and their negotiating teams to Camp David for a peace deal that was unprecedented. Barak offered the Palestinians shared sovereignty over Jerusalem—something that, as Israeli-American journalist, Caroline Glick has pointed out numerous times, had never been offered before. He offered them all of Gaza, 92 percent of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and control of the Jordan Valley. Fortunately, Ehud Barak refused to compromise on the right of return. Why? Because like any sensible person, he knew that this would have resulted in the destruction of Israel. At a later point in time President Clinton did broker an arrangement that offered Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Arafat responded by returning to Israel and launched the Second Intifada. It is reported that he said his own people, Palestinians, would have killed him had he accepted the offerings. So much for talk of non-complicity between Arafat, his people, and the failure of a Palestinian state.
And so much for Israel’s culpability in nullifying the Oslo Accord.
Again, in September of 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made Abbas a comprehensive offer of peace and Palestinian statehood. It should be noted that this political and moral peace offering was more beneficent and certainly more expansive than the one made by Barak. There was a single conditional Abbas had to agree to in order to end the conflict: and it was this: Israel offered him 94 percent of Judea and Samaria, and an additional 327 square kilometers of land within sovereign Israel adjacent to the Gaza strip and northern Samaria. The Palestinians were also offered complete sovereignty over the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
Olmert promised to transfer sovereignty over the Temple Mount and other sacred areas of Jerusalem’s Old City to an international body. A limited right of immigration to a part of Israel to descendants of Arabs who left Israel in 1948-1949 was also extended. The offer was militantly rejected by Abbas. Not only was it rejected, Israel’s generosity, its literal behavior as an ethical state, was met with a cruel crusade of vengeance. Abbas launched a campaign of hatred and smears against Israel in the United Nations and referred to all Israel as occupied Palestine. As far as he was concerned Israel had no right to exist within any borders. He was adhering to the charters of the PLO/PA. He was ejecting his people from the historical and civilizational process.
All charters of any existing governing Palestinian bodies function in such a way that they place both the Palestinian people and Palestinian political actors in a permanent state of war against Israel. It is tragic that there are unwitting, decent individual Palestinians who get caught in this crossfire.
In a previous essay, I have written about Israel’s moral right to annex Judea and Samaria. I want to now turn to the actual morality of annexation of Judea and Samaria as it relates to the so-called creation of a future Palestinian state. Annexation as it applies to Judea and Samaria is simply a preposterous term. Israel cannot annex land that is indigenously the land of the Jews that was repeatedly stolen from them over millennia. It properly re-captured those lands in a 1967 offensive war against it. The term is a non-concept here—a true misnomer. Nevertheless, for the sake of expediency we will use it since it has traction in the political world. The ethical upshot of annexation is two-fold.
First, it recovers territory that is historically the property of the state of Israel. Second, it will, over time, and if applied consistently and with moral implacability, incarcerate the terrorist organization that is the Palestinian Authority. Some regimes can be politically rehabilitated, ethically placed in trusteeship, and then released back into the global commons. The PLO and then the PA have always been politically rogue institutions. The PA today betrays civilizational maturity by engaging in thuggery and terrorism that engender—among other things—national destabilization.
Rogue institutions such as the PA posing as a representative of a legitimate state or claiming the right to initiate statehood, pose threats to those who fall within their geographical ambits. They defile the individual rights of their citizen and residents in a way that undermines their legal personalities and moral integrity. The PA as a rogue governing body consciously removes the possibility of a lasting peace by subjugating human beings in the regional, local or global community to continuous fear by: a) exposing them directly to the threat of war; b) compromising or destroying those institutions that are devoted to maintaining a peaceful regional, state, and world order; and c) inflicting deliberate political, economic and general oppression against its own people. Rogue political governing bodies are not just inimical to the moral order of an existing ethical state—in this case Israel—they are political ballasts.
The morality of annexation of Judea and Samaria lies in its ability (if its architects so desire) to dissolve, over time, the PA; to show that its reach for autonomy and sovereignty was already violated before it achieved any such status: its systemic violence and reigns of terror disqualified it from any right of sovereignty. Once a rogue political body is divested of its sovereign status then it can have no political or legal standing in the international community—let alone demand right of existence within a legitimate democracy such as Israel. Should the PA seek violent reprisals against Israel’s moral right to reclaim its historic holy lands, then Israel has the right to disband the PA, incarcerate its political actors and practice a new form of political eugenics that would see the radical resocialization of the moral and political sensibilities of those Palestinians who reside within its geographical boundaries. Such individuals who have long existed outside the historical process largely because of their socialization in death cults and by soul-killing ideologies, would re-achieve their right of belonging to the state. The process could be long; it could take generations, however, the supremacy of Israel and the rise of Judea and Samaria simply cannot exist without the dismantling of the de jure and de facto sovereignty that the Palestinian Authority enjoys.
Individuals cannot be auctioned off. However, if the PA is divested of its sovereignty and recognized for what it is: a morally feral panopticon; and further, if it is divested of its sovereignty given that it has violated the conditions under which sovereignty itself is justified, then it exists in a state of nature. The vacuum left there is to be filled, and residents there re-fashioned by the state. Subjects there can re-enter the historical process and enjoy freedom in an order governed by Israeli law. So long as Israel protects the individual rights of the Palestinians as individuals and not as members of some invented group, then there can be no true ethical dilemma in regards to exercising sovereignty and rulership of individuals who, heretofore, had been living in a state of nature, one outside the historical process. Rescued from this political state of nature they would matriculate within the boundaries of a civilized nation-state in a manner subject to the procedural protocols of Israeli Intelligence and other security and defense institutions created to protect the security and eternal permanence of sovereign Israel.
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