Jun 25, 2017

the demographics problem after peace?

There are two new crises looming now for the government. Minister Avigdor Lieberman is behind, or at least involved in, both of them.

One is the conversion law. Shas wants to push its new conversion law, and according to coalition agreements with Yisrael Beiteinu, any laws dealing with religion and state issues must first pass unanimously through the forum of party heads before going to the government for voting. Lieberman is opposed to it and the concern is that he will veto the law before it gets to go to the government. Minister Aryeh Deri, the man behind the law proposal, says Lieberman will not veto the law, because he cannot as it is being proposed by members of the coalition and he has to accept it.

I won't venture a guess as to what will happen with this, nor do I understand it fully, but it is a crisis waiting to happen that everyone is watching.

The second is Lieberman's comments on a different issue. Lieberman has recently been making comments about the Palestinians and the results of a future peace deal and what might be included in it. He even upset Minister Naftali Bennet who said something to the effect of the idea that in negotiations we need to hold our cards close to our chest and not let them know in advance what our [final?] offers will be.

Lieberman said something specific that seems to have upset a lot of people, and I do not really understand it. This post is not to argue or support either position, but to try to find an explanation as to the problem.

Lieberman said, "Let it be clear about an arrangement with the Palestinians - we will not agree that even one refugee will return to the 1967 borders. If they want to receive them in Shechem, Hevron or Qalqilya – let them do so".

People, friends, on the right, are considering this a horrible thing and a disaster and are very upset at Avigdor Lieberman, but I don't understand the problem.

I have asked the following question - what is wrong with a future Palestinian State, after a peace deal, accepting Palestinian refugees to live within its borders? They would not live in Israel or have any rights in Israel. If the Palestinians want them, it would be up to them to accept them or not. Why is this so bad?

The answer I got has only been vaguely pointing at a future demographics problem and so many of the enemy living so close to us.

Enemy? This would only be relevant after a peace deal. If this ever happens, they might not be considered enemy any longer. Also, a peace deal would seemingly arrange security guarantees for Israel. As well, I am not sure their military capabilities, even if they will remain the enemy, should really overly concern us.

Demographics? This would be in their future country, not ours. How would the Palestinian demographics, after a peace deal, effect us?

I am not arguing the position that there is no problem with this, but I don't really understand what the concern is and what the problem will be. Anybody out there who might want to explain further?

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  1. For the latter, I think people take issue with the thought that Hebron (in particular) will not be a part of Israel. They might not admit that, though.

  2. Yisrael Beteynu has had this as part of their party platform since before Bibi began his current run as PM. Any agreement with a Palestinian Entity would have borders adjusted to place Palestinians in the Palestinian Entity and Israelis in Israel. This puts people in the country that they belong in without forcing people to physically move. It has always been understood that this would only apply should facts on the ground change making a 2 state solution viable.

    Israeli politicians don't take the long term approach to solving problems. Why else would the current Likud Government lead by Bibi spent so much time undoing the 'bad' legislation passed by the Likud Government lead by Bibi. Yesh Atid even claiming to be shocked they their work has been largely undone.

    The only possible answer I can come up with to your question, is that some people can't handle that he has worked out policy on a scenario that does not look realistic. They think that if he had the chance he would try to implement it immediately, like other failed politicians in the past.


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