Maybe it’s a good idea, maybe it’s a bad idea, for Israel to build new housing in “E1,” an area between currently settled parts of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem suburb of Maale Adumim. But one thing such housing is not: damage to a potential Palestinian state on the West Bank. Think carefully about that claim, and it’s actually racist.
The Palestinian claim, parroted by commentators around the world so naturally, so automatically, so mellifluously, that it has assumed the mantle of truth, is that a Palestinian state with Jewish settlements is not a viable state. It is not “continuous,” and if it is not continuous, it is not real. It is a series of “Bantustans.” It is a joke. It is evidence of bad faith on the part of Israel. It is a actually a cynical attempt by Israel to preclude a Palestinian state. That is the claim.
Denver is interrupted by Glendale. Obversely, put it this way: Glendale is surrounded by Denver. Does this geographical and governmental disjunction disrupt Denver? No. Does it disrupt Glendale? No. It is unusual, but not harmful. In fact, it has its charm.
A more biting example: Think Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Quebec St. in the small municipality of Commerce City. Think Denver south of Colfax and Quebec. Sandwiched in between them is the lovely Park Hill neighborhood. Park Hill is preponderantly a black neighborhood. Is Park Hill “cut off” from the rest of Denver by virtue of being “surrounded” by Commerce City and East Denver? Is Park Hill discriminated against? No. Is Park Hill unviable, by virtue of its geographical- ethnic “isolation” and “discontiguity”? No.
Yet, Palestinians would have us believe that a Palestinian state must be ethnically monochromatic, empty of Jews and geographically pure, smooth, uniform, “contiguous”: strictly Palestinian Arab. That is, racist. No Jews, and no Jewish settlements, allowed.
Continuity might be a reasonable concept in a huge land mass and a correspondingly huge territory like Saudi Arabia or the United States. Distances are vast. It might be impractical to extend sovereignty in pieces over a huge land mass.
But in an extremely small area — the land mass between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, for example; or in metropolitan Denver, for example — it is almost inevitable that diverse settlements, neighborhoods, municipalities and ethnic enslaves will emerge. It’s no big deal. And it shouldn’t be a big deal in the tiny territory between the River and the Sea.
But, you say, why must Israel build there? Israel is building. The Palestinians are building. Both are building. Every day. Literally. Cheek by jowl. Literally. That’s much of life on this small land mass. If two peoples are to get along there, they’ll have to get along right next to each other. That’s the reality. Two rapidly growing populations in a very small space.
To subdivide it out — to extract 1.5 million Arabs from within Israel’s borders; or to extract hundreds of thousands of settlers from the West Bank — is: Impractical. Unnecessary. Racist.
Copyright © 2012 by the Intermountain Jewish News