Imagine Three Difficult Futures

A friend offers three “possible future dystopias” in the Arab-Israeli arena and then asks: “Which of the following scenarios is more likely and least undesirable?” His scenarios:

1. Greater Israel.

One state west of the Jordan continues to exist.  Israel is still a Jewish majority (now down to about 60%), the enclaves that are Arab majority which were once called occupied territories are still militarily administered, these days by a combination of international forces. Some Arabs there are in negotiations to have limited rights in Israel, political rights in Jordan.  Some are still seeking a state, but their goals is replacing Israel. The terrorism of bus bombings and some political assassinations continues.  Israel responds with disproportionate force. No one talks about 2 states.  It is now one or the other.  Jewish settlements in the territories are now annexed, after the great Israeli/Arab war of 2015.  (65% annexed, 35% is military protectorate of UN.)

2. Two States for two Peoples.

It has finally been pulled off.  After a major breakthrough in September of 2011, the Kadima/Likud government made the deal.  In the resulting years of implementation there were many moments of violence.  The greatest of these was the shelling of Tel Aviv from Qalqilia (beginning in June 2013), and the armed standoff between both sides when an Islamic Jihad unit attacked an Israeli military base in greater Jerusalem killing 20 soldiers. (January 2014).  Neither side feels that the 2 states are feasible long term.  Hamas is the strongest political party now in Palestine, and Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls for a “Chechen solution” to the problem of terrorism from Palestine.

3. BiNational reality.

The UN GA votes to rescind recognition of Israel as a Jewish State.  The SC votes this down.  (January 2017, first days of President Jeb Bush’s 1st term.)  However, after endless negotiation and stalemate, the world body calls for a Bi National state.  Even in Israel exhaustion over the conflict has reached the point that a sizable minor party is created to achieve this goal. (HaEzrach is the party’s name.) With their public calls, combined with the EU’s split and the developing world’s unanimous voice on the subject- calls have increased for a universal plebiscite in Palestine asking if people want 2 states or one.  Calls for violence to disrupt this plebiscite emerge from across the Israeli Jewish religious community.  In the US, Jews are split- Orthodox and the Jewish federation on one side, many on the other; most Jews no longer engage with Israel as a piece of their identity.  The plebiscite is inconclusive, a majority of Jews vote for 2 states, a majority of Palestinians vote for one. Violence erupts as Jewish communities burn several Arab villages while the Israeli army watches.  A blockade of Israel and a freeze on Israel’s military support unfolds.  Iran tries to mobilize an attack on the Galilee from Lebanon and the Arab League joins in recruiting military support.

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