If the Bayit Yehudi / Jewish Home Party's platform is adopted by the Knesset, great care must be taken with hasbara PRIOR to implementation. While it is politically less complex within Israel to do a partial annexation, it may create as many problems as it solves with the international community. Alienate political friends, distant political allies. Unless the hasbara is perfect. Some annexation is better than none, as it increases security. But the partial annexation has its risks.
Two goals must come from any action in a dispute. That is, one's methodology of handling the dispute must lead to the following results:
- An actual step towards conflict resolution, not a step backwards.
- An easy sound bite hasbara, thus ensuring the appearance of being honest and faithful towards the peace process itself, and thereby protecting the conflict resolution from any future claims of unfairness by either party. For it is not merely injustice but the appearance of injustice that can create discontent.
To me, a partial annexation is difficult to explain internationally. Why go for half measures when you can end this now, with a complete annexation in the context of a complete and peaceful solution. Further, how can one climb the mountain of confusion should Israel unilaterally annex territory prior to a final peace solution? I do not have that answer, but it must be answered before implementing.
If you say, we do not want to rule over the Palestinians, someone could answer you, then why take their land? If you explain it is our land, then they could ask why are you giving it away? Either you are being foolishly selfless or you're admitting it is not your land.
Do you want to say that the land is G-d given to the Jewish people? Then why not also say that there will never be peace if the goal is that the L-rd's Will should be denied. If policy does not recognize that it was ordained for the Jewish people to rule the entire land, then such a policy could never be successful even in a thousand years.
Of the two options of full or partial annexation, which is the easier argument for Israel to make...?
Abbas is a potential peace partner who done us wrong, so we are acting tit-for-tat unilaterally and taking some land from the disputed territory that we say we have every right to. Now please do not dig your heels in deeper and become more determined for a Palestinian state "before Israel claims it all to themselves", as we are reserving the right to claim it all to ourselves in the future if the Palestinians do some act of terror so bad that it really, really, really gets us angry. At that time we will decide if we should perform an act of absorption or expulsion to the Palestinians whom you still believe to be the victims in all this.
The question is not whether Israel has a right to the territories. There has never been a Palestinian country to claim the land with equal strength of status as the right of the Jewish people to their historic homeland. The question is, barring further incremental peacemaking gestures, with no realistic expectation of conflict resolution, does any realistic path to peace, that does not require expelling large populations of any ethnicity, exist? Abbas is not a potential peace partner, and the alternatives to him are worse. Therefore we have no choice if we are to ensure improvement of Israeli security and Palestinian living conditions but to replace the terrorist leadership and begin the naturalization of the Palestinian people to allow them to join their brethren behind the Green Line in full and equal rights and with the same hope of economic opportunity as Israeli citizens. The road to bureaucratically filtering out terrorists from the populace may be long, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than the dark hatred the terrorists have tried to sow among both peoples. The goal of a united State of Israel is one of Peace, for all peoples West of the River Jordan, and the further delay of that day, can only serve the forces of hatred and terror.
So what is a sound bite hasbara that we can use if Israel implements full annexation? This way is best for everyone. Everyone Wins. May it soon be so, by the grace of G-d.