Strangers in Their
By Moshe Feiglin
29 Tevet, 5773 (Jan. 11, '13)
the Makor Rishon newspaper
his column last week, Hagai Segal wondered why the forced
Evacuation/Compensation law for Jews was considered to be legitimate in
Israel, but when this author proposes the application of the same principle
– on a volunteer basis – for the Arabs, it is derided as unrealistic.
The reason for this seems clear: Money. There are many more Arabs in Judea
and Samaria than Jews. Israel simply does not have the economic ability to
create an "emigration package" for the Arabs of Yesha - Certainly not to the
tune of half a million dollars per family. (By the way, I never proposed
giving the Arabs half a million dollars to emigrate. What I did say was that
instead of the money Israel spends per decade as a result of the Oslo
Accords, we could invest half a million dollars per Arab family interested
in emigration. Israel could invest in an emigration package that includes
purchase of property, assistance with finding work abroad and also cash. We
could offer less than half a million dollars and invest the rest of the
money that we are pouring into the Oslo Accords into improving the quality
of life for the elderly, for example).
For the sake of argument, we will stay with the proposal to pay half a
million dollars to encourage the emigration of most of the Arab families in
Yesha. Polls show that these Arabs are definitely interested in this option.
We will not consider factors that are difficult to calculate, such as the
expected decrease in the price of land and housing inside the Green Line
after the application of this plan. These factors strengthen our premise,
but are difficult to calculate.
Another small introduction: Our calculations will not use the true
demographic data determined by Yoram Ettinger and his expert Israel-American
team. Instead, we will use the inflated data provided by the Arabs of Yesha.
Being that I made the first calculations a number of years ago, and in
addition, I am a concerned party, I asked my friend, Uri Noi – a meticulous,
high-tech professional whose expertise is exact calculation, to examine this
subject in depth. Uri enthusiastically researched this proposal and as he
said, "At no stage of the preparation of this document did I peek at the
results as they were forming. In other words, this document was written and
examined thoroughly and impartially.
A week later, Uri presented the results of his research in a 12 page
document. You can read the Hebrew version here. The following is a quote
from his conclusion:
Cost to Israel of the Oslo Accords:
1. Money transfers to the Palestinian
Authority: 86 billion NIS (since Oslo- M.F.) and an additional 4.53 billion
2. General Security Service: 2.85 NIS and an additional 1.5 billion NIS
3. Border Police in Judea and Samaria: 13 billion NIS and an additional 0.7
billion NIS annually.
4. IDF in Judea and Samaria: 57 billion NIS and an additional 3 billion
5. Security guards everywhere: 68 billion NIS and an additional 3.57 billion
6. Bypass roads: 20 billion NIS and an additional 1 billion annually.
7. Separation Wall: 4.7 billion NIS, one time expense.
8. Murder victims: 3.5 billion NIS in loss of productivity.
9: Defensive Shield Operation: 14 billion NIS, one time expense.
10. Loss of revenue from tourism: 129 billion NIS and an additional 1
11. Decrease in price of land for housing. Zero in the meantime.
In all, the Oslo
Accords cost the Israeli public 423 billion NIS for Judea and Samaria alone.
In addition, they continue to cost the tax payers 15.3 billion NIS annually,
with no end in sight.
The 423 billion that we have already paid is one and one half times more
then the 284 billion NIS that Feiglin proposes.
Simply put, when people ask when Feiglin will be right, the answer is that
the scenario that he outlined is already here.
Since the Oslo Accords were signed, instead of spending $500,000 on every
Arab family that could be convinced to emigrate, we have spent $750,000.
This sum is constantly increasing. It is a shame that we didn't listen to
Feiglin earlier. He made this proposal years ago, and this week he simply
If so, we remain with a
question: Why is forced Evacuation/Compensation for Jews considered
reasonable, while voluntary Evacuation/Compensation for Arabs is considered
This is where we touch upon the real price that we have paid for the Oslo
Accords: An entire generation has come of age after Oslo and the recognition
of the Arab claim to the Land of Israel – young people approximately 35 and
under. These Israelis have grown up believing that the "salt of the earth"
is the Arab, while the Jew is living here on borrowed time. An entire
generation has grown up thinking it is a guest in its own land and that it
has to pay and constantly bribe the "true sons" in order to justify its
continued presence here.
All the solutions that spring up here on a daily basis surrender our
essential claim to the Land of Israel as a land sanctified to Jews alone.
"We have returned to our holiest of places, never to leave them again," said
Moshe Dayan. The marriage vow, "You are sanctified to me," means to me, and
no one else. There is no such thing as "you are sanctified to me - and also
to the neighbor." There cannot be two states – two husbands – for one land.
The only relevant political party that has an explicit clause in its charter
on sovereignty over all the Land of Israel in our hands is the Likud. This
clause was written before Oslo. After Oslo and official Israel's ensuing
estrangement toward the sanctity of the Land and its settlers, this clause
could never have been written – not even in the Jewish Home party.
This is why the proposal to encourage emigration is considered unrealistic
today. Not because it is not practical: it is the only practical plan. Not
because there is no money to apply it: it saves money. Not because it is
unethical: there is no plan more ethical. Not because the Arabs are not
interested: they are very interested. Not because they have nowhere to go:
they have a wide array of possible destinations.
It is considered unrealistic simply because we have stopped believing that
this is our Land.
This is the real greatness of this plan. It is not the calculations and not
the question if it will cost us half a million shekels or 300,000. It is the
principle that dictates that when the movie ends, those who will be here
will be the Jews. The greatness of this plan is that it gives the Oslo
generation of "visitors" the political tools to once again develop their
sense of belonging to their land.
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