I recently wrote about the right-wing plans being floated for a one-state solution. In truth, of course, the idea really encompassed two states, with Israel encompassing what is now that state and also including the West Bank, and Gaza being a Palestinian state.
Now, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is advancing the idea from the other direction. Lieberman wants Israel to finish disengaging from Gaza, renouncing all responsibility for the Strip and allowing it its freedom while cutting it off from Israel completely.
Lieberman’s plan has not met with approving ears by the international community, nor by the Palestinians, and the Netanyahu government has thus far ignored it. But it seems very likely that it, in some form, will, at some future point, connect with the notion of annexing the West Bank and become the new right-wing alternative to the traditional two-state solution.
Lieberman’s notion and the annexationist stance should not be taken lightly. True, the ideas have little support outside of far-right circles at this point; but they have the kind of appeal that is likely to spread to the center-right and center of Israeli politics. It has the potential, in the long term, to seduce many who today are in the Kadima or Labor parties.
Lieberman’s plan, not surprisingly, has met with sharp denunciations from both Fatah and Hamas. Still, if the plan were ever realized, Hamas would certainly take the opportunity to further consolidate their rule in Gaza and begin to develop the Strip again. Indeed, such a plan would end up benefiting Hamas more than any other party. Continue reading