Israeli citizenship for Palestinians?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Rising Likud star MK Tzipi Hotovely on Monday surprised many by seemingly going back on her nationalist and zionist principles when she suggested granting Israeli citizenship to the Palestinian Arabs.

At least, that's how the left-wing Israeli media played it. In reality, Hotovely was addressing a very real concern connected to her firm belief that Israel must never surrender its biblical heartland for a phony peace, and that is, what to do with the millions of Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria.

Speaking at a nationalist conference in Jerusalem, Hotovely said she still maintains that the idea of a Palestinian state is "dead and buried, a passing illusion." She said even the leaders of left-wing parties have acknowledged to her that the Palestinians don't want a state next to Israel, but rather to destroy Israel.

But instead of maintaining the status quo and simply avoiding making too many concessions or signing an ill-advised agreement with the Palestinians, Hotovely said Israel should take matters into its own hands and stop letting the international community run the show.

"We must be pro-active in Judea/Samaria as we are in Jerusalem and in the Golan. The international community must not be allowed to be the main player," she insisted. "An important question is, what do we do with the Palestinians? They are people, a hostile element - what do we do with them? We must apply Israeli law to Judea and Samaria."

The best possible solution, she said, was to give the Palestinians citizenship in Israel, thus placing them under the rule of Israeli law. At worst, that would give the Arabs a 30-40 percent minority in the country, at which point Israel must make it a priority to attract a million more Jewish immigrants from the West.

Most of the other speakers at the event advocated a policy of simply waiting out the international community and trusting to Palestinian non-compliance to give Israel the excuse it needs to not surrender its land.

Only National Union MK Aryeh Eldad suggested another pro-active approach, that being a full annexation of Judea and Samaria and a declaration that Jordan is the Palestinian state.

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