Adam L. Silverman
COL Lang covered Prime Minister Netanyahu's Monday announcement that if he was reelected there would not be a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. What I found interesting in the NY Times and other news media coverage was that everyone seemed to be surprised by PM Netanyahu's announcement. Several reports even compared this to his 2009 announcement of support for a two state solution. What is surprising is that this is surprising. Netanyahu stated that there would not be a two state solution back in July 2014 - an announcement that the news media largely ignored. Moreover, Netanyahu's announcement was itself not surprising given the statements of a number of current and former members of the Israeli center-right coalition. These statements from Netanyahu's allies, as well as leaders in the other movements and parties that comprise his coalition or seek to pull it even further right, have provided candid examples of how this could be accomplished. One of the most nuanced is from PM Netanyahu’s former speechwriter Uri Elitzer, as well as Members of Knesset (MK) Tzipi Hotolevi and Rubi Rivlin. The latter is also a former Speaker of the Knesset. All three have indicated that Israel should annex the Palestinian territories and begin a long, slow, deliberate process of providing citizenship to the Palestinians. This would be accomplished after a thorough vetting process for security purposes and constitutional revision that would clarify and lock in that Israel is a Jewish state. Elitzer, Hotolevi, and Rivlin are basing their plan on a favorable interpretation of demographic trends - that Israelis, specifically Jewish Israelis, will out reproduce Israel's Arab minority and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. This may simply not be the case. What these projections ignore is that more and more Israelis are choosing to move out of Israel, especially younger Israelis. They are reclaiming their citizenship in the European countries that their grandparents and great-grandparents fled before the Holocaust and WW II or were refugees from after WW II. In a note of historic irony, the largest reclamation of citizenship in this reverse migration is German citizenship!