MK Yoav Kisch – Likud

MK Yoav Kisch was elected to the 20th Knesset at March 2015.
MK Kisch is the head of the house committee. He is also a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as well as the Science and Technology committee. 
He is the head of Eretz Israel caucus, and also heads the Caucus for the rights of IDF soldiers. 
MK Kisch serves as a reserve combat pilot in the Israeli Air Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
MK Kisch holds an MBA from INSEAD Fontainebleau (graduate business academy) in France. He was born and raised in Tel Aviv and currently lives in Ramat Gan.

The Autonomy Plan of MK Yoav Kisch

The Autonomy Plan of MK Yoav Kisch

Based on the principles of the late PM Menachem Begin

"We have neither taken others’ land, nor held that which appertains to others, but rather the inheritance of our fathers, which our enemies had wrongfully possessed for a certain time. Therefore we, having the opportunity, took back the inheritance of our fathers."

– Simon the Hasmonean, Book of Maccabees

THE AUTONOMY PLAN//KNESSET MEMBER YOAV KISCH

The objective of this plan is to present a diplomatic vision to resolve the conflict over Judea and Samara intended for the day after Barack Obama's administration. The new administration led by President Elect Trump creates a new window of opportunity for an Israeli led move. Today, the Israeli public is faced with two plans for possible solutions to this problem. First, two states for two peoples in the framework of negotiations or a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from most of the territory. The second option is a binational state.  Both alternatives are not useful because they present a reality of black and white, and both will be a disaster for the future of Israel. In addition, Israel needs to prepare for a scenario in which the PA collapses and the Oslo agreement dissolve. The “Autonomy Plan” presented here represents a realistic alternative to the dichotomous proposals of the Left and the Right, and offers a better and brighter future for the State of Israel. This plan will prevent the establishment of a terrorist state in the heart of the Land of Israel, and will enable the State of Israel to preserve its special character as a Jewish and democratic state.

The State of Israel is today at a critical juncture, facing a window of opportunity.  For more than two decades, the State of Israel has conducted a peace process with the Palestinians, a process that was meant to bring peace but in fact only increased terrorism and violence.  The current chaos in the Middle East and the dissolution of the peace process have brought about an opportunity for a change, and a reconsideration of the situation. The State of Israel must lead and initiate new diplomatic moves that are well thought out and responsible, and must not be led astray by the plans of others.It must do this while preserving its vital interests and values through unified and determined action.

The Middle East is changing rapidly, creating many dangers but at the same time opportunities as well. We are facing “a new Middle East” in which three nation states have already disintegrated -- Syria, Iraq and Libya – while an Islamic state has emerged in the form of ISIS. The Arab population of the region is no longer divided along national lines, but rather according to their communal affiliation, religious identity or tribal allegiance (Sunni, Shi’ite, Alawi, etc.) Only when it comes to the Palestinian conflict that the world returns to the solutions of yesterday that have failed the test of reality over and over again.

The Autonomy Plan does not purport to be perfect, but it is doubtful that a perfect solution can be found to the Jewish-Arab conflict. In fact, it is doubtful that a solution will ever be found to put an end to the conflict once and for all. The conflict did not begin with the Six Day War in 1967, and it is highly unlikely that a full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories captured during the war would lead to peace in the region. The war against the Jews waged by Arabs began long before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964, before the so-called “occupation,” and the term “Palestine” in the eyes of the PLO’s leadership referred to the whole Land of Israel.

This plan will strengthen the security of the State of Israel and its future as a Jewish and democratic state while granting maximum benefits to Arabs in Judea and Samara by way of defining the autonomous area.   As for the political rights of Arabs in Judea and Samaria, a solution must be found in coordination with other countries in the region, a process that will be the product of a change in the current ways of thinking and discourse.  The plan is rooted in the complex reality of the situation, but it is realistic and its implementation can begin immediately.

We, the leaders of the State of Israel, are committed to creating a better future for our people and our state while preserving our common vital interests, from a security perspective as well as from the perspectives of history and values. We are determined to lead the only Jewish state with a responsible and carefully considered approach without ignoring the complex reality in which we find ourselves.

 

A DESCRIPTION OF THE PLAN

This plan is based on the autonomy plan of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin drawn up in 1977, with the changes required in light of the changes that have taken place since then. The plan refers to the territories of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and does not refer to the Gaza Strip, from which Israel withdrew in 2005.  

The plan negates the establishment of a Palestinian state and requires the cancellation of the Oslo Accords. The Oslo Accords were an illusion and did not “end a century of terror,” as some may envisioned. In fact, the agreements struck between Israel and the PLO are cancelled when the Palestinian Authority violates them every day, both by endorsing local terrorism against Israel and through its international activities to delegitimize Israel.  Therefore, there is no point in continuing the illusion, and in order to begin a new chapter in our history, the Oslo Accords must be annulled.  

Under this plan, no one will be evacuated from his home, no Jew and no Arab. The plan proposes administrative autonomy for the benefit of Arabs in Judea and Samaria, after Israeli sovereignty is declared over the rest of the area (as detailed in the attached map). Within the autonomous territory, local administration councils will be established with authorities legislated by the Knesset on the subject of autonomy.  With regard to the issue of the

status of Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, the autonomous area, they will be temporarily granted the status of “Resident of the Autonomy,” and in the long term, Israel will work for a regional solution to this issue. 

With regard to the issue of refugees, the State of Israel will not take in any refugee from Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, not to within the so-called Green Line or the autonomous territory. These refugees are in fact the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original refugees, and they will have to stay settled in their countries of residency, as did tens of millions of refugees from Germany to India, who were displaced since the Second World War, including Jews from Europe and Arab states.

 

STAGES OF THE PLAN

STAGE 1 – Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria except the Autonomy area, and the annulment of the Oslo Accords.  In this stage, the Military Administration of Judea and Samaria will be cancelled, and the Palestinian Authority will be dismantled.

STAGE 2 – The establishment of the Autonomy, rehabilitation of the refugee camps, and a move to “economic peace,” as well as an arrangement for the issue of Jerusalem.

- In part of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the Autonomy will be established according to the map and principles agreed upon ahead of time (which will be presented in the next chapter)

- Preservation of the quality of life in 15 percent of the territory, which is not part of the Autonomy and will be declared Area I (Israel) and will be used to build a transportation infrastructure to connect the various parts of the autonomous areas.  In this way, we will preserve the quality of life of both the Jews and Arabs living in the area.

- All Arabs who live in Judea and Samara but are outside the autonomous area will be able to choose whether they want to be residents of Israel or residents of the Autonomy. If they decide to be residents of Israel, they will be eligible for Israeli citizenship, as is acceptable under the law of citizenship.  If they decide to be residents of the Autonomy, they will be considered Autonomy residents in Israel. 

- Improving the lives of Arab citizens is an Israeli interest. With international support the State of Israel will work towards renovating and rehabilitating of the refugee camps. Israel will implement a plan for the economic and industrial development of Judea and Samaria, the establishment of new industrial zones, reciprocal trade and economic relations between the Autonomy and Israel, and the maximal granting of work permits.

- The issue of Jerusalem will receive unique attention in the context of the complex situation that exists today.

STAGE 3 – Regional security arrangement – building a unique political model.  As part of the introduction of a stable and long-lasting arrangement, a regional solution will be required, one that will provide a definition of the political-civil status of Arabs of the Autonomy. In today’s world, there are various autonomous models – in the US, Britain, Morocco and elsewhere. Every autonomy has its own special characteristics with regard to sovereignty, payment of taxes, the 

status of its residents and a variety of other issues. In Judea and Samaria, a special model will be built that will provide answers to the special needs of the Autonomy.

 

 

PRINCIPLES OF THE AUTONOMY

The Autonomy will extend over 38% of the territory in Judea and Samaria, areas in which there are no Jewish communities today.  The aim of the Autonomy will be to enable maximum self-administration for the local population while preserving the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Autonomy will be run by a local administrative council, a mini-government of sorts that will be elected by local residents and will operate according to the principles laid out in this document. The powers of the council will be determined by legislation in the Knesset.

The Arab self-administration will be responsible for the everyday life of the local Arab population, and will maintain ongoing contacts with Israel. In addition, a joint plan will be drafted to enable the development and expansion of the Palestinian population, including a plan for the construction of new neighborhoods and towns.

Its supreme goal is to ensure the future of Israel as a democratic state with an overwhelmingly Jewish majority, a national homeland for the Jewish people.  The plan presents a real alternative while refusing to surrender to the dichotomy that is the subject of hot debate in Israel today – the stark choice between a Palestinian state and a binational state.

  1. Residents of the Autonomy will be elected to the Administrative Council, which will comprise 11 officials.
  2. All residents aged 18 and above will be eligible to vote for the Administrative Council, and any resident aged 25 or above will be eligible for election.
  3. The Administrative Council will be chosen in general, direct and personal elections based on a secret ballot.
  4. The term of the Administrative Council will be four years from the time of its election, and it will choose its chairperson.  Its first session will be held 30 days after the election results are announced.
  5. The administrative issues affecting residents of the Autonomy will be under the authority of the Administrative Council. The Council will be empowered to determine what bodies are necessary, as well as their composition and term of office, to exercise their authorities.
  6. The Administrative Council will supervise the following departments, and will establish guidelines for their activities.

(A) The Education Department
(B) The Transportation Department
(C) The Religious Affairs Department
(D) The Agriculture Department
(E) The Construction and Housing Department
(F) The Finance Department
(G) The Trade, Industry and Tourism Department
(H) The Health Department
(I) The Labor and Welfare Department
(J) The Department for the Rehabilitation of Refugees
(K) The Legal Department and Supervision over the local Police Force.

  1. The security apparatus of the Autonomy will be supervised by the Israeli authorities.
  2. A committee comprising representatives of Israel, Jordan and the Administrative Council of the Autonomy will be set up to investigate existing legislation, and will decide which laws will remain in effect, which will be annulled and which will be amended by the Administrative Council.
  3. The Administrative Council will appoint one of its members to represent it to the Israeli government to discuss issues of common interest. Similarly, one of its members will represent it to the Jordanian government to discuss issues of common interest.
  4. The administration of holy sites to the three religions in Jerusalem: A special proposal will be prepared and presented to ensure that there is freedom of worship for members of all faiths at their holy sites.
  5. Any Arab who lives in Judea and Samaria but out of the Autonomy area will be able to choose to be an Israeli resident or Autonomy resident. Those who choose the Israeli resident can apply for Israeli citizenship as specified by the Israeli law. 
  6. Israel will maintain its demand for sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria but since there are other claims over the Autonomy area, Israel offers to leave the sovereignty over the Autonomy as an open issue for future resolution. 

 

(A map of the Autonomy is attached, with autonomous areas marked with the letter, T)

 

 

JERUSALEM

The capital of Israel is today in a complicated situation, and will have to deal with several mistakes made in the past.

This plan proposes addressing these injustices by a process of normalization under which the status of Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of Israel will be maintained.

The main challenge facing Jerusalem is the neighborhoods situated outside the Security Barrier but remain within the municipal boundaries of the city. The situation in these neighborhoods is that there is a complete lack of Israeli sovereignty and authority, and as a result, they are full of local terrorist cells. The residents of these neighborhoods enjoy the status of citizens of Israel, with all the benefits, including rights to national insurance payments.

The neighborhoods outside of the Security Barrier are home to some 100,000 Arab residents, and their territory comprises some 6,000 dunam (almost 1,500 acres.) Among the neighborhoods are two large communities, the village of Akev and the Shuafat refugee camp.

FIRST STAGE: Separating the neighborhoods from Jerusalem

These neighborhoods will be separated from Jerusalem, and will become local authorities in Israel. Thus, they will be able to receive budgets allocated to them, and they can take care of themselves and their development in an independent fashion.  This will also allow Jerusalem to develop in a normative way, from an economic perspective as well as security and demographic perspectives.

For residents of the neighborhoods who are Israeli residents today, their status will not change, but they will be given the opportunity to relinquish their Israeli residency and receive the status of a “Resident of the Autonomy,” similar to Arabs living in Judea and Samaria.

The educational system in the local authorities will be the Israeli State Education System. A system will be devised to transfer the educational facilities supervised by the Palestinian Authority to the Israeli Education Ministry, similar to those operating in the Arab-Israeli sector.

SECOND STAGE: Compensating Jerusalem with territory

Following the separation of 6,000 dunam from the municipal territory of Jerusalem, Jerusalem will be “compensated” by areas of similar size in its municipal boundaries.  These areas are mostly uninhabited, but have historical, national and religious significance to Israel, such as Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of Samuel.  These areas will allow the development of the capital to be expedited, and will provide an answer to the lack of housing that has existed over recent years (The areas that will become part of Jerusalem can be seen in the attached map.)

In parallel to this, the remainder of the communities in eastern Jerusalem, which are within the Security Barrier, will be able to receive more investment and bigger budgets for infrastructure construction to improve the quality of life of its residents.  The importance of uniformity in Jerusalem is critical to elevating the city to new heights.

These measures will strengthen the status of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. They will boost Jerusalem both from an economic and a demographic point of view, and will correct a historical injustice, for the benefit of both the Jewish and Arab residents of the city.

 

SUMMARY

As a pilot in the Israel Air Force, I ran up many hours of flying over Israel. The Land of Israel is so small that you can cross it within minutes of flying.  And it is especially from the air that the feeling of danger and responsibility become most acute.  

This Autonomy Plan is an Israeli initiative to present a possible resolution to the conflict for the time following Obama's administration. During the last eight years this initiative was blocked by the USA creating further violence and despair. Today, in the beginning of a new Administration led by Presiedent Elect Donald Trump the time is right for a new path. The plan does not pretend to be a perfect solution for an imperfect reality, but it does present a realistic vision that preserves the vital interests of the State of Israel in the jungle of today’s Middle East.

Its supreme goal is to ensure the future of Israel as a democratic state with an overwhelmingly Jewish majority, a national homeland for the Jewish people. The plan presents a real alternative while refusing to surrender to the dichotomy that is the subject of hot debate in Israel today – the stark choice between a Palestinian state and a binational state.

For too many years we have been prisoners to the concepts of the Oslo Accords and the fantasy of a two-state solution. The State of Israel has tried repeatedly to reach an agreement for peace and quiet through both negotiations and unilateral withdrawal.  Both of these ways have failed and ultimately harmed Israel’s interests and security.  It’s time for innovative thinking, to initiate our own plan and not be drawn in to the dangerous initiatives of others, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.  The Autonomy Plan is rooted in the legacy of Menachem Begin and updated to the changing reality we now face.  It is not only implementable, but looks forward to a better future, for Jews and Arabs alike.

"The Palestinian Arabs will have their autonomy.We will have our security. We shall live together."

 – Menachem Begin