October 13, 1969
Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, a former IDF general, reveals in remarks to the Foreign Press Association of Israel his plan for “home rule” for Arabs living in the West Bank.
The roughly 650,000 Arabs who came under Israeli administration during the June 1967 war would have full autonomy in such areas as municipal affairs, education, religious policy, commerce and international trade, and police. Only defense, foreign policy and communications would remain the purview of the Israeli military administration. Arab mayors and village leaders would operate under an Israeli framework but with almost total policy discretion within the delineated areas.
Aware of the controversy sparked by his 1967 plan to split the West Bank between Israel and Jordan and return most of the Sinai to Egypt, Allon is clear that the proposal is only his idea and not a government proposal. He says the plan would have to be implemented entirely by the Arabs, but he anticipates their support for an initiative that he sees as a steppingstone toward a fully autonomous Palestinian entity. “New nations were born where they were offered a historic opportunity,” he says.
But although Allon serves as deputy prime minister until 1974 and as foreign minister until 1977 and is a candidate to lead the Alignment until his death in 1980, his home rule proposal makes little progress.