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A two states of mind solution

At a recent Friday night Sabbath dinner, a friend of mine instigated the inevitable discussion on events unfolding in the Israel that we both undoubtedly love. He thought the discussion became unnecessarily confrontational. I thought it became necessarily passionate.

He advocated for a two-state solution. I expressed reservations given no desire of the Israeli public to reward slaughter with statehood. Moreover, polls still suggest the bulk of Palestinians advocate for a one state solution- one that does not include Israel. So, at this moment a two state solution is just a collection of words with little or no substance and little or no acceptance.

If you are following me so far then you might be asking yourself a question. What is so strange about the direction this dialogue took?

What strikes me as unusual about it is that for decades I had unashamedly believed in the ideal of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. I had even evolved in my mind a picture of a new partition plan albeit stealing bits and pieces of ideas from those with much more insight and vision than I could possibly muster on the subject.

Maybe we could hand back areas A and B of the West Bank to Jordan for a decade to allow a peaceful Palestinian leadership to develop and flourish. The Israeli towns and cities are primarily in area C which would remain under Israeli sovereignty. In compensation for that land Israel would hand over to the Egyptians an equivalent area of unpopulated Negev desert immediately adjacent to the Gaza Strip so that densely populated neighborhoods within it could have more breathing space. Similarly, the strip with this added area will be under Egyptian aegis for 10 years while a Palestinian government administration mechanism is developed there.

I am not convinced that the Egyptians or Jordanians- with whom we have peace treaties albeit uneasy ones – want any part of this problem. So how pragmatic is that plan anyway?

So here I am advocating for a concept developed and held dear for many decades that I destroyed over dinner in about five minutes. When did my troubling split personality disorder set in?

I think my emotional tectonic plates shifted -perhaps irreversibly- with the October 7 earthquake. The extent and nature of the barbaric assault awoke within me every latent fiber of inherited generational trauma generously bequeathed to me by my Holocaust survivor parents.

Where does Israel go from here? I think that we here in the diaspora need to be clear on that. Only the Israeli electorate is entitled to determine their leadership and their direction. While not doubting for one moment hearts and wallets being in the right place here in the US and elsewhere it is the Israeli citizens who are the ones sending their nearest and dearest to the front lines to protect the state and to protect our status globally as proud Jews who can still hold our heads high and not cower in fear or shame.

Where do I go from here? Who cares?! My two states of mind malaise might well be more widespread than just confined to me. While I do still believe that one must win the war to win the peace a bilateral long-term plan for peace is likely the only antidote for my condition. The admittedly idealistic solution needs to be peace and then, perhaps only then, can my two personalities morph back into one and then the fog of my own confusion can lift to reveal a beautiful sunny outlook. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I can dream, can’t I?

About the Author
Spent most of my professional career in financial services but for some years now I have been a freelance writer and photographer with a keen interest in and love for Israel. Additionally I have been very involved in civic community relations.
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