Wednesday, 15th of February 2017 was an historic day in Israeli-American relations. Unlike former President Obama who snubbed our Prime Minister in his visit to the White House and who abandoned him to cool his heels alone while the president went to enjoy his dinner, the reception given to the Netanyahus by the Trumps was warm, cordial and hospitable. Americans wanted change and in Donald Trump they are beginning to see major changes.
During their public meeting, the American president remarked that two states or one state would make no difference to him as long as both parties, Israelis and Palestinians, approved and agreed.
But our Bibi made a very big, bad boo-boo in his neglect to instruct President Trump on the terrible dangers of a one state solution. Our two peoples cannot live together. There must be a separation either by the creation of a state for the Palestinians on a smaller scale than they hope for, or autonomy as suggested by our late beloved Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, or an agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to create a province within the kingdom for Palestinians which would allow them a semblance of self-rule. In that case, they would have no need for an army or military forces since they would be protected by the Jordanian military. And they would then cease to be a military threat to Israel.
Bibi should have made it clear at once, in response to President Trump’s idea of one state, that the creation of such a state would be the absolute death of the Zionist movement and the end to the Jewish State of Israel. With a swell in the Arab birth rate, they would eventually outnumber the Jews and, having the rights of citizenship, could even vote for a Palestinian Muslim Prime Minister, God forbid.
Bib’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is not reasonable. First of all, the Palestinians do in fact recognize the State of Israel. To demand that the words “Jewish state” be incorporated into their recognition is not something that we have demanded from any other nation with whom we have diplomatic relations. The Americans do not have their embassy in the Jewish State of Israel and the French do not have their embassy in l’etat juif d’Israel. The words “State of Israel” are sufficient. All the world knows that we are a Jewish state. We need not describe our ethnicity as do the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We know that Iran is a Muslim country. The adjective signifying it is superfluous.
Because the relationship between Bibi and Donald are cordial, unlike the icy relationship with Obama, Bibi had no need to fear speaking “dugri”..to put his cards on the table and to speak up strongly in opposition even to the thought of a one state solution. It would mean for us a one state dissolution.
In short, Bibi’s big bad boo-boo was his failure to challenge President Trump’s remarks. The president himself publicly admits that he is not a scholar of Middle East history and relies upon his advisors to keep him informed.
And he too has made a boo-boo, although perhaps not a big one. His nomination for America’s Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is preposterous .
Friedman, son of an Orthodox rabbi and a highly prominent attorney, is an ardent supporter of the settlement movement which he would like to see expanded and is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state. In spite of his fervent commitment to Zionist dreams and ideals, he must reflect the policy of the government which he represents. The United States supports the idea of a Palestinian state and decries expansion of settlements in Judea and Samaria on disputed land.
The choice of Friedman as Ambassador to Israel is being discussed in the American Senate as I write. It would not come as a surprise if his candidacy was rejected.
Put all of Bibi’s boo-boos and all of Trump’s boo-boos into a hat, shake them up and put your hand in to draw out the winning proposal. God help us if we lose. And God help us even more if we win.