Confessions of a ‘2-State Solution’ Heretic

It’s time I come clean: I’m a ‘2-state solution’ Heretic. I doubt the notion that a ‘2-state solution’ will bring peace to Israel and the Middle East.

I’m not sure that I think “2 states for 2 people” is ideal in theory given the long and complex history of this region of the world, and I’m even more skeptical that such a solution is realistic or pragmatic right now or for the foreseeable future.

There. I’ve said it.

Now, to be more precise, I’d say I’m more of a ‘2-state solution’ agnostic than a ‘2-state solution’ atheist. I have doubts- very significant ones at that- but I’m still willing to listen. I don’t have a monopoly on truth and I’m always interested in hearing the Ultra-Orthodox ‘2-state solution’ adherents argue their case. Maybe they are right and one day I’ll be a full ‘2-state solution’ baal teshuvah myself.

But, are ‘2-state solution’ believers as open to considering the alternative; that god forbid, the ‘2-state solution’ is not the answer? In my experience, the ‘2-state solution’ believers do not just believe that the ‘2-state solution’ is a valid option to explore. Rather, to be a fully committed member of the ‘2-state solution’ tribe one must believe that the ‘2-state solution’ is THE solution. It is our only option. This belief is subject to neither debate nor occasional reconsideration. Their position is part of an ideology. It’s dogma; the 14th fundamental principle of belief. Ani Maamin Bemunah Shelemah that the ‘2-state solution’ is the one and only solution to solve the conflict between Israel and her neighbors. The belief in the singular acceptability of the ‘2-state solution’, to the exclusion of all other alternatives, is axiomatic to their worldview. How does one question the cornerstone of the home in which one lives?

Is there any empirical evidence or new reality which would shake the ‘2-state solution’ adherents of their belief? If the answer is ‘yes’, I’d like to hear what that would be. If the answer is ‘no’, then this isn’t a logical position based on rational thinking, but a religious belief which is fundamental to one’s basic personal philosophy

So, instead of having a reasoned discussion on the high plains of critical analysis and intellectual honesty, we are forced down into the valley of derision and unquestionable absolute truths.

And here’s where this hurts us all. The sizable ‘2-state solution’ sect, both in Israel and America, has amongst its members many intelligent and insightful people who are willing to dedicate their time to the task of bringing peace to the still young State of Israel. Imagine if these well-educated and well-meaning individuals and organizations would devote their energies to looking beyond the narrow microscope lenses of their preconceived notions and would instead turn their gaze to the telescope of potential as it passes across the vast night sky of possibilities. One can only imagine what creative solutions would be born out in the fields of creativity if only the fences surrounding these fields were not prematurely locked.

I don’t have all the answers, and quite frankly, I’m not sure there is a ‘solution’ right now, but I also don’t think we profit from taking as a given the same singular solution that has been offered for decades without considering alternatives. After all, when one walks into a room with the hopes of solving an almost indecipherable puzzle, what benefit is there to “pre-judging” the outcome?

About the Author
Simi Sherman is a father, husband, teacher and long time news junkie. He lives in Beit Shemesh.