Israel’s Future, Iran and one or two states.

Elections for the Knesset are over however a government has yet to be formed. The elected political parties argue over who will be responsible for which portfolios though it is guaranteed that once they obtain them they will not satisfy the demands of the population. There are too many competing interests and needs to ensure a just, equitable and publicly acceptable balance between defense, economics, welfare, health, education, religion and others. The political leaders are already contriving on how to show that they were not the cause or to blame for failures to ensure greater support in the next elections for the Knesset.

The new government will be confronted with issues of demography and geography that previous governments have not resolved. The two are related for there are continued attempts to leave the Jews with as little land as possible, if at all. The Islamic world does not wish Jews to have any land. This is exampled by Iran’s stated policy to annihilate Israel. Words are supported by action. An ongoing long range missile program and recalcitrant attitudes to international efforts to curtail its nuclear project.

Then there is the identity of the Jewish State and its borders. A one state solution will be a larger Israel fitting the Zionist goal and including many historical and religious sites that a two state solution would not offer. The benefit of a two state solution is demographic to ensure more Jews than non-Jews. The demography verse geography debate is one of statistics that does not consider the quality of identity; that should be considered. A Jewish Israel or an Israel with the majority of citizens who are Jewish.

Infrequent attention is placed to surveying the views of the leaders and not the population. Everyday life under Israeli military government in Judea and Samaria since 1967 provides more freedom and more economic opportunities, to Palestinians and Israelis alike. Israeli military control facilitates the terror-free environment that attracts investments and enables Palestinians to move freely between Israeli population centers and their homes. This view is supported by pro-Israel integration trends among Israeli Arabs. Israeli Arabs will remain in Israel even should there be a two state solution. There is the historical precedents of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights where non-Jewish populations have preferred Israel’s governance and how, contrary to predictions and warnings, those areas are stable and secure because of Israel’s presence.

In order to present an initiative rather than a response, the new government in Israel needs to find an alternative to the resolution discourse that has developed in Israel, which may be described as follows: A retired general or colonel may have participated in some of the negotiations with the Palestinians, perhaps as a coordinator of a particular committee, or as a discussant. His military experience imbues him with authority and he advocate dividing the land, placing sophisticated intelligence equipment on certain hilltops. He does not serve in the Knesset, but he is confident that his ideas are correct because he has spent many years giving orders and reading maps. These retired generals divide the land into “theirs” and “ours”; the two-state solution.

This partition of the Land of Israel has become the common denominator for both American and Israeli politicians who do not wish to be condemned for sabotaging the chance for peace. However it has led to increased violence and terrorism and has undermined Israel’s standing. It is time to accept reality; the corrupt Palestinian Authority and the terrorist Hamas organization are not suitable to govern a state.

The international community is about to sign a useless agreement with Iran that would not guarantee Israel’s security and future. An agreement for a two state solution with the Palestinian Authority would be just as useless and would also not guarantee Israel’s security and future.

Bibi Netanyahu called on the American Congress to reject a useless agreement with Iran; and it is time for Israeli citizens to call on the Knesset to reject a useless two state solution that would divide Jerusalem.

About the Author
Dr Glen Segell is Fellow at the Ezri Center for Iran & Persian Gulf Studies, University of Haifa.