Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims to be the main obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state. He said, “Whoever is talking about the ‘day after Netanyahu’ is essentially talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state with the Palestinian Authority”, as if Netanyahu leaving office would magically result in the creation of a Palestinian state. Ironically, many of his critics outside Israel seem to agree. They are all wrong.
The reason that there hasn’t been a Palestinian state so far is that the Palestinians never agreed to one. Today, however, even if the Palestinians said that they wanted one, Israelis would not agree, but that’s not because of Netanyahu. It’s because of October 7 and all the Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel before that and after that. Israelis don’t want another terrorist state and Iranian proxy at their border. They already have one, Lebanon. A Palestinian state would be an even bigger threat because it would be much closer to the center of Israel.
U.S. President Joe Biden may feel the need to posture about a two-state solution during an election year, but he likely understands the issue better than he lets on. In fact, he admitted that a two-state solution is possible while Netanyahu is PM, implying that Netanyahu is not the main obstacle. But he is clearly reluctant to say what the obstacle really is.
This is not rocket science. People who want a Palestinian state should understand that whether Netanyahu is in power or not is of little relevance on this issue. President Isaac Herzog who is well to the left of Netanyahu said it bluntly about Israelis, “nobody in his right mind is willing now to think about what will be the solution of the peace agreements because everybody wants to know: Can we be promised real safety in the future?”.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell mused about imposing a Palestinian state on Israel, which indicates that he is totally out of touch with reality. If a Palestinian state needs to be imposed on anyone, it’s on the Palestinians. Their behavior since Israel’s independence in 1948 and their current support for Hamas demonstrate that they don’t want a Palestinian state unless it means the destruction of Israel.
We are again seeing a total lack of understanding, or at least a lack of acknowledgement, by the world community on the root of the conflict. It has always been about the Arab refusal to accept the existence of a Jewish state, and it still is. It has always been about a fabricated narrative that says that Jews are foreigners on the land of Israel. This narrative convinces Palestinians that they must fight Israel obsessively for as long as it takes and no matter the costs.
Ironically, Netanyahu contradicted his own claim that he stands in the way of a Palestinian state when he described the issue as, “not about the absence of a state, a Palestinian state, but rather about the existence of a state, a Jewish state”. In other words, he implied that he would accept a Palestinian state if it wasn’t a threat to Israel.
But this is not a surprise to Israelis. They understand the issue very well. They live it every day. They have the hostages, the dead, the wounded, and the displaced reminding them every day of it. Israelis would of course be okay with one more Arab state next to them if it meant no more wars! But they also know that under the current circumstances, that’s just wishful thinking.
I’ve said it before many times, but it needs to be repeated until the world gets it: if one wishes to resolve the conflict, one must address its root cause, which is the false and fabricated anti-Israel narrative. Again, it’s not rocket science.