I sometimes wonder at the logic, or rather lack of logic, among those who have so much influence on our daily lives. Take, for example, the twisted thinking of the designers of my car, a common Toyota model. The car has, like yours, a remote control which allows me to lock or unlock the doors at a distance. I get out of the car, press the button and, ‘beep-beep’, the car is locked. When I return to the car, I press the button and, ‘beep’, the car is unlocked.
The discerning reader will have understood what is wrong with my car’s remote control. When I get out and lock the door, I am standing next to the car. There is no question as to its location. One beep would be sufficient to confirm that the signal has been received and the door locked. However, when I return to a crowded car park and am not sure where I left my vehicle, a double beep would be most helpful. But, for no obvious reason, the car’s designers have it backwards.
This illogical design got me thinking about current arguments over a one-state or two-state solution to the Palestinian problem. The facts are clear, let me list them for easy reading.
- There has never been a State of Palestine.
When our land was occupied by the British, we Jews were the “Palestinians”. There was no such thing as an Arab Palestinian.
- After four centuries, Turkish control over Transjordan came to an end during World War I. The British and French arbitrarily created present-day Jordan, with some help from local Bedouin tribes.
- There is currently a group of Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinian. Neither their exact numbers nor their origins are clear but they undoubtably exist and must be taken into account in any solution.
Into this logical minefield steps Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s Special Envoy, saying “there is no reason to use the term ‘two-state solution’” since “every side sees it differently.” We can agree that there is no logic to the creation of a new, second, state in our crowded region, but this doesn’t help very much. We are left with a ‘one-state for all solution’ where we Jews would soon be overwhelmed by the Arab population or a ‘one-state for Jews only solution’ which would necessitate the removal of a large number of Arab Israelis. This could be done by moving them to Jordan, but they won’t go, and Jordan won’t take them.
When I made Aliya way back in 1970, I was escaping the anti-Semitism, both overt and well hidden, that I had faced in England. My new car, the pinnacle of British technology, driven from the UK to catch the long-forgotten Marseille to Haifa ferry, was a ‘no-beep’ car. It had no remote control to open the door and did not beep even once. I had to make do with a key.
I came to a Jewish state that was filled with excitement and promise after the Six-day War of 1967. There was no question as to how many states we were; Israel was Israel, the Land of the Jews, and Jordan was Jordan, a mysterious Arab country closed to Jews.
Times have changed. Nearly everything beeps, but we still do not have the key. We are no closer to unlocking a solution to the Palestine problem. Readers who have bothered to read this far will be disappointed to find that I have no solution to offer.
Perhaps we could beep, beep, beep ……..