According to Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, extending sovereignty to Jewish towns and villages east of the 1948 armistice line “…would create a dramatic rupture with many in the American Jewish community.” Why would this happen? Mr. Netanyahu made it clear that he was not talking about annexing Area C. Perhaps Rabbi Jacobs failed to note what Benny Gantz told Bret Stephens: that “Palestinians should have some kind of independency.” He did not say “their own state”. Gantz also opined regarding Palestinians: “We should maintain security for a perimeter outside. Conduct security inside.”
Perhaps Mr. Gantz had the reality of the Gaza disengagement in mind when he spoke with Mr. Stephens. Or perhaps he was thinking about what Yitzhak Rabin said in his last speech before the Knesset: “We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.
And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:
A. First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.
B. The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.
C. Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.
According to Congresspersons Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Ted Deutch, D-Fla. and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., “Two states for two peoples, negotiated directly by the two sides, with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.” That sounds great, but does not conform to reality. Consider this, from Omar Barghouti, founder of “non-violent” BDS: “Most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine” and “Palestinians and Arabs in general have never, will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”
Surely the Congresspersons know the Palestinian National Charter, Article 15, tells us that “The liberation of Palestine…aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine.” This is a zero sum game statement and explains why Israel’s offers to negotiate a solution that would benefit everyone were rejected in 1947, 2000, 2001 and 2008. The charter has never been amended. Additionally, in the 2017 Hamas Document, item 20, “Hamas rejects any alternative to the full and complete liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea,” and item 18 advises us that “The establishment of ‘Israel’ is entirely illegal.”
The two state solution is moribund because what Arab Palestinians prioritize is the destruction of Israel. It is the Palestinian Arabs who killed the two state solution. The Congresspersons should address their concerns to intransigent enemies of peace, and enlighten them regarding the existence and value of a win-win approach.
The only policies that respond realistically to the reality of the hatred endemic to the Middle East, a reality Israel did not create but must respond to with clear eyes, are the 1995 policies set out by Yitzhak Rabin. These policies still guide Israeli politicians of all stripes.
Rabbi Jacobs and Congresspersons, “ein breira,” until you and others realize that Arab Palestinians must make a dramatic rupture with their hate-based national culture if there is ever to be peace. That is where you might most usefully direct your efforts.