70 years later and we are still debating and arguing Israel’s two-state option. The United Nations and most western countries want an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. They want peace; at any cost. But why is the Israeli – Palestinian issue so important to the world stage? What exactly does the rest of the world gain by Israel’s capitulation to a neighboring Palestinian state? Israel is the democratic “Lone Ranger” of the middle east. It survives on its tenacity and in keeping its borders safe; whatever the price. The price has undoubtedly been high. Although attempts to destroy it have been futile; Israel knows very well that it cannot afford to blink.
The west led by the insidious United Nations (UN) has given credibility to Palestinian authorities conveniently morphed from terrorist groups. Hamas and Hezbollah have not backed down their hatred of and desire to see Israel obliterated from the middle east. Thinking otherwise is simply foolish. They take advantage of every little political nuance to riot and attack Israel. Watched the news lately? That is not to say that there aren’t Palestinians who genuinely wish peace and a fruitful relationship with Israel. But these are few and far between, and unable to control the radicals among them. A recent article by David Makovsky, a Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (December 1, 2017), gives a plausible possibility to a two-state solution. He bases his hypothesis on the fact that geographically and demographically, there could be a balance in settlement on the West Bank. It all hinges on an agreement of settlers, mostly ultra-Orthodox who are “largely motivated by socioeconomic concerns, especially of affordable housing.” However, Mr. Makovsky fails to say how this can be achieved. This seems to be the prevalent opinion of the Makovkies of this world.; “if only Israel would”.
Why is the world so bent on a two-state region? Going on a provocative limb and starting with Europe and the Europeans; I would say that in the past 30 years both leaned more to the left of center than the other direction. Probably because post-war and post Cold War Europeans have grown tired of strife. Europe is a tired continent. Europe slid into the Cold War straight from World War II; leaving most Europeans with a bad political taste in their mouth. The European Common Market; a precursor to the European Union (EU), set the footprint toward a pseudo peaceful continent. The idea of a united continent ala United States (US) was high on expectations but low on reality. Ultra liberal agendas dominated European nations seeking social equilibrium that would somehow absolve them from the past. Germany comes to mind. Nazism and fascism were replaced with social democracies that eventually went bankrupt. Europe had to proof to the world that it was socially responsible and bigot free. The Palestinian “cause” played well into this new European social tolerant narrative. The tolerant elite. There is nothing like an underdog cause to bring the tolerant in us. They could not denounce Israel for historical guilt reasons, but they could not ignore the Palestinian cry of victimization either. European social justice called for détente despite the fact that Israel has been surrounded by hostile countries since its creation. The European hypocrisy is evident in its clandestine business with Iran. European leaders to include Germany and France supported the arms deal that the Obama administration brokered. Europe gradually became more pro Arab than pro Israel.
The US, always the staunchest ally to Israel also changed course. Let’s face it: the liberal Obama administration did not warm up to either Netanyahu nor to the Israeli stand on Iran and the West Bank settlements. For eight years, the Obama administration subtly admonished Israel for “provoking” Palestinians, and strongly requested that Israel play “nice” with its neighbors. Disregarding the blatant fact that Hamas, on the doorstep to Israel, refuses to even acknowledge Israel’s existence, but instead continues its sordid love affair with Iran and Hezbollah. It is common knowledge that most of these terrorist groups are funded by Iran; a self-proclaimed hater of Israel and everything Jewish. Israel has a “semi-freddo relationship” with Jordan and Egypt; sharing some agricultural infrastructure and polite conversation. But if push comes to shove, will Jordan or Egypt stand by Israel? What is Israel supposed to do? Shake hands and hope for the best? The Obama double talk of “we stand by Israel but…” grew old; and when in Washington, Netanyahu could only stomach a forced smile and a handshake. Then a year ago, the US joined the rest of the UN pinheads and voted against Israel; allowing a resolution against West Bank settlements. This proverbial slap in the face came just a month before Mr. Obama left office. A parting gift?
UNESCO, another intellectual self-centered anti-Israel organization refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s birthright both historically and fundamentally. Instead it argues against Israel’s right to the Kotel or the western wall. Dating back to approximately the second millennia BC, one must either have a penchant for stretching the truth, or is a complete moro; to conclude that it should be under Palestinian Authority by virtue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa is allegedly the third holiest Islamic shrine. Not the first, not the second, but the third. As a third runner up why the frontpage significance? Does a bronze medal at the Olympic Games entitle you to the gold? Totally inane. But UNESCO, emboldened by social liberal governments in the western hemisphere, finds little concern in comparing Al-Aqsa to a temple that pre-dates Islam and Christianity. Little historical details escape this insidiously inconsequential organization. Hard to believe that it was founded to improve global education and foster peace. Obviously, historical data is not included in UNESCO’s mission statement. Peace is also conditional on who is asking for it. Uselessly mundane; but over 196 countries bite into its ignorant rhetoric.
Israel is home to over two million Arabs. Some are Muslim and some are Christian. They had a choice of remaining in Israel or going back to “Palestine”. They chose Israel. Wonder why? They benefit from everything that an Israeli citizen benefits from. Many serve in law enforcement and armed forces as a choice. Most are in public service. But they all chose to be citizens of Israel. Could it be possible that living in Israel is not that bad after all? Israel is a nation thriving in a climate of extremes. Yet it is self sustaining in agriculture, commerce, finance, and technology. Israel has the most number of patents worldwide. It can feed its own people and also export resources. Israel is the proverbial land of milk and honey and an obvious thorn in the side to its neighbors and the international community. If the international community is to consider a two-state option for Israel and the Palestinians, then it must also take into consideration Jerusalem; which much to everyone’s indignant consternation, has just been declared the capital of Israel by President Trump.
The two-state option and dialogue must start with Jerusalem. Jerusalem is more than an ancient city; it is the heartbeat of Judaism. Jerusalem has been fought on, conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt, more than any other city on earth. Solomon’s Temple threw a shadow over the city way before the Al-Aqsa Mosque found a home. Christian churches were not built until centuries after the death of Christ. By virtue of antiquity; Jews have the legitimate claim over the city. But the fact still remains that Jerusalem is divided, and a place of worship for three faiths. A two-state option keeping Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is still doable; if only the hypocrites in the west would give it a chance.
The Vatican in Rome is a state within a state. Situated in a capital, the Vatican maintains autonomy but is still controlled by Rome. Jerusalem can remain Israel’s capital city, with Old Jerusalem (which is the bone of contention for everyone) renamed as capital of the Holy Land under Israeli control. Old Jerusalem can be co-governed by three mayors from the three separate faiths. A Palestinian state does not need to be created at the expense of Israel or Jerusalem. Tweaking history to fit pro Palestinian bias is not only shameful but dangerous. Also; if Arab nations are so adamant in supporting the two-state option, they need to step up to the plate and offer a viable solution. One solution I can think of is Saudi Arabia negotiating with Jordan to secure land on its northern borders as a Palestinian State. Why not Arabs helping Arabs? Obviously not even Arab nations want potential terrorist groups on their doorsteps. It is easier for the international community to blame Israel than find an alternative Arab solution. How intellectually convenient.
Talking about a two-state solution is like finding a cure for cancer. We know it exists but we still cannot make it work. There can never be a fair and balanced two-state solution; because the international community insists on an Israeli-Palestinian solution rather than an Arab-Palestinian solution. The continual threat of violence is running thin. The Palestinian political tantrum has also reached a point of annoyance. Israel is hostage to the international community because Palestinian violence has been deemed justifiable rather than condemned.. The blame lies squarely on organizations like the UN who do not admonish but make excuses for continual anti-Israel rhetoric. The UN has never called on Arab nations to take a stand; they prefer blaming Israel for “settlements” and “occupation”. These are feeble excuses condoning threats against Israel. Israel should not be the Middle East punching bag or the sole condition for Palestinian statehood. Israel stands on its of own as a perfect example of stoic survival and endurance. If the international community really wants peace and a two-state solution, they need to seriously think outside Israel’s borders; because as I see it, the Palestinians do not want a peaceful state; they want Israel!
David Makovsky. (December 1, 2017). 70 years after partition, 2-state solution still possible. Special to The Washington Post. Opinion Column; Stars and Stripes.