Time to tell the truth

The two-state solution is dead. It was a figment, mainly in the imagination of the Israelis and encouraged by those who wish to avoid the issue. The Middle East is witness to a very profound phenomenon. You can only have a Democratic state if the people are united and feel they have a common destiny, goals and history. In the Middle East, only countries that are made up of peoples exist. They are Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Israel. Each of these countries has people who define themselves as people irrespective of their religion, social class or personal wealth. They define themselves as being as one at a time of crisis they will act as one. Any other national entity, at a time of crisis, splinters and disintegrates. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq do not consist of homogenous people. Saudi Arabia and Jordan are neither homogenous nor democratic, and they are held together by monarchies who are far from being democratic.

The very idea of trying to create a democracy in the Middle East when the whole population is the not homogenous is a recipe for a disaster. Let’s be brutally honest; the Palestinians are not people. They have no common history; the only unified factor they have is their distaste for Israeli rule. They are completely enabled to unite over any issue, including their hatred for Israel. They have a very long history of cooperating in their destruction. They achieved nothing and desire to achieve nothing. They wish to destroy Israel and have some phantom reunion with long dead relatives.

Israelis, in the vast majority, realises that they cannot rule the Palestinians without eventually letting them take part in the Israeli democracy. The end of the Jewish state is inevitable. Israel will have to make the choice does she want a Jewish state or does she want a democracy; she cannot be both. The ideal situation always was that the Palestinians would accept statehood and solve the problem. But they have neither the will nor the ability.

Israel now has to face a new choice one involving the almost inevitable and immediate devolution of any nascent Palestinian state into a certain Islamic State, IS.

Israel now has to find a way to allow some form of autonomic government for the Palestinian people, which will live under the protection of the Israeli umbrella, which will never let the fundamentalist elements enter. Begin’s initial idea of autonomy plus was brilliant in its inception. There are two problems. Neither the Palestinians nor the rest of the world will accept this idea. Two highly subjective phenomena blind the Palestinians. First is their hatred of the Jews. The second is the lip service they have to pay to the so-called Diaspora. In reality, there are practically no Palestinian refugees left. Now effectively all are dead, we are talking about second-generation refugees; born in another country and as it is in every other country in the world, they are citizens of the place they were born. Another hard fact the Palestinians will not accept. The rest of the world will not accept Israel refusing to give an imaginary statehood to the Palestinians. It has imbibed a belief system that completely denies Islamic violence and yet has managed to import a large community of Muslim. The Western world is without any doubt frightened of their reactions, will not admit it and yet will do everything they can to avoid the customary days of rage.

The one bright light in this very frightening scenario of the state of the two countries who have made peace with us. Neither Egypt’s nor Jordan can afford a rampant militant state on its borders. Nor are they interested in Israel being permanently weakened by the chronic internecine struggle. Both countries rely on Israel’s strength and backing. The solution lies somewhere along the lines of autonomy plus but with the cooperation of Egypt and Jordan.

In the meantime, Israel has to strengthen its relationship with its Israeli Arab population. By allowing the Arabs to remain undeveloped and not part of the Israeli society and enjoy the benefits of Israeli society, the Arabs have become alienated and ready for revolt. It is far too easy for them to identify with the Palestinians; the truth is, they have no identity with them and prefer to develop the Israeli Arab identity. In all probabilities, this cannot be done under the present right-wing government. Neither can the cooperation between Egypt and Jordan be attained. The ideal and probably only solution is for a unity government to act swiftly to put down the present Arab uprising and immediately tackle the huge disparity between the Israeli Arab way of life and the Israeli Jew. If we are to maintain our democracy and avoid absorbing more Arabs, we must do so by absorbing into our society those Arabs are already here. A coalition government would have the strength to rid us of the course of a quarter of a million Arabs living in East Jerusalem who cannot be any part of our democracy. A similar number of Palestinian collaborators who should return to where they came from as soon as possible. They are adding nothing and causing a lot of problems.

About the Author
Born in Leeds in 1944, Michael Benjamin is a retired Psychiatrist and medical auditor, co-founder of Oranit, aspiring author and inveterate cynic.
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