Dani Katz

To Two State or Not, that is the question

You know, I am totally torn between the two state solution option and the argument for not creating a Palestinian state at this point in time and I will tell you why.

There were times when I thought this would be the logical solution to achieve peace between Arab and Jew, between Israeli and Palestinian. There were times when I was willing to forgo the argument that Jews have lived in the region longer than Palestinians and that ‘Jordan is Palestine’ if a real and durable peace could be reached, however, over the years, well at least since the late 90’s and the early noughties, my attitude has wavered.

I have watched attempts by Israeli leaders of both right and left persuasion make genuine attempts to compromise and offer the Palestinian leadership, including Arafat and Abbas, much of the so called disputed lands as a starting point for creating two states, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, only to watch these arab leaders reject categorically the offers being made.

We saw Barak’s offer in 2000 and Olmert’s offer in 2008 turned down. Very little is ever said of how in 2005, Sharon uprooted Jewish settlers in Yamit and the Gaza region in a unilateral move to offer ‘Land for Peace’ and in so doing show the Palestinian leadership, and indeed the world, that Israel is serious in wanting to make peace with its Palestinian neighbours.

Within two years, control of Gaza was usurped by Hamas in 2007 and the rest is history – three wars ensued between 2008 and 2014 following incessant attacks against Israel by Hamas and other Gaza based terrorist groups including the firing into Israel of thousands of rockets and missiles, kidnappings and attempts to infiltrate settlements and kibbutzim via tunnels.

Against this background it is no wonder that I am confused (as indeed possibly are many Israelis) about the reality of what a two state solution will bring to Israel in this day and age, especially in the light of what appears to be a never ending supply of arms and munitions to groups that wish harm to Israel.

A wall built by Israel in the West Bank along the 1949 Armistice Line (“Green Line”) has helped to minimize the number of terrorist attacks against Israel from the east. The question needs to be asked: “If a Palestinian state was created and this wall was taken down would there be a return to terrorist attacks from the West Bank in the numbers they were occurring before the wall was built?”

And this question of what will happen should a Palestinian state be created is relevant given that as of this date neither the PA nor Hamas have amended their charter/constitution in which they call for the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel as a stated aim.

So for me, whether Hanegbi or Netanyahu for that matter are posturing for the international press in the case of the former saying Israel is ‘delighted’ to renew Palestinian talks or for local consumption in the case of the latter when Netanyahu says ‘there will not be a two state solution under my watch’ is irrelevant.

My stance these days is that unless both the PA and Hamas renounce terrorism and remove from their charter/constitution any reference to destroying Israel, any talk of a two state solution should be put on the back burner and international pressure should be put on these two entities to once and for all declare publicly and unambiguously in both English and Arabic that they are prepared to live in peace, side by side, with the Jewish state and that such international pressure should include Hamas and the PA amending their charter/constitution accordingly.

To make peace you have to make an effort and show that you want peace. Up to now the Palestinian leadership and Hamas have not made that effort, they have flatly rejected real offers of ‘Land for Peace’ made by Israel and set unrealistic preconditions for negotiations to take place and this is before the taking into account the numerous incidents of attacks by Hamas, a so called peace partner with the PA, against the Jewish state.

It is this writer’s belief that attempting to force Israel into a two state solution as is being touted in the media as something Obama might be considering via a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council based on ’67 borders will only exacerbate the situation and will not result in a peaceful resolution but indeed could very well lead to more bloodshed in the region.

About the Author
Past Chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students and former student activist in Australia. Currently working on writing his late father's timeline and experiences during and after the Shoah.
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