What Gaza has Taught Me

You want to know why I no longer support the two-state solution? Look at what has happened to Gaza. When we left Gaza exactly 9 years ago, it was controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PLO) under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas went on to win local elections and then took over 2 years later in a violent coup (no elections have been held since). Their capabilities in all respects to inflict damage on us has steadily grown since then. This move by Israel which was supposed to prove to the world that Israel truly seeks peace and has no interest in governing Palestinians, has led to Gaza turning out to be the number one source of anti-Israel condemnation worldwide as well as the “inspiration” (or excuse for its release) of international antisemitism.

Our leaders then said, following our pull-out, if Israel is forced to take action against Gaza in the event they use their control of the land to strengthen their terror war against us, the world will be with Israel and support our right to self defense. What a laugh! I supported the withdrawal from Gaza, and it was my 7-month stint in the army engaged in operations in the Gaza strip in 2007-08 that finally made it clear to me that it was a historical mistake. Since then things have only gotten steadily worse.

You want a two-state solution? All you will get is Gaza on super duper steroids. Look what Hamas has managed to do from their strip of land in Gaza, tucked away in the South. Imagine the Palestinians having control of the West Bank. Maybe it would gain us world accolades for a little time, but when it all goes wrong, as it inevitably would, the world will turn against us with a vengeance the moment we engage in self defense.

And if you claim to care for the Palestinians, the worst thing that can happen to them is a two-state solution, when their leaders turn the West Bank into a second Gaza and Israel is forced to take action as it has in Gaza.  Obviously, no one has suffered more than the Gazan civilians as a result of Israel’s pullout from there.

I thank the Palestinian leadership for continuously refusing to accept a two-state deal – they have saved us from ourselves. They have saved us from a shut down of the Israeli economy with flights refusing to land in Ben Gurion airport due to missile threats from the nearby West Bank. They have saved us from a calamity of grand proportions.

The word occupation, what do you think it means? For most in the Western world it means Israeli control over the West Bank. But for the Palestinians it means occupation over all the land – including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Safed – all of it. I mean, what gives us Jews more of a moral right in Palestinian eyes to control Israel proper? After all, the Green line is a result of the final military lines at the end of the war of independence. Then, in ’47 and ’48, they did not believe we had any right to the land at all, now we are supposed to think when they say occupation it is only referring to the West Bank and not all of Israel? Of course not, and you know what? I don’t blame them. They have the right to be against the Jewish state – but let’s call a spade a spade – let’s be aware of the real issue here – it is our existence period. So giving up the West bank is not going to satisfy the majority of Palestinians, it will only wet their appetite as they will see our giving up of the land as a sign of weakness, and rightfully so.

You want a safe Israel?  Then it is absolutely NO by any means to a two-state solution – it would be a two-state disaster. And if you think the world is against us now while we continue to maintain control over the West Bank, just wait to see how much they love us when we give it up and are forced to defend ourselves, and as a result, Palestinian civilians pay the highest price of all. NO TO A TWO-STATE SOLUTION – YES TO SANITY AND LOOKING AT REALITY SQUARE IN THE EYE

About the Author
Ran Zev Schijanovich was born in Israel in 1970 to an Argentinian father and American mother, lived in Argentina through age 11, and then moved to New York. He made aliyah in 2005 and served as a combat soldier in Golani from the ages of 36 to 38. Ran is graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.