We are now more than half-way through 2019; 71 years after the rebirth of the State of Israel. A second state, a Palestinian state, could also have be established back in 1948; but it was not to be.
Given the riots currently taking place on the Temple Mount, the murder of a young Israel citizen in Gush Etzion, and the attempts by Hamas to breach the border fence in the South, we need to remind ourselves, if not the world, why there is still not a Palestinian State living peacefully side-by-side our Jewish-majority State of Israel.
The reason that there is no Palestinian State is really very simple: The Palestinians have never given up their desire to have all of the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine; from the River to the Sea. In 1946 The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan became an independent country encompassing 78% of the land area of the Palestinian Mandate. Today the population of Jordan numbers over 9 million of whom the majority are of Palestinian origin. The fact that Jordan is ruled in an autocratic fashion by a self-appointed minority leader King of the Hashemites doesn’t seem to bother those people and governments that are continually labelling Israel as an “apartheid state” due to the continuing unresolved status of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
The facts are that the Palestinians and their leaders have rejected any and every opportunity to have a State of their own – if it involved accepting that Jews also had a right to a State of our own – within any secure borders of so-called Palestine. The fact that the Jewish people originated from this part of the world has been of no consequence to the Palestinians and their supporters. In fact, they have made and continue to make every effort to try to erase and invalidate every Jewish archeological symbol that proves, if proof were needed, Jewish ties to the historical Land of Israel. Interestingly, despite having a much weaker claim to a national homeland, most Israeli Jews do recognise the existence of some Palestinian rights and have always been willing to accept the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian State living alongside the Zionist State of Israel in peace. But the Palestinians have never agreed to such a scenario, Oslo notwithstanding. Not being willing to give up the Palestinian refugee “right of return” continues to be a non-starter.
So I say to those who question why there still is no Palestinian State: “Why don’t you ask more of a people that want to have a State of Palestine rather than to always expect Israel to make potentially existential concessions?” It is not enough to be a people living on disputed land to have a legitimate claim for Statehood. The Zionists built institutions to prepare for self-governance for decades before the State of Israel was reborn. What have the Palestinians done except to live off of the handouts from the U.N. and other Organisations from generation to generation? The recent rejection of the Palestinian Authority to even listen to the Trump Administration’s economic proposals speaks volumes; because without a strong economic basis any new State will be doomed to fail. Or, to put it another way, you don’t get the dessert (Statehood) before the meal (an economic plan to ensure the viability of the State).
There is no Palestinian State because the Palestinians continue to preach hatred for Jews and Israelis in their mosques. There is no Palestinian State because the UNRWA supported schools continue to teach lies and propaganda about Jews and Israelis to the next generation. There is no Palestinian State because the Palestinian Authority pays the families of convicted terrorists generous pensions – thus incentivising violence against Israel and Israeli civilians. There is no Palestinian State because the leader of the Palestinian Authority, since 2004, Mahmood Abbas, has never been ready to renounce absolutist positions and Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2005, has never renounced their “National Charter” which calls for the elimination of the State of Israel.
This talk of a “two state solution” has never been based on reality. It is a reality that the Temple Mount was Jewish before Muslim. It is a reality that Judea and Samaria have deep Jewish roots and that the West Bank fell under Israeli control due to Arab aggression that was initiated against Israel. It is also a reality that the majority of the people living in Judea and Samaria are Palestinian Arabs. In the absence of a peaceful Palestinian State the world should support efforts to improve the economic lives of the Palestinians; but at the same time not be naive to the reason there has not been a Palestinian State.
Today’s riots on the Har haBayit underscore why there is not a Palestinian State. It is not okay for Muslims to be allowed to enjoy freedom of worship for their holiday, “Eid al-Adha”, and Jews to be prevented from also worshiping on our holiday, “Tisha Be’av”. Until the Palestinians recognise that the Temple Mount was the site of the First and Second Jewish Temples long before the Al Aksa Mosque was built there will never be peace. In fact, the Israeli Arab politician, Ahmed Tibi, claimed the Temple Mount was “conquered territory” and Jews have no rights there. That kind of attitude is exactly why there in no Palestinian State today!