Despite decades of effort and immense expenditures, despite several highest-level peace conferences, some under the aegis of US presidents, that almost made it (until a self-appointed Palestinian leadership always refused a “done deal” at the last minute), the putative peace process, the brainchild of Foggy Bottom career peacemakers, is kept alive, and promoted by all “in the know” as “the only viable alternative,” in the words of former US secretary of state John Kerry.
But even a cursory examination of the “two-state solution” will reveal that the claim it could advance peace is not only baseless but actually dangerous.
The establishment of another rogue Arab state called Palestine has little chance of advancing peace and a great probability of precipitating a bloody war that will inflict tens of thousands of casualties, Arab and Jewish, and causing massive flight of West Bank Palestinians to Jordan, where they will topple the monarchy and establish, as they did in Gaza, another Iran-dominated irredentist state promoting chaos and great misery.
This is because the Palestinian Authority that the twostate approach seeks to upgrade to state government status is utterly dysfunctional, a fractious, unstable, clan-based coalition of murderous mafias.
It deprives Palestinians of even the most elementary rights, oppresses them and robs their enterprises, destroying their economy. It stole from them billions of dollars in aid from the US and Europe. It purposefully keeps most of them in penury and misery, with high unemployment, the oppression of women, gays and lesbians, and all who aren’t Muslims.
It redirects their justified rage against Israel via incessant incitement that calls on even small children to kill Jews everywhere. Is granting it statehood really the path to peace? How can anyone who cherishes human rights believe that subjecting Palestinian Arabs to greater oppression is justified just so that they can enjoy putative political “self-determination” – the kind enjoyed by the citizens of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, or Iran? Israel sinned against the Palestinians when, in the Oslo agreements, it invited a terrorist organization, Yasser Arafat’s PLO, to rule them, ostensibly so that the PLO would vanquish Hamas, free of the constraints imposed by Israeli civil rights. Instead, Israel got two terrorist organizations competing over which one will destroy Israel first.
An upgraded PA will probably be taken over in no time by Hamas, which handily won the most recent municipal elections in the West Bank.
As it did in Gaza, Hamas would promptly launch massive missile attacks, this time against the heart of Israel.
Thousands of Israelis may be killed and wounded, and Israel’s civil and military infrastructure would suffer heavy damage. Israel would have no alternative but to reconquer the West Bank in bloody battles in heavily populated areas, with thousands of casualties, Arabs and Jews alike.
The remaining Arabs would inevitably flee to Jordan, destabilize the monarchy and establish a Hamas state dominated by Iran on Israel’s eastern flank.
The proposal to secure peace by assuring a disarmed Palestine is a non-starter. After all, sovereignty implies self-defense, and the right to raise an army, which Israel could not accept.
As for a moral claim regarding the necessity to restore “stolen” Palestinian lands: there are none. When the Arabs received, in the post-World War I peace conference, 93% of the vast territories of the Ottoman Empire, their representative, the Emir Faisal, the ruler of Arabia, willingly relinquished any claim to the territory that became a British mandate designated to establish a Jewish national home. He welcomed the Jews back to their fatherland. He gave up very little for this fantastic deal.
Palestine, in the words of Mark Twain, who visited the country in 1867, was “a prince of desolation,” mostly empty arid land unsuitable for cultivation. Indeed, at the time only 4% of the land was inhabited, largely by nomads. There was never a national Palestinian entity or nation with any claim to this swamp and malaria-infested, deserted land.
But what about that monstrous occupation that everyone complains about? There simply isn’t one.
The area designated for Palestinian self-rule by the Oslo Accords is ruled by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli troops enter it in hot pursuit of terrorists – and then leave.
Any real occupation is actually only by PLO terrorists, who were foolishly brought to the West Bank from Tunisia by naïve or cynical Israeli politicians, and since have inflicted great harm on the Palestinian Arabs, their putative brethren.
Peace is possible, but not through the establishment of a corrupt dictatorship named Palestine.
In fact, peace did come to the West Bank between the war of 1967 and the first intifada of 1987, as it did to Europe after its dictatorships were defeated in World War Two. Under those 20 years of real Israeli occupation, in the West Bank, the standard of living of its inhabitants quintupled, agriculture and small industry were revolutionized, seven institution of higher learning were established, the status of women, children and minorities improved dramatically, and there was no terrorism.
Alas, the Oslo Accords put paid to that: they foisted Yasser Arafat and his terrorist PLO on the hapless West Bank inhabitants. The first step Arafat took was to attack Israelis who ate and shopped in West Bank cities (providing its GDP 25% of its total!) in order to interrupt all economic relations and prosperity, thus lowering dramatically the standard of living of West Bank Arabs and causing high unemployment, which reached 30% among youngsters.
Peace could have existed between Arabs and Jews a long time ago if not for the imposition of Arafat’s PA on the West Bank Arabs. The upgrading of his criminal “Authority” to a state will delay it by another generation.The author is president of ICSEP, the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress. (www.icsep.org.il)