More questions than answers

Is there anyone who seriously believes a Palestinian state will help Israel’s security?

July 7, 2013 22:54
4 minute read.
Palestinian flags waving in West Bank

Palestinian flags waving in West Bank 370. (photo credit: Reuters)

The question, one of too many, begs to be asked, again: Why have some American Jewish leaders joined the US administration in pushing for the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state, when in fact, such a policy has been tried – and has failed – for as long as Israel has itself been a state? What has really changed since the Palestinian Arabs rejected the concept of two states coexisting one with the other 65 years ago? Are we also to now believe, after two generations of hostility directed at ending the Jewish state, that the antagonists have now reconciled to Israel’s existence? And further: Will they now accept that the land to be ceded by Israel will sufficiently resolve the conflict, contrary to the ever-present Arab maximalist ideological demands, and truly agree to live in peace? Yes, there are more questions than answers.

Is it not obvious from the land concessions already exacted from Israel that no panacea was found via the generation-old “land for peace” formula? Instead, we find the Palestinian Authority areas and Gaza portending the foundation of a terror state, while ignoring virtually all obligations – written agreements and otherwise – and continuing with their not-so-thinly-veiled goal to destroy Israel. Is it not obvious that pushing for a Palestinian state will not lead to peace but rather to further opportunities to launch new terrorism and perhaps another war? Is there anyone who seriously believes a Palestinian state will help Israel’s security? As Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin stated: It is obvious, if the truth matters, that Oslo and Disengagement made it Israel’s geopolitical position more dangerous.

How would giving the Palestinian Arabs more land better Israel’s security position if it has not tempered their vitriol against a state that they still refuse to recognize as “Jewish.” The honest, albeit not popular, answer is it obviously would not.

Accordingly, the only remaining argument of those supporting a Palestinian Arab state is demographics.

It is astounding that so many are making this argument, for several obvious reasons. First of all, Gaza is controlled by Hamas and all but 50,000 Arabs in Judea and Samaria are controlled by the PA. Simply stated, there is no demographic concern if the status quo is maintained.

Therefore, demographics only matter if Israel takes back the Palestinian Arab areas of Judea and Samaria and/or Gaza or, of course, if Hamas or the PA unilaterally dissolve.

This may happen at some point in the future, but is not currently the case. If anything, Israel’s taking back these areas is actually made likely if the Palestinian Arabs are given a state which would serve as a launching base to try and destroy Israel – certainly more so than if the status quo was maintained.

An obvious example is Sderot, which was more secure before Disengagement. The assaults, with rockets raining down on its citizens, engendered the calls for Israel to retake Gaza. Was anyone truly surprised? Therefore, those advocating a Palestinian state, basing themselves on the inevitability of demographics, are assuming that if such a state is not created, the current status quo will be altered – and the main change they fear is the PA dissolving. No one seriously believes that Hamas will dissolve on its own. Nor will the PA, for that matter, certainly not while its leadership profits so greatly from the extraordinary corruption and the correlative benefits of power.

However, even were it to happen, the demographics still show Israel having a 66 percent to 34% advantage of Jews to Arabs. Demographic advantage: Israel.

Further, the birth rate of Jews and Arabs are now almost identical with Jewish births trending upward and Arab births downward. Israel also has net immigration and currently the PA has net emigration. The answer to some of those earlier questions is clear – there is no demographic danger.

A further argument was raised. What must be done about the Palestinian Arab rights and their stated desire for a state? Not every minority has a state or a right to a state – ask the Kurds – and the Palestinian Arabs are a minority in Israel even with Judea and Samaria included in that calculation. Israeli Arabs have voting rights. To cite here a debate being argued elsewhere ,we see that in US the forces opposing immigration reform positing that those not legitimately part of the country, and who don’t pose any danger (as do the Palestinians in the territories) should not be allowed to become citizens and vote only 13 years from now, as the proposed US Senate bill now proposes.

Not to be ignored in this discussion: Israel should also pursue a policy of more aggressively encouraging aliya, encouraged by polls that show upward of 50% of the Jews of Europe having contemplated aliya.

Finally, I offer an answer to a question that no one seems to ask. Since the goal of the Palestinian Arabs is the eradication of Israel, anyone proposing anything short of that is not proposing a solution. Rather they ignore the most fundamental fact of the conflict – the Arab refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist.

So we muddy the waters in addressing the issue of what to do in the current situation. The answer understandably troubles the peace-makers; proceeding with a Palestinian state will not resolve the conflict and will only makes things worse.

The author, an attorney, is the president of the National Council of Young Israel.

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