Sunday, March 15, 2015

  • Sunday, March 15, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

tundra void 0For many years I favored a two-state solution to the ongoing Arab-Israel conflict.

Like most people, I assumed that what the Palestinian-Arabs wanted was a state for themselves - where they could have autonomy and fulfill their national aspirations - in peace next to the Jewish State of Israel.

To this day most of the common wisdom still holds that we need to strive for a negotiated settlement with two states for two peoples.

But I have a question for those who continue to push the two-state mantra:
How can we possibly achieve a two-state solution if the Arab side absolutely refuses to come to an agreement?
It should be obvious to any fair-minded observer at this point that if the Palestinian-Arabs wanted a state for themselves in peace next to Israel then they could have had one long before now.  It is fashionable, however, within Europe and western academia to despise Israel and to blame the Long Arab War against the Jews, on the Jews.

Within the universities, and among Left politicos, it is swank to blame the Jewish people - via its proxy, the Jewish state - for the violence against us.  This being the case, there comes a point where we must take "no" for an answer.

In 1937, the British offered the local Arabs a state for themselves within a partition of mandated Palestine and they refused the offer.  This map shows what they refused under the Peel Commission.

peelThey could have had the entirety of mandated Palestine, including Jordan, and left the Jews only a rump state between Tel Aviv and Haifa, but even that was unacceptable for the local Arabs.  This is because, for religious reasons, any bit of land, of any size, that was at any time part of Dar al Islam must forever, and always, remain incorporated into the Umma.

Conquered land must always remain conquered.

This is not optional.  It is an Islamic religious imperative.

No Muslim gets to say "no" to Sharia.  It is Allah, himself, who does all the noing and if there is one thing that the Arab leadership, including the Palestinian-Arab leadership, are particularly expert at, it is the liberal use of the negative proposition.

I have never before read of a people, living under the oppression of another people, who refuse release from that oppression unless, or until, all their demands are met.

It is very odd, actually.

The Arabs turned down Palestinian-Arab autonomy in 1937 and they have not changed their minds since.  Other than Tel Aviv and Haifa, they could have had the whole kit-and-kaboodle, but the offer was not good enough, because it did not include everything.

So, they said, "no."

In November of 1947, of course, the entire world offered the local Arabs a state for themselves.  The United Nations voted that the Palestinian Mandate would be divided and, thereby, shared between a Jewish State and an Arab State.  Yet, again, the Jews said, "yes," and the Arabs said, "no."

That this land, including what is now Jordan, was promised to the Jews under both the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the San Remo Conference of 1920 was of little concern to the British and of less concern to the nay-saying Arabs.

Then, of course, came 1967 and the famous "three nos" issued by the Arab League at Khartoum  As if the original "nos" were not enough, after the Arab defeat at the hands of the IDF in the 6 Day War the losers set the terms for the victors:
No Peace.  No Recognition.  No negotiation.
The reason that the losers were able to dictate terms to the victors was because the losers had the backing of the larger international community, due to the fact that it needed Arab oil.

Israel, probably, should have taken "no" for an answer then.  In fact, on the contrary, it did something entirely unprecedented in the entire annals of human history.  During those years, in a formal and diplomatic manner, Israel acknowledged and recognized a people - the so-called "Palestinians" - who emerged as a distinct group toward the end of the twentieth century for the lone, sole purpose of challenging Jewish autonomy historically Jewish land.

This represents what is perhaps the single worst blunder in the history of that country.

It has to be understood that neither the Jewish people, nor the State of Israel, is under any moral or ethical obligation to acknowledge a set of people, who organized themselves as "a people," within living memory, for the express purpose of undermining the movement for Jewish liberation and to appropriate both Jewish land and Jewish heritage.

We have no such obligation, but nonetheless, we did it, anyway.

By the early 1970s, both Israeli and diaspora Jews acknowledged the "Palestinians" and thereby suggested to the rest of the world that we do not necessarily deserve autonomy on Jewish land, because there is a brand-spanking new people in town who are also making claims and we wish to be fair.

IDF2And, of course, the "Palestinians" were not merely making claims, they were hijacking jets and blowing people up in the name of Allah, while insisting that the Jews are the "New Nazis"... which much to the astonishment of others actually enamored them to a significant segment of the western Left.

In any case, come the early years of the life of the Frankenstein's Monster known as Oslo, Ehud Barak offered Yassir Arafat the entirety of the Gaza Strip and well over 90 percent of Judea and Samaria (i.e., "West Bank"), with land swaps, and was turned down flat in the year 2000.

This was when Arafat astounded US President, Bill Clinton, by claiming that the Temple of Solomon never even existed in Jerusalem.  By all accounts, Clinton was flabbergasted at Arafat's audacity.

Writing in the New York Review of Books in 2001, Jewish American diplomat Dennis Ross reminds us to:
Consider Arafat’s performance at Camp David. It is not just that he had, in the words of President Clinton, “been here fourteen days and said no to everything.” It is that all he did at Camp David was to repeat old mythologies and invent new ones, like, for example, that the Temple was not in Jerusalem but in Nablus. Denying the core of the other side’s faith is not the act of someone preparing himself to end a conflict. 
Indeed.  And, needless to say, everyone's favorite undertaker, Mahmoud Abbas, turned down a nearly identical offer from Ehud Olmert in 2008.

So, it is NO and NO and NO and NO.

Yet, for some reason, today, western politicians, and much of their constituency, honestly expect the Jewish people to continue to beg and plead with the Arabs to give up their alleged persecution at Jewish hands in favor of freedom and autonomy.

How odd is it, really, that a supposedly persecuted minority needs to be induced to accept its freedom?

What I say is that the Palestinian-Arabs have clearly demonstrated over many decades that they are "all or nothing" kind of people.  And, you know what they say.  If you're an all-or-nothing kind of a guy, and if you cannot get it all, you know what you get.

You get nothing.

That is my proposal to the Palestinian-Arabs.  If they insist upon everything, then they get nothing.

If they will not accept a state, then they will not get a state.

Israel should declare its final borders, remove the IDF to behind those borders, and toss the keys over its shoulder.  What those final borders would be, should be entirely up to Israel, according to its security needs.  If Israel decides to annex all of Judea and Samaria, so be it.

It will, nonetheless, remain a Jewish state.

What I would propose, under such circumstances, is that Arab non-citizens of Israel in Judea and Samaria be offered a pathway to citizenship.  Just as most Jewish Israelis are required to join the IDF for a few years at the age of 18, so non-Israeli resident Arabs would be offered a chance at some form of community service and upon completion of that community service with a good record would be offered the franchise.

The two-state solution, however, is dead and it is the Arabs that killed it.

We cannot force them to accept a two-state solution if this is not what they want.

And, guess what?

It is not what they want.

What they want is Israel gone, thus what they get is nothing.

What we are looking at is the expiration date on the side of the cereal box.

It is the expiration date on "Palestine."

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

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