Coming Out in Favor of a Single State.

two statesFor many years I advocated for the two-state solution because I believed that Israel could be a democratic state, a Jewish state, or a single state from the river to the sea, but not all three at once.

This is, of course, the common analysis and it is a perfectly reasonable and logical analysis.

Throughout the Clinton years, I believed that the Palestinian-Arabs wanted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jewish one, but this was before I freed myself from the so-called “Palestinian narrative” or what I have called The Palestinian Colonization of the Jewish Mind.

The obvious problem is that in annexing Judea and Samaria Israel would introduce a large and hostile enemy population as citizens into the country and thereby undermine its ability to maintain itself as the national home of the Jewish people.

So long, therefore, that I understood that the Palestinian-Arabs wanted a state for themselves distinct from their Palestinian-Jewish neighbors, I supported the two-state solution.  Once it became clear to me that this is emphatically not what the Arabs want then I gradually came to the conclusion that president Barack Obama was correct.  After the failure of the first round of non-negotiations Obama said that the sides needed to want peace.

The problem is both sides do not want peace.  The Jewish side mainly wants be left the hell alone to write computer software, litigate against one another, and send Natalie Portman’s out into the world.

The Arab side, on the other hand, wants to see Jews either dead or gone from the land that we come from.

Thus there can be no conclusion of hostilities through the implementation of a peaceful, but separate, negotiated coexistence.

The Palestinian-Arabs, unlike the Palestinian-Jews (i.e., Jewish-Israelis), will not accept a two-state solution because that has never been their goal.  If they honestly wanted a state for themselves in peace next to the Jews then the local Arab leadership would have accepted the Peel Commission Report of 1937 which called for two states, but they did not.

The map on the right represents what the Jews reluctantly accepted and what the Arab majority emphatically rejected right before the Holocaust.

Even a tiny indefensible strip of land between Tel Aviv and Haifa to be reserved for Jewish autonomy in the face of genocide was too much for Arab-Muslim pride.  How dare those dhimmitudenous Jews think that they can rule themselves?  How dare they think that they even have any such right?

So, the Arabs turned down Palestinian-Arab autonomy in 1937 and 1947 and 1967 and 2000 and 2008, and I am probably missing a few.  In 2000, of course, Arafat rejected Ehud Barak’s offer of pretty much everything as Abbas rejected Olmert’s offer of pretty much everything eight years later.  Both Barack and Olmert offered the Palestinian-Arabs the entirety of Gaza, almost the entirety of Judea and Samaria with land swaps, and much of the eastern section of Jerusalem as a capital.

They turned the Jews down flat, but there is no more than we can possibly offer them.

There comes a point wherein one must take “no” for an answer.

Since it is clearly the case that the Palestinian-Arabs – and the rest of the larger Arab and Muslim worlds – have, decade upon decade, rejected the two-state solution, it now becomes incumbent upon Israel to declare its final borders and remove the IDF to behind those borders.  In previous months and years, I have argued that the borders of Israel should be determined by Israeli leadership and it should be, but in previous months and years I stated no preference.

I have now come to the conclusion that the annexation of Judea and Samaria by the state of Israel is probably the best way to go forward.

What has convinced me, aside from persistent Arab rejection of the two-state solution, is the revelation that the numbers of Arabs in Judea and Samaria is significantly lower than the Palestinian Authority reported.

Furthermore, after annexing Judea and Samaria, there is no reason for Israel to give local Arabs automatic full rights to citizenship.  A path to citizenship should be available however and any non-Jew in the area should be afforded rights to citizenship once they have demonstrated an inclination toward peaceful co-existence.  Given the millennia of hostility toward the Jewish people, such a precondition for non-Jewish citizenship is more than reasonable.

I would offer all resident non-citizens of Israel the opportunity of two to three years of national service and those who complete that national service with a good record should be free to apply for, and receive, full citizenship.

It also must be understood that an Arab state in the small Jewish heartland would, in fact, represent a dagger at the heart of Jewish sovereignty, if not Jewish lives, with the full weight of the Arab and Muslim worlds behind that dagger.

In other words, an Arab state superimposed upon the Jewish highlands will not bring peace.  It will merely represent a new phase in the Long Arab War against the Jews.  It will represent a phase characterized by Arab advantage and gain at the expense of Jewish possibilities for survival.  It will also represent a phase wherein the same malicious voices who disparage and demean the Jews of Israel now will continue to do so by claiming that while the Jews used to persecute the Palestinian-Arabs, now they persecute the Palestinian state, as well. Or such is my prediction.

It is unfortunate, but true, that the Oslo Peace Process has failed.

Barack Obama helped kill it through his dogmatic, racist, and counterproductive insistence on forcing Jews out of our traditional heartland.  By insisting upon “total settlement freeze” – and thereby effectively denying Jewish rights to live on traditionally Jewish land – he enforced a policy that was doomed from the start and that gave the Palestinian-Arabs all the excuse that they needed to avoid a peaceful conclusion of hostilities within the two-state paradigm.

Obama, however, only deserves a certain percentage of the blame for the failure of the two-state solution, although it should be noted that if he did not absolutely kill it, he helped and it was done on his watch.

The reason that two-states failed is not primarily because of the Americans or the Europeans or the United Nations or, even, the Israelis.  The main reason that two-states failed is because the Arabs never wanted it to begin with.  They walked out of the United Nations in November of 1948 in order to tell us that Jewish sovereignty on that land is entirely unacceptable to Arab sensibilities.

Such it was then and so it is now.

If they simply will not accept a Palestinian-Arab state in peace next to Israel, then that is what they will not get.  It is not up to us.  It is up to them.

First published at the Elder of Ziyon

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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  1. Michael

    There is an alternative two-state solution – Jordan and Israel – waiting on the sidelines – which involves Jordan and Israel in direct negotiations allocating sovereignty in the West Bank between their two respective States.

    What has been regarded as an existential negotiation up till now resulting from the creation of a third State in Mandatory Palestine for the first time in recorded history – will be reduced to a border dispute between two sovereign nations already at peace with each other.

    The dynamics and the perceptions change entirely and offer hope that the Jews will end up as sovereign in about 20% of former Palestine and the Arabs as sovereign in about 80% of former Palestine.

    History, geography and demography will hopefully have been satisfied and the international decisions and pronouncements taken by the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sevres, the League of Nations, the Peel Commission and the United Nations finally resolved.

    The main issues that have plagued the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority for the last 20 years are refugees, water and Jerusalem.

    Israel and Jordan have already agreed on the parameters for resolving these issues in their 1994 peace treaty.

    Unifying the West Bank Arab population with Jordan’s population as existed between 1948-1967 makes far more sense than unifying that population with Israel’s.

    No one – Jew or Arab – will have to leave his present home or abandon his current business in the West Bank.

    The status quo that existed at 5 June 1967 will have been restored as far as is now possible given the changed circumstances on the ground since then – which accords with the commitments given by former President Bush and the Congress to Israel on 12 April 2004.

    Everyone needs to remove their blinkers – this solution is there for all to see.

    • Hi David,

      I don’t have a problem with your proposal, but it is dependent upon the cooperation of Jordan and, to be frank, I do not believe that we can count on Arab cooperation for anything viz-a-viz Israel.

      Do you?

  2. David you should contact Mudar Zahran

    • Shirlee

      I think Michael should contact Mudar Zahran.

      I am very conversant with Mudar’s views. Michael obviously is not.

      Michael should also contact Bibi Netanyahu to confirm the Prime Minister made the following statement to the UN General Assembly way back on 11 December 1984:

      “Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home.

      The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”

      While Michael is at it – he might ring Shimon Peres to confirm that he told the Jewish Telegraph on April 19, 1991:

      ”It is not obstinacy to regard the populations of Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza as having greater similarities than differences. The Jordan River is not deep enough to turn into a knife blade serving to cut one piece of territory into three slices. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians: the residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens and Jordan has distributed tens of thousands of passports to residents in the Gaza Strip. Jordan is therefore an existing State. It has an army. There is therefore no need to set up another State, another army.”

      All the gurus and experts including American Presidents, the Quartet, the European Union, Barak, Olmert, Peres and Netanyahu tried to create “another State” between Israel and Jordan for the last 20 years and failed miserably.

      Time to look in the direction of vintage Netanyahu and elder statesman Peres – and also Abdullah’s father the late King Hussein of Jordan, PLO founder Yasser Arafat, Yitzchak Rabin, the late King Bourguiba of Morocco, the late King Abdullah of Jordan and Prince Hassan of Jordan.

      Maybe Netanyahu should whisper some of this history in Obama and Kerry’s ears – since they seem oblivious to it as well.

      Jews and Arabs are being killed whilst the “two-state solution” involving three states – two Arab – in Mandatory Palestine is presented as the only solution available.

      Time to ditch it and negotiate on the fundamentals that currently exist – Jordan Israel and their 1994 signed peace treaty.

      Admittedly I have been proposing this solution for the last 35 years.

      Imagine how many Jews and Arabs would be alive and not disabled, injured or traumatised today had this solution been adopted back in 1980?

      Netanyahu and Peres know the key. They need to make up for lost time and – with Jordan – open the door to hopefully ending the Jewish-Arab conflict by dividing the sovereignty of the West Bank between their two respective States.

      • This is from an Arab Israeli friend a few months ago who was making a documentary.

        I spent three days interviewing people from all casts of life in the de facto capital of the PA in Ramallah and let me assure you that 90% of the working class poor want Israel too annex Judea Samaria and retake the PA run city’s and expel the Parasite Authority. It’s time for Israel to make up its mind now and forever, it must take the bold step of annexing Judea Samaria and granting Judea and Samaria an Israeli Commonwealth status granting its residents citizenship and the right to vote for a Governor of the commonwealth. This is the same relationship that the United States has with its Island commonwealth Puerto Rico. This isn’t my Idea it was spoken of during a meeting Bibi Netanyahu had with President Bush some time ago. Any resident of Judea Samaria who is willing to become a loyal citizen of Israel and serve in the IDF should be allowed to do so. All residents of Judea and Samaria deserve to have a referendum for annexation free and democratic ASAP. Let the silent majority speak via this referendum.

        • Can’t wait to see the movie – particularly the interviews with those representing 90% of the “working class poor”!

          Wow – an Israeli Arab using the term “Judea and Samaria” three times in one short statement!!

          Who is the Parasite Authority? If your friend is referring to the Palestinian Authority – that folded up in January 2013.

          Pie in the sky stuff such as was related to you by your Arab Israeli friend needs to be taken with a large grain of cynicism and disbelief.

          Did he seek confirmation from the PLO and Hamas?

  3. I can assure you he knows where he’s at. He’s a good friend of someone I know who is very involved in the political scene in Israel. She is a friend to people like Mordechai Kedar, David Bedein, Khaled Abu Toameh, Martin Sherman and more.

    • Why don’t you send these thoughts expressed by your Arab Israeli friend to those influential persons named above for their comments?

      Big things come from small beginnings.

      • I think they all know him. They are all friends of Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks as am I.