For 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