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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kerry in Israel amid Israeli calls for 'one-state solution'

What is perhaps most telling about US Secretary of State John FN Kerry's upcoming visit to Israel is that the photos being published in the mainstream media are variations on the one above. All of the photos include Shimon Peres, our 90-year old President who has never won a national election, and probably could not be elected to the house committee of his condominium. None of the pictures include Binyamin Netanyahu, who will soon pass David Ben Gurion as Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister (this is his third term). That's because 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen won't meet with Netanyahu, and because Netanyahu - although he can't say so publicly - knows in his heart that the 'two-state solution' is dead.

Moreover, if you read that first link above regarding the trip, you will discover that no Israeli officials are quoted - only the director of communications for the pro-'Palestinian' J Street lobby, and David Harris of the American Jewish Committee, who recoiled with horror over Naftali Bennett's splashing the 'two-state solution' with cold water last week.

Even Abu Mazen senses that the game is over. That's why he's now dropping hints to the media about meaningless 'limited negotiations,' as if setting a deadline will ensure a cloud of white smoke between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Abu Mazen cannot and will not make the compromises necessary for a peace agreement, and there is other 'Palestinian' leader who is willing to make those compromises. But Abu Mazen cannot risk offending his financial patron in Washington, and so he makes empty noises about starting 'negotiations' as if that will make a difference.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post (unfortunately, behind a pay wall, but I have the column by email and will reproduce most of it below), Evelyn Gordon argues that although Netanyahu cannot say it yet, we Israelis can and should tell the world that the 'two-state solution' is dead, and that we should back our second-tier politicians - like Bennett - when they do so.

If it weren’t for one flaw, I’d agree completely with Daniel Gordis' column in this paper last Friday. He’s right that the endless debate over the peace process has sucked all the air out of the international Jewish conversation “for far too long,” leaving no room for crucial topics like “why the Jews need a state and the values on which it ought to be based.” He’s right that we can’t afford to keep ignoring these issues. And he’s right that the impossibility of an Israeli-Palestinian deal in the foreseeable future creates space to finally start addressing them. Indeed, that’s precisely what happened in the last Israeli election, which, for the first time in decades, revolved around domestic issues – i.e., what kind of state Israel should be – rather than the peace process.
Yet these important arguments are undercut by the flaw hidden in one seemingly innocuous statement: “Reasonable minds can differ as to whether saying publicly that the two-state solution is dead is healthy for Israel’s standing in the international community.”

Actually, where Gordis stands on that question seems pretty clear: Just last July, he signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to adopt the Levy Report, lest it “place the two-state solution and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril”; he then wrote an op-ed in Haaretz explaining his objections in more detail. Yet all the Levy Report said is what every Israeli government has said for decades: that the West Bank isn’t “occupied Palestinian territory,” but disputed territory to which Israel has a valid claim – which in no way negates Israel’s ability or willingness to cede part or all of it for peace. If Gordis views even that as too dangerous to say publicly lest it paint Israel as a peace rejectionist, I can’t imagine him not objecting to a blunt public statement that “the two-state solution is dead.”
And therein lies the flaw. For if prominent Israelis, and especially Israeli leaders, aren’t willing to say this publicly and repeatedly, the “peace process” will keep right on monopolizing the conversation, and we’ll never have time and space for those other topics that Gordis rightly considers vital.

First, this is because nobody can be more Catholic than the pope: Neither American Jews nor world leaders can declare the two-state solution dead as long as Israeli leaders insist ad nauseam that it’s achievable.
Moreover, the benefits of peace as envisioned by the optimists are enormous: no more terror, an economic boom, reduced defense spending that frees up funds for other purposes, unassailable international legitimacy instead of creeping delegitimization. Most Israelis by now consider this “peace dividend” a mirage: 83% think even withdrawing to the 1967 lines and dividing Jerusalem wouldn’t end the conflict, meaning that terror, high defense spending, the economic hindrance of being in a “war zone” and delegitimization of Israel’s efforts to defend itself would all continue. But people who still believe a deal is possible generally also believe it really would produce those benefits.

Thus as long as Israeli leaders encourage the fallacy that an agreement is possible, overseas Jews will naturally think this should take precedence over the issues Gordis rightly wants to discuss. For unless you think Israel would forfeit its heart by ceding its historic heartland – which two-state enthusiasts don’t – then whatever kind of state you want Israel to be, the above-mentioned benefits would make it easier to achieve.
The biggest problem, however, is that Israeli leaders don’t just say peace is possible; whether out of genuine belief or merely to prove their peacemaking bona fides, they also repeatedly declare it essential for Israel’s very survival: “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses … the State of Israel is finished” (former prime minister Ehud Olmert); “it's impossible to survive in the long run without a political settlement” (Netanyahu); without a Palestinian state, “Israel will not be the Jewish nation-state” (Justice Minister Tzipi Livni).

When Israel’s own leaders – to whom Israelis routinely demand that Diaspora Jews defer on vital security issues – deem a two-state solution the most vital security issue of all, necessary for Israel’s very survival, how can overseas Jews be expected to care about anything else? If Israel truly will expire without a two-state solution, then there’s no point in discussing either why we need it or what kind of state it should be; all such questions are irrelevant until we first ensure its survival by implementing such a solution.
Thus if the conversation is ever to change, Israelis must first explain to the world why the two-state solution is indeed dead, and why Israel can nevertheless survive and even thrive without it, just as it has for the past 65 years.

In fact, explaining this is absolutely vital – because Israel can’t survive and thrive without peace unless we invest in building a state capable of doing so, and that entails a lot of very hard work. We have to reform our economy and education system, promote our case overseas, foster social solidarity, better integrate our minorities, and much, much more. Yet none of this can happen if Israel continues wasting vast amounts of political time and energy on the peace process – which it must keep doing as long as world leaders and overseas Jewry keep insisting on it. And they will keep insisting until Israeli leaders persuade them of what most Israelis already know: that it’s a lost cause.
It may be the world isn’t yet ready to hear this from the very top (even assuming Netanyahu were capable of saying it, which I doubt). But it never will be ready unless other Israelis start laying the groundwork.
And for those of you who are sitting and worrying that we will be demographically overwhelmed,, here is yet another reminder that the demographic monster is fake.
The latest Palestinian census, released in 2008, reported that there are 3.71 million Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. However, this figure includes persons living overseas, persons twice counted, and inaccurate projections. In addition, it appears that many PA Arabs have discovered the secret to eternal life and rarely die, or – whose families simply choose not to record the many members that do.
The Arab census numbers in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are inflated by as many as 1 million persons. Even after removing twice-counted persons and individuals not currently living in the territories, the Arab population of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip totals no more than 2.7 million people.
Furthermore, according to the American Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), studies have indicated that Arab numbers have been on a significant decline while the Jewish birth rate has been steadily on the upswing.
There exists no rational reason to put off the One State Solution.
If anything, due to the current wave of illegal Arab settlement in Area C, which is under full civil and military Israeli control as per the Oslo accords, the push towards the One State Solution would be expedient and advisable, if not necessary in Israel’s defense against an existential threat from within.
If we will not apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the Arabs will succeed in choking the Jewish communities, isolating them—a process of establishing a terrorist run Palestinian State that would threaten all of Israel. The PA’s blatant efforts to establish physical infrastructures specifically in Area C are clearly an attempt to actively annex more land and place it under PA control. In fact, in July 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced his plan to unilaterally establish a de facto Palestinian state.
To no one’s surprise, this plot is being funded by generous donations from the Gulf States, Europe and the USA*.
Read the whole thing

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At 8:04 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I'm looking for a five county solution... I can picture a proposed map in my mind...


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