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July 29, 2012
Is The Two-State Solution Doable?
Is the two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians doable? Dani Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, thinks not. Seth Mandel thinks otherwise.
The NYT published a strongly worded Op-Ed this week by Dani Dayan, under the title "Israel's Settlers are here to stay." Seth Mandel, in an article in Commentary Magazine, called his comments "wrongheaded."
Mandel accused him of ignoring "both an accepted reality and the Palestinian people." Dayan has every right to ignore or even reject, both. Mandel further complained that "two of his ideas contained in the op-ed would be, if accepted, detrimental to the American foreign policy doctrine that results in such steadfast American support for Israel." I beg to differ for reasons set out below.
If such a poll exists, the wrong question was asked. Last year, a Dahaf Institute poll commissioned by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs sound that seventy-seven percent of Israelis oppose returning to pre-1967 lines, [the poll reads "with minor border adjustments"] even if it would lead to a peace agreement and declarations by Arab states of an end to their conflict with Israel.
The poll found that large majorities of 85 percent and 75%, respectively, recognized the importance of maintaining a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty within the framework of any final peace deal and opposed transferring the Temple Mount to Palestinian control even if the Western Wall were to remain in Israeli hands.
If that weren't enough, a recent poll in Israel found that 64% of Israelis support the continuation of the settlement enterprise. The parameters of the two-state solution don't come close to offering the Israelis what they want or will settle for.
To the contrary, it is Dayan's solution that is reasonable compared to J-Steet's "Auschwitz borders." Only Dayan's solution will bring peace. As for the debate, bring it on.
Dayan didn't offer citizenship nor did he reject it. The vast majority of Israelis who support annexation also support giving citizenship to qualified Arabs while at the same time offering them, in the alternative, a financial inducement to emigrate. Upon annexation of Judea and Samaria, (West Bank) Israel would have a clear national border, namely the Jordan River, though the international community would not recognize it as the border. It is only in the present situation where Israel's borders are undefined. According to the most recent authoritative study, if Israel were to annex Judea and Samaria, the Jews would outnumber the Arabs in the enlarged Israel by a margin of 2:1. As for the security nightmare, he is absolutely correct. Where is Mandel on this issue. He doesn't say.
This argument is a crock. American support for self-determination is very selective. America doesn't support such a right for the Kurds, the Basques, the Tibetans and so on and they are each a real people, not an invented people. The Balfour Declaration, the legally binding decision at San Remo and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine all asserted the right of the Jews, to not only self-determination in Palestine but to the reconstitution of their national homeland there. The Arabs were specifically denied such a right in Palestine but not in Jordan which was separated from it. Why don't Mandel and the US government support their right of self-determination in Jordan which is, after all, 80% Palestinian
America also supports the rule of law which favors Israel by a country mile. To prefer the Palestinian "right" to self-determination on these lands over the Jewish historical, legal and moral claims is just ludicrous. They have no right to self-determination there.
Though Israel does support the Palestinian return to a Palestinian state, rather than to Israel, in principle, she doesn't support their return to Palestine in reality, at least not in significant numbers. This support in no way can be described as "a primary goal of Israel national policy." If only a million would return to Palestine, should it ever be created, war would result. Dayan knows this. Mandel and the international community couldn't care less.
If America or the international community really cared about the condition of the Palestinians in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan, they would focus their attention on getting them resettled as they have done with tens of millions of refugees since the Second World War.
Dayan has gone back to the drawing board. Mandel and the west have not.
Though "many of the settlements would remain in Israel," over 100,000 Jews would have to be forcibly removed. That may be acceptable to Mandel but it is not to Israel. Why doesn't Mandel suggest moving the final border to include these settlers on the west of the border. Why not negotiate on the basis of Israel keeping 10% of the land That would solve the settler problem. But the West, let alone the Palestinians, would not condone it. Even if you grant the Palestinians a right of self-determination, it doesn't necessarily follow that it must be on 100% of the land. The land after all is Jewish land and not Palestinian land.
At least Mandel acknowledges:
Wrong suggestion. Why not abandon the pursuit of the two-state solution altogether and work from a different paradigm. First, resettle all the Arab refugees. Secondly, insist that all Palestinians in Jordan be fully enfranchised so that Jordan becomes the Palestinian state. Then invite all Palestinians to move there and get citizenship. Now that is a solution worth working toward.
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