After the Victory
Israel has won a major victory with Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. I am happy for Israel, though some are still upset that Trump did not make a stronger declaration declaring that Jerusalem was indivisible.
[I]t looks as though Trump is… saying that Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem is negotiable, Trump is slapping the Jews in the face, and showing weakness to the Arabs. He's giving the terrorists a leg up, and pushing the Jews down, forcing them to grovel for tidbits.
It's wrong. And it's no way to treat a friend. -- Jealous for Jerusalem: Trump's Semi-Recognition (Judean Rose) -- ElderofZiyon Blogspot
The above comment aside, most people feel that Trump’s declaration was a slap in the face against the Palestinians, not the Jewish people. Trump has kept a major campaign promise, which is rare for a politician; and for that alone, he deserves praise.
However, an ugly possibility has been raised, one which some Israelis had warned about, and which few American observers saw coming: The Palestinians are seriously considering a one-state solution. This will be much harder to contest.
"President Trump has delivered a message to the Palestinian people: the two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea," Erekat said. -- Ha’aretz citing Saeb Erakat, Palestinian diplomat.
Some might see this as a bluff, but I am not the only one who saw this as a real possibility.
Israel -- admittedly for security reasons -- controls the borders, the population registry, the export and import of goods, local road checkpoints, the airspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum of the Palestinians. Israel has to protect itself. However, such controls, even though necessary, do away with any pretense of possible independence for the Palestinians. Indeed, they even do away with any real concept of autonomy. It does not even rise to the level of an Indian reservation. The Palestinian Authority’s authority is rather abbreviated.
Good! many might say. The Palestinians do not deserve it.
That may be true. The Palestinians may not deserve anything better; but as I have noted many times, the Palestinians will not accept this status. And, if we are honest, few people under similar situations would.
So while justice itself applauds Trump’s decision, the Palestinians feel that the last insult has been handed to them; and they are considering a major change of tactics.
If the two-state solution fails, Palestinians will back a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with full rights for all citizens, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday. -- Times of Israel, November 11, 2017
I know many proud Zionists here will dismiss such an idea, but the threat is real. Very real.
The Israel war hero Ehud Barak had warned Israel about this years ago.
"As long as in this territory west of the Jordan river there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic," Barak said. "If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state." -- Guardian, 2010
I know that one is not supposed to apply the A-word [Apartheid] to Israel, but how else does one describe the emerging situation when a former Prime Minister Ehud Barak made the observation, using the very word himself?
Like it or not, with the continuing construction of Jewish communities, and now with this Jerusalem declaration, the Palestinians now feel that an independent Palestine state is impossible. On major Palestinian politician, Dr. Barghouti has commented:
I think [the one state solution is] a good idea… I hope they would agree that we'd decide that from now on we will struggle for one-state solution and go back to the borders of the whole of Palestine, one democratic state for everybody with equal rights...
...But people have to understand what does one-state solution mean? It means it's not going to be a Jewish state. It means I can run to be the prime minister of that state. And a Palestinian could become the head of that state. And we would have more than half of the... There will be equal rights, which means Palestinian refugees will have the chance and right to come back whenever they want like Jewish people do. It means full equality.
Of course, Israel is not only adamant against one-state solution. It's even much more adamant than even opposing the two-state solution. In reality, Israel does not want neither two-state solution nor one-state solution. They want us out of our land. -- Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on the Real News Network
Some have said that the Palestinian leadership will never give up their perks, their embassies, their salaries, and their limousines. It seems that now they are seriously considering it. Corruption aside, the point may be moot. Whether the leadership is willing to change or not, the Palestinian street now sees Abbas as a de facto Israeli lackey, and they want to get rid of the old Fatah machine. Recent American restrictions on the PA are also forcing the issue.
To paraphrase what one astute commentator noted: the best that Israel could offer the Palestinians would be less than they would accept, and the minimum that the Palestinians would accept would be more than Israel could give.
No stable Palestinian entity -- whether state, autonomous zone, or severely controlled reservation -- is possible. I blame the Palestinians for much of this, but I also blame those Israelis who concoct ridiculously circumscribed programs in the hopes that Palestinians will accept them. Among the most unbelievably ludicrous ideas proferred is to set up eight small emirates in Judea and Samaria.
Why stop at eight? Why not break them further down into competing high school basketball teams? Dr. Mordecai Kedar, who is a brilliant man, came up with this idea. I suspect that he, and others like him, are so desperate for peace that they construct these theoretical solutions without considering that the Palestinians, for all their Arab insanity, will resolutely resist them.
It is apparent now that the two-state solution is dead. It was never a good idea to begin with. Maybe it was a stalling tactic for time. The Arabs used the peace process in the hopes they could re-arm. The Israelis used it in the hopes that could settle more Jews on the land before the process crashed. It was obvious from the inception that there was no way Jerusalem could be negotiated, which brings everything up to President Trump’s declaration.
Israel now has to decide what to do with those millions of hostile Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. Jordan will not accept any more of them. Egypt won’t. Lebanon won’t, etc. Hard choices have to be made, not wacky ideas like setting up emirates.
When the Palestinians start demanding a one-state solution, and they will -- if it does not come from the leadership, it will come from the street -- Israel will not be able to avoid a discussion of the A-word any more. Ehud Barak’s warning will have come full circle.
Israel has now been reduced to four possible solutions.
1) Accept a one-state solution. It will mean a temporarily secular state, which will soon enough, by virtue of an increased Palestinian vote, allow a right of return to Palestinian refugees, leading to an eventual Islamic state of sorts. Obviously, Israel will never accept this.
2) Start paying individual Palestinians to leave. It will be infuriating. Maybe unjust to the Jews to shell out the money, but it may be the only solution possible if a Jewish state from the Jordan River to the sea is to be maintained. It will be very expensive though.
3) Live with the title of an “Apartheid” state, which will become an international cry, even if it is not appropriate. Live with being considered a pariah, with all the consequences that accrue.
4) Ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. And don’t try to sanitize it by calling it a “population transfer.” Joshua ethnically cleansed the Canaanites. It may be necessary. Some will counter that Jews were expelled in the 1940s and 50s. Yes! The ethnic-cleansing of the Jews was horrible, wrong. But a counter ethnic-cleansing of Arabs is still an ethnic-cleansing. Admit it!
In 1947, at the UN, when the vote for partition came up, the Arabs counteroffered with a secular one-state solution. Anything in order to prevent a Jewish state. The Zionists would not accept it. Using some parliamentary tricks -- along with some questionable backroom arm twisting -- the Zionist side was able to get a partition of the Mandate, creating a Jewish state. Ironically, the options have come full circle and Israel is back to being faced with a one-state solution again.
When the Arabs embrace the one-state option, it will be difficult for Israel to deny them a franchise while still claiming to be “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Those at American Thinker may understand the vital difference between liberty and democracy, but the mainstream media, politicians worldwide, and pundits do not. Democracy is a siren song to most of the planet.
Now is the time to bite the bullet, and pay the Palestinians to leave, or prepare for a blowback that Israeli diplomacy will have a much harder time countering.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish better in high school, lo those many decades ago. He runs a website about the Arab community in South America at http://latinarabia.com, and a website about small computers at http://thetinydesktop.com