WaPo columnist seriously embarrasses himself on Middle East conflict
"A two-state solution moves off the table" (11/19/19) describes a situation that was never even on the table. The Palestinians have walked away from numerous peace offers, each time leaving without tabling a counter-offer. So the anti-Israel premise of David Ignatius, despite his "watching the story wind toward this dead end for 40 years," is dead wrong. Further, he has authored many opinion pieces throughout his 40 years claiming similar "dead ends." Why should anyone take him seriously? He has cried wolf so many times that it's surprising he has a voice left.
That doesn't stop Ignatius from spouting his tired argument that houses, Jewish houses, are the reason there is no peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Never mind that the Palestinians show their insincerity for peace by demanding, as a chief sticking point, that any deal include the ability to flood Israel with enough refugees that it destroys the one Jewish state by a demographic takeover.
He calls Palestinians "modern history's biggest losers," and the reason — drum roll — that they have relied on "US promises"! There is never culpability of the Palestinians at the Washington Post. Any high school student could only wish for the number of free passes they give the Palestinians.
Ignatius states that "this story has a harsh lesson: History is written by the victors." But Mr. Ignatius, what happens when the victors are also right? Not only have the Palestinians been the aggressors, may I remind Ignatius, but their continued goal of genocide against Israel and Jews the world over (see the Hamas charter) doesn't mean we need to give them underdog sympathy. And please — the Palestinian story has nothing in common with American Indians. The Europeans weren't in America before the Indians were — that's the false analogy he is drawing. The Jews had a nearly constant presence in the Levant for 3,000 years, while Arabs came from the Arabian peninsula (that's why they are called Arabs) 1,400 years ago.
Further, Ignatius blames the United States for never being "entirely credible as a mediator in this conflict," yet he gives no explanation to back up this claim. He merely uses it as a lead-in to bash the current administration for saying what is true: Jerusalem is Israel's capital (so let's move the U.S. Embassy there), the Golan is Israel (and for good reason), and the Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank are not illegal (Jews can live wherever they want).
The train wreck of an opinion piece absurdly states that because of the moves by the Trump administration "there is no evidence that Palestinians are prepared to ratify their defeat with a peace agreement[.]" As if there was any evidence that the Palestinians were sincerely interested in a peace deal before?
He points to the Palestinians as wanting to keep their "dignity" as the reason they couldn't compromise from the "perfect deal." Mr. Ignatius states that in his over 40 years of covering the conflict, he "spent a week living in a Palestinian village in the West Bank ... talked to Palestinian terrorists, intelligence chiefs," and politicians. Did he ever ask them, "Hey, you have lost war after war — shouldn't the losers of wars feel lucky to get close to a perfect deal, which they had, or even anything?" Maybe Ignatius just hasn't figured out the answer right in front of his face. The Palestinians want to remove Israel from the face of the Earth more than they want their own state. All their actions speak to this: their continuous refusal to make counter-offers in peace negotiations, their relentless terrorism, their naming of squares and schools after suicide bombers, and their insistence on flooding Israel with their refugees.
Ignatius nears the end of his piece by stating that the U.S. policies are "implicitly endorsing a one-state solution." There has been no such endorsement of that, suggested or otherwise. The Post has had opinion pieces decrying this possibility for years now. And it hasn't happened. Ignatius should know that Israel will never accept Gaza as part of its state. And who knows if the West Bank would even want Gaza? Perhaps an alternative he should consider is a three-state solution, as Gaza and the West Bank are not close to being unified.
Ignatius concludes that "the United States will miss the role of peacemaker more that it can imagine." As if we had any success in peacemaking between the two sides before! He ends with "[r]eality on the ground can get ugly." Mr. Ignatius, it has been ugly. Does he read his own newspaper? Thousands are dead on both sides. Israeli children who live near Gaza play in bomb shelters, never knowing when they will be attacked with another volley of rockets or another full-scale war.
All considered, there is currently a relative calm that can change at a moment's notice. Israel is a thriving, valuable, reliable U.S. ally. The Palestinians are not in a great situation (though in a much better lifestyle position than Arabs in almost every other Arab country). However, they have made poor choices in their leaders, who would rather have "dignity" (Ignatius's explanation) or victory than a state. What should they realistically expect?