The Jan. 20 cover story in J. — “Bay Area Jews see shaky future for two-state solution” — was a well-balanced attempt to show all sides of the two-state debate. However, the two-state solution is both impractical and dangerous. Its pursuit weakens Israel while strengthening its enemies.
Chasing the two-state solution is like chasing a mirage in the desert. Every time you think you’re getting close to it, it recedes further into the distance. This is because Palestinian Arabs and their supporters are committed not to peace but to the destruction of Israel.
Palestinian leaders preach nonstop hatred of Jews and continually incite murderous violence against them. Palestinian schools teach children of every age that suicide martyrdom must be their highest goal. These attitudes are deeply ingrained in their culture, and getting their own state won’t change them.
In fact, any Palestinian state would almost certainly be taken over by Hamas, whose charter explicitly calls for the death of all Jews everywhere. Such a state would be neither demilitarized nor democratic, regardless of any international guarantees to the contrary, and would pose a permanent threat to the Jewish state.
In the Middle East, strength and firmness are respected, while weakness and vacillation are not. When Israel fails to stand up for its most vital national interests because of fear of how Arabs might react, it is sending the very dangerous signal that it fears conflict more than its enemies do, which only invites further attacks.
Israel’s most vital national interest is to take possession of its entire historic homeland and settle every part of it. Controlling territory is not only strategically essential, but also sends a powerful message that Israel is there to stay, that it’s certain of its right to be there and that it will defend that right with everything it’s got.
On the other hand, retreating from territory and surrendering it to its enemies in the forlorn hope that they might suddenly become peaceful sends the exact opposite signal: that Israel is ephemeral, not quite sure of its right to exist, and likely is soon to disappear.
The more Israel bows to international pressure, the less respected it is and the more it’s taken advantage of. For Israel to survive and thrive, it needs to change direction. For many decades, Israel has sought only peace, while its adversaries have sought only victory. This has put Israel at a severe disadvantage. Israel needs to change its primary objective from peace to victory. It has to stop retreating and start advancing if it wants to win.
The first step should be to declare the Oslo accords null and void, a move justified by the many Palestinian violations. Next, Israel should reject outright the idea of a separate Palestinian state. Palestinian Arabs are not a true nation in any sense of the term, and could never be trusted to be a stable or peaceful neighbor. The myth of Palestinians being a distinct people entitled to their own state was invented by Yasser Arafat for the sole purpose of undermining Israel. This myth must be discarded once and for all.
Finally, Israel should open the entire land to Jewish settlement, not only to create facts on the ground but also to make room for the many more Jews who are likely to make aliyah in coming years.
The Palestinians often threaten that if Israel continues its settlement expansion, it will lead to an explosion. It’s time to call their bluff. If they and their allies thought they could destroy Israel militarily, they would attack immediately, without needing the excuse of settlements. But if they do choose to fight, Israel should use everything it has to deal them an irreversible defeat, instead of settling for another ineffective truce.
Often we are told that the two-state solution is essential, because the only alternative is the one-state solution, in which Israel would acquire hundreds of thousands of additional Arabs. If it gives those Arabs full rights, so the argument goes, Israel will no longer be Jewish, but if it doesn’t give them full rights, it will no longer be democratic.
This argument is based on false assumptions. In fact, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. Its first obligation is to protect its Jewish population. After it annexes the territories, any organized opposition to Jewish rule, or any organized anti-Jewish incitement, must be dealt with decisively.
The first priority must be to remove the toxic culture of anti-Jewish hatred and violence from the land. Arabs who are prepared to live peacefully with their Jewish neighbors can enjoy democratic rights.