The US, Israel, Gaza and the two state solution
Six weeks after the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, the Biden administration is still sticking to a policy of support for Israel’s war to eliminate the terrorist threat in the Gaza Strip. However they are under pressure from the left wing of the Democrat Party to impose a ceasefire on the conflict.
To appease the left, President Biden is now saying that the aftermath of the fighting must result in the creation of a “real” Palestinian state alongside Israel. The administration’s favourite columnist, The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, has been urging Biden to lay down the law to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and insist that the price of continued U.S. support is the Jewish state’s acquiescence to an American diktat for a post-Gaza war two-state solution.
But both Biden and his advisors aren’t just wrong about the future of Gaza or two states. They are completely out of touch with reality in a way that will make it easy for even a politically weak Netanyahu or any conceivable successor to say “no” to advice that is not so much ill-conceived as insane.
Whatever may follow the conclusion of the fighting in Gaza, some things are certain. Chief among them is that after the experience of allowing Gaza to be Jew-free, as well as a no-go zone for the Israeli military, there is no way that any Israeli government, no matter its political composition, will allow a repeat of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s experiment in the summer of 2005 in which every soldier, settler and settlement was pulled out of the Strip.
For 16 years, Israel tried to live with the Hamas government in Gaza, where it ruled what was for all intents and purposes an independent Palestinian state in all but name. The missile fire that made life hell for southern Israel, and eventually for much of the rest of the country whenever Hamas and its Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist rivals chose to start a round of fighting, proved a problem Jerusalem could never solve. Nor could it do anything about the ability of Iran to prop up its Gaza proxy.
Israel also could not find a way to prevent the billions in “humanitarian aid” that poured into the coastal enclave from funding the building of Hamas’s tunnel system that fortified the strip against attack. Repeated campaigns that the military called “mowing the grass” failed to establish the deterrence that the Israeli security establishment–as well as Netanyahu and his political rivals–were sure they could establish.
This problem culminated in the disaster of Oct. 7 and the sickening Hamas atrocities that left more than 1,200 dead, thousands wounded and as many as 240 men, women and children dragged back into captivity in Gaza. While much of the world may not have been outraged by the appalling crimes committed by the Palestinians that day which included gang rape, torture and the murder of entire families, the Jewish people will never forget the largest mass slaughter of Jews since World War II and the Holocaust.
The notion that Israelis can be sold on allowing Gaza to return to being a terrorist bastion is a non-starter. But the conceit of the Biden peace plan as envisaged by Friedman and the rest of the “wise men” who have been promoting two-state solutions for the last 30 years is even crazier than that. What it amounts to is a demand that Israel repeat Sharon’s Gaza blunder in the far larger and more strategic West Bank, and even part of Jerusalem.
A peace based on the ideas of partition, coexistence and mutual respect, in which both Jews and Arabs would have sovereignty over part of the small country that they share, has been at the heart of every plan to solve the conflict since the 1930s. Yet all have collapsed, despite the Jewish acceptance of this concept because the majority of Palestinian Arabs have never been interested in any of it. That’s why they rejected the “Arab state” in Palestine that the United Nations voted for in 1947, in addition to repeated Israeli offers of an independent state over the course of the last quarter century.
It may be hard for many in the West and for liberal Jews to accept, but the incontrovertible evidence of the last century of history has shown that Palestinian nationalism is inextricably tied to a war on Zionism that will not allow any of their leaders to accept even the most favorable two-state solution. The reason is because it involves their having to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state. That is something that generations of Palestinians have refused to do, no matter where the borders of that Jewish state might be drawn.
A new poll conducted by the Arab World for Research and Development has shown, the residents of the West Bank still support Hamas, even after its atrocities and the calamities it has brought down on its own people. Slightly more than three-quarters of them have a positive view of Hamas, and approximately the same number approve of the terrorist crimes committed on Oct. 7. If Abbas has refused to hold another election in the West Bank since 2005, it is because he believes that Hamas will win. And that belief is backed up by this and virtually every other poll of Palestinian opinion.
Common sense dictates that there is no alternative to Israeli security control in Gaza. Alternatives such as a joint force put together by the Arab nations is a fantasy, as those countries understandably want no part of having to deal with the Palestinians and their intransigent refusal to give up their dream of eradicating Israel. Nor is the United States or any Western nation going to go down that rabbit hole. The only choices are a return to the pre-Oct. 6 situation in which the terrorists run Gaza and have free reign to make good on their promises to repeat their Oct. 7 carnage again and again, or Israeli control.
Sadly, there is no “solution” to the conflict between Jews and Arabs over the tiny strip of land between “the river and the sea.” As long as the Arabs are behind Hamas’s mad genocidal war to eliminate Israel, the only answer for the Jewish state is to be strong, defend itself and await a future in which a sea change in Palestinian political culture that will lead them to give up their dream of a Jew-free Palestine achieved by a second Holocaust. Anyone who cares about avoiding more terrorist atrocities and wars must stand behind Israel and against the dangerous delusions of a two-state solution.
Demonstrations in the West
Read the view from Bassam Tawil, a Palestinian journalist, who writes for the Gatestone Institute.
The “pro-Palestinian” demonstrations that have taken place in the US, UK and some European countries over the past few days are all about hating Israel and Jews, not about helping the Palestinians – especially those who have been living under the rule of the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip since 2007. People who are really pro-Palestinian would be demonstrating for them to have leaders that do not siphon off billions in international aid, or who shoot at them when they try to flee to safety, or who do not store weapons and ammunition in and near their homes and schools.
The demonstrators in the US and some European countries have repeated lies against Israel without assigning one iota of blame to Hamas, or even to its mastermind, Iran. These demonstrators send a message to the terrorist groups that people in the West happily support violence, terrorism and the Jihad not only against Israel and Jews, but also against Christians, all “infidels,” Europe, the United States and the West. Those who chant “From the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, Palestine will be free” are echoing Hamas’s charter, which calls for the extermination of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state.
Why are they ignoring the fact that instead of building hospitals and schools, Hamas has been manufacturing weapons, building a vast network of tunnels for its men, and smuggling rockets and advanced weaponry into the Gaza Strip? Where were the “pro-Palestinians ” activists when Hamas was arresting, torturing and murdering Palestinian journalists and human rights activists and arresting hundreds of Palestinians who took to the streets over the past few years to protest the economic hardship and Hamas’s financial corruption? Why are the three top Hamas leaders — all billionaires — living luxuriously in five-star hotels in Qatar?
Those leading Hamas are delighted with the support they are receiving from the anti-Israel demonstrators in the West: “We, in the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), applaud the mass movement, marches and solidarity events that took place… in various American cities and Western capitals,” they announced in a statement in late October. Hamas is calling on the Western demonstrators to join them in their Jihad against Israel and Jews. Eventually it will also be against Christians and all “infidels”. “First the Saturday people,” the jihadi saying goes, “then the Sunday people.”
The “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators masquerade as peace-seekers. In fact, they celebrate terrorism and imperialism — Islamic imperialism — that seeks forcibly to expand Iran’s territorial gains not only throughout Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq, but through Yemen, Saudi Arabia and South America on its way to the “Big Satan,” the United States. The Iranians have already infiltrated Venezuela and met in Cuba to discuss “confronting ‘Yankee Imperialism.'”
Despite all the claims to the contrary, these are not pro-Palestinian rallies. These are hate marches of people seeking the destruction of Israel and the West. Make no mistake: those who are now protesting against Israel are advocating for a totalitarian way of life, for poverty — except for the leaders, of course — and for the same sort of utopia now being relished by the citizens of Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Cuba, Venezuela… and Gaza.