MOSHE HILL OPINION COLUMNS SEPTEMBER 13 2023
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made international news this week when a speech he gave went viral on social media. His remarks claim that Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust because of “their social role, which had to do with usury, money, and so on,” as opposed to just because they were Jewish. The video drew ire from nearly everyone with a social media account. Yet there is a valuable lesson to be gained from this. Stop saying the phrase “two-state solution.”
The “two-state solution” is the main thing you hear when anyone brings up the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. “If the Palestinians had a state and self-determination,” the argument claims, “then there would be peace.” There are two types of people who make this argument. The first are the naive and the lazy – the ones who do not know the context and the history of the conflict. This group is primarily made up of college students who got handed a pamphlet by the local chapter of JStreet or the Democratic Socialists of America and politicians who were told by their staff to just mutter “two-state solution” when asked the question.
The other group are those who do know the context and the history and choose to ignore it. Einstein said it best regarding this group: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Giving the Palestinians a state has been tried many times over the decades. They did not demand one from Jordan between 1949 and 1967. They did not declare one in their territories from 1967 to 1994. They launched more terrorist attacks in the years after the Oslo Accords than they did in the years before, during Intifada I. Arafat rejected Judea and Samaria when offered, and he launched the Second Intifada. Abbas rejected even more land in 2008. The Palestinian Authority didn’t even meet with the Trump administration when they were working on this. They do not want a state.
Abbas’s latest comments are indicative of what he truly wants: a one-state solution. He denies that Ashkenazi Jews are “Semites,” with ancestry that originated in the Middle East. He does this for the sole purpose of denying the historical connection that the Ashkenazi Jews, who make up around 30 percent of the Jewish population in Israel, have to the land. This is part of his general argument that the Jewish people have no right to the land, therefore no compromise can be allowed.
Yet, the insane keep pushing and pushing this dead and tired “two-state solution” nonsense. The best example of this is Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder and president of JStreet. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) accompanying a statement, Ben-Ami said, “Abbas’ speech was repugnant and unacceptable. Maligning Jews with these ugly tropes is an absolute moral wrong that endangers our community around the world and exacerbates distrust and conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.” The statement condemned Abbas’ speech and demanded a retraction and apology.
This speech will not change JStreet’s core philosophy, though. Their mission is to dismantle all settlements in Judea and Samaria and continue to push for a “two-state solution.” They ignore that the Israeli government in 2005 did that exact plan in Gaza, which led to disastrous results.
They also ignore that it is immoral to push to give the Palestinians a state. A state, the right to self-determination, the right to autonomy and governance, should never be given to placate people who don’t want it because they committed terrorism against civilian populations. No one should be demanding that the Israeli government do that. It is ridiculous that so many past governments were willing to do so, and it is a blessing for the safety and security of Israel that so many times the Palestinians were too stupid to take what was offered to them.
JStreet and the other insane foreign policy “geniuses” will never learn from their mistakes, because they have agendas that have nothing to do with the safety of Israel and the progress of the Palestinians. They want the accolades and influence that comes from giving solutions that will never be implemented. That allows them to keep raising money from the naive.
Then there is the so-called “intelligentsia,” who despise Israel so much that even when Israel makes peace with other Arab nations, they are upset. This was articulated plainly by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times when discussing the heavy rumors that Israel is close to a peace deal with Saudi Arabia. Peace between Israel and any Arab nation is world-shaking news, which has become more of a reality because of the efforts of President Trump, Jared Kushner, and the Abraham Accords.
Friedman doesn’t want peace between Israel and the Saudis unless the Palestinians – for no logical reason – are included. “The [Israeli-Saudi peace] deal [Joe Biden and Mohammed bin Salman] should insist on should stipulate that in return for normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Israel must freeze all settlement building in the West Bank in the areas earmarked for a Palestinian state,” Friedman writes, “if it can one day be negotiated; not legalize any more illegal wildcat Israeli settlements; and, most important, insist that Israel transfer territory from Area C in the West Bank, as defined by the Oslo Accords, to Areas B and A under more Palestinian control. The United States and Saudi Arabia must also declare that the goal of the diplomatic process will be a two-state solution in the West Bank.”
Friedman ignores decades of Palestinian behavior and unwillingness to deal with Israel. Instead, he demands that peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been at war for over 75 years, be jeopardized to placate another foreign interest that has no desire for their own peace. Why doesn’t Friedman demand that China give up claims to Taiwan, or North Korea denuclearize while he’s at it? He’s making demands that have no basis in reality anyway; why stop with the Palestinians?
So, it’s up to the naive to learn from their ignorance and stop pushing this anciently terrible idea. There is no two-state solution – there never was. There is only security for the citizens of Israel. If the Palestinian Authority actually cared about its citizens, they would work on their economy, healthcare, education, infrastructure, and a dozen other issues that plague them that have nothing to do with Israel. They won’t, though, because that would make them a de facto state, which they do not want to be. Abbas is telling us this; let’s listen.