Yesterday, Teresa May, Prime Minister of the U.K. made a surprising speech in Brussels in which she condemned John Kerry’s harsh rebuke of the Israeli government. Kerry had said the Israelis were now being guided by right-wingers whose support of Israeli settlements in the West Bank was the greatest obstacle to achieving peace and the two-state solution for Israel/Palestine.
Kerry made this speech by way of explaining the U.S. abstention from the vote on U.N. resolution 2334, an absurdly one-sided resolution defining the settlements as “illegal” and basically blaming Israel for all the problems in the region, as the U.N. always does. The U.S. has always exercised its veto power on one-sided anti-Israel resolutions in the past, but, by abstaining here, it enabled passage of the resolution by a 14-0 vote.
Some observers think May’s speech was an indicator of a seismic shift in European politics that coincides with the onset of the Trump era. (I like “onset” there – like a sickness). The State Department responded to May’s statement saying,
“We are surprised by the U.K. Prime Minister’s office statement given that Secretary Kerry’s remarks — which covered the full range of threats to a two-state solution, including terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements — were in line with the U.K.’s own longstanding policy and its vote at the United Nations last week.”
And this is the subject of today’s polemic:”Terrorism, violence, incitement and settlements” are not in any way the “full range of threats” to a two-state solution. None of those can even claim the top spot.
Before I tell you what the biggest obstacle to a two-state solution is, let me just explain why settlements are not the problem. From 1948-1967, the “Palestinians” were living in the very Judenrein paradise they now say they need to establish before discussing peace. There were no Jews in Gaza or the West bank, and certainly no “settlements”. Virtually every day during that period, the Arabs were planning to attack the Jews or actually attacking them. Here is the shocking list of attacks before 1967. It all culminated in the combined armies of all Israel’s Arab neighbors launching the Six-Day war to obliterate Israel once and for all. I’m waiting for someone to explain what’s different now, other than the creation of that peace-loving organization, Hamas, in 1987.
The biggest threat to the two-state solution is that not a single Palestinian has ever once said they favor it, and not a single one thinks two states is a solution. Even the most educated, cosmopolitan, and erudite Christian Palestinians, like Edward Said or Hanan Ashrawi, who themselves would certainly be purged from a Hamas-led Palestine, have either explicitly or implicitly opposed it.
The two-state solution is a figment of the western liberal imagination. No Palestinian thinks Israel is a legitimate state.
When Hamas “leadership” is asked if Israel has a right to exist, the answer is always a non-answer such as, “What difference does it make? Our reality is the Zionist Entity behaves as a de facto state”. In other words, “No.”
When Fatah or the P.L.O. is asked, they always deflect and twist the question, e.g. “When Israel recognizes a Palestinian state, we’ll discuss it”.
Just look at the P.L.O charter if you want to understand it. It’s all about how Israel has no right to exist, and Zionism is colonialist, aggressive, racist, and fascist. It talks about the “liberation” of Palestine from its occupiers.
And here is the main point: “Occupation” is the presence of “Israel” in the Palestinian homeland, by which they mean lands “occupied” in 1948, i.e. the founding of Israel, not lands “occupied” in 1967 after the six-day war. Occupation ends when Israel ends.
The Palestinians could have changed their charter over the years to reflect some sort of acceptance of the state of Israel, but it has never happened. The last time it was modified was 1968. From the above link to the charter: “The original PLO charter from 1964 is identical to the 1968 charter except for article 24. The 1964 charter defined Palestine as the territory of the State of Israel and specifically excluded the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The 1968 version of the charter included both Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip as the Palestinian homeland to be liberated.”
Can this be any clearer?
And the wording never will be modified, either, because anyone suggesting it will be guilty of the greatest crime you can commit in “Palestine”: you’d be a “normalizer”, meaning you agreed on some level that Israel has a right to exist.
There’s a lot more to be said about this, but the bottom line is that the Palestinians care a lot more about ending the Israeli state than co-existing with it and/or creating their own.
Netanyahu: “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.
Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
Can anyone realistically disagree with this? It’s not about settlements. It’s not about the Right of Return. It’s not about East Jerusalem. It’s not about borders or water rights. It’s always been about Arabs hating Jews.