Recently public comments by Jason Greenblatt indicate that part of the Trump ‘peace plan’ includes something close a new Arab State and connecting Gaza to Judea and Samaria, effectively cutting Israel in half and giving at least part of the Jewish heartland of Israel to a hostile Arab population. From these statements it would appear that many members of the Trump Team have either failed to recognize or refuse to admit the failure of Oslo and Camp David. Even Netanyahu, who should know better, seems to be oblivious to Israel’s strategic imperatives. Perhaps this is a good time for a review.
The End of the Two State Solution
For those that may have missed it, the door of opportunity for the Arabs of the West Bank to accept a two state solution next to Israel has already closed. Historians may argue for decades about the timing, but in retrospect the door was probably closed by June of 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza. True, there were opportunities after that to open the door once again, but Mahmoud Abbas made sure the door was locked, never to be opened again.
The election of President Trump in the United States was probably the last opportunity the Palestinians had to open the door, but Abbas’ true agenda prevented him from seeking another chance at a state. Instead he fanned the flames of hatred, violence, and murder. As I write this in March 2018 there is still talk of a two state solution and the Trump administration is reported to be putting the final touches on their proposal for a “Peace Plan” but it will lead nowhere. The Palestinians missed their chance long ago and soon everyone will realize it, except perhaps the Palestinians, liberals, and unfortunately some members of the Trump Team.
The Arabs have rejected every plan and offer of peace for over one hundred years, starting with the rejection of the Balfour Declaration in 1917. Then came the Peel Commission in 1937, the UN partition plan in 1947, Oslo in 1993, Camp David in 2000, Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the 2008 partition plan by Ehud Olmert, and many other missed opportunities for peace. Every proposal was rejected by the Arabs.
Olmert’s plan offered the Palestinians almost everything they claim they are asking for, pre ’67 borders and a divided Jerusalem, yet Abbas still rejected it. With the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018, the potential for the Arabs to get anywhere close to Jerusalem has faded into the past.
Recently, there has been a flood of articles discussing alternatives and challenging the wisdom of the two state solution. This question was first raised in 1937 when the Peel Commission proposed a second partition, but then, some people thought it was possible to appease aggressors. It took another World War before most of the world realized that it was not wise to try to appease a mass murderer like Hitler, but the lesson was not applied to the Arabs in the Levant even though they sided with Hitler during the war, murdered Jews, and did all they could to prevent Jews from escaping from the Nazis. Few others tried to help the Jews either.
It is time to face reality and admit that more appeasement will not help. Over one hundred years of appeasement did not bring a solution. The Palestine Mandate called for the creation of two states, one Arab and one Jewish. An Arab State was created in 1921 by Winston Churchill. It’s called Jordan. A Jewish State was created in 1948 when the Jews declared their independence. This at the same time that the British were leaving, having failed to fulfill their obligation under the Mandate to create a Jewish State. The Mandate ended at that moment. There is no mandate to create another Arab State.
The end of the two state solution has already passed, it is time for an alternative solution. The majority of the Arab population is hostile to Jews, not just Israelis but Jews. Abbas has repeatedly called for ethnic cleansing of a hoped for Palestinian State to remove all Jews. Why would any rational person even consider ‘negotiating’ with such a person as Abbas? Then again, it is not just Abbas. Polls show that at least 70% of the Arabs agree with him.
Other writers have already pointed out what the conflict is NOT about. Yet the Trump Administration continues to parrot old worn out cliches that have already been discredited. Professor Efraim Karsh discussed the economic angle and said that the conflict is not about economics or opportunity in It’s Not the Economy, Stupid. Likewise, Dr. Mordechai Kedar pointed out what the conflict is really about three years ago in It’s Jihad, Stupid.
The conflict has nothing to do with land either, except that the Arabs seek to deny Jews of ANY land anywhere in the Levant. It is long past time for the Trump Team to face the reality and start speaking to the truth, instead of talking about fantasies.
The majority of Arabs still seek the destruction of Israel. That includes the Israeli Arabs as well as those in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. We have to face this reality before we can talk about a real solution. Any proposals must address the core issue of the conflict or it will just be an exercise in futility. In retrospect, there was really never a real opportunity for a two state solution because the Arabs have never accepted the existence of Israel.
So We do This in Stages
Since we have not been able to persuade the Arabs to accept Israel’s right to exist as the homeland for the Jewish people, the Arabs refuse to cease their acts of terrorism, and the Arabs continue to murder of Jews, then we take options off the negotiating table. President Trump said he took Jerusalem off the table, at least West Jerusalem. The recent move by the US to cut funding for UNRWA is a step in the right direction and kudos to Jared Kushner for taking a strong stand on that issue. He inspires some hope.
Announcing the end of the two state solution and negotiations should be the next stage. Take the table! End all talk of ‘negotiation’ with ANY Arabs. Negotiation is a failed policy. The US should continue to impose unilateral steps to undermine the Arab position in every way possible. Israel is at war with Arabs and has been since 1948.
There are alternatives and as the level of chaos increases, so will the opportunity to implement changes. The US should take sides and work to secure the best possible position for our ally. The US is no longer dependent on the Arabs for oil. The US can and should make adjustments in our relationships according to our longer term interests.
A stronger, more stable, and independent Israel is a more valuable strategic asset in the Middle East than any of the Arab States. Put US interests first and those interests also align with what is best for Israel. The Israelis are building a vibrant, innovative nation that is already benefiting the rest of the world. Imagine how much more the Israelis could do for the world if the US worked to empower Israel instead of weaken her.
Levi Randolf is a contributor of Blitz.
An earlier version of this article first appeared at LeviRandolf.com.