I used to be a two-stater - until it blew up in my face with a spate of Palestinian terror bombings here in Netanya. This was after we signed a "peace" agreement with Arafat, the first Islamic arch-terrorist.
Two-staters! I have two simple questions.
Can you assure us we are not going to suffer the same bad experience we had after we invited Arafat to come out of hiding in Tunis? All this for the false peace you promised us.
Can you promise us that we will not have the same multi-terror threats we have experienced after we dragged eight thousand Israelis out of Gaza? All the dead and injured after you insisted this was a step toward peace.
I no longer believe in a two-state solution for one very strong reason.
After lengthy research and talks with people in our national intelligence I have been led to understand that neither side of the Palestinian political divide intends to allow Israel to exist as a Jewish State even if they sign a 'temporary' agreement.
They will follow the Arafat example of signing something today only to tear it up at some future time of convenience.
This is, after all, and ideology and a tactic imposed on them by Mohammad as Arafat admitted in a Johannesburg mosque after he signed the Oslo Peace Accords on the White House lawn in September 1993.
In May 1994, he told an adoring congregation that, “This agreement I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Mohammad and Koreish, and you remember that the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it a despicable truce…In the same way Mohammad had accepted it, we are now accepting this peace effort.”
Arafat, the new Mohammad, returned to terror once he had established his base in his Muqata headquarters in Ramallah.
He promised us “Peace of the brave!”
He gave us peace of the grave.
This was all pre-planned, just as they are doing today. In November of 1994 he exposed Palestinian duplicity further by saying, “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war we do it in stages. We take any and every territory we can of Palestine and establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”
Arafat ended with this prophetic warning that sounds frightening familiar to us;
“The speedy retreat of Israel from the occupied areas is only the first stage in the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem. Only a state like that can continue the struggle to remove the enemy from all Palestinian lands.”
For today’s Palestinian leadership the Oslo Accords signed by Arafat is a “despicable truce” which was abrogated with the passing on UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Mahmoud Abbas became the modern-day Caliph Omar.
Is this the enemy we should be ceding further territory, our land, to, including Jerusalem? Do we really trust them that much?
The current Palestinian manoeuvers follow precisely in the footsteps of Arafat.
The sad truth is that a two-state dream will not become a reality because neither side of the Palestinian political divide wants it to happen except as a temporary truce before the next stage to Israel’s ultimate defeat.
So why should we play their game?
Another sad reality is that two-state planners do not care what a Palestine will end up being. They don’t care if it will be undemocratic, corrupt, or a radical Islamic regime. It just has to be.
They may care, but it is shunted into the dark unexplored recesses of their diplomatic minds because bringing it out into the open can only expose the awkward truth that such a state would add chaos and violence and not end well for peace or regional stability. Just look at the violent domestic political and ideological divisions within Palestinian society today.
Is that really what they want to impose on Israel by making it legal and binding as they tried to do with their horrendous Security Council resolution?
It’s really nothing more than hope.
Two-staters cling to the hope that their efforts will lead to an end of conflict. They assure us that this is the only way that Israel can live in peace (No it won’t) and they really do have our best interests at heart. No they don't. No diplomat I have met has ever assured me of the certainty of future peace after any agreement is signed with an adversary that continues to educate and incite their people that we have no right to exist.
The two-state process is based on us making physical concessions and withdrawals in return for a promise or a hope that they will behave like normal peaceful people.
In other words, we weaken ourselves in the hope that it will bring peace.
The two-state solution is built on nothing more solid than hope.
Not good enough. We know for certain that they won't settle down and live in peace with us.
The Palestinians are imposing violence and terrorism on us even as they are conducting a political war against us in pursuit of their ultimate goal. They haven't moved one centimeter towards recognition and peace in fifty years while we have made withdrawal after withdrawal, concession after concession.
They refuse to accept the notion of a Jewish State anywhere in the region. They won't even tolerate a Jew living in their future state. And yet two-staters tell us we should make further concessions that will jeopardize our future in the hope that a Palestine will be more peaceful than Gaza or Southern Lebanon.
We keep hearing the mantra that the only way for the Jews to live in a Jewish and democratic state is to make more land concessions as there is no viable alternative to a two-state solution.
Yes there are.
Almost all the alternatives I have heard do indeed leave Israel as a majority Jewish state.
Most offer both Jews and Arabs a better and more secure life than they enjoy now.
Some, out of sheer necessity, dismantle an undemocratic and autocratic Palestinian Authority that has been unwilling to make peace but opens the way to make Arab lives more prosperous and free.
One, based on the core belief that Arabs have a far stronger loyalty to family and clan than to an imposed leadership, creates self-governing independent city-states (i.e. Monaco) that can coordinate into an emirates-type federation.
One proposes parts of the West Bank confederated to Jordan with the Gaza Strip confederated to Egypt and with Israel retaining Area C as sovereign territory.
Another offers a generous humanitarian solution to Arabs unwilling to live and prosper in an Israeli liberal democracy.
It is time that the world was allowed to hear viable alternatives before coming to the wrong conclusion that there aren’t any.
It should be vitally important to bring the voices of alternative solutions to public and diplomatic awareness.
Some of these formulas may be accepted. Some may not, but the only other alternative left to us it seems to me is to chase after a two-state fantasy for another fifty years – and that is no alternative at all.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly while hoping for a different outcome.
Give the alternatives the air to breathe – and there are alternatives.
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.
He is the author of the new book ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel’