Is Palestine in the Works?

Betzalel Smotritch of Bayit Yehudi, a member of Netanyahu’s government took to Facebook yesterday to slam the Prime Minister into working with the Trump administration in setting up the circumstances for a Palestinian State.

“In recent weeks, there have been too many indications that the Prime Minister is quietly cooking up a process that will lead to the establishment of Palestine. All this talk about a ‘deal’ and a regional peace conference, the freezing of construction outside the blocs (those who do not build outside the blocs essentially say that the State of Israel is not going to remain there), and the reports about a ‘deal’ that Trump proposed to Abbas for negotiations in return for a construction freeze; reports in Haaretz on contacts between Netanyahu and Herzog to establish a unity government based on the renewal of the ‘political process’; Netanyahu’s desire to build an ‘Iran bypass route’ with moderate Arab states in which the price Israel will have to pay in order to build this axis will be on the settlement front.”

Smotritch is referring to Trump’s desire to find a workable solution to the perceived Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a regional understanding with the “moderate” Sunni States. The regional solution is something Netanyahu has long advocated for. With Trump’s past hints that this is indeed in the works and his envoy Jason Greenblatt in Israel working on an understanding with Israel on future building within Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, there appears to be some truth to Smotritch’s claims.

In fact, Trump seems to be far more open on the regional avenue.  In a meeting with Saudi defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trump expressed his “strong desire” to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How Does Trump’s Vision Differ From Previous Administrations?

It is clear now that Trump views an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord as vitally important, yet the contours of that agreement remain sketchy.  Trump’s envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt has done the unprecedented by meeting with leaders from Judea and Samaria during his trip to Israel and Jordan. Whatever the contours, it is clear that the approach is very different from before.  In the past a regional approach had meant that in exchange for destroying flourishing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in order to create Palestine, the “moderate” Sunni states would make peace with Israel.  Trump’s vision seems to be different. By not demanding a peace agreement based on the 1948 armistice lines it shifts the paradigm between Israel and the Arab states to something new. The shift is necessary, because without assurances that no Jewish community will be dismantled for “peace” Trump knows Netanyahu will not be able to pass a peace deal in the Knesset.

If Trump changes the focus of a potential accord between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the likelihood of a Palestinian State significantly increases.  Of course, the Palestinian State envisioned may be far closer to Luxembourg than Lebanon and if that’s the case then whose to say the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria and Jordan will go for it.



Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation.

Palestine is many things. A Roman name and a Cold War lie. Mostly it’s a justification for killing Jews.

Palestine was an old Saudi-Soviet scam which invented a fake nationality for the Arab clans who had invaded and colonized Israel. This big lie transformed the leftist and Islamist terrorists run by them into the liberators of an imaginary nation. Suddenly the efforts of the Muslim bloc and the Soviet bloc to destroy the Jewish State became an undertaking of sympathetically murderous underdogs.

But the Palestine lie is past its sell by date.

What we think of as “Palestinian” terrorism was a low-level conflict pursued by the Arab Socialist states in between their invasions of Israel. After several lost wars, the terrorism was all that remained. Egypt, Syria and the USSR threw in the towel on actually destroying Israel with tanks and jets, but funding terrorism was cheap and low-risk. And the rewards were disproportionate to the cost.

For less than the price of a single jet fighter, Islamic terrorists could strike deep inside Israel while isolating the Jewish State internationally with demands for “negotiations” and “statehood.”

After the Cold War ended, Russia was low on cash and the PLO’s Muslim sugar daddies were tired of paying for Arafat’s wife’s shoe collection and his keffiyah dry cleaning bills.

The terror group was on its last legs. “Palestine” was a dying delusion that didn’t have much of a future.

That’s when Bill Clinton and the flailing left-wing Israeli Labor Party which, unlike its British counterpart, had failed to adapt to the new economic boom, decided to rescue Arafat and create ”Palestine”.

The resulting terrorist disaster killed thousands, scarred two generations of Israelis, isolated the country and allowed Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major cities to come under fire for the first time since the major wars. No matter how often Israeli concessions were met with Islamic terrorism, nothing seemed able to shake loose the two-state solution monkey on Israel’s back. Destroying Israel, instantaneously or incrementally, had always been a small price to pay for maintaining the international order.

The same economic forces that were transforming the world after the Cold War had salvaged “Palestine”. Arafat had lost his sponsors in Moscow, but his new sugar daddy’s name was “Globalism”.

The Cold War had been the focus of international affairs. What replaced it was the conviction that a new world tied together by international commerce, the internet and international law would be born.

The demands of a clan in Hebron used to be able to hijack the attention of the world because the scope of the clash between Capitalism and Communism could globalize any local conflict. Globalization was just as insistent on taking local conflicts and making them the world’s business through its insistence that every place was connected. The terrorist blowing up an Israeli pizzeria affected stock prices in New York, the expansion prospects of a company in China and the risk of another terrorist attack in Paris. And interconnectedness, from airplane hijacking to plugging into the international’s left alliance of global protest movements, had become the  best weapon of Islamic terrorists.

But now globalization is dying. And its death may just take “Palestine” with it.

A new generation of leaders is rising who are actively hostile to globalization. Trump and Brexit were the most vocal rebukes to transnationalism. But polls suggest that they will not be the only ones. The US and the UK, once the vanguards of the international order, now have governments that are competitively seeking national advantages rather than relying on the ordered rules of the transnational safety net.

These governments will not just toss aside their commitment to a Palestinian state. Not when the Saudis, Qataris and countless other rich and powerful Muslim countries bring it up at every session.

But they will be less committed to it.

45% of Americans support the creation of a PLO state. 42% are opposed. That’s a near split. These historical numbers have to be viewed within the context of the larger changes sweeping the country.

The transnationalists actively believed that it was their job to solve the problems of other countries. Nationalists are concerned with how the problems of other countries directly impinge on them without resorting to the mystical interconnectedness of everything, from climate change to global justice, that is at the core of the transnational worldview.

More intense competition by Western nations may make it easier for Islamic agendas to gain influence through the old game of divide and conquer. Nations facing terrorism will still find that the economic influence of Islamic oil power will rally the Western trading partners of Islam against them.

But without the transnational order, such efforts will often amount to little more than lip service.

Nationalist governments will find Israel’s struggle against the Islamic invaders inconvenient because it threatens their business interests, but they will also be less willing to rubber stamp the terror agenda the way that transnationalist governments were willing to do. The elimination of the transnational safety net will also cause nationalist governments to look harder at consequences and results.

Endlessly pouring fortunes into a Palestinian state that will never exist just to keep Muslim oil tyrants happy is not unimaginable behavior even for a nationalist government. Japan has been doing just that.

But it will be a less popular approach for countries that don’t suffer from Japan’s energy insecurity.

Transnationalists are ideologically incapable of viewing a problem as unsolvable. Their faith in human progress through international law made it impossible for them to give up on the two-state solution.

Nationalist governments have a colder and harder view of human nature. They will not endlessly pour efforts and resources into a diplomatic black hole. They will eventually take “No” for an answer.

This won’t mean instantaneous smooth sailing for Israel. It will however mean that the exit is there.

For two decades, pledging allegiance to the two-state solution and its intent to create a deadly Islamic terror state inside Israel has been the price demanded of the Jewish State for its participation in the international community. That price will not immediately vanish. But it will become easier to negotiate.

The real change will be on the “Palestinian” side where a terrorist kleptoracy feeds off human misery in its mansions downwind of Ramallah. That terror state, conceived insincerely by the enemies of the West during the Cold War and sincerely brought into being by Western transnationalists after the Cold War ended, is a creature of that transnational order.

The “Palestinian Authority”, a shell company of the PLO which is a shell company of the Fatah terrorists, has no economy worth speaking of. It has foreign aid. Its diplomatic achievements are achieved for it by the transnational network of foreign diplomats, the UN, the media and assorted international NGOs. During the last round of “negotiations”, Secretary of State John Kerry even attempted to do the negotiating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the talks with Israel.

Take away the transnational order and the Palestinian Authority will need a new sugar daddy. The Saudis are better at promising money than actually delivering it. Russia may decide to take on the job. But it isn’t about to put in the money and resources that the PA has grown used to receiving from us.

Without significant American support, the Palestinian Authority will perish. And the farce will end.

It won’t happen overnight. But Israel now has the ability to make it happen if it is willing to take the risk of transforming a corrosive status quo into a conflict that will be more explosive in the short term, but more manageable in the long term.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in stark contrast to rivals on the left like Peres and on the right like Sharon, is not a gambler. The peace process was a big gamble. As was the withdrawal from Lebanon and the expulsion from Gaza. These gambles failed and left behind scars and enduring crises.

Unlike the prime ministers before and after him, Netanyahu has made no big moves. Instead he serves as a sensible steward of a rising economy and a growing nation. He has stayed in office for so long because Israelis know that he won’t do anything crazy. That sensible stewardship, which infuriated Obama who accused him of refusing to take risks, has made him one of the longest serving leaders in Israeli history.

Netanyahu is also a former commando who participated in the rescue of a hijacked airplane. He doesn’t believe in taking foolish risks until he has his shot all lined up. But the time is coming when not taking a risk will be a bigger risk than taking a risk. Eventually he will have to roll the dice.

The new nationalist wave may not hold. The transnational order may return. Or the new wave may prove darker and more unpredictable. It’s even possible that something else may take its place.

The status quo, a weak Islamist-Socialist terror state in Ramallah supported by the United States, a rising Muslim Brotherhood terror state in Gaza backed by Qatar and Turkey, and an Israel using technological brilliance to manage the threat from both, is already unstable. It may collapse in a matter of years.

The PLO has inflicted a great deal of diplomatic damage on Israel and Hamas has terrorized its major cities. Together they form an existential threat that Israel has allowed to grow under the guise of managing it. The next few years may leave Israel with a deadlier and less predictable struggle.

“Palestine” is dying. Israel didn’t kill it. The fall of the transnational order did. The question is what will take its place. As the nationalist wave sweeps the West, Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation.

Originally Published in FrontPageMag.


At the End of Days they Will Come for Jerusalem

As the Obama presidency winds down, observers are watching if he will take any unilateral action against the State of Israel.  Arguments abound on both sides, yet we who understand that these times cannot be judged on the logic of the past know that something else is afoot.  It’s true Obama can do little actual damage to Israel in a physical way, but with a number of resolutions on the table in the UNSC there is a clear trajectory to create a situation where just by an American abstention a de facto Palestinian State will be created. This state will forcibly divide Jerusalem, ripping out the Jewish Nation’s capital from within it and handing most of the holy sites to a made up people that never existed. All this will be on paper, left for Trump to deal with. Of course we all know that Donald Trump nor his senior advisers believe in a two state solution nor will they want to pressure Israel, but international law will have already been created.

Don’t Worry, We Have Seen This Show Before

History is neither linear nor static, but rather spiral. We understand that the Torah is the blueprint of Creation and in it is the archetypes for all time. The Palestinians draw their name from the British Mandate of Palestine, which in turn drew its name from the Roman colony of the same name, which was given by the Romans upon their expulsion of the Jews from Judea as well as the rest of the Land of Israel.

Why did the Romans name it Palestine? The Romans wanted to drive a knife into the collective heart of the Jewish people and chose the name of the long vanquished enemy of the first Kingdom of Israel, the Philistines.  The Hebrew root of Philistine means invader or one who invades. The Philistines came to invade the land of Israel even at the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is in this original setting that we understand the Philistine archetype is built into the creation until the end.

In this past week’s Torah portion Isaac busies himself in digging out the wells of his father Abraham.  These wells were stopped up by the Philistines.  In fact it clearly says they stopped them because the Philistines were jealous of Abraham and then Isaac.  Instead of asking to share the water, they preferred to block up the abundance which the Creator had given Abraham and his offspring.

At the End of Days, many Nations will attempt to utilize the false nation of Palestine to make one last chance to block Godliness from the world. This is why the ambush at the UNSC is happening. Jerusalem is the ultimate wellspring.  It is the ultimate source for Godliness in the world and it is in this place the nations of the world will fulfill the prophecy, either physically or politically that is so clearly spelled out in Zecharia chapter 12.

Zecharia Chapter 12;

1 The burden of the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The saying of the LORD, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him:
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of staggering unto all the peoples round about, and upon Judah also shall it fall to be in the siege against Jerusalem.

3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a stone of burden for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with bewilderment, and his rider with madness; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness.
5 And the chiefs of Judah shall say in their heart: ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength through the LORD of hosts their God.’
6 In that day will I make the chiefs of Judah like a pan of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire among sheaves; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem be not magnified above Judah.
8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbleth among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as a godlike being, as the angel of the LORD before them.
9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches us that the world was flipped on its head after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.  His student Reb Nosson teaches further that the point of the fiery sword, which flipped around and around was to block the re-entry of people to an orderly morality. The evil people seem to win and the righteous suffer, but at the end it all flips back the way it was originally supposed to be. The UNSC can vote whatever way they choose, but they should know they are only playing a role that was already prewritten for them.


ON THE FRONTLINES: Free Free Palestine

Free Palestine

In the 21st Century world of political and social justice tweeting, the slogan Free Free Palestine has been used by Israeli BDS movements around the world.  Like anything else in the struggle over the Land of Israel, names are important as is the history behind them.

In 1964, Yasser Arafat built the Palestine Liberation Organization around the idea of recapturing or conquering the Jewish state of Israel.  Either by a stroke of genius or luck, his choice of the name Palestine has been the single biggest weapon the Arabs of the Land of Israel have used against Israel.  If after all Israel is the rightful heir to the Land what was the need to change the name.  Palestine it always was, wasn’t it?

Of course, we all know that the name Palestine was not used as a legal definition to the land in question until the British created the Mandate of Palestine.  In fact, the Arabs at the time demanded the name the Turks used for the area remain, otherwise known as the area of Southern Syria, which included Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. It was the Jews who adopted the word Palestinian for themselves. Up until 1948, that was the name that was most synonymous with the cause of returning and creating a Jewish Homeland.

The name Palestine and Jewish Homeland was so intensely intertwined that the major organization that successfully lobbied the Congress for a sovereign Jewish State in the Palestinian Mandate was known as the American Palestine Committee. Two thirds of congress belonged to the committee whose singular aim was to establish an independent Jewish Commonwealth in the Land of Israel.

Free Palestine

So who are the Palestinians today? The question is one of semantics. If history is our guide, the Palestinians are today’s Israelis and the Palestinian flag is essentially the Israeli flag.  Those Arabs purporting to be Palestinian were residents of Southern Syria pushed to migrate to the southern Levant in hopes of blocking the Jewish resettlement of “Palestine.”

The key to peace in the region is removing the appropriation of one’s culture by another.  The Arabs of Southern Syria are nothing more than a vast collection of unconnected clans now conditioned to believe they were once a glorious nation.  These clans have almost nothing in common other than the religious, political, and cultural goal of serving as the spearhead of the neo-colonialist goal of delegitimizing the Jewish connection to te Land of Israel.

In order to destroy the plans of the Western dominated globalist security state is to free Palestine from its false association and rightfully placing it within its proper historical context.


Kurdistan, Biafra Denied Olympic Representation while non-state “Palestine” Gets Team

With eyes focused on the Rio Olympics, the hypocrisy of who gets to participate as a country or even a territory cannot be ignored. When real nations like Kurdistan, Biafra, and even the Lakota are not present because of political concerns, while non-state former terrorists known nowadays as “Palestine” get a team there is a sort of Alice in Wonderland moment at hand.

The same leftist organizations that are so intent on demonizing Israel and relishing in the inclusion of one of the biggest cheerleaders of anti-Jewish incitement in the world fall silent when it comes to the lack of recognition for the truly repressed nations.

Kurdistan is not only an autonomous zone in northern Iraq, but is the largest group of people never to have a defined homeland. With 14.5 million Kurds in Turkey, 6 million in Iran, another 6 million in Iraq, and 2 million in Syria, the Kurds are busy dying fighting ISIS and getting the shaft by the international community. While the Olympics may just be a sporting event, symbolism matters.

The real reason why Kurdistan has never had an Olympic team and will probably be denied one for the forseeable future is Turkey. Erdogan’s nemesis or bogy man is the Kurdish independence movement. Erdogan has used it at opportune times to deflect opponents and consolidate power. With Turkey’s population standing at 76 million, Kurds make up nearly 20% of the total.  This means any weakening towards recognizing a free Kurdistan could potentially rip Turkey apart.

Biafra, a nation in southeast Nigeria was forced by the British colonial masters to merge with Lagos Colony, and Hausaland in 1914 in order to create what is no known as Nigeria.  However, the British put a caveat in the decree that merged the three areas together. The charter would only last 100 years. Since 2014 Biafra has had a legal right to pull away from Nigeria.

One of the biggest reasons why Biafra has not seceded from Nigeria is it still remembers the Biafran war for independence in 1967-1970 that failed miserably and ended with between 3 to 6 million dead Biafrans. Not only that, but Britain is vehemently against an independent Biafra, because it would lose much if its control over Nigeria’s oil, which resides in Biafra as well as the Niger River delta where most of the oil is brought through.

The Lakota and other first world people have never been on the radar for going to the Olympics. Accepting them as an autonomous region would be a blow to America’s artificial narrative of protector of freedom and human rights. Afterall, the United States government has been trying to settle the Lakota’s outstanding claim to their land since the Treaty-of-Fort Laramie in 1868 and the government’s own violation of the treaty in 1877 (through the seizure of the Black Hills). So real is their case, the USA has repeatedly tried to offer a financial package, but the Lakota have turned it down demanding only the return of their land.


With these very real cases of national claims being denied, it is beyond strange that the world still sees it just to focus on a group of people who for the most part were coerced into migrating to the Land of Israel just over a century and half ago and have no defining mutual characteristic among them other than the rampant desire to kill Jews. Palestine was synonymous with Israel until the late arch terrorist appropriated the name in 1964. Until then Arabs of the Levant were Arabs.

In order for the Olympics to shake the corporatist wrappings they have become seen as representing, allowing representation to real national entities instead of false one, would be a great place to start the games’ rehabilitation.


Jewish Sovereignty Over the Land of Israel, Zionism and Our Indigeneity

This week’s Torah portion is the Parsha of Mas’ei.

“You shall possess the land and you shall dwell in it, for to you have I given the land to possess it.” (BAMIDBAR 33:53)

The Ramban offers a lengthy explanation of this verse, asserting that the mitzvah for the Jewish people to conquer and reside within the Land of Israel is a positive commandment of great consequence to the overall Hebrew mission.

“In my opinion this is a positive commandment, in which He (HaShem) is commanding them (Israel) to dwell in the land and inherit it, because He has given it to them and they should not reject the inheritance of HaShem. Thus if the thought occurs to them to go and conquer the land of Shinar or the land of Assyria or any other country to dwell therein, they would be transgressing the command of G-D. And that which our rabbis have emphasized (Ketubot 110b), the significance of the commandment of dwelling in the Land of Israel and the prohibition against leaving it, and that they even considered a woman who does not want to ascend with her husband to live in the Land of Israel [as a ‘rebellious wife’] and likewise the man – the source of all these statements here (in this verse) where we have been given this commandment, for this verse constitutes a positive commandment. And this commandment is repeated in many places, such as ‘Come and possess the land’ (DEVARIM 1:8).”

The Ramban demonstrates the above verse to be primarily teaching the eternal mitzvah for the Jewish people to assert political sovereignty over the Land of Israel and to reside within its borders.

In his supplement to the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot, the Ramban teaches that it is a Torah commandment in every generation that the Nation of Israel take control of and inhabit the entire Land of Israel.

“This (a war to liberate Eretz Yisrael) is what our Sages call milḥemet mitzvah (obligatory war). In the Talmud (Sotah 44b) Rava said, ‘Yehoshua’s war of liberation was an obligatory duty according to all opinions.’ And do not err and say that this precept is the commandment to vanquish the seven nations… this is not so. We were commanded to destroy those nations when they fought against us and had they wished to make peace we could have done so under specific conditions. Yet we cannot leave the land in their control or in the control of any other nation in any generation… Behold, we are commanded with conquest in every generation… this is a positive commandment which applies for all time… And the proof that this is a commandment is this: ‘They were told to go up in the matter of the spies: ‘Go up and conquer as HaShem, G-D of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear and do not be discouraged.’ And it further says: ‘And when HaShem sent you from Kadesh Barnea saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you.’ And when they did not go up, the Torah says: ‘And you rebelled against the Word of G-D, and you did not listen to this command.’” (Positive Commandment 4 of the Ramban’s supplement to the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot)

The Ramban asserts that the conquest of Eretz Yisrael is a mitzvah for Israel in every generation and that we are forbidden from allowing any part of our country to fall into – or remain under – gentile control. It is found in the Shulḥan Arukh that all of the arbitrators of Torah Law (Rishonim and Aḥronim) agree with the Ramban concerning this issue.

“All of the Poskim, both Rishonim and Aḥronim, decide the Law in this fashion on the basis of the Ramban.” (Shulḥan Arukh, Even HaEzer section 75, Pitḥei Tshuva 6)

Although the Ramban (in his commentary to BAMIDBAR 33:53) acknowledges Rashi’s warning that Israel’s ability to survive and prosper in our homeland depends on the nation’s willingness to disinherit the gentiles who rule the country prior to our return, he offers a more lenient approach regarding the actions we must take against non-Jews merely inhabiting our land.

While many authorities assert that upon our return home from exile, Israel must drive out the gentiles in possession of our land, the Ramban insists that peace could be achieved between Israel and these people under certain conditions so long as the Hebrew Nation possesses undisputed sovereignty over the territory. Rashi appears to dispute this position, noting the following verse:

“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and a surrounding barrier of thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the land in which you dwell.” (BAMIDBAR 33:55)

On this verse, Rashi explains that “pins in your eyes” means “liteidot ham’nakrot eineikhem” – that sticks will be driven into your eyes, meaning that the wisdom of Israel’s leadership will be neutralized, such that they will be unable to see or understand that which a child can clearly see and understand. There will be a situation in which Jews protect themselves behind fences and walls, which “enclose and imprison them such that none can come in or leave.”

The holy Ohr HaḤaim supports Rashi’s explanation of this verse, commenting that: “Not only will they hold onto the part of the land that you have not taken, but the part which you have taken and settled as well. They shall cause you trouble regarding the part that you live in, saying ‘Get up and leave it.’”

The Ramban’s more nuanced distinction between peoples wielding dominion over the Jewish homeland and those who merely dwell peacefully in the country under Hebrew sovereignty helps account for the presence of Israel’s Kenite allies in ancient times. It also takes into consideration the Torah’s many references to the compassion we must display towards the stranger in our land, clarifying the special obligations Israel has to a Ger Toshav. By attempting to assert political control over portions of Eretz Yisrael, however, a gentile could easily move himself from one category to the other.

While Israel was clearly obligated, upon our return home in modern times, to fight a war of liberation to drive British Empire from our soil, the more contentious question remains how we should relate to the Palestinian national movement that professes to speak on behalf of all Palestinians while seeking to appropriate the Land of Israel from the Jewish people.

The Gaon of Vilna sheds light on this question in his commentary to ḤABAKUK, where he illuminates the concept of Peleshet and the uniqueness of its historic national role. The Gaon points out that the verse in BEREISHIT 10:14, which introduces the Philistines to the stage of history, does not describe their birth as the Torah describes the birth of other peoples.

“And Mitzraim begot Ludim, Anamim, Lehavim, Naphtuḥim, Patrusim, and Casluḥim, whence the Pelishtim (Philistines) came forth, andCaphtorim.” (BEREISHIT 10:13-14)

The Gaon explains that the birth of the Philistines, which is described in different language than the birth of other nations, was an unnatural occurrence and that they are entirely absent from the stage of world history with the exception of specific generations in which they serve their unique function. When the Nation of Israel enters our homeland in order to establish the Hebrew Kingdom – the vehicle through which all of humanity will be elevated to unparalleled blessings – the Philistines appear on the scene to try and prevent this kingdom from being established. This was the case when our patriarch Avraham first entered the land (there was a “land-for-peace” deal aggressively solicited by Avimelekh of Grar), it occurred when his son Yitzḥak was faced with Philistine aggression and it was true throughout the period of the Judges up until the secure establishment of the Davidic dynasty when Israel finally implemented full dominion over the country.

Peleshet then inexplicably disappeared from history until modern times when it once again attempts to obstruct the establishment of G-D’s kingdom. The Gaon explains that without the necessary force of Peleshet, Israel would be unable to rise up to our essential mission and realize the true significance of Jewish sovereignty in our homeland. HaShem places this force into our world as a catalyst for Israel to reach our full national potential.

The truth in the Gaon’s words is evident today. As a result of our difficult struggle with Palestinian nationalism – a nationalism that materialized largely upon our return home and solidified in reaction to misguided Israeli policies – we have failed to simply exist as a normal country but have instead been confronted with grueling questions of identity. The brutal conflict has forced us to examine who and what we truly are, as well as the core reason for returning home and establishing a state. The ostensibly legitimate claims of another people to our land forces us to question not only our innate connection to our soil but also the ideal place of a non-Jew in our society and Israel’s unique national function on the world stage. The grievances and accusations of another people against our state – often equating Zionism with racism or Western colonialism – compel us to embrace our indigeneity and authentic Semitic identity. By forcing out the bigger answers to the difficult questions they create, the force of Peleshet causes Israel to understand what it is that we are actually fighting for. And by the time we come to terms with our unique historic role and discover a genuine Hebrew approach for relating to the Other in our society, we will have already grasped the true purpose of the kingdom that will lead humankind to a world of total blessing.

The Alchemy of Palestinian Nationhood

“Alchemy: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation” (The Oxford Dictionary).

“I do not think there is a Palestinian nation at all. I think there is an Arab nation. I think it’s a colonialist invention — a Palestinian nation. When were there any Palestinians? Where did they come from? I think there is an Arab nation.” (Azmi Bashara, Channel 2, 1996).

“The Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation. … The Palestinian people believe in Arab unity. In order to contribute their share toward the attainment of that objective, however, they must, at the present stage of their struggle, safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity” (The Palestinian National Charter).

As the end of May draws closer so does the prospect of a French convened international summit, aimed at “relaunching the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” Inevitably, efforts will be focused on reviving the relevance of the two-state paradigm, after a long — and well-deserved — period in “cold storage.”

Plausible perils

Indeed, perhaps the most puzzling conundrum regarding the discourse on the Middle East conflict is the enduring centrality of an idea that has so little to support it, either in terms of its empirical record or its conceptual plausibility.

After all, as Israel’s newly appointed consul general in New York, Dani Dayan wrote some time ago in a New York Times opinion piece: “The insertion of an independent Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan would be a recipe for disaster. … The new state [would become] a hotbed of extremism. … Any peace agreement would collapse. … Israel would then be forced to recapture the area.”

This is hardly an improbable scenario, given the precedent of previous Israeli withdrawals. Indeed, every time Israel has evacuated territory it has become a platform from which to launch lethal attacks against it — whether in Gaza, Lebanon or Sinai, where an assorted collection of jihadi extremists are ever-tightening their grip over the peninsula.

Clearly, in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, there is no reason — other than unsubstantiated hope and unfounded optimism — that a similar fate would not — sooner or later — befall the “West Bank,” were the IDF to evacuate it.

The question then arises: Why would any rational person embrace a policy that so clearly threatens to wreak tragedy on Israelis and Palestinians alike?

Transparent trickery

In the course of modern history mankind has not infrequently been afflicted by political perspectives and policy prescriptions that were manifestly misguided, and by doctrinal dogmas that were demonstrably disastrous. Few, however, have been as transparent in their undisguised trickery as what has, perversely, become known as the “two-state-solution” (or TSS).

Based on the flawed and failed notion of land-for-peace, whose validity has repeatedly been disproven, but somehow never discredited and certainly never discarded, it has, for decades, inexplicably monopolized the debate on the Israel-Arab conflict in general, and the Israel-Palestinian conflict in particular.

What makes the dominance of the TSS-approach so difficult to fathom, is not only that it is anchored neither to empirical fact nor to logical consistency, but that the Arabs openly admit that it is nothing but subterfuge.

This assertion cannot be dismissed as some radical right-wing rant. It is the unavoidable conclusion that emerges from the deeds, declarations and documents of the Palestinians.

Nationhood as alchemy

To understand how unmoored the TSS-approach is from both fact and logic, consider how devoid of substance the key elements, which allegedly underpin it, are — such as the “Palestinian nation” and “Palestinian homeland.”

To illustrate this seemingly far-reaching assertion, suppose for a moment that the Arabs had not initiated the war of annihilation against Israel in 1967. Who then would have been the Palestinians? More important, what would have been Palestine?

After all, at the time, the Arab Palestinians resident in the “West Bank” were not stateless. Until 1988, all were Jordanian citizens.

Moreover, the 1964 version of the Palestinian National Charter (Article 24) explicitly proclaimed, not only that the “West Bank” was not part of the Palestinian homeland, but that it was part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

So, had the Arabs not initiated a war of annihilation against Israel, the Arab residents of the “West Bank” would have been Jordanians, and the territory of the “West Bank” would have been Jordan.

However, in 1967 the Arabs did initiate their overtly genocidal aggression against the Jewish state, which resulted in spectacular failure.

From this mixture of defeat and disappointment, “a seemingly magical process of transformation/creation” began to emerge before our very eyes. Poof! As if by some mysterious alchemistic mechanism, Jordanian nationals were transformed into a “Palestinian nation” and Jordanian territory was transformed into a “Palestinian homeland.”

Palestine is where the Jews are

On May 27, 1967, barely a week before the outbreak of the Six-Day War, Ahmad Shukeiri, Yasser Arafat’s predecessor as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, bellowed: “D-Day is approaching. The Arabs have waited 19 years for this and will not flinch from the war of liberation.”

On June 1, he crowed: “This is a fight for the homeland — it is either us or the Israelis. There is no middle road. The Jews of Palestine will have to leave. … We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants and as for the survivors — if there are any — the boats are ready to deport them.”

Even for the most avid adherent of the TSS-approach, Shukeiri’s use of the words “liberation” and “homeland” should be enlightening. For they certainly did not — and could not — apply to the “West Bank” (or Gaza), since both were under Arab rule and clearly did not comprise the “homeland,” towards which Palestinian “liberation” efforts were directed.

The conclusion appears inescapable.

Rather than defining any specific territory as homeland, “Palestine” is a highly fluid geographical entity, used to designate any territory where the Jews exercise control, from which Arabs have a “sacred duty” to “liberate” it.

Palestine: Pre-1967 vs post-1967

Following the debacle of June 1967, the thrust of Arab “liberation” efforts changed.

Whereas prior to this date, the focus was on the land west of the Green Line, Arab endeavor now switched to that lying east of it, and which had fallen under Israeli control as a result its victory in the defensive war forced upon it — despite Israel’s entreaties to Jordan not to join the planned Arab onslaught against it.

This, however, was only an intermediate aim in a staged strategy to eliminate the Jewish state entirely, whatever its borders.

Perhaps the most explicit — but certainly by no means, the only — articulation of the post-1967 design was that of the oft-quoted, but yet-to-be repudiated, Zuheir Muhsein, former head of the PLO’s Military Department and a member of its Executive Council.

Echoing the identical position set out in the introductory excerpt by Azmi Bishara, a self-proclaimed “Palestinian” who represented the anti-Zionist Arab list Balad in the Knesset until forced to flee because of allegations of treason, Muhsein also opined that “the Palestinian people does not exist.”

He elaborated: “The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity. … It is only for political and tactical reasons that we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”

He then clearly elucidated the rationale of the post-1967 staged strategy, and the crucial role the construct of a “Palestinian identity” had to play in implementing it: “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beersheba and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

Temporary tactical construct

It would be a grave error to dismiss this as merely the opinion of a single, long-forgotten Palestinian leader.

It is a view that has been expressed by many Arab leaders, Palestinian or otherwise, from Farouk Kaddoumi to King Hussein.

More recently, it has been reiterated by none other than the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who in 2014 proclaimed: “We will never recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel.”

But more important, it is a sentiment that permeates the entire Palestinian National Charter, according to which, “The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time.”

But no less significant and revealing is the proviso conveyed in the citation from the charter in the introductory excerpt above, regarding the need for the Palestinians to “safeguard their Palestinian identity and develop their consciousness of that identity,” which is to be limited to “the present stage of their struggle.”

Think of it. What other nation declares that its national identity is merely a temporary ploy to be “safeguarded” and “developed” for the “present stage” alone? Does any other nation view their national identity as so ephemeral and instrumental? The Italians? The Brazilians? The Turks? The Greeks? The Japanese? Of course not!

The merging of ends and means

But what is the purpose of this temporary ruse? The charter is quite explicit: For Palestinians “to contribute their share to the attainment of [the] objective of Arab Unity.” And Arab unity, to what end? The liberation of Palestine, “illegally partitioned” in 1947, which is both the goal of, and the vehicle for, Arab unity.

Article 13 says it all: “Arab unity and the liberation of Palestine are two complementary objectives, the attainment of either of which facilitates the attainment of the other.

“Thus, Arab unity leads to the liberation of Palestine, the liberation of Palestine leads to Arab unity.”

So there you have it: The Palestinians’ political philosophy in a nutshell … and in their own words. The aspiration for the liberation of Palestine — aka the destruction of Israel — is the force for Arab unity, while the achievement of such liberation/destruction will provide the impetus for pan-Arab unity — presumably via the sense of empowerment and achievement it will generate.

Debunking a dangerous dichotomy

While it is true the implementation of the TSS will in all likelihood bring tragedy to both sides, that is not the only reason to oppose it.

It is a proposal that has no foundation in fact, morality or logic; it is devoid of any justification in history or in present politics.

To quote Dayan again: “Giving up this land in the name of a hallowed two-state solution would mean rewarding those who’ve historically sought to destroy Israel, a manifestly immoral outcome.”

Sadly, it is precisely because the TSS-paradigm is so unfounded, no more capable of resolving the conflict than alchemy is capable of transforming base metal to gold, that its dominance of the discourse constitutes a huge indictment of the intellectual competence of the Israeli leadership.

For not only has that leadership been unable to expose it as a flimsy falsehood, openly acknowledged by Arabs, and to consign it to the garbage heap of history, they have allowed the discourse to be needlessly corralled into a false dichotomy.

It is a dichotomy that is as dangerous as it is deceptive, making it seem that the only choices are either a geographically untenable Jewish democracy, or a demographically untenable Jewish ethnocracy.

Israeli intellectual ineptitude

This is a completely misleading and misplaced perception of reality. Indeed, there exist alternative democratic and Zionist-compliant options that can provide both Palestinians and Israelis with better and more secure lives. Regrettably, it is only Israeli political ineptitude that has prevented serious discussion of their viability and validity.

Unless the Israeli leadership can muster the political will and the intellectual ability to force these alternatives to the center stage of the debate, the consequences will almost certainly be calamitous.

(Originally published on Israel Hayom)

The Conflict Over the Land of Israel Is Very Simple

The intractability of the 100-year dispute between Jew and Arab over the Land of Israel is rooted not in its complexity, but its brutal simplicity.

Until 1967, Israel did not hold an inch of the Sinai Peninsula and the West Bank, the Gaza Strip or the Golan Heights. Israel held not an acre of what is now considered disputed territory. And yet we enjoyed no peace. Year after year Israel called for – pleaded for – a negotiated peace with the Arab governments. Their answer was a blank refusal and more war… The reason was not a conflict over territorial claims. The reason was, and remains, the fact that a free Jewish state sits on territory at all. – Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, before a joint session of the US Congress, January 28, 1976

We will never recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel. – Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, Cairo, November, 2014

One of the widely propagated falsehoods regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, and Palestinian-Israeli one in particular, is that it is an immensely complex problem requiring great sophistication and creativity to resolve.

Brutal simplicity

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The 100-year struggle between Jew and Arab over control of the Holy Land, extending west of the Jordan River to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, is in fact a very simple one.

But recognition of the stark simplicity of the conflict does not in any way imply that it is easy to resolve. In fact, it is the brutal simplicity of the conflict that makes a solution so elusive.

Any endeavor to obfuscate this unpalatable fact can only have – indeed, has had – gravely detrimental, even tragic, consequences, just as mistaken diagnosis of a malaise is likely to have detrimental, even tragic, outcomes. Any attempt to portray the conflict as “complicated” is not a mark of sophistication or profundity, but rather of a desire to evade the merciless, unembellished truth.

For the clash between Jew and Arab over the exercise of national sovereignty anywhere west of the Jordan is a classic “them” or “us” scenario, an arch-typical zerosum game, in which the gains of one side are unequivocally the loss of the other.

No amount of genteel pussyfooting around this harsh reality will change it. No amount of polite politically correct jargon will soften it.

Essence of enmity

This reality is aptly conveyed by the introductory excerpt from Yitzhak Rabin’s January 1976 address to a joint session of the US Congress, when in his more lucid, pre-Oslo, period he succinctly diagnosed that the root of Arab Judeophobic enmity was not a dispute over any particular allocation of territory between Jew and Arab, but the allocation of any territory for Jewish sovereignty: “The reason [for the Arab refusal of peace and the ongoing belligerency] was not a conflict over territorial claims. The reason was, and remains, the fact that a free Jewish state sits on territory at all.”

Rabin’s assessment was valid then; it is valid today.

No matter what territorial configuration for dividing the land was proposed, it was invariably rejected by Israel’s Arab interlocutors – from the 1947 Partition Plan, through the far-reaching concessions offered by Ehud Barak in 2000, that elicited nothing but a massive wave of violence that lasted almost five years and left thousands dead and injured; to the even more dramatically pliant proposal put forward by Ehud Olmert and rejected by Abbas in 2008.

Clearly then, as Rabin identified, the roots of Arab belligerence vis-a-vis the Jews cannot be traced to any specific borders of the Jewish state – but to the existence of the Jewish state itself.

Not about borders, but existence

Accordingly we are compelled to the conclusion that the “root causes” of the dispute are:
• not about Jewish military “occupation” of Arab land; but about Jewish political existence on any land;
• not about the Jewish state’s policies; but about the Jewish state per se; and
• not about what the Jewish people do; but about what the Jewish people are.

Resounding affirmation of this came from the allegedly “moderate” and “pragmatic” Abbas himself, who in November 2014 told an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that no peace accord with Israel was possible if this involved recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people – see introductory excerpt.

This was no slip of the tongue.

Several months earlier, Reuters reported (March 9): “The Arab League has backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’… [and] endorsed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejection of Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state.” The League issued a statement declaring: “The council of the Arab League confirms its support for the Palestinian leadership…

and emphasizes its rejection of recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish state.’” Clearly, this should be a sobering message for all the self-professed Zionists who have so eagerly advocated that Israel adopt the Arab League Plan (aka the “Saudi Initiative”) – which calls for a return to the indefensible pre-1967 lines, division of Jerusalem, return of Arab refugees, and withdrawal from the Golan Heights – as a basis for peace negotiations and pan-Arab recognition.

Recognition? Really? As an un-Jewish state? How accommodating.

Resolute rejection of recognition

This resolute rejection of Jewish sovereignty, which increasingly has reflected itself in expression of revulsion at things Jewish, should be seen as the back drop to some recently reported – and revealing – incidents.

Thus following Abbas’s outrageous declaration last September that Jews have no right to “desecrate” the Temple Mount with “their filthy feet,” and his incendiary endorsement of the harassment of Jewish visitors by Arab hooligans, the allegedly moderate Jordanian government warned of “serious consequences” if the Jewish state allowed Jews to visit the site which according to Jewish religion is the most holy to Jews.

Significantly, the Jordanian warning came soon after Amman, under intense Palestinian pressure, recanted on its proposal to install security cameras to document events and monitor attempts to instigate violence on the Temple Mount, leaving Arab hoodlums free to assail Jewish visitors with impunity while accusing them of aggression and desecration.

Then, of course there was the impudent and blatantly Judeophobic characterization of MK Tzipi Livni as “so smelly” by a Harvard law student, one Husam El-Qoulaq, reportedly head of Harvard’s Students for Justice in Palestine.

The reported transcript (Ynet, April 22) of the incident dispels any doubt that the barb was an intentional slur: STUDENT: Okay, my question is for Tzipi Livni, um, how is it that you are so smelly? (panel looks confused) STUDENT: Oh, it’s regarding your odor.

MODERATOR: I’m not sure I understand the question.

STUDENT: I’m question (sic) about the odor of Tzipi Livni, very smelly.

Bitter fruits of pliancy

There is a bitter sense of irony in this incident involving Livni. After all, she has been arguably the most pliant of all mainstream Israeli politicians toward Palestinian demands.

The abuse she was subject to serves to underscore the bitter fruits of such pliancy and to reinforce the validity of the previous diagnosis of the sources of Arab opprobrium toward all things Jewish: It is not about what the Jews do, but what they are – Jewish.

Commenting on the incident, well-known scholar Robert Spencer aptly remarked: “One thing is certain: If the roles had been reversed, and a Jewish student had asked a Muslim politician why she was so ‘smelly,’ that student would no longer be at Harvard, and would be subjected to international opprobrium, while stories on ‘Islamophobia’ would be blanketing the airwaves and filling mainstream media publications.”

Too true.

Indeed, imagine the international outcry if an Israeli leader, say Benjamin Netanyahu, had declared that the Palestinian-Arabs were desecrating Judaism’s holy sites, say the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, “with their filthy feet” and called on the “settlers” to “defend it by all means possible…”

Just imagine…

Perilous parallels

Irrepressible optimists and indefatigable two-state advocates cling desperately to irrelevant historical precedents in which once implacable enemies have put their bloody past and inimical grievances behind them and forged lasting peace agreements that have permitted them to live in political harmony and economic prosperity.

In this regard, they frequently point to the cases of Germany and Japan, who were bitter enemies of the Allies in WWII, the largest conflict humanity has ever known, in which tens of millions perished, cities were devastated and economies ruined. Yet a few short decades after the cessation of hostilities, both were staunch allies and robust trading partners of their erstwhile foes.

These are dangerously false analogies. We should be wary of being misled by them and cautious of drawing misplaced conclusions from them.

Putting aside for the moment the innate and obdurate antagonism that Islam harbors for all that is not Islam, there are important differences in the geo-political structure of the situation prevailing in post-WWII Japan and Germany, on the one hand, and that facing Israel today, on the other.

First of all, both the Germans and Japanese were unequivocally defeated and signed documents of unconditional surrender, something the Arabs in general, and the Palestinian-Arabs in particular, have not been required to do.

Berlin is not Baghdad

Secondly, and arguably more significant, unlike any prospective Palestine state, which would be part and parcel of a larger Islamic world, Germany was not surrounded by a swathe of kindred Teutonic nations, nor Japan by kindred Nipponic nations, that, driven by a radical Teutonic/Nipponic ideology, strove continually to undermine the stability and legitimacy of any peaceable regime that foreign powers might install.

Overlooking this element was in no small measure part of the reason for the failure of the American attempt to set up amenable, democratically oriented regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. For unlike defeated Berlin (and Tokyo), Baghdad (and Kabul) and their environs were continually assailed by Islamic insurgents, financed and equipped from surrounding Muslim countries, imperiling any government not to their liking.

This is a lesson Israel will ignore at its peril.

For this is precisely the situation that any regime set up in territory evacuated by Israel is almost certainly liable to face – and precisely the predicament that Israel would have to deal with in the wake of such evacuation.

Sadly, the vast majority of proposals for resolution of the conflict do exactly that, and are totally unmindful of the repercussions their implementation are liable to foment.

If Hamas were disarmed…

Thus, one of the frequently aired proposals is for the disarming of Hamas.

Nothing could highlight more effectively the moronic myopia of these kinds of suggestions than the previous analysis. For in the unlikely event that Hamas could be persuaded to disarm, how would it defend itself against more radical – and armed – challengers that would abound in and from its Islamic surrounds? And to what avail would Israel endeavor to disarm Hamas, only to have it replaced by a more menacing successor? This confronts Israeli policy-makers with almost mathematical algorithmic logic: The only way to ensure who rules – and does not rule – Gaza is for Israel to rule it itself. Precisely the same logic holds for Judea-Samaria.

The only way for Israel to do this without “ruling another people” is to relocate the “other people” outside the territory it is obliged to administer.

The only nonviolent and humane way to effect such relocation of the “other people” is by economic inducements – increasing material incentives to leave and disincentives to stay.

Q.E.D. What could be simpler or more compelling?

(Originally posted on Jpost)

The 2-State Notion Is No Solution

One of the most perverse paradoxes in the political discourse on the Israeli-Arab conflict is that the people who supported the two-state principle should have been its fiercest opponents — at least if we are to judge by the “enlightened” moral values and progressive political pragmatism they purportedly invoke for endorsing it.

For even the most perfunctory analysis quickly reveals the two-state endeavor to be not only an exercise in utter futility, which will not attain any of its declared aims, but one that is both self-obstructive and self-contradictory. In fact, it would most likely bring about the exact opposite of its stated aims.

The two-state endeavor is immoral, irrational, and incompatible with the long-term existence of Israel as the Jewish nation-state.

It is immoral because it will create realties that are the absolute negation of the lofty values invoked for its implementation.

It is irrational because it will generate the precise perils it was designed to prevent.

It is incompatible with Israel’s long-term existence as the Jewish nation-state because it will almost inevitably culminate in a mega-Gaza on the outskirts of the greater Tel Aviv area.

Why the two-state endeavor is immoral

Typically — indeed, almost invariably — two-state proponents lay claim to the moral high ground, invoking lofty liberal values for their political credo, while impugning their ideological opponents’ ethical credentials for opposing it.

Indeed, given the socio-cultural conditions in virtually all Arab countries, and the precedents set in Palestinian-administered territories evacuated by Israel, the inevitable outcome of the two-state notion is not difficult to foresee. Indeed , there is little reason to believe (and certainly two-state proponents have never provided anything approaching a persuasive one) that any prospective Palestinian state, established on any territory Israel evacuated, will quickly become anything but yet another homophobic, misogynistic Muslim-majority tyranny.

Why on earth then would anyone who allegedly subscribes to values of gender equality, tolerance of sexual preferences and political pluralism endorse any policy that would almost certainly obviate the ethical tenets they purport to cherish? On what basis could advocating the establishment of such an entity be made a claim for the moral high ground — or indeed for any moral merit whatsoever?

Why the two-state endeavor is irrational

But it is not only in terms of moral outcomes that the two-state paradigm is a perversely self-obstructive endeavor. The same is true for the practical outcomes that it will almost certainly precipitate.

It is hard to say what has to happen before it is recognized that the land-for-peace doctrine, on which the two-state concept is based, is a perilously counterproductive endeavor — as it has in every instance it was attempted, not only in the Arab-Israeli context, but whenever an effort was made to appease tyranny with political concessions and territorial withdrawals.

For whenever that unfortunate formula has been applied, rather than result in peace, it has produced increased violence and bloodshed. Every time territory has been relinquished to Arab control, that territory has, sooner or later — usually sooner rather than later — become a platform for launching lethal attacks against Israel: Almost immediately in Gaza, within months in Judea and Samaria, within years in southern Lebanon and after several decades in Sinai, which is now descending into the depths of depravity and unspeakable brutality — with no good options on the horizon.

In light of the grim precedents provided by previous land-for-peace experiments, together with the no less grim trends in Arab society in general and Palestinian society in particular, continued insistence on this fatally flawed formula is both gravely irrational and grossly irresponsible.

Why the two-state endeavor is incompatible with Israel’s existence

Thus, apart from wishful thinking, dangerously detached from any prevailing (or foreseeable) reality, stubborn adherence to the two-state dogma has no value — neither in terms of its moral merits nor its political pragmatism. Worse yet, the pursuit of it is totally incompatible with Israel’s long-term existence.

To grasp the fundamental validity of this seemingly far-reaching statement it is necessary to recognize that today, with the changing nature of Arab enmity, the major existential challenge to Israel’s existence as the Jewish nation-state is no longer fending off invasion, but resisting attrition.

Nowhere was this more starkly evident than in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, where continued bombardment resulted in the evacuation of entire Jewish communities in Israel’s south.

Without compelling evidence to the contrary, there is little reason to believe, and certainly to adopt as a working assumption, that the realities in the south will not be repeated on Israel’s eastern border — with several chilling differences.

The most plausible outcome of an Israeli evacuation of Judea and Samaria is the emergence of a mega-Gaza on the very outskirts of the greater Tel Aviv area and other major urban centers in the heavily populated coastal plain. But unlike Gaza, which has a border of 51 kilometers (32 miles) and no topographical command of adjacent territory inside the pre-1967 frontiers, the situation in Judea and Samaria would — to understate the case — be alarmingly different.

“Depraved indifference” of the two-state paradigm

Any Arab entity set up there would have a front abutting Israel’s most populous area, of about 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) and total topographical superiority over 80% of the country’s civilian population, vital infrastructure systems and 80% of its commercial activity.

All of these will be in range of weapons used against Israel from territory evacuated and transferred to Arab control. Accordingly, this grim caveat cannot be dismissed as “right-wing scaremongering” for it is merely the empirical precedent.

Any force deployed in these areas — whether regular or renegade — could, with cheap readily available weapons, disrupt at will any socio-economic routine in Israel’s coastal megalopolis, turning the popular tourist city of Netanya into a Sderot-by-the-sea, and making the attrition in daily life increasingly onerous.

There is, of course, little dispute over the assessment, that if Israel were to evacuate Judea and Samaria it would almost certainly fall into the hands of Hamas-like elements, or worse. At the very least, such an outcome is highly probable. Indeed, the only way to ensure that what happened in Gaza does not happen in Judea and Samaria is for Israel to retain control of this territory — thereby obviating implementation of the two-state formula and the emergence of a Palestinian state.

Surely then, given the grave — indeed, existential — risks inherent in the two-state paradigm, considerably heightened by the precarious position of the current regime in neighboring Jordan, threatened, as it is, by ever-ascendant Islamist elements, would it not be eminently reasonable to consider further advocacy of this perilous prescription as “reckless endangerment” — even “depraved indifference”?

Immediate imperative

Accordingly, with the catastrophic consequences of continued insistence on the quest for a two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict an ever more ominous likelihood, a determined search for plausible and durable alternatives — more moral, more rational and more compatible with the survival of the Jewish nation state — is now an urgent imperative.

(This article was originally published on Israel Hayom)