The dream of two states for two peoples will not realized in the tiny parcel of land that lies between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
The vision of Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat, Yossi Beilin and the EU, Dennis Ross and Foggy Bottom, Ron Lauder and the "Jewish People Policy Planning Institute", is unacceptable to the leaders of the Muslim world, to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and to global Jihadists.
Events surrounding the 1915-1916 MacMahon-Hussein Correspondence, outbreaks of violence between 1920-1936, the 1937 Peel commission, the 1939 MacDonald White Paper, the 1947 UN partition plan, Menachem Begin's autonomy plan, Oslo, Intifadas, roadmaps and various two state initiatives demonstrate the futility of expecting any Arab leader coming to terms with Jewish sovereignty over any part of a divided land. Total Arab rejection of a Jewish State has not changed over the past 100 years.
PM Netanyahu's generous 2009 Bar Ilan "two-state" offer was stillborn the moment he required that one of the "two-peoples" recognize the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish State. As Abu Mazen proclaimed: "The Palestinian people (sic) will never accept the right of the Jewish people to their own State. Not for a 1000 years!"
It does not take too much insight to comprehend the consequences of Israel's various withdrawals from1956 until today. Every time Israel blinked the Jihadist mission of cleansing the Middle East, first of Jews and then Christians was encouraged. The day after Israel withdrew from Gaza, missiles were launched in the expectation that continued violence would assure further withdrawals from "occupied territories" that include every bit of land west of the Jordan River. The new Gaza quickly witnessed the Hamas Jihadist takeover with Fatah "moderates" ejected from the roofs of six story buildings. Each Israeli concession or withdrawal bolstered Jihadists with the conviction that further violence would encourage the Jews in "Palestine" to flee to Europe and elsewhere.
A basic tenet of Islam is Jihad: the struggle for Islam's global ascendancy by any possible means. As interpreted by authoritative teachings cited by Imam and scholar alike, that primary Jihadist obligation is legally and morally suspended only in times or in places where the chance of Jihadist success is minimal. Thus weakness or compromise by those defending themselves against Jihad is viewed as submission and a signal that Jihadist ventures can resume. It is understandable, therefore, that the history of "salami" concessions designed in good faith by leaders schooled in Western thought and culture to encourage and bring about a "two-states for two peoples" resolution only increases instability and conflict by signaling the Jihadists that the time is ripe to return to violence to destroy the Jewish State.
So why do so many well meaning people such as Tzipi Livni (former foreign minister and Prime Minister wannabe), Ehud Olmert from the witness stand, the editors of the NY Times, Haaretz, Manchester Guardian, Professors in Haifa and Ben Gurion not to mention Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities continue to promote, preach, and struggle for a new Middle East with Arabs and Jews living, working, and prospering together? The Pollyannaish solution to the "Arab-Israeli" conflict is captivating. It is a function of the Western bias that all Peoples and their leaders want what our culture dictates to be desirable and that any conflict can be resolved by reason and good will.
They argue moreover that two states for two peoples is the only way to preserve Israel as a Jewish democratic state. This conclusion is based on faulty demographic arguments and faulty predictions of behavior patterns. It would lead to the opposite result: the creation of a Jihadist state in Israel's backyard which will guarantee the disappearance of the Jewish state!
For the time being, let us leave Gaza to its own devices. It may remain a "free and independent" Islamic entity, it may revert back to Egyptian domination, or maybe a new Turkish flotilla will reassert Ottoman control. But it should not be the concern of Israel. Indeed, the Arabs of Israel and Yehuda and Shomron (widely known as the former West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan) have little kinship and little interest in the Arab population of Gaza.
As to the intellectual proposition that a "two state solution" is necessary for Israel to continue as a "Jewish democratic state", it is now well established since the groundbreaking 2005 demographic studies and projections of Zimmerman, Seid and Wise issued by the American Israel Demographic Research Group that the demographic facts and trends do not require the artificial exclusion of people and territory from Israel sovereignty. Until that study was digested by impartial academics, professors of Demography and Geography told the world and told Israelis and Israeli policy makers that there was an Arab majority between the River and the Sea and as a consequence, separation and creation of a Palestinian "State" was the only way to preserve Israel as a Jewish State.
But that mantra, the two-state "solution", is based on faulty data, logic, and perception. It is also falsely based on security, demographic, political, economic, electoral, societal considerations on many levels.
Currently the Jewish population of green line Israel, Yehuda and Shomron is 67% Jewish.
The last 20 years of birth data combined with migration data have established that there is positive Jewish demographic momentum and if Israel does not pursue policies that encourage Jihadists that 67% majority is expected to grow.
Ask yourself and your friends and neighbors the difficult question: What percent minority population would allow Israel to maintain its character as a Jewish State? (By the way, there is nothing to be embarrassed about living in a Jewish State. The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has 57 members, 56 of which are members of the United Nations.) The answers will vary from zero percent Arabs (the extreme left in Israel oddly enough now want no Arabs and a very high fence!!) all the way to "it does not matter" (we want "a state of all its citizens").
Will Israel with a one-third non-Jewish minority lose its character as a Jewish State?
Will the two-thirds Jewish majority prosper in Israel? The conclusion that there is positive Jewish demographic momentum changes many of the previously held beliefs about the future of the Jewish State. Indeed, demographic considerations have impacted policy, strategy, and planning from the first Zionist Congress until today. The Mandate for Palestine which was approved unanimously on July 24, 1922 by the League of Nations and separately by the US Congress, formally legalized for all time the Jewish right to Palestine. The Mandate understood that a Jewish State could not be practically declared until there were more Jews in the Land. The Mandate formally called for the Jews of the world to support and encourage re-population of Palestine. Jews were encouraged to immigrate and support financially, physically and spiritually the growth of a Jewish majority in the Land. Once that majority was achieved, a Jewish State could be declared and the trusteeship could end.
Distinguished historians, political scientists and sociologists preach that in all cases once a minority community reached 20% or possibly 30% and certainly 33% of the total population, the character of a state changes. The majority cultural group loses its integrity and a new creation is morphed into reality. Conversely, a less than 20% minority group quickly assimilates and becomes absorbed by the dominant 80% majority population.
Both of these propositions seem shaky as they relate to the internal dynamics of Israel.
Where and how was the "scientific" conclusion reached? By observing multiple societies around the world. Can these theories account for the history and integrity of the Jewish people through their almost 2,000 year Diaspora? No.
The survival of the Jewish people as distinct minorities in multiple societies suggests that Jewish society is a remarkable exception to conventional sociological thinking. Jewish minorities of 1-5% have prospered and grown in remarkably diverse environments, both economically, culturally, and demographically (sans pogroms and inquisitions) over a period of 2,500 years since the destruction of the First Temple. The Jews in Babylonia as well as in Lithuania, the Ukraine and Poland succeeded and violated all the accepted norms about assimilation and acculturation. Societies where the Jewish minority never even exceeded 5% exhibited extraordinary Jewish involvement in the highest levels of society and administrative infra-structure. We will not go into the causes and explanations, but there are many unique factors that contributed to their success. One need not explain the phenomenon to observe it as proven fact.
Now imagine a country that is 67% Jewish, with a strong Jewish participation in all segments from Arts and Science, Politics, Medicine, Law, Security and Foreign Policy, Business and Finance, High Tech and Agriculture etc. Will that society lose its Jewish character?
Per Israel's Declaration as an independent democratic Jewish State, the rights of minority communities and individuals must be preserved. But those minorities must uphold the Law of the Land and cannot be permitted to act inimically to the welfare of the country.
The fears of a fifth column are legitimate but are clouded by the current political environment. Israeli Arabs have been told by Israeli politicians and media for 20 years that there will be a hostile Arab state created in Israel's backyard. That is a guaranteed formula to foster an extremely hostile internal population. Once that proposition is laid to rest, the benefits of remaining or becoming part of Israel's success will become paramount for the vast majority of the Arab population. Recent events surrounding the "Arab Spring" have made it clear to the fortunate Arabs living in Israel and Yehuda and Shomron that a blue Israel Identity card is a treasured asset. Very few Israeli Arabs have sought refuge under the PA or have fled to Gaza or Syria.
Of course, the tragedies of the past century led to a fear that should the Jewish population of Israel drop to 66% majority, terrible catastrophes would emerge. But the fears do not take into account the experience and logic of Jewish sovereignty.
I am working on a study that analyzes the risks and benefits of a Jewish state with a one-third (and diminishing) Arab minority. The concerns that people express with regard to a large minority community, are generally very visceral and not well conceived. Those fears and phobias arise from multiple issues including (in no particular order): security, social, prejudice, political, economic, global reactions, character of a Jewish state, character of a democratic state, religious, inter-marriage, conversion, impact on aliyah and yeridah, government budgets, electoral, districting and representation, paths and criteria for citizenship, etc. Each of these "threats" must be analyzed, quantified and put into proper perspective using game theoretic disciplines.
How should Israel sovereignty over Yehuda and Shomron be implemented? Different annexation paths have been proposed. Phased in or partial annexation, districting, electoral reform and representation in the Knesset, various criteria for the changed legal status of the new residents of Israel, etc. Many possible paths were analyzed almost ten years ago and can be found at One State Plan
There is no quick, assured or ideal resolution to a conflict that has more than a 100 year history. Nonetheless, it has become increasingly clear that complete annexation of Yehuda and Shomron offers the best opportunity for security, peace and prosperity for all the residents of Israel.
Your comments are appreciated at mlwise @ gmail.com. More information can be found at One State Plan and Israel Demography.
Michael L. Wise
Article courtesy of Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar
Women For Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel