Tue, Apr

How to Get a Palestine State? Stop Hating the Jews


TWO STATE SOLUTION - The flurry of statements emanating from London, Washington, Brussels, and the United Nations of the “urgent” need to move toward establishment of a Palestinian state fail to recognize the prerequisite step: Such a state can only be a successful project if and when the Palestinians choose to abandon their thinking that the presence of Israel is temporary. 

The reality is both the Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinians are a permanent presence in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the Middle East. Some in the progressive American sphere have foolishly and impulsively argued for policy that bypasses discussions about conceptualization, timelines, and milestones. These naive fools instead advise to proceed straight toward recognition of a Palestinian state via forcing its implementation post haste (Israel’s security concerns be damned). The European Union’s Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell even said that talking, negotiating, and planning for a Middle East peace process is no longer needed; rather “we should start talking specifically about the two-state-solution implementation process”. 

These voices are actually advocating for a failed implementation. The primary obstacle to a Palestinian state is their unwillingness to accept that Israel exists and will forever be a neighbor to such a state. The brutal October 7 massacre continues to be rationalized by Palestinians and their supporters as justified and necessary. Such thinking does not frame a Palestine state that would be anticipated as neighborly toward Israel. 

A Palestinian state is not possible until they themselves initiate a change in their narrative about the Jews, i.e. they need to erase their thinking that the Jews are colonialists who can ultimately be removed. The permanence of the state of Israel is a fact that needs to be acknowledged and accepted before political actions toward establishing their statehood can be launched. 

Otherwise, the presence of a conceived Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza would surely be one that continues to provoke Israel. The existence of an internationally recognized border would be an obstacle inhibiting defensive Israeli security actions and responses. The international community would view the IDF’s (Israel Defense Forces) actions as a violation of a sovereign state (surely minimizing the repeated harms inflicted by such a state onto Israel which would happen so as to provoke her response). 

What would it take to actually procure a Palestinian state? Acceptance of Israel. The October 7 brutality clarifies that any progress is not feasible until Palestinians come to understand and believe that Israel has no desire to rule them. It is not sustainable; it is not good; it is not healthy: For either party. 

The current “occupation” continues from Israel’s perspective solely for security reasons. Israel has attempted multiple times (1978 Camp David (Carter), 1993 Oslo, 2000 Camp David (Clinton), 2001 Taba, 2008 Olmert) to negotiate an agreement inclusive of having most of the land won in the defensive 1967 Six Day War provided back to the Palestinians for the establishment of their state. Each of those attempts have failed due to the Palestinians inability to account for Israel’s security needs, and their inability to find leadership who will proclaim a vision of Israel being a welcomed neighbor, rather than a temporary obstacle. 

The international community is focused on “rights” - the right to self-determination. That concept is easy to accept and agree to. Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve self-determination. Full stop. What is not acceptable is the presumption embedded in the pervasive Palestinian thinking that Israel will be destroyed as part of the conceptual plan of creating a Palestinian state, or soon thereafter as a result of that state’s abilities and resources. 

Implementing a state before the Palestinians have fully, emotionally, and willingly accepted Israel’s permanence, would lead to international condemnations of Israel’s legitimate security responses, and will fill the docket at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Having a state of Palestine created without the prerequisite change of hearts, minds, and policy would mean such a state would have as its goal the desire to bulk up for an attack on the Israeli heartland, which is a mere 9 miles or less from the western borders of that proposed state. 

Bottom line, when the day arrives that the Palestinians become Zionists (belief that the Jews deserve a homeland), that is the day the first big step toward the creation of a Palestinian state can be truly taken with support from all stakeholders, especially the Israelis who would love to have prosperity happen in the major cities nearby in the Palestinian Territory, including Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, as well as Gaza City. 

(Mihran Kalaydjian is a consummate leading member of the community and a devoted civic engagement activist for education spearheading numerous academic initiatives in local political forums.) 

(David Alpern is an active leader in Southern California for more than 20 years on behalf of increasing education budgets, investment in the arts, carbon taxes, and the two-state solution to the Arab Israeli conflict.)