Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Two State Solution Fallacy

Charles Krauthammer's column today over at the National Review looks at the proposed 'two states for two peoples' solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict favored by the Obama Administration and refers to it as a 'red herring', a false argument:

Well, I think this argument over a two-state solution is a complete red herring.

There is no Israeli government, including Netanyahu's government, that would not accept a settlement in which a real Palestinian state genuinely accepted a settlement that ends the war with Israel and recognizes a Jewish state.

The problem is such a partner doesn't exist and hasn't existed ever. For the last nine years, you've had in Israel under Sharon and Olmert governments which accepted a two-state solution, have engaged in negotiations, and have essentially offered what Israel offered nine years ago under Ehud Barack, who's now the defense minister, with Bill Clinton assisting in that offer of a Palestinian state and a settlement in perpetuity with Israel.

The Palestinians rejected it at the time. They have rejected it ever since, which is why all the negotiations over the last eight years have failed. It's never been the Israeli problem. It's been the fact that the Palestinians will not accept a Jewish state.

Look, the Palestinians already have a state. It's called the Gaza. It's independent. There are no Israelis in Gaza. It's a terrorist state that has been at war with Israel ever since the day the Israelis left. It's an ally of Iran and Islamic radicalism.

The Israelis and Americans understand that if you have a Palestinian state of that sort in the rest of Palestine, it will be a catastrophe.

And what Israel is saying today is unless you talk about what kind of Palestinian state, that it can't be a Gaza state. It has to be a state that accepts Israel and accepts the peace, all talk of a two-state solution is irrelevant and is headed nowhere.

What Dr. Krauthammer is saying is entirely correct, but I think he misses a few important points.

First, the entire notion of 'Palestinian nationalism' is a fantasy manufactured by Yasir Arafat and the PLO in collusion with the Arab League after 1967. It didn't exist until after the Six Day War, when the Arabs needed an excuse to avoid any political acceptance of Israel's existence and their own military defeat. And it may not even exist in reality now.

As a matter of fact, after 1948, every Arab living in the areas of Palestine that Jordan occupied became a Jordanian citizen by law, and they remained Jordanians until 1996, even after Israel took over the area. Meanwhile,Jordan ( who also bears the distinction of killing and expelling the most 'Palestinians' of any country in the Middle East) was allowed to bar resettlement in Jordan by its own citizens, who remained 'refugees' on the UN's tab, even though they had citizenship in a sovereign country!

Things really do get that weird when Israel is concerned.

The so-called Palestinians are actually made up of a diverse group of people with very little in common except a shared sense of victimization.They are split by clan, by national origin, by location ( Jordanian 'Palestinians' really have little in common with Gaza 'Palestinians' or Lebanese 'Palestinians') and by a myriad of political connections and affiliations.

There are also a number of divisions and old scores to settle between the various factions - the split between Hamas and Fatah is only one of many.

Not to mention the little fact that the Palestinian occupied areas are separated not only by being governed by rival factions but by geography, with the Israeli Negev between the two parts. No nation in history has ever survived long under those conditions.

There's also not a whole lot of the economic viability or freedom needed to provide the basis for a state. Monopolies on certain consumer goods and services for the well connected and onerous 'taxes' on the less well connected that are essentially protection money and provide zero social services are the norm, particularly in Fath's areas in Judea and Samaria(AKA the West Banak). There's not much in the way of natural resources and much of the population has been on the UN dole for so long that actually working at a job is a unique and barely remembered experience.

The one thing the Palestinians did have to export was labor, which might have worked out as part of a working economic partnership with Israel if Yasir Arafat and his friends hadn't made that an impossibility. Nowadays, a lot of the work that used to be done by Palestinians in Israel pre-intifada is done by guest workers from places like Romania and Moldava.

To sum up, from a cultural, political and economic standpoint, what we're looking at is another recipe for yet another failed state. And I think we have enough of those already, thank you.

Another thing that rarely gets mentioned is the very real possibility that the Palestinian leadership really doesn't want a state, not even if it included all of Gaza plus all of Judea and Samaria. Yasir Arafat got offered almost that by Ehud Barak during the Clinton years, but turned it down, to the astonishment of Dennis Ross. Likewise, both Hamas and Fatah refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or to compromise on their demands one iota in trying to come to a peace agreement with Israel - even though that pretty much ends the possibility of a realistic settlement before it's even started.

It's not too hard to figure out why.

As Ross has said, when he presented the final outlines of the deal to Yasir Arafat, it specified that this was a complete settlement of all claims and would signify the end of the conflict.

Arafat didn't sign because he realized that without the War Against the Jews to unify the Palestinians and their victim status, there was nothing to keep them together as a cohesive group. Moreover, there would be no need for Arafat and his Fatah thugs to be in charge of anything, and they would have to justify their existence by actually governing instead of living leech-like off the Palestinians and the aid money.It would have been the end of them, and the finish of the gravy train that has made millionaires out of well placed Fatah apparatchniks while the majority of the people they supposedly represent still live in squalor in refugee camps.

A real Palestinian state would have meant the end of them.

Hamas has the same problem, as Gaza makes plain to anyone but the most biased observer. They're good at terrorism and violence, but lousy at the nuts and bolts of running a civil society, even with water and electricity provided by the hated Jews and more aid per capita than any developing nation in history.

If Hamas was actually interested in creating a state, the last thing they would have done is to waste resources and money launching rockets and mortars against Israel. After the Jews were removed from Gaza, some state-of-the-art greenhouses and irrigation systems were purchased by the World Bank from the farmers in places like Gush Katif and deliberately left intact for the Palestinians to use.

Within hours after the Israelis left, those greenhouses were looted and destroyed. The greenhouses that used to sell massive amounts of fruits and vegetables and flowers to Europe became rocket launching sites and grow nothing today.And Gaza is simply another terrorist squat swimming in its own sewage.

Given Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah's popularity in Judea and Samaria, any 'state' given the Palestinians can expect to revert to Hamas and be subject to the same kind of non-government Gaza has. Not that a Fatah state would be any different.

And that's not even mentioning the fact that a Hamastan in part of Palestine would be an Iranian enclave capable of menacing Europe and moderate Arab regimes like Egypt and Jordan. As I mentioned, the one industry the Palestinians have developed is terrorism.

Barack Obama, The EU and the other idiots shilling for a Palestinian state may just get one..and live to regret it.


Right Truth said...

You hit the nail on the head, "shared sense of victimization" is really all they [Palestinians] have in common.

They could have had a two-state solution long ago, they don't want that. They want it all. They don't want to share.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks for the kind words, Deb. This was supposed to be my Watcher's Council nominee, but it got lost in the shuffle, I guess!