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April 9, 2015 10:51 am

The Palestinian Statehood Idea Begins to Crumble

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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A new poll revealed that Americans' support for the idea of creating a Palestinian state has reached its lowest point in twenty years.

A sea change began within hours of the Israeli election returns.

Thomas L. Friedman, who has devoted much of his life to promoting Palestinian statehood, declared in his New York Times column that the idea of a Palestinian state is “not possible anymore.” That was followed by his Times colleague David K. Shipler, another longtime advocate of a Palestinian state, announcing that the “the two-state solution looks dead.”

Just a couple of elite, pro-Palestinian journalists venting their frustration?

Don’t bet on it. The American public is losing faith in “Palestine” too. Friedman and Shipler’s declarations merely echo the latest poll numbers on the American public’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A new Washington PostABC News poll has found that Americans’ support for the idea of creating a Palestinian state has reached its lowest point in 20 years. Just 39 percent of Americans support it; 36 percent are opposed.

That 39 percent is down from the 58 percent who backed Palestinian statehood in 2003. And the three-percentage point gap between supporters and opponents is the smallest such gap in at least 20 years.

One can understand why Friedman and Shipler would be disillusioned by such trends in American and Israeli public opinion. For eight years, Shipler and Friedman used the news columns of the world’s most important newspaper to turn American public opinion against Israel and promote the need to establish a Palestinian state. They might have imagined they were making inroads.

Shipler was the New York Times‘ bureau chief in Jerusalem from 1979 to 1984. His news articles were slanted to stoke hatred of Israel and sympathy for the Palestinians. Then he shed all pretense of objectivity and wrote a book, Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, which made it clear that his previous reporting had been agenda-driven. Nonetheless, the book won a Pulitzer Prize.

Friedman picked up where Shipler left off. In 1988, Friedman succeeded Shipler as the new bureau chief in Jerusalem. His reporting was just as biased against Israel as Shipler’s had been. And when Friedman finished his four years there, he wrote From Beirut to Jerusalem, a book filled with vitriol against Israel. Nonetheless, the book won a National Book Award.

In the years to follow, it must have seemed to Shipler and Friedman that their goal was within reach. Israel signed the Oslo accords and pulled out of all the Palestinian-populated areas in the territories. Two Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, reportedly offered to create a Palestinian state. Even Benjamin Netanyahu eventually said he could accept a demilitarized Palestinian state under certain conditions.

So why did the push for a Palestinian state fail?

It failed because of reality–and the Israeli election results reflect that.

“It is hard to see how a viable two-state solution is possible anymore no matter who would have won,” Friedman wrote after the election results arrived last month. The public’s strong support for Netanyahu was a response to the reality of Palestinian violence and extremism, Friedman conceded. “The insane, worthless Gaza war that Hamas initiated last summer that brought rockets to the edge of Israel’s main international airport and the Palestinians’ spurning of two-state offers of previous Israeli prime ministers built Netanyahu’s base as much as he did.”

In other words, Israeli voters, instead of paying attention to Friedman’s years of writings, paid attention to the reality around them–and voted accordingly.

Shipler, writing in his online newsletter, The Shipler Report, has reached essentially the same conclusion. “A bet on statehood for the Palestinians is about as good as money in a Ukrainian bond,” Shipler wrote on the eve of the Israeli vote. “Conditions can always change, of course, but for the foreseeable future, a two-state solution looks dead.”

Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of Philadelphia, and both are current candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.

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  • Stanley

    Palestinian statehood has always faced two major obstacles:

    1) The “Palestinians” have never actually coalesced into a single people. They remain a collection of groups and clans with differing objectives that makes it virtually impossible for them to negotiate anything, never mind peace.

    The principal political cleavage is between the refugees from 1948 and those living with the “occupation”. The latter group could negotiate peace to end the “occupation”, but that does nothing for the refugees from 1948. Since they refuse to live among their own people, but insist on a “right of return” into israel, the refugees have a veto over peace.

    2) Geography requires that either Israel or “Palestine” be non-contiguous and the record for non-contiguous states isn’t good. A “good” outcome is the breaking away of Bangladesh from Pakistan. A bad one is World War II, to bridge the Danzig Corridor.

    Palestinians already have a state in Gaza, and we’ve all seen what they’ve done with that.

  • Michael Ioffe

    In 1948 in Israel, Gaza, West Bank lived 806,000 as Arabs, as Jews.
    Right now ~17 million (including Arabs refugee) are want to live in this area:
    ~7 million of Jews, including ~5 million which run from Europe and former Soviet Empire countries and ~1 million, which run from Muslim Countries.
    ~10 millions of Arabs including refugee. Arab’s population grow 20 times mostly by support from UN, EU, Arabs countries.
    Density of population on every square km: Gaza-4983, West Bank-420, Israel-400.
    Average density of population with Arab’s refugee-631.
    Average density of population only for Arabs (if Jews somehow disappear)-400.
    Today level of education of Arabs are showing that without international help 23rd Arab’ state in these territories will never survive.
    Who will help them, if Jews disappear?
    Only worst enemy of Arabs and Jews will recommend creation of 23rd, which will surround tiny Israel from West-Gaza and East-West Bank. It is direct way to new wars and hostilities.
    23rd Arabs state must be created far away from Israel,
    Only in this case all resources will go directly for people and will never feed wars, hostilities and distractions.
    It’s cheaper one time relocate, than tens times rebuild.
    After WW2 millions of German, Polish, Jews.. were relocated. It was cruel act of realities of that days.
    Germany, Israel, Poland today are very desirable states to live.

    • Arthur

      While I agree with you for the most part, some of your statistics need correction.

      The current Israeli population is 8 million, which includes about 6 million Jews coming from varying origins. In 1948,the Jewish population was approximately 700,000, which included refugees from Europe, immigrants from the previous few hundred years, and those who had lived there all along. Following the Arab failure to destroy the Jewish state in 1949, approximately 800,000 Jewish people were expelled from Muslim nations nearby and many of them went into Israel.

      Of the 6,000,000 living there now, it is far more likely that between 2 and 3 million are descended from the refugees from Muslim nations, not just 1 million, and we are not sure how many are descended from those who had always been citizens of the land.

      Worth noting is that Manaco has about 42,000 people per square mile, Macau over 70,000, which is far far more than Gaza. No one complains about them.

  • robert davis

    So everybody heard of…Galileo after all! It is sure difficult to support the idea the sun turns around the earth after galileo. Israel’s public,friedman and his ilk finally understand the 2 states idiocy is a receipt for PERPETUAL WAR AND FULL SCALE WORLD WAR. The more fake “palestinians” get support the more they will demand fromIsrael including its life. The second stage is their eviction so as to stop their terror pressures even if they cannot call in moslem armies as they would have done if they had a state inside Israel. Their state has a very well known name it spells JORDAN! Hopefully it will not take idiots another 66 years to admit it. If Israel’s majority understands that, no one in europe or elsewhere can oppose them nor even try to force those “palestinians” remain in JUDEA/SAMARIA/GAZA. All Israel needs to do is spurn the pressures in particular from leftwing medias and starts shelling ramallah and the rest of the kings’ of narratives fairy tale kingdom.

  • Sarah Brandeis

    there are no palestinians just monsters

  • Doodad


  • Scott

    And it should look dead. It was an ill conceived idea from the beginning.
    When will the world realize that the Palestinians are like a child who acts out.
    They don’t want a “State” and never have. They want a base of operations.
    They were the first of the Islamist movements in the modern era.
    They want to be part of the Islamic umma, not a functioning “State”.
    They want a place to attack Israel from and what better place than it’s heart of Judea and Samria.
    Folks, get real – there should NEVER be a Palestinian State in the West Bank. If the Palestinians wanted a “State”, they could easily have one ……. In Jordan where the population is 85% self identified as “Palestinian”.
    They want dead Jews, not a living, breathing “State”…..
    Friedman and Shipler may just finally be “seeing the light”……

  • A two state would just bring ISIS closer and Israel cannot allow that Gaza is the living proof.

  • The question that continually needs to be asked, Do the Palestinians truly want a state of their own co-existing alongside Israel? Further, would a Palestians state be and on-going threat to Israel? Also, Is the Palestian/Arab/Persian/IslamoFacist end game the second and final Holocust?

    How far can one see when their head is buried so deep into the blackness than the light is only a myth?

  • Mara Cohen

    Well, what did these two expect? There is no “Palestine”, further-the fact that this virtual state could create such unreal expectations within the the Arab Palestinians that all their terrorism and hate was actually accomplishing their goal of Israel’s destruction. Half the issue is the heightened expectations without any Institutions excepting the Mosque to rely upon. This does not an effective government make.

  • Michael Fox

    In years past there had been opportunities for a two state solution but today, the reality is, the PA leadership knows it would be the end of the gravy train for them and their corrupt leadership if the new corrupt Hamas leadership would by popular support, take military control as it did in Gaza.

    Israel is well aware of this certain cataclysmic scenario and would be committing suicide to agree to Hamas to the east, Hamas to the west, Hezbollah/Iran to the north.

    Still, President Obama is only to willing to throw Israel under the bus as he did with his mentor and surrogate father, “God Damn America” Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    President Obama’s credibility is forever shot in Israel. There is no getting it back. Toast. His behavior towards Israel since his re-election has alienated America’s loyal friend, ally and only true democracy in the ME, and no folks, by the standards of free speech, Turkey is not a democracy.

  • Jaques Bertrand

    Israel must fully integrate the whole of the West Bank into the state of Israel. Those current residents who can live there in peace should remain – those who cannot should be expelled . This can be portrayed to Israel’s enemies as a sign of things to come if Israel is attacked again : loss of territory and influence as well as extreme economic damage.Be strong Israel – and BE decisive.

    At the same time , Israel must neutralise the Iranian nuclear bomb program by direct and decisive intervention. Allowing sloppy thinking US Presidents or anti-Semitic European leaders to negotiate Israel’s national life away is unacceptable to any right-thinking person. Israel must act on its OWN behalf.DO IT Israel !

    • Mar

      Your ignorance is encyclopedic.

  • ted

    Great news

    • ted

      Great news.

  • There will be a two state solution when the United States government and the EU inform the Arabs that it will not tolerate a war against Israel to accept the reality that they cannot defeat Israel. The Palestinian Arabs should be offered a demilitarized state with defensible borders for Israel, essentially the state territory Arafat rejected. In addition, these non-Arab governments need to adopt the proper resolutions that there should be no boycott against Israel and that Israel is not an apartheid state.

  • Robert Weintraub

    There is a Palestinian state in Gaza where half the Palestinians who were in territories outside of Jerusalem that Israel seized in 1967 live. Gaza is unoccupied and is free to conduct itself as it pleases. Unfortunately, so far it has chosen perpetual war against Israel.

    That leaves the West Bank (Judea and Samaria.) Under both the Olmert and Barak plans some 80,000 Jews would have had to be evacuated to fulfill conditions as outlined in the two plans. In addition, demands surrounding the refugee question would have had to be addressed.

    Had the Arab world made peace right after 1967 a land for peace deal might have been worked out but it is too late now. There are too many Jews there in the West Bank for that to happen

    The West Bank Arabs have to get over the idea that they can have a state free of all Israeli control as the Gazans have and negotiate with Israel to determine their future.

  • Araben go back to mecca and stay there

    Araben go back to mecca and stay there leave Nile to the Euphrates for Israel

  • John

    The two state solution was a leftist antisemitic delusion. The Arabs never wanted a two state solution, they could have had one in 1922, but 78% of Palestine was not enough, they want it all. They make no secret of this, their map of Palestine is the map of Israel. Arafat sported a kefiya shaped into the map of Israel. But the Koran says in 5:20-21 that Allah gave the Holy Land (Israel) to the Jews alone. Perhaps the Muslims have not read this bit?

  • Why don’t we hear more about the quality of life in the West Bank and Gaza? Could it be due to the fact that they are dictatorships, that no news gets out unless it has been vetted and approved by the “authorities”? The news is distorted by people like Friedman and Shipler who suppress any negative reports about the governance of so-called “Palestine” and again hold up their “victimhood” like a beggar showing his running sores. What about the so-called Yarmukh Refugee Camp in Damascus? Virtually all of the camp inmates were born in Syria but have none of the rights of Syrians because, if the Arabs have their way, these refugee camps will exist in perpetuity.

  • Sonia Willats

    Is the world waking up? You cannot make peace with a neighbour who is avowed and committed to your destruction, and who has not faltered in the dream of oblitering your nation for decades!

    The same applied to Iran, committed to the domination of the Middle East, the Straights of Hormuz AND THE ANNIHILATION OF THE JEWISH STATE. Any ‘peace treaty’ giving licence to Iran’s nuclear armament ambitions is doomed to failure – even if signed by delusional Presidents, Prime Ministers. It will not bring peace!

  • Phillips and Korn miss the far more important question — will many people be killed and in particular are lots of Jews in Israel going to soon be killed?

    If we are colossally lucky, Barack Obama will actually leave the White House on January 20, 2017. However, between then and now, he is continuing to do everything he can to sow maximum Mideast discord.

    Now many pundits understand that Barack Obama is seeking to realign USA Mideast policy to the side of Iran. Why would he be doing such a very strange thing? Principally because harming Israel has been the principal focus of his bizarre Mideast policy from his very first day in office — in fact, long before he ever got to power.

    Barack Obama believes that chaos is part of revolutionary change. He is addicted to radical change. For example, Barack Obama has already said that Jews in Israel are too secure, too happy and too comfortable. Accordingly, he has been moving step-by-step to ensure that Jews there get real dramatic change.

    Thus, Barack Obama has indirectly had a hand in developments that have brought Iranian proxies and elements of the Iranian military near the Golan. Obama also has a soft spot for Hizbullah and Hamas, both of which receive financial and other support from Iran which is Obama’s chosen partner.

    Seriatim, Barack Obama is carefully moving the pieces on the chessboard so that Israel will soon be engulfed in violence on all sides, including a third “intifada” which will likely be fomented by the USA, including by their diplomats in Israel.

    In January 2014, Barack Obama publicly argued the astonishing proposition that the issues of Syria, Palestine and Iran’s nuclear weapons are all interconnected. What could he have meant? The answer is simple. Barack Obama is aiming at a mega diplomatic bargain that totally reshapes the Mideast.

    In this connection, he plans to steer Israel into deep crisis both locally and internationally. He is thus likely to try to: (1) trade off Israel’s nuclear weapons in further concessions in the talks about Iran’s race to the bomb; (2) force Israel to cede the Golan to buy Iran’s support for a Syrian outcome; and (3) get the world community to soon enforce creation of a new Palestinian State consisting of the Negev, Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    Would any Israel government accept this? Certainly not, or at least, there would be no Israel acceptance short of the coming bombing of Tel Aviv. Impossible? Think again! This is exactly what NATO did to Belgrade in 1999. And, don’t all left-liberals really believe (with the late Tony Judt) that Israel is just “Serbia with nukes”?

    The likelihood is that Barack Obama is willing to go to almost any lengths to truncate Israel which is to reduced to a defenseless rump completely dependent on orders from Washington.

    It is not merely a figure of speech to say that Barack Obama is a bitter enemy of the Jewish People and Israel. Looking at Barack Obama, I have to pronounce that there has been no greater “threat” to the Jews since that day in January 1933 when Adolf Hitler became German Chancellor.

  • manley kiefer

    I wonder what in Friedman’s background or in his past or present life has turned this Jewish (I assume) man into an enemy of Israel?

  • There is no laying side by side of the wolf and lamb when the wolf hasn’t changed. That would be rather premature, immediately disastrous for the lamb and ultimately for the wolf, as well.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Friedman, Shipler et al are a disgrace, and as the left is fond of saying – they are “on the wrong side of history.”

  • Jerusalem Temple Mount Guide 1925

    Jerusalem Temple Mount Guide 1925

    Click here for the 1925 Temple Mount Guide
    One of the most disturbing end times propaganda being promoted today is the absurd notion that the Jews never had a presence on the famous Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. Anyone who is knowledgeable about history and aware of the recent archaeological discoveries on the Temple Mount area over the years knows that the propaganda being perpetuated by the Islamics, United Nations, and other ungodly organizations is simply a political ploy to deny the Jews their historical capital of Jerusalem and the sacred Temple Mount area. The Temple Mount area is the holiest place in Judaism and the remnants of the Second Temple area visible in the form of the “Wailing Wall” where religious Jews flock from around the world in order to pray near the site of the First and Second Temples. Some of the outstanding quotes from the official Temple Mount Guide are as follows:
    “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings” (2 Samuel 24:25).

  • glenda urmacher

    well, its about time.
    I have been traveling to Israel for 54 years now, and until 1968 when one spoke of Palestinians, they spoke of Jews, not arabs.
    4/5th of Jordan is Palestinians as the world body divided up the Ottoman Empire, and carved out Syria, Lebanon,Jordan, Egypt, etc.
    Jordan has a 50+% Palestinian population, ( not counting the recent Syrian refugees) and a Palestinian princess.
    Jordan is the obvious Palestinian state, if one is really needed, and Gaza, and the west bank belong to Israel, along with the Sinai.
    When they retake Gaza and the Sinai,, and mark my word they will, they must banish the entire population, anyway needed, and populate the areas with Jews.
    Land is not a negotiating tool.
    60 years of this game playing has got to stop.
    And American should clean their own house, and put it in order, and get their noses out of Israel’s business.
    Can you imagine Mexico or Canada lobbing 60,ooo rockets into San Diego or Washington state, and we listen to what the world powers say about getting back!
    How stupid can Israel be that they listen to American with the morons in the white house!

  • Golum

    I don’t care what they say now both Shipler & Friedman are a couple of A-H***s for what they wrote about Israel over the years…and the fact that NOW they admit to having had an agenda should take away any pretext about their unbiased reporting!!!

    They shouldn’t be allowed to write news for anyone!

  • MartyNYC

    The Israeli goal, Eritz Israel, had a very simple game plan-
    Negotiate, build settlements, and negotiate some more, until
    the “fait accompli” was established. Benzion Netanyahu, Bibi’s
    father, had assured all that this strategy was Bibi’s specialty.
    Since the Palestinians aren’t about to disappear it will indeed
    have to be a “one state” solution.

  • Ezra Levant with Caroline Glick – The Israeli Solution

    The One-State Solution is only peace solution that is based on reality. It takes the solution out of the hands of America and Obama and puts it back into our hands, where is belongs and it returns our political power. This is extremely important due to our immediate discussions and decisions we need to make.

    The Israeli Solution; A One-State Plan For Peace in the Middle East; eBook ISBN 978-0-385-345804-2
    ISBN 978-0-385-34806-5

    Would you rather non-Jews decide your future or Israel?

  • noellsq

    When they want to destroy you out of existence than you cannot deal with theml

  • Irwin Graulich

    Here’s the truth. No Palestinian state, ever, ever, ever, every, ever….Never!!! Can I be more clear?