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December 8, 2016 4:35 am

Palestinian Statehood: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed

avatar by Stephen M. Flatow /

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US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Department of State.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Department of State. – John Kerry and J Street are worried — because they see their cherished dream of a Palestinian state slipping away.

Kerry’s criticism of Israel at the Saban Forum on December 4 attracted a lot of attention. But the transcript of his remarks reveals an important moment that the media overlooked. Just as he was about to denounce Israel’s policies, Kerry suddenly turned to the audience and said:

“By the way, just let me ask a question. Raise your hands. I mean, I know some of you may not want to acknowledge it, but how many of you believe in a two-state solution, believe two states is critical? Okay, it’s the vast majority of people here. How many of you don’t — are willing to say so? There’s one hand up, one, two — maybe a few of you don’t want to say.”

Kerry is clearly worried that public support for Palestinian statehood is slipping away.

And he’s not the only one. Last week, J Street sent a letter to its supporters in which it complained that the Republican Party left Palestinian statehood out of its platform this year, and that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee reportedly left the issue out of a talking points sheet that it recently distributed.

Here’s another reason for Kerry and J Street to worry. Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem — also on December 4, Israeli MK Michael Oren said that the election of Donald Trump “spells the end of the two-state solution.” Oren is not some extremist. He is the widely respected former Israeli ambassador to the US, a representative of the moderate Kulanu Party, and himself a supporter of Palestinian statehood (with certain limitations).

It’s time to read the writing on the wall: Palestinian statehood is an idea whose time has passed.

But it’s not as if creating a Palestinian state is some kind of cherished principle that has been recognized and supported by everybody since time immemorial. In fact, it’s a very recent proposal, and it has always been fraught with problems.

There have been 12 US presidents since 1948. Only two (George W. Bush and Barack Obama) advocated creating a Palestinian state.

I’m not including those who advocated Palestinian statehood after they left office, namely Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. When presidents are in office, they need to deal with the real world, which is why a bad idea like creating a Palestinian state has never come to fruition. Once presidents no longer have to deal with real-world consequences, they feel free to advocate any irresponsible policy that suits their post-presidential convenience.

There have been 12 different Israeli prime ministers since the Jewish state was established in 1948. Only two of them (Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert) advocated creating a Palestinian state. I’m not including Benjamin Netanyahu, because his concept of a fully demilitarized “Palestine” that accepts Israel as a Jewish state is so far removed from what the Palestinians and their supporters demand, that his position is really only hypothetical.

There have always been two arguments in favor of creating a Palestinian state. Neither of them has withstood the test of time.

The first was that Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Arabs had given up their goal of destroying Israel and had forsaken terrorism. According to this argument, they had changed their ways, so they could be trusted with their own state in Israel’s backyard.

This argument faced two major tests, and failed both times. President George H.W. Bush accepted this argument shortly after his election in 1988, and recognized Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Eighteen months later, when a major PLO faction tried to attack Israeli beachgoers in Tel Aviv and the nearby US embassy, Bush realized he had been wrong and ended his relationship with Arafat. Then the US recognized Arafat and the PLO a second time, after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. That blew up when Arafat tried to smuggle 50 tons of weapons into Gaza on the Karine A in 2002.

The second argument for a Palestinian state was what became known as the “demographic time bomb” — the claim that because of the high Arab birthrate, Israel would need to agree to a Palestinian state or will become an apartheid-like ruler over the Palestinians. Yitzhak Rabin resolved that problem. In 1995, he withdrew Israel’s forces from the cities where 98 percent of the Palestinians reside. Now they are residents of the Palestinian Authority, and they vote in Palestinian elections. They will never be Israeli citizens, will never vote in Israeli elections and will never threaten Israel’s Jewish demographic majority.

So Arafat settled the first debate, and Rabin settled the second. It is now plain as day that the Palestinians have not given up terrorism or forsaken their goal of destroying Israel, and would use a Palestinian state to advance that goal.

There may be no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in our generation; not all international conflicts have solutions. One thing has now become clear: a Palestinian state next to Israel is not the solution.

Stephen M. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Ken Kelso

    Kerry is the biggest fraud in history,.
    He tells Israel do you want a 1 state solution.
    On the other hand, that’s exactly what he wants for the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan.
    Ask yourself this, why does Kerry oppose a Kurdish state but support a terrorist Palestinian state?
    Kerry met Kurdish leader Barzani in June 2014 and told him to not give up on Iraq.
    Kerry basically told Barzani he opposes a Kurdish state and says the Kurds should live in a 1 state solution. Kerry wants the Kurds to live under the Arab head choppers and the Ayatollah backed Shiite Government in Baghdad.
    John Kerry urges Kurds not to give up on Iraq
    June 24, 2014

  • Ken Kelso

    Don’t forget, it was Kerry behind the idea European boycotts of Israel
    Good article about this.
    Report: Kerry is Behind European Boycotts
    Govt. sources reveal that Kerry is responsible for EU boycott threats, keeps them in check during talks, ready to escalate if talks fail.

  • Local Arabs is the description of the Arabs in what was formerly known as the region of Palestine, which is the Land of Israel.
    It is an insult and it is promoting the perpetration of a fraud by calling the local Arabs nothing else than local Arabs. Prior to the mid sixties they were called Arabs all of a sudden they woke up one morning and decided in order to promote their fraud and deception to assume the title the Jews had since the Romans renamed the Land of Israel Palestine and Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina.
    YJ Draiman

    The government of Israel; must stop doing what’s it thinks is politically correct and perform the right action to defend our people with zero tolerance, to eradicate terror and expel the Arabs. There are no innocents. The silent Arab majority is complicit by not objecting to terror and violence. The nations of the world throughout history stood idle while Jews were persecuted and killed. The Arabs terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and confiscated all their assets including homes and over 120,000 sq. km. of Jewish owned land for over 2,200 years.
    When is the Israeli government stopping in deluding itself that the Arab/Palestinians want peace? It is time to face reality and stop wasting time on a façade in the illusion of peace. The Arabs behavior and actions speak volumes, that they do not want peace. When you teach your children to commit terror and violence, honor terrorists and suicide bombers, these are demonic and destructive people look around the world and the terror and violence they are causing; there is no one to talk to.
    Once the Israeli government decides to face reality that there is no second Arab/Palestinian state and that the Arabs do not seek peace, only Israel’s demise. Then you must proceed with a new approach and take care of the people in Israel without appeasing or giving concessions to the Arabs or the world at large. When you defend your citizens at all costs, eventually the world might respect you. Past response and actions by the Arabs was and is detrimental to Israel’s and its people.

    As long as you have Arabs-Muslims living in Greater Israel, terror and violence will never stop. It is in their blood and in their culture. Just look around in the world and see how terror and violence is promoted in the Muslim countries and in the Muslim communities in Europe and elsewhere. They are killing each other by the tens of thousands. When is the world at large going to wake up and face the harsh reality? That terror and violence must be eliminated at all costs like a cancer or we are doomed to extinction. Death to all terrorists must be applied, no exception. When the Arabs Muslims; are teaching their children from infancy to commit terror and violence. There is no alternative but elimination of the terrorists and those who promote and incite the masses to commit terror and violence. The Arabs have an Arab/Palestinian state in Jordan which is over 80% Arab Palestinians. The territory of Jordan is Jewish territory and the Jews are not permitted to live there. The Arabs also have the over 12 million sq. km. of land received after WWI, the Jewish property, homes and the over 120,000 sq. km. of Jewish owned land; that the Arabs-Muslims confiscated from the over a million Jewish families terrorized and expelled from Arab countries that had lived there for over 2600 years.

    All terrorists must be eliminated, zero tolerance. The leaders in Gaza are all terrorists who must be eliminated and not run for office, that they continue terror and violence and abuse and defraud their own people. They use their people misery as an excuse for terror and blame on others for their failure to use the funds given to them by the world organizations to improve conditions for the people in Gaza.

    It is time for Israel to go in with the Army and start taking over Hebron, the second holiest city for Jews. Every terror attack another section of Hebron will be retaken by Israel the rightful owners. Since the 1920’s Hebron has and is a hotbed of terror. It is time to take some serious actions. Arab terror in Hebron against the Jews started in 1517.
    Israel must take back Gush Katif and all the Jewish communities vacated in 2005 by PM Ariel Sharon.

    When you the Arabs teach and train your children to hate and commit terror and violence. There is no one to talk to. The only solution is to expel all the Arabs to Jordan which is Jewish territory or to the homes and over 75.000 sq. mi. of Jewish owned land the Arab countries confiscated when they terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families and their children from the Arab countries or to the over 12 million sq. km the Arabs received after WWI, which excluded Palestine aka “The Land of Israel”. Jews who have lived in those Arab countries for over 2600 years and now live in Israel. On January 1919 King Faisal and Chaim Weizman signed an Agreement that recognized Palestine as the Land of Israel. The British in violation of treaties took away over 77% of Jewish Palestine aka The Land of Israel and gave it to the Arabs as the new state of Jordan

    The Arabs do not belong in The Land of Israel; that includes Judea and Samaria. The past has shown that they know only terror and violence. They are killing their own people by the thousands. The Arabs/Muslims killed the Jews in Medina about 1400 years ago, which was a Jewish city going back over 2600 years and took over the city. To date nothing has changed. They want to take over the whole world. Look at what they doing in Syria, Europe and Sweden raping women and terrorizing people. The Arab Palestinians have Jordan which historically is Jewish land or the homes and the 120,000 sq. km. the Arab countries confiscated from the million Jewish families they terrorized and expelled from their countries, who now were resettle in Israel.

    “In Israel; We have to undue and reverse the decades of nonsense that the peace industry has fermented, which led us to the position where the world thinks we the Jews are occupiers in our own ancestral land. If something is false and it is repeated enough times it becomes sort of common wisdom. We have to undo that.”

    Yj Draiman