150 Current Reasons to Oppose a Palestinian State
More than 150 rockets were fired at Israeli civilian targets by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists from Gaza within hours after the targeted air strike assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata, a top commander of the PIJ.
Coming just over two weeks after the US successfully targeted ISIS terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, there is a simple question to ask here: What would the US do if, after al-Baghdadi died, his terrorist soldiers fired 150 rockets at US civilian targets? Would the US then decide to negotiate with ISIS over how large their independent state would be, where its borders would be, and where its capital would be located?
These rockets offer over 150 vivid demonstrations of why a Palestinian state must not be created now. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and ISIS are no different from each other.
The international community for years badgered Israel to leave Gaza. Israelis were told that if only the occupation ended, the Gazans would embrace peace. At the time, many leading Israeli military experts warned that withdrawal was a very dangerous move for Israel’s physical safety.
But eventually, in 2005, with zero demands or preconditions, Israel withdrew all its soldiers from Gaza and forcibly evicted all of the area’s 10,000 Jewish residents from their longtime homes and neighborhoods. For promoters of Israeli territorial concessions, Gaza was supposed to set the precedent they hoped would soon be repeated in the Judea-Samaria (West Bank) areas.
Instead, Gaza has become the most graphic illustration of why relinquishing Judea and Samaria to the perennially hostile and extremely corrupt Palestinian Authority is a flat-out dangerous idea. Imagine how the rocket attacks against Israel in the wake of the al-Ata killing would have looked if the terrorist armies had instead been West Bank Palestinians, acting from inside a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Despite the nice-sounding turn of phrase, there is simply no such thing as “a demilitarized Palestinian state.” An independent state controls its own borders. “Palestine” would be free to open its borders to truckload after truckload of Iranian weapons. If Israel tried to intervene, it would be accused of violating Palestinian sovereignty, denounced at the UN, and threatened with international sanctions from the EU.
Now about those rockets. A Palestinian state in Judea-Samaria would mean that the border with Palestine would reach the outskirts of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Those 150 rockets might have been aimed at the Western Wall, at the Knesset, or at passenger airliners landing at Ben Gurion Airport.
The terrorists and their rockets would quickly vanish behind the civilian shields of Palestinian orchards, tunnels, and safe houses. The government of Palestine would declare that the attacks were “regrettable,” but that they “cannot control every extremist element.”
All the while, Palestine would continue to amass a huge arsenal of weapons — just as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have done in Gaza — and Israel would be completely helpless to stop it without launching a preemptive war and inviting the wrath of the international community.
There are many other reasons to oppose the creation of a West Bank Palestinian state. There is the likelihood that a drastically shrunken Israel will be unable to prosper economically and have room for new immigrants, that its cities will become unbearably overcrowded and increasingly unlivable. There is also the tragedy for the whole Jewish people of being completely unable to visit Jewish Biblical shrines such as the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem.
Just days before this latest mini-war, an opinion poll conducted for Israel’s Channel 12 “Meet the Press” program showed a minority of Israelis support the creation of a Palestinian state. Let us hope that this mistaken minority in Israel continues to shrink in the aftermath of all this. But for now, let us be reminded that the national security of all Israel is at stake. Those 150 rockets gave us all that we really need to know.
Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America’s US division. Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and is dedicated to the ideals of pre-World War II Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky. Herut’s website is https://herutna.org/.