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The Two-State Delusion

It’s ironic. The news media in general portray Israel, its leaders and occasionally even its population as intransigent, unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve peace between Israel and its neighbors, the Palestinian Arabs. Some world leaders have dared to suggest Israelis should elect other leadership, implying all Israelis share responsibility for the alleged intransigence.

Yet, of all the parties to the conflict, it is, in fact, Israel that has throughout its 75-year existence accepted the possibility of one state for Israel and one state for the Palestinians as a solution to the conflict–a two-state solution.

Let me be clear: I am not a proponent of a two-state solution. My intention is only to expose one of the many false narratives spread by the news media, politicians and critics regarding Israel. I firmly believe Israel is not allowed to relinquish any land God gave His people according to His Covenant, which He first made with Abraham our father.

The US administration and numerous European Union and other world leaders, have renewed calls for a two-state solution as the only possible way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even insinuating pressure would be brought to bear upon Israel to convince it to bend to these efforts.

Several nations, considered friendly to Israel, have gone so far as to suggest they will consider unilateral recognition of a State of Palestine, obviating the need for bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). It was even rumored the Biden administration was considering such a move.

Rewarding terrorism

Coming so soon after Hamas’ massacre of 1,200 Israelis and others last October 7, its incessant rocket attacks on civilian population centers, and the continued captivity of hostages, such efforts actually reward Hamas and other radical Islamists for their terrorism. So the Palestinians, whether represented by Hamas or the Palestinian Authority (PA), don’t have to negotiate in good faith. They don’t even have to commit to ending belligerency. They just need to wait for concessions and world pressure on Israel to get what they want. Terrorism pays.

Such actions do not even begin to address the issue that Hamas’ primary goal, as the preamble to its 1988 charter makes clear, is the destruction of the Jewish state, not the establishment of a Palestinian state. Hamas is an Islamic, that is, a religious movement that is not bound by political agreements. Such agreements are temporary at best and only a means towards its final religious goal, the elimination of the Jewish state.

Some world leaders are intent on creating pro forma peace agreements, including dictating major land concessions on Israel, without assuring a fundamental commitment to peace by all major parties involved. They ignore the lessons of Munich, September 30, 1938. Prematurely declaring “peace in our time” with a genocidal coterie, the Nazis, resulted in the deadliest global conflict in history: Seventy million dead and the introduction of the age of nuclear weapons. Ink and foolhardy declarations don’t guarantee peace today any more than they did 85 years ago when dealing with tyrannical and genocidal ideologues.

Jews accommodating peace: A record of 100 years

After WWI, 100 percent of the geographical region called “Palestine” had been designated for Jewish settlement as a historic right. In 1922, the British created a Hashemite-led Palestinian entity (later called Jordan) on 80 percent of that land, leaving a truncated Jewish homeland on just 20 percent of the territory. The Jewish leadership accepted the decision. Still, Jews were subjected to regular intervals of massacres and terror at the hands of their rejectionist Arab neighbors.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence

In 1947, Jewish leaders accepted a two-state solution (the Partition Plan) proposed by the United Nations. Arab leaders, including representatives of the Arabs in Palestine, rejected it. Upon declaring independence in 1948, Israel was attacked in what was announced by its neighboring states as a genocidal war to annihilate the fledgling Jewish state.

The most obvious proof of Arab disingenuity on this issue is the fact that during the nineteen years (1948-67) Egypt and Jordan controlled Gaza, Judea and Samaria (wrongly called the West Bank), and could have created a Palestinian state, the Arabs did not do it.

In 1967, as Egypt and Syria prepared for war and again announced their genocidal intention to destroy Israel, the Jewish state urged Jordanian King Hussein to stay out of the conflict. Had he done so, Judea and Samaria would still be under Arab control today. Unprovoked by Israel, the monarch nonetheless unleashed artillery barrages against Israeli civilian centers, including western Jerusalem, ultimately leading to territorial losses for Jordan.

After the liberation of Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights, by Israel during the Six-Day War, Israeli leadership was inclined towards returning conquered areas in exchange for peace. Accommodating Arab sensitivities, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan issued his infamous order to lower the Israeli flag that had been hoisted over the Dome of the Rock just hours earlier on June 8. He ordered the removal of Israeli troops from the Temple Mount and turned over administration to Muslim guards (the Wakf ). Israel accepted UN Resolution 242 that called for its “withdrawal from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” Still, Israeli willingness to relinquish land was rebuffed by the Arabs.

In August 1967, the Arab League announced its Khartoum Resolution known as “The Three No’s”–no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. This obviated any Israeli hoped-for exchange of land for peace.

Israel’s destruction still on the PA’s agenda

During the Rabin administration, Israel signed the Oslo Accords (1993 and 1995) with the Palestine Liberation Organization, that relinquished administrative and internal security control over significant parts of Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza, to the Palestinians. It was the beginning of a process, but it was understood this would eventually lead to an independent Palestinian state, possibly as early as 1999.

The Palestinian administration, however, continued to incite terrorism (a violation of the Accords), including through its school system’s textbooks. The next generation of Palestinians were taught to believe Israel’s destruction was still on the agenda. Senior Palestinian officials claimed the Accords were only one step in the “Phased Plan” to wipe out Israel completely in stages.

In more recent times, Israel’s former leaders Ehud Barak (in 2000) and Ehud Olmert (in 2008) negotiated with Palestinian Authority representatives based on the above Accords, but included parts of eastern Jerusalem in their offers.

Neither of the PA chiefs, the late Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, ever took up Israel’s offers. Hiding behind issues such as the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to Israel, or other maximalist demands (a return to the 1967 borders), they rejected ending all support for terrorism and belligerency and coming to a final agreement. That would require finally accepting Israel as a legitimate entity with a right to exist. Even after the Oslo “peace” Accords, Arafat continued to authorize terror operations against Israel.

In a radical move in 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon relinquished total control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinians in his Disengagement Plan. Roughly 10,000 Israeli civilians and all Israeli soldiers and military installations were removed from Gazan territory. To ease concerns at home, Israel’s political and military leaders promised the citizenry that no more rockets would fly from Gaza towards Israel.

But rather than prove they could be peaceful and thereby convince the Israelis of further concessions, in 2006 the Palestinians of Gaza elected a known terrorist organization with genocidal aims, Hamas, to form the ruling regime. It was not long before Hamas acted on its stated goals by launching thousands of rockets at Israel. Israel’s experiment of gifting land to the Palestinians has been proven wrong ever since at great civilian and military cost.

A century of rejection

A two-state solution? Peaceful coexistence? Since before Israel’s establishment as a modern state in 1948 until today, Palestinian leadership and the population have rejected peaceful co-existence with Israel. When convenient, there have been brief periods of cooperation. Despite Israel’s efforts and tangible concessions, however (giving up land and more), the Palestinians could never truly give up their goal of destroying Israel. That’s not to say all Palestinians reject Israel: Just the ones that count, the ones in power, the ones the West regularly coddles, and the ones that voted for Hamas or would do so today. In other words, the majority.

In a poll conducted from March 5-10, 2024, by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, over 70 percent of Palestinians in Gaza and in the PA-administered areas support Hamas’ October 7 attack against Israel. If the repeatedly delayed elections were held in the PA today, Hamas would trounce PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah Party. On university campuses in the PA, Hamas consistently outpolls the Fatah Party in student union elections.

Enough is enough

And Israel? Since before 1948, most Israelis supported a two-state solution. Israel has brought tremendous sacrifices in the form of land concessions for peace with Egypt in 1978 and Jordan in 1994.

But no more. October 7 ended that. Exasperated after a century of Palestinian rejectionism, most Israelis today are disillusioned with accommodating Palestinian statehood. The Palestinians are not interested in co-existence, in long-term peace. Israelis fear an independent Palestinian state will become a launching site for further attacks of the type that Hamas perpetrated on October 7. Most Israelis now believe the threats emanating from Hamas and the PA.

It seems only the Americans, the Europeans and other Western nations still hold to the delusion of a solution that has failed for more than 75 years. Beating a dead horse will not compel it to do useful work. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Dangling the two-state solution as a prize before the Palestinians has only encouraged Palestinian rejectionism and terrorism–perpetual war.

A stern warning

The biblical prophet Joel (4:1-21; others 3:1-21) spoke of a time clearly in the future (when Israel has been regathered [v. 1] and “no strangers will pass through” Jerusalem [v. 17] any more), when the nations of the world will be summoned by God to Israel and judged by Him for their efforts to rob the Jewish people of their God-given land. Indeed, that very plot will be turned around and come upon the plotters (v. 4). This is the same judgment that the prophet Jeremiah also spoke about: …every one of them,…all that spoil you [take from you, rob you] will be spoiled” (Jer. 30:16). Ultimately, this is the essence of the fundamental principle in God’s promise to Abraham, “I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you” (Gen. 12:3).

The two-state delusion is a folly with tragic results for those who seek to impose it on Israel. There is an irrevocable divine aspect which supersedes the defiance by the nations. They are not dealing with Israel alone.