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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 31, 2003

A Second Palestinian-Arab State

Even as the unrelenting Quartet continues with its calamitous project (with Sharon’s explicit acceptance of the fundamental notion), many of us continue with our attempts to alert the world to the perils inherent in a second Palestinian-Arab state. The latest contribution to this endeavour is an article published in the Jerusalem Post by a former Israeli ambassador to the US; the article is entitled, Dispelling common myths about the proposed Palestinian state , January 29, 2003. The essence of the article is summarized in the January 30, 2003 edition of the JCPA Daily Alert and reads as follows:

Many regard the question of Palestinian statehood in terms of "inevitability," i.e., that there won't be a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without it. That was also the gist of President Bush's June 24 speech. Let us examine some of the conventional wisdoms with regard to Palestinian statehood:

A disarmed Palestinian state - Prime Minister Sharon and others who support statehood in principle speak about a neutralized and disarmed entity. Yet the Palestinian Authority has never lived up to its commitment with regard to illegal arms, let alone to severing its links with terrorist and terrorist-supporting forces. Why should it be easier to enforce all those limitations once the Palestinians have achieved full sovereignty?

Two states for two peoples - Large parts of the Arab and Muslim worlds, including no small number of Palestinians, have not yet come to accept the Jewish people's right to a national homeland in a region which they claim to be theirs alone, and they would regard a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a temporary stage toward creating a Palestinian state instead of Israel.

A mere two years ago, former prime minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat 98% of the "territories," including most of east Jerusalem plus 3% of Israel proper, only to be rebuffed by the PA chairman, who then went on to unleash the al-Aksa Intifada which has already caused more than 700 Israeli deaths.

A democratic, stable, and viable Palestinian state - One may wonder how "viable" economically, demographically, politically, etc., such a mini-state would actually be, especially in light of the fact that there doesn't exist a single Arab state to which any of the above definitions could easily apply.

Solving the Palestinian problem - The real Palestinian problem has to do with the cruel reality of millions of "refugees" who have been languishing in camps, often under inhuman conditions, for over 50 years, among their inhospitable brethren in the various Arab states. The planned Palestinian mini-state isn't going to absorb even a fraction of those artificially and deliberately perpetuated "refugees."

Instead of saying either "Yes" or "No" to the Quartet's unrealistic road map, Israel would be better advised to think about a road map of its own.
In this context one should mention a recent, related article, viz., Twelve Bad Arguments for a State of Palestine, which may be found on the site of Christian Action for Israel. The article, dated December 12, 2002, was authored by P.J. Berly and posted initially at Israel Insider.

It may very well be the case that the efforts to alert the world to the peril will prove fruitless, but at least one can say that one has tried; which is why we must not cease trying for even one nano-second.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.