Plenty of reasons
We’re all for Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. In fact, this paper has long supported a two-state solution, which gives each side the security it needs and the right it deserves to determine its own destiny.
So it bothers us when we get letters, as we have lately, from people who support just one state — a binational state — and do so for the most outlandish reasons.
One letter, which you can read in this week’s Chronicle, says, “There is no reason to assume that Palestinians and Jews could not coexist in peace in a binational state, no matter the expulsion, dispossession, and oppression Israel visited upon the Palestinians.”
Sorry, but we can’t let that pass.
There are, in fact, many reasons to believe the two sides cannot share a binational state. In fact, there are 600,000 reasons — the same figure as the approximate number of Jews forced to flee Arab countries following anti-Jewish riots and property confiscations in 1947 and 1948. In many cases, they fled to Israel with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Talk about “expulsion, dispossession and oppression!”
Add 12,000 to 600,000 — 12,000 being the number of rockets launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip since Israel withdrew from that territory in 2005, dispossessing some 8,000 Jewish residents in the process. Even if the Palestinians didn’t like how it was done, one would think they would hold their fire and see if something could be built on this gesture. Instead they opened fire. And the world doesn’t ask why?
Add 1,000 to 612,000 — 1,000 being the approximate number of Israelis murdered by Palestinian bombers in the Second Intifada.
Add 1 to 613,000 — one representing the proposed peace plan then-Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Barak made to Yasser Arafat at Camp David, in 2000, which would have given the Palestinian people the state for which they have long waited. Instead, Arafat rejected the plan and started a violent uprising, ostensibly because Ariel Sharon paid a visit to the Temple Mount. C’mon!
Add 3 to 613,000 — three being the most credible sources that Barak did indeed make the peace offer: President Bill Clinton, Ambassador Dennis Ross, both who took part in the Camp David talks, and former Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr, who accused Arafat of scuttling the talks.
Even if Arafat truly thought the plan was a bad deal, as his supporters claim, wouldn’t you think he’d at least use it as a basis for future talks instead of starting a war?
We regret having to engage in this political gematria, but if a serious and durable peace is to take hold in the region, then this maniacal demonizing of Israel must cease. Israel is not the enemy here. Neither, for that matter, are most of the Palestinian people, who want peace just as desperately as Israel.
Their leaders and extremists,
however, who have let them down year after year, that’s another issue.