Taken from a post on my friend Debbie Goldman’s FaceBook Page
A friend posted this and I think this is one of the best explanations of the “two state solution.” Before you take a side, read through this. Be educated about the subject matter before attacking Israel.
“If Israel just allowed the Palestinians a state of their own there would be peace in the Middle East.” Right? That is what you hear from UN ambassadors, European diplomats, and most college professors.
I have listened to this narrative while Israel is vilified and anti-Semitism increases all over the world at an alarming rate. Writing has always been a tool for me so I have listened to several videos and read several articles culling the information here as clearly as possible, in the words of the original sources, in the hopes of educating well-intentioned people who are unaware of the history of the Middle-East Conflict and the Two-State Solution.
ISRAEL HAS OFFERED THE PALESTINIANS A STATE OF THEIR OWN ON 5 (FIVE) SEPARATE OCCASIONS.
Let’s look at the history:
After the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, following WWI, Britain took control of most of the Middle East including the area that constitutes modern Israel. At that time the land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and an Arab majority. (Between the 1920s and the 1940s the number of Jews arriving grew, with many fleeing persecution in Europe with the rise of the Nazi party).
In 1936 (17 years after the British took control) the Arabs rebelled against the British and their Jewish neighbors. The British formed a task force, the Peel Commission, to study the cause of the rebellion. The commission concluded that the reason for the violence was that two peoples, Jews and Arabs, wanted to govern the same land. The answer – to create two independent states, one for the Jews and one for the Arabs – a two-state solution. The suggested split offered by the British was heavily in favor of the Arabs proposing that 80% of the disputed territory go to the Arabs and 20% to the Jews. Despite the tiny size of their proposed state, the Jews decided to accept this offer but the Arabs rejected it and resumed their violent rebellion.
10 years later, in 1947 the British asked the United Nations (UN) to find a new solution to the continuing tension in the Middle East. The UN decided the best way to resolve the conflict was to divide the land. In Nov 1947, the UN voted to create two states with Jerusalem becoming an international city. Again, the Jews accepted the offer. The Arabs rejected it.
Only this time, the rejection came with the Arab nations launching an all-out war. Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria joined the conflict. They failed. Israel won the war in 1948 and got on with the business of building a new nation. Most of the land set aside by the UN for an Arab state, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, became occupied territory – occupied NOT by Israel but by Jordan. From 1948-1967, The West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza were all in Arab – NOT Jewish hands. A Palestinian State could have been created at that time and it wasn’t.
20 years later, the Arabs, led this time by Egypt and joined by Syria and Jordan, once again sought to destroy the Jewish State. The 1967 Conflict, known as the 6-Day war ended in a stunning victory for Israel. Jerusalem, The West Bank, and the area known as Gaza fell into Israel’s hands. The government split over what to do with this new territory. Half wanted to return the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt in exchange for peace. The other half wanted to give it to the regions Arabs who had begun referring to themselves as the Palestinians in the hope that they would build their own state there.
Neither initiative got very far – a few months later, the Arab League met in Sudan and issued its infamous THREE NO’s:
NO PEACE WITH ISRAEL
NO RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL
NO NEGOTIATION WITH ISRAEL
Again, a two-state solution was dismissed by the Arabs.
In 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met at Camp David with Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasar Arafat to conclude a new two-state plan. Barak offered Arafat a Palestinian State in ALL of Gaza and 94% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital. But the Palestinian leader rejected the offer. In the words, of U.S. President Bill Clinton, (as described in his biography “My Life”) “Arafat was here 14 days and said NO to everything.”
Instead, the Palestinians launched a bloody wave of suicide bombings that killed over 1000 Israeli civilians and maimed thousands more – on buses, wedding halls, and pizza parlors.
In 2008, Israel tried yet again. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went even further than Ehud Barak had by expanding the offer to include additional land in the negotiation. Like his predecessor, the new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, turned the deal down.
In between these last two offers, in 2005, Israel unilaterally left Gaza giving the Palestinians complete control to govern themselves (Something no Arab nation had ever done). Instead of developing this territory for the good of its citizens, the Palestinian authority was ousted by Hamas in 2006 who turned Gaza into a terrorist base from which they have fired thousands of rockets into Israel. Hamas has wielded power ruthlessly ever since.
EACH TIME ISRAEL HAS AGREED TO A PALESTINIAN STATE, THE PALESTINIANS HAVE REJECTED THE OFFER.
This brings us to Hamas.
What is Hamas? Its name is an acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement. It is a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION. That is not a personal view. It is the formal designation by the United States and 27-member European Union. The Goal of Hamas which is frequently expressed and well-documented sentiments of Hamas leaders – ISRAEL’S ANNIHILATION AND REPLACEMENT BY AN ISLAMIC REGIME. Under its charter, it is committed to the destruction of Israel. Let’s be clear, Hamas’s ire for Israel is permanent – as is its goal of dominating Palestinian allegiances not only in Gaza but in Eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. Both Israel and Egypt have unified to tightly control Gaza’s borders to stop weapons from getting to Hamas.
Hamas has been firing thousands of missiles over the years, using suicide bombers, building cross-border terror tunnels, kidnapping Israelis, and foregoing development in Gaza to focus on damaging Israel. Hamas uses all its resources to that end forgoing its own people in Gaza – the economy in the Gaza strip has collapsed, there is a shortage of water, electricity, and medicine all under the leadership of Hamas.
Hamas resists all efforts to sign on to previous Palestinian agreements, to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, and to renounce violence.
What is Israel supposed to do? What would any country do when the traditional tools of diplomacy – from conflict management to conflict resolution don’t stand a chance with the ideology of Hamas.
I pray that one day peace will be realized with the Palestinians but it won’t happen when terrorist groups like Hamas rule Gaza, clings to its genocide goals, and fool well-meaning people abroad to believe it’s the victim in a conflict of its own making.
(Sources: “Why isn’t there a Palestinian State?” PragerU, David Brog, Executive Director of the Maccabee Task Force, “An Open Letter to Trevor Noah,” The Times of Israel, David Harris, CEO of American Jewish Committee. (AJC), “Israel-Gaza Violence the conflict explained” BBC News.)