Coming Half Way – Two State Solution in the Middle East

  • Most of the problems of the world can be solved through compromise.  Compromise is not simple.
  • National compromise requires the guarantee of two nation which are in conflict to insure their security.
  • Autonomy which was given to the Palestinians in Judah and Samaria has had positive results helping to quiet the tensions in the surroundings.

Most of the problems of the world can be solved through compromise.  Compromise is not simple.

Compromise begins with two sides in conflict.  National compromise requires the guarantee of two nations which are in conflict to insure their security. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians each side must first be required to guarantee the other side’s security. To accomplish this task of peace in Israel requires two sides which are strongly united to become two nations separate and united.  To make peace between two nations you first need national unity.

On the side of Israel there is more or less a stable nation with a stable government.  Even in Israel there are factions which are against the two nation solution.  In 1995 the Prime Minister of Israel Yitchok Rabin on the way to reaching a peaceful compromise between Palestinians and Israeli was assassinated.  There is a right wing religious faction in Israel which is vehemently against the two State solution. In 1981, the president of Egypt Anwar Sadat was assassinated by members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad.  In 1978 Egypt represented by Anwar Sadat and Israel represented by Menachem Begin reached a peace agreement at Camp David through negotiations done by America by President Jimmy Carter.  Israel agreed to surrender the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt which they had conquered during the six day war in 1967.  The peace between Israel and Egypt has lasted until today.  However as part of Camp David Israel agreed to negotiate also about the two nation solution between Palestine and Israel.

The major objection to a two state solution comes from the Ultra-right religious living in Israel.  Rabbi Meir Kahane an American Israeli ordained Rabbi established in America the Jewish Defense League.  He came to Israel to establish the ultra-right Kach party which in 1984 he became a member of the Knesset after elections.  In 1988 when his popularity was growing the Israel government banned the Kach party for being racist and anti-democratic.  Meir Kahane was vehemently against the Two State Solution and even preached to evacuate Israel from all Arab presence by sending them to live in Arab States in the Middle East.  He believed this was the only solution.  He was assassinated by an Arab gunman in 1990 in a Manhattan hotel while lecturing publically his philosophy.

In Israel there is also opposition to the Two State Solution from the Israeli settlers in the territories of Judah and SamariaThe settlers everyday sacrifice their lives to live in dangerous areas in Judah and Samaria which are primarily populated by Arabs.  Israel has given permission for settlers to make settlements in the areas of Israel called captured territories under the protection of the Israel Army.  A lot of money and lives have been invested in the establishment of these settlements.  Over 300,000 Jews live in these settlements spread out through the territories Judah and Samaria.  The existence of the settlements is strategic and helps Israel to enforce order in areas of Israel captured from the Palestinians. The settlers have a unique love for the land of Israel and amongst them are followers of Meir Kahane. Despite the strong Israeli right which is against giving up land in an agreement with the Palestinians, the majority of Israel citizens are in favor of peace.

In 1994 the Palestinian National Authority was established as an interim self- government which gave the Palestinians autonomy.  This agreement has given the Palestinian people the chance to unite sufficiently to make a final agreement with Israel on a two State Solution.  Israel removed its settlements called Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip in 2005 as a gesture of peace called Israel unilateral disengagement.  Israel has tried to help the Palestinians to unite in preparation of making a final two State Solution.  However, the Palestinians remain disunited.  To make peace requires compromise. Compromise requires unity on both sides.

Jared Kushner (Photo/File)

To make compromise requires two parties which are each nationally firm and united.  Israel has enough National Unity to make peace.  The Palestinians have had the chance to unite together through autonomy in Judah and Samaria and returning to them Gush Katif.  They still are not united in peace.  On the contrary many Palestinians are calling for destroying Israel and wiping them off the face of the earth.

Autonomy which was given to the Palestinians in Judah and Samaria has had positive results helping to quiet the tensions in the surroundings.  In many places Jews and Palestinians live peacefully together in the territories and do business with each other. Autonomy which was given to them in the Gaza Strip is interfering with any final peace.  The Palestinians need more time to reach stronger National Unity to make a final peace accord.  All the time that Iran preaches destruction of the State of Israel the Two State Solution is impossible to accomplish.  Iran is influencing the Jihad Palestinians to continue to fight against peace with Israel.

The two State solution will not be easy for Israel.  It will be harder for the Palestinians to enforce the two State Solution or impossible with Iran influencing them.

Jared Kushner will be coming soon to Israel in an attempt to bring the two sides together. Israel is ready despite national opposition but the Palestinians are still not capable of being partners for peace.

My suggestion is to continue with autonomy and to work to improve living conditions for Arabs throughout Israel.

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David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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