Friday, April 19, 2024 -
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When problems don’t have solutions

Not every problem has a solution, or at least a readily available one.

This truism fits the Palestinian quandary perfectly.

The solution offered by President Biden is a Palestinian state.

The same solution is offered by some Israelis who are tired of conflict and desirous of living in peace with their neighbors.

This solution has a logical, a political and even a poetic ring to it:

“Two states for two peoples.”  

It is long forgotten that leaders of the Israeli left, such as Yitzhak Rabin and Yigal Alon, feared a Palestinian state. The reason they feared it are much the same as the twofold reason I fear it.

This is the first half of my twofold reason: Polls show that the majority of Palestinians support the Oct. 7 massacre.

This is the second half: There is no geographical distance between these Palestinians and Israel.

It is wishful thinking not to acknowledge the first half of my twofold reason, but it is understandable. It is difficult to acknowledge sheer evil.

Chamberlain and most of the West could not do it before WW II. Even Israel could not fully do it before Oct. 7. There is always this view that “all people are the same,” “all people want the same for their children,” “all people are basically good.” All these are falsehoods, but yes, it is hard to acknowledge evil.

What I find not to be understandable is the denial of the facts of geography. There is no territorial distance between Israel and those Palestinians who hate Israel.

So what are we left with? No whole solution to the Palestinian issue.

For Americans, this is a difficult idea to swallow. Everything has a solution! Except, it doesn’t.

A Palestinian state, made up of people who are either terrorists or who, in the main, support the Hamas massacre of Oct. 7, is a prescription for the end of Israel.

Take a look: The borders of Israel, in one single day, were radically reduced. Countless square miles of Israel were emptied. This was not caused by a hostile state next door, but by a few terrorists who succeeded.

Why does President Biden want a Palestinian state? It will go down well with a voting bloc he needs. It will not go down well for the safety of Israel, not with the significant Palestinian support for the Oct. 7 slaughter.

Would Donald Trump do any better? I wonder. Key players in his former pro-Israel leadership team are not with him. He holds grudges, and if Prime Minister Netanyahu is still in office and Trump is elected, well, Netanyahu congratulated Biden on his victory in 2021. That irked Trump to no end.

Netanyahu summed up a lot when he told Biden: Every time we give up territory, we get terror in return. 

That would be doubly true if a Palestinian state were created now. It would rightly be seen as a reward for Oct. 7. The message would be crystal clear: Murder, rape, kidnap, mutilate, behead and burn people alive — and all this will lead to Israeli concessions.

Besides the facts of geography, here is something else that I find not to be understandable: Biden’s idea that the Palestinian Authority can be “reformed” or “overhauled,” as if a cultural-historic shift deeply rooted at least since 1881, if not centuries before, could be achieved in a couple of months or a couple of years via a couple of lovely documents promising a new age.

See the irony! The very same people who tell us that the effects of slavery in America are not finished — this, 159 years after slavery ended — also tell us that Palestinian hatred of Israel can end in a jiffy. Just create a Palestinian state and the hatred will vaporize!

Electoral politics, not geopolitical realities, dictate aPalestinian state in the aftermath of Oct. 7.

The implementation of this illusion would hoist on Israel an idea rejected by much of the American political spectrum.


Here is my solution. It is partial. It resolves no historic clash. It addresses no root cause. It will make neither American nor Palestinian leaders happy. It will not bring peace. It is depressing. It is contrary to the ideals I pray for. It is, however, the best I can come up with now. It will go a long way to preserving this precious property of the Jewish people: the land and the state of Israel, with its remarkable efflorescence of technology, Torah study, food production and art, and the giving of all four of these to the world at large. This is my partial, inadequate, unhappy, depressing, unspiritual solution. It is critical for Israel’s survival and the Jewish people’s survival: Israel must learn how to, and muster the resources to, produce all of its own weaponry.

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