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Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Just What Is the Israel-Palestine Two-State Solution?
The so-called "Two-State Solution" has been touted for many years by Israel's enemies as the only way to achieve peace. The fundamentals of this "solution" consist of the creation of two new countries. One would comprise the "West Bank," historically known as Judea and Samaria, and be populated and governed solely by Arabs. As in other Arab countries, Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims would be unwelcome.
The other "country" would comprise the area now known as Israel, but would be open to the return of millions of Arabs as citizens. These "returnees" would include all Arabs who could show any relation to those living in the ill-defined region known as "Palestine" prior to the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.
This, in effect, would mean Israel would have to open its borders to all Arabs in the Levant. The idea of a Jewish homeland would disappear. A nation populated and governed by Arabs would take its place.
The nation of Israel came into existence after a protracted 30-year struggle, beginning with Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration, guaranteeing a Jewish homeland within its protectorate. It culminated with a decisive vote in the United Nations in 1947, the same year Pakistan was created as a home for Indian Muslims (the size of the new Jewish State decreased over the intervening years to about 20 percent of that originally proposed in 1918.)
In the 70 years following that vote, Israel has been subjected to three major conflicts, all instigated by its Arab neighbors. The first, the War of Independence, began right after its birth on May 15, 1948 with a coordinated attack by forces from Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. Few people at that time gave the tiny Jewish nation any chance for survival. Yet thanks to financial and military aid, but not troops, from the United States, it did survive and prosper, miraculously turning a patch of desert with virtually no natural resources into a thriving, productive democracy, home not only to Jews but to Arabs and Christians as well.
The second major conflict was the so-called "Six-Day War," brought on by troops from Egypt and Syria massed on Israel's border in early June, 1967. Thanks to a brilliant preemptive strike, Israel was able to survive. Further, because of Jordan's poorly thought-out attack on West Jerusalem, attempting to wrest control of the Jewish sector, Israel was able to gain control over the whole city and its environs. It also captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria, giving it some measure of protection from future attacks.
The third and final major campaign, which occurred in the fall of 1973, became known as the "Yom Kippur War." Egypt and Syria simultaneously attacked Israel on the Jews' most holy day. After significant advances in the early days, causing dreadful losses among Israelis, the Arabs were expelled by brilliant military moves by the Israeli army and air force. A few years later, peace treaties were signed between Israel and Egypt, and also Jordan. As part of the deal, the Sinai was returned to Egypt. Peace has been maintained in the years since, at least between Israel and these two major powers. On the other hand, Syria has shown no interest in any such agreement.
Persons of all religion have had access to full citizenry, including the right to vote and hold office. In fact, Arabs have been members of the Knesset (Parliament) since its founding. Further, they have served in the prime minister's cabinet and even on the Supreme Court. This democratic structure would not be the case with an Arab majority population. In fact, the "new" country would most certainly be subject to the same 12th century-type government as other Arab-led nations. Jews and Christians would be personae non-gratae.
The premise of such a "two-state solution" is clearly just a land grab by the Arabs, destroying a flourishing democracy created by the blood, sweat, and tears of the Israelis over the past decades. The land now known as Israel has been home to Jews continuously over the millennia. It is not merely a politically contrived Western-style democracy.
To have peace in the region, the Arabs must first agree to formally recognize the State of Israel, something most of them refuse to do. Only then can negotiations begin. This is the stance Israel has always taken, and one with which the United States and our allies must comply.
JackWinnickreceived his M.S. and PhD. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and has held several prestigious positions in the field, including working as an expert consultant at the NASA Johnson Space Center and as a Professor of Chemical Engineering at several universities. He has also been a Middle East scholar for over forty years, traveling to the area for the State Department for the purpose of technology transfer to the Arab nations, and cooperation between Israel and Egypt. A strong advocate for the State of Israel,Winnickholds memberships in AIPAC, Zionists of America and American Friends of Magen David Adom. For more information, please visit www.jackwinnick.com and connect withWinnickthrough Facebook. Devil in False Colorsis available on Amazonand Barnes & Noble.