from The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens writes On Palestinian Statehood
But isn’t a Palestinian state a necessity for Israel? Can it maintain its Jewish and democratic character without separating itself from the millions of Palestinians living west of the Jordan River?
In theory, Israel would be well-served living alongside a sovereign Palestinian state that lived in peace with its neighbors, improved the welfare and respected the rights of its people, rejected extremism and maintained a monopoly on the use of force. In theory, Palestine could be the next Costa Rica: small but beautiful.
But Israelis don’t live in theory. They live in a world where mistakes are mortal. In 2000 and 2007 Israeli prime ministers made good-faith offers of Palestinian statehood. They were met on both occasions with rejection, then violence. In 2005 Israel vacated the Gaza Strip. It became an enclave of terror. On Sunday, four young Israelis were run over in yet another terror attack. The ideal of a Jewish and faultlessly democratic state is a noble one. Not at the risk of the existence of the state itself.
Meanwhile, anyone genuinely concerned with the future of the Palestinians might urge them to elect better leaders, improve their institutions, and stop giving out sweets to celebrate the murder of their neighbors.
from The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens writes On Palestinian Statehood
What about the interests of Palestinians? Aren’t they entitled to a state?
Maybe. But are they more entitled to one than the Assamese, Basques, Baloch, Corsicans, Druze, Flemish, Kashmiris, Kurds, Moros, Native Hawaiians, Northern Cypriots, Rohingya, Tibetans, Uyghurs or West Papuans—all of whom have distinct national identities, legitimate historical grievances and plausible claims to statehood?
If so, what gives Palestinians the preferential claim? Have they waited longer than the Kurds? No: Kurdish national claims stretch for centuries, not decades. Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.
Set the comparisons aside. Would a Palestinian state be good for Palestinian people?
That’s a more subjective judgment. But a telling figure came in a June 2015 poll
conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which found that a majority of Arab residents in East Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state. No doubt part of this owes to a desire to be connected to Israel’s thriving economy.
from the editors of the Wall Street Journal, Kerry’s Rage Against Israel
We recite this history to show that it’s not for lack of U.S. diplomacy that there is no peace—and that mishandled diplomacy has a way of encouraging Palestinian violence. In 2000 then-President Bill Clinton brought Israeli and Palestinian leaders to Camp David to negotiate a final peace agreement, only to watch Palestinians walk away from an offer that would have granted them a state on nearly all of Gaza and the West Bank. That failure was followed by another Palestinian terror campaign.
Israelis remember this. They remember that they elected leaders—Yitzhak Rabin in 1992, Ehud Barak in 1999, Ehud Olmert in 2006—who made repeated peace overtures to the Palestinians only to be met with violence and rejection.
In his speech, Mr. Kerry went out of his way to personalize his differences with current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming he leads the “most right-wing” coalition in Israeli history. But Israelis also remember that Mr. Netanyahu ordered a settlement freeze, and that also brought peace no closer.
The lesson is that Jewish settlements are not the main obstacle to peace. If they were, Gaza would be on its way to becoming the Costa Rica of the Mediterranean. The obstacle is Palestinian rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in any borders. A Secretary of State who wishes to resolve the conflict could have started from that premise, while admonishing the Palestinians that they will never get a state so long as its primary purpose is the destruction of its neighbor.
But the effect of Mr. Kerry’s efforts will be to put it further out of reach. Palestinians will now be emboldened to believe they can get what they want at the U.N. and through public campaigns to boycott Israel without making concessions. Israelis will be convinced that Western assurances of support are insincere and reversible.
from Mona Charen at National Review, A Stupid Anti-Israel Policy
“There are 2.75 million Palestinians living in the West Bank,” Kerry thundered, without explaining why their misfortune is more urgent than that of 4.8 million Syrian refugees who are living in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, and various European countries. An additional 6.6 million Syrians are internally displaced and desperately in need of assistance. The Palestinian refugees (the term is absurd after 68 years) are the only “refugees” in the world who have a United Nations program devoted exclusively to them (UNRWA) – which may be one reason they remain stateless.
Just about every single one of Secretary Kerry’s assumptions about the Israeli–Palestinian dispute is erroneous. Start with his assertion that the Palestinians want an independent state on the West Bank. They have been offered such a state at least twice. In 2000, at Camp David, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak offered a generous settlement including land swaps. Yasser Arafat not only rejected it, he started a new intifada. In 2008, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert offered Mahmoud Abbas a state comprising nearly all of the West Bank (Israel would have kept about 5 percent), with East Jerusalem as the capital. Abbas rejected it. Obama-administration assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority has not recognized that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state. Palestinian propaganda ceaselessly depicts “Palestine” as comprising all of the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. They continue, as Kerry himself acknowledged, to glorify terrorists.
I encourage you to read the entire link- my excerpts do not do her article justice.
At some point the price for the violent intransigence of the Palestinians should be the forfeiture of any right to state of their own. Without a deadline to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel there is no grounds for negotiation. For the UN to denounce Israel without these basic concessions from the Palestinians is a reckless betrayal.
Far more money, adjusted for inflation, has been spent on the Palestinian territories that was spent by the Marshal Plan to rebuild Europe after WW II. At what point will the UN be held accountable for their disastrous policy?
The UN resolution, allowed to pass by the abstention of the United States vote, makes Israeli settlements in The West Bank illegal under international law. It is not easily reversed because a veto from China or Russia would block it. This paves the ground for legal actions against Israel that further isolates the sole Jewish state in the world. Rather than a path for peace, this action incentivizes further conflict in the Middle East.
One need only to look at the response from the Palestinians after the evacuation of the Gaza Strip. Israeli settlements were painfully evacuated and the end results was a rain of missiles on Israel that ceased only after military action. Delay may be a better word. The world wanted a Juden Free Gaza, and learned nothing from the experience.
The United Nations now insists that The West Bank become Juden Free. Obama and Samantha Powers obliged. Whether their action was done in spite to Trump’s involvement or out of severely flawed policy, peace is not the likely outcome. As long as the Palestinian Authority can get the United Nations to act on their behalf, they have less of an incentive to negotiate with Israel. They have less of an incentive to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism. This biased resolution required nothing from the Palestinians.
Muslims and Arabs have property rights and voting rights in Israel. Israeli Arabs have seats in the Knesset. Yet the United Nations had no problem allowing a Palestinian State or territory to be declared Juden Free.
Obama and Powers are trying to appease a population that will not be satisfied until all of Israel is Juden Free.