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.