Sheri Oz – Bassem Eid and the Two State Solution Bandwagon!
I raised a few eyebrows when I posted a link to Bassem Eid’s new article, saying I endorse it. Friends wondered what had happened to me since I generally raise issues about why we should not promote the Two State Solution and this article definitely comes down on the side in favour of it.
Let me parse this article so I can make myself clear.
“We Palestinians need economic prosperity and we need a state.”
I certainly agree with the former need and if the latter is truly a need it is only so because of the West who so poorly understood the Middle East and because of the Arab states who kept their brethren who now call themselves Palestinians in a form of slavery to the idea of wiping Israel off the map. While some of the Arab states seem to be relaxing lately in their view that Israel and the Jews are an abomination and a blight to the neighbourhood, the West persists in misunderstanding the Middle East and keeps hammering away at the two-state-solution idea that should go the way of the Dodo Bird.
Because of all the Arab shenanigans — that the West swallowed hook, line and sinker — there now is a disparate group of Arabs originating from a variety of places (a minority of whom can actually claim to have lived for any historically significant length of time in the part of the Ottoman Empire that fell under the British Mandate of Palestine) who call themselves Palestinians and feel that they are a separate people who deserve a separate country. This separate country that they are pining for would actually constitute a second Palestinian Arab state, the first, of course, being Jordan. This second Palestinian Arab state would be on land they refused to accept in 1947 when the British so generously offered to chop up Israel because Jordan was not enough to satisfy Arab hunger.
Anyway, suffice it to say that there currently exists a bunch of people who now think they are a separate nation and think they should be called Palestinians (that name that we Jews rejected because it had nothing to do with the land at all and everything to do with the Roman Empire). Because of Arab intransigence and Western ignorance (if I want to be generous to them), Israel is now saddled with a problem the rest of the world thinks we have to fix, or else!
I do not think the Palestinian Arabs NEED a state or even DESERVE a state.
But let’s get back to what Eid wrote. He said that “we need a state”,
“but we have been going about it the wrong way. We trusted Arab states, but they led us to turn down the 1947 United Nations partition plan, and turned us into perpetual refugees. We trusted the UN, which does nothing but benefit itself and maintain the status of refugees for Palestinians. We trusted the West, but they are obsessed with a two-state solution that is not possible until the more fundamental Palestinian problems are addressed.” [emphasis added]
In other words, Eid agrees with me that the Arabs states, the UN and the West are to blame for the desperate situation in which the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians found themselves in 1948.
He asks who cares about the economic and social welfare of the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians. And the answer is not the BDSers, not the other Arab states, not the bleeding-hearts of the West. Nope! This is who cares:
“Only Israel cares about the Palestinian economy right now. The Israeli government recently decided to issue another 32,000 work permits for Palestinians, in addition to the 90,000 that already exist. They said that they want to help Palestinians gain greater economic prosperity because that is good for the Palestinians and for Israel.”
But antisemites who whitewash their antisemitism by calling themselves anti-Israeli don’t care about the truth, the facts or history. So, in fact, we Palestinian Jews and Palestinian Arabs are on our own. ” And Eid suggests a way out of this morass:
“We need to recognize that Israel is not only here to stay, but it is also not our enemy. Israel is our friend, our ally, and our best hope for the future. . . . There is no denying that Israel is the sanest place in the Middle East. Palestinians do not want to live in Syria or in Iraq or anywhere else in the Middle East. It is much better for them to live in Israel, despite the conflict with Israel. . . . It is Israel that gives Palestinians jobs in Israel and in the West Bank. It is Israel that gave us jobs in Gaza when it occupied Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza now miss those jobs. . . . Israel is already our best friend and our best hope. All we need to do is to recognize it. All we need to do is to stop the hatred against Jews and against Israel.”
That is a pretty big “all we need to do”. But Eid is right. We don’t need love, we need an end to hate. And here is what Eid asks for:
“If the West wants to help us, then I implore them to stop talking about a two-state solution and start talking about economic prosperity for the Palestinians through cooperation with Israel and the Arab world.”
And this is why I endorse this article: precisely because Eid says that everyone should
GET OFF the Two State Solution Bandwagon
He pleads for efforts directed toward building a viable society among the Arabs living in Judea & Samaria and Gaza.
Just because he believes that a two state solution will come after the Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians will have a sane society and economic viability does not mean that that is what will happen. I believe that once they focus on their own economic and sociocultural health, anything can happen. That anything could even be an outcome nobody can imagine at present since we are all so busy either promoting or opposing the two state solution and fighting over it as if that is the only game in town.
When you start down a new road, you come across places you never knew existed. That is why I am unconcerned about the fact that he thinks the two state solution will eventually happen. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t.
But if a second (and possibly third) Palestinian Arab state comes into being after it will have proven its ability to self-govern, maintain the infrastructure of a nation, and conduct itself respectfully, then I don’t think anyone in any part of the Israeli political spectrum will have a problem with such a state.
Do I believe that will happen? Nope. But then I am not a fortune teller and I don’t have a crystal ball.
And I do like the idea of those Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians taking responsibility for themselves, stopping their poor-me manipulations and pulling themselves up by the bootstraps to make a decent life for themselves. It means they will stop stabbing us in the back, running us over with cars, and tunneling underground to grab us to hold for ransom. What’s wrong with endorsing that?
This article was originally posted on Israel Diaries, as: The Two State Solution: Have I Lost My Marbles?
Sheri Oz is a retired psychotherapist and family therapist from Haifa, Israel. She also has a web site Israel Diaries