Friday, May 13, 2005

The dangers of the so-called bi-national state, May 13, 2005

The dangers of the so-called "bi-national" state
May 13, 2005
By Ray Hanania

As the Palestinian leaderships’ failures in achieving peace become more and more evident, some are hoping to distract their despondent people by defining a new and more troubling "solution" to the conflict with Israel.

It’s called the "bi-national" state. In theory it sounds great. In reality, it is a formula for permanent conflict.

The advocates of the bi-national state include those Palestinians who once advocated Israel’s total destruction through conflict. But, the fact that they have been complete and utter failures at leading that "conflict" doesn’t seem to trouble them.

The other advocates are those whose patience have been wasted by poor leadership and who believing the two-state solution has not worked, will hope and dream for any other alternative.

The bi-national state concept essentially espouses that Israel will absorb the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and maybe even the Gaza Strip, putting millions of Palestinians under Israeli control.

Proponents of the bi-national option argue that eventually, the Palestinian population in this new scenario will surpass Israel’s Jewish population resulting in a "de facto" Palestinian state.

Eventually, they surmise, the bi-national scenario will undermine the Jewish character of Israel and create a Democracy where Christians, Muslims and Jews can live together in societal bliss.

Of course, that idea of a secular Democratic Palestine where Jews, Christians and Muslims can live together is a fallacy promoted for PR purposes. The fact is, Christian and Muslim Palestinians can’t live together at all. Well, they can live together if Christian Palestinians accept a status as "second class citizens" in a Muslim society.

But sometimes the lie always sounds better than the truth.

The two-state solution is a proposal where Israel withdraws from most or all of the territories it occupied in 1967. That’s when the incompetent Arab World governments threatened to "drive Israel into the sea." Instead, Israel defeated all their combined Arab armies in less than six days in one of World history’s most humiliating fiascos.

Assuming this two-state plan can be achieved through negotiations, Israel would remain a Jewish State and a second state would be recognized called Palestine and which would serve as the home for Palestinian Christians and Muslims.

Most extremists reject the two-state solution, and prefer to destroy Israel outright. But since they can’t do it through conflict – they can send young people to blow themselves up in suicide attacks but can’t seem to muster a true military insurgency against Israel’s military occupation – they instead support the lazy approach to their goals.

Let the high Arab birthrate overcome Israel’s birthrate and make Israel a Muslim dominated country where Jews would be a minority and Christians would be practically non-existent.

Some normally intelligent thinking moderates, frustrated with the failure of the peace process, actually believe the bi-national state concept may be a good alternative.

But it’s not. It will result in disaster. Not just for Israel but for Palestinians, too.

This bi-national state will become a nation where the Muslim and Christian Palestinian majority will be subjugated by a Jewish Israeli minority, pretty much what we have today.

I mean, the Israeli occupation is basically a portend of what is in store for Palestinians and Israelis in a bi-national state. Israel will never give Muslim and Christian Palestinians equal status in a bi-national state. They don’t do it now under occupation, and many Palestinians who are citizens of Israel argue that even as citizens of Israel they lack the same rights as Jews in Israel.

The only solution is a two-state solution. Compromise is the only road to achieving that goal.
Israelis must be ready to accept the reality of giving Palestinians sovereignty not just in the West Bank and Gaza Strip but also in parts of Jerusalem.

And Palestinians must accept the fact that Israel exists, it cannot be wiped out.

Palestinians should focus on reigning in their own growing extremists and fanatics who use violence and insist on Israel’s destruction. That goal only spells more doom for the Palestinians as a people and delays the inevitability of a two-state solution.

It’s going to happen. Both side should recognize that and spend their energies preventing more of their people from being killed as that certainty is delayed.


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