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Confronting the Unpleasant Truth about Two States

Photo: Palestinian Authority banner showing the faces of Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.

German President Joachim Gauck (L) and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas give a press conference in Ramallah, 31 May 2012. That Abbas draws on the legacy of Yassir Arafat is but one reason why many feel a Palestinian state would threaten Israel.
Photo Credit: Rimawi/Flash90

Sometimes the truth is more than just ‘inconvenient’. Sometimes it is downright unpleasant, even ugly. But nevertheless, it is what is and we need to deal with what is, not what we would like it to be.

Martin Sherman sees the unpleasant truth and, unlike so many others, draws the logical conclusions. He has written a series of articles in the Jerusalem Post in which he has exposed the sheer insanity of the Left’s two-state solution (TSS), as well as the failure of the Right to propose real alternatives.

Now Sherman has taken up the challenge to provide a practical alternative. In his most recent article — which I urge you to read in its entirety, since I can’t do justice to it with a few snippets — he writes,

To survive as the permanent nation-state of the Jewish people Israel must address two fundamental imperatives:

• The geographic imperative • The demographic imperative

It is self-evident that if either of these is inadequately addressed, Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people will be gravely jeopardized, eventually becoming unsustainable.

The mainstream discourse invariably – and deceptively – presents Israel’s only choice as being between accepting the TSS – which would make Israel untenable geographically, or the OSS (one-state solution) – which would make it untenable demographically.

Neither comprises an acceptable policy-paradigm for anyone whose point of departure is the continued existence of Israel as the permanent nation-state of the Jews.

This, as we will see, compels us to the inexorable conclusion that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there can – and eventually will – prevail either exclusive Jewish or exclusive Arab sovereignty…

While addressing the geographic imperative requires Israel to maintain control of all Judea and Samaria (or at least of sufficiently large segments to make the TSS unviable), addressing the demographic imperative means that the Arab population of these areas cannot be permanently incorporated into the population of Israel…

We are left to confront a brutally simple choice: Either forgo the Jewish nation-state or address the need to significantly diminish the scale of the Palestinian-Arab population.

Whether one relates to this stark dilemma with a sense of moral outrage or equanimity will not affect the inexorable logic that led to its deduction, or the necessity to acknowledge its inevitability. Trying to evade the bleak nature of this inescapable choice by reformulating it in less forbidding terms would be no more than an exercise in hypocrisy or self-delusion…

So, for those who find the prospect of forgoing the Jewish nation-state unacceptable, the grim decision is whether to address the problem of diminishing the Palestinian-Arab population by coercive or by non-coercive means.

Right now the screaming about racism, transfer, ethnic cleansing, etc. begins. I won’t discuss why this automatically follows any discussion of Arabs moving but not Jews, nor the numerous Palestinian expressions of their intention to have a Jew-free state if the TSS is implemented. I’ll only emphasize that the alternative is no Jewish state at all.

If your idea of morality is such that yet another Jewish diaspora — undoubtedly accompanied by a bloody war — is preferable to some Arabs living between the river and the sea moving to one of the 22 Arab Muslim states in the region, then you have chosen sides and I don’t have anything to say to you.

Sherman believes, and promises details in a forthcoming article, that a non-coercive population transfer — yes, I am using that word because that is what it is — is the morally preferred option and that it can be made practical.

I have my doubts about the practicality of such a solution. But I am convinced that Sherman is right and that survival of a Jewish state requires both geographical and demographic domination of the area between the river and the sea. I remain to be convinced that this can be accomplished peacefully.

Originally published at FresnoZionism.org.

About the Author: Vic Rosenthal created FresnoZionism.org to provide a forum for publishing and discussing issues about Israel and the Mideast conflict, especially where there is a local connection. Rosenthal believes that America’s interests are best served by supporting the democratic state of Israel, the front line in the struggle between Western civilization and radical Islam. The viewpoint is not intended to be liberal or conservative — just pro-Israel.


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One Response to “Confronting the Unpleasant Truth about Two States”

  1. I look forward to Dr. Sherman's ideas about non-coercive transfer. Like you I have my doubts about the practicality of such a solution.

    He mentioned generous financial inducements. The way I see it, very generous financial inducements have not persuaded a majority in the Old City to sell their homes to Jews.

    How could the death penalty for doing so be dealt with?

    If it didn't happen in the Old City, why would it happen elsewhere?

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