Prime Minister Yair Lapid channeled Benjamin Netanyahu at his finest on Thursday night, when he delivered a well-written speech with just the right amount of strong Israel vs. threatened Israel, the Holocaust, peace in our time (ok, that was Lapid channeling his inner Shimon Peres), and the startup nation Israeli-made widgets that are keeping your heart pumping as we speak – I gave him very high marks on both text and delivery – and then, as had been promised for at least a day, he promised a Palestinian State, even after mentioning Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 which resulted not in peace but instead, “Since we left Gaza, over 20,000 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel. All of them at civilians. All of them at our children.”
He then shared with the dignitaries who had gathered to hear him from around the planet his difficult experience of taking his special-needs little girl to the bomb shelter under Hamas rockets in May 2021. If the PM wanted to make the case against giving up territory to the Arabs in exchange for a piece of paper with the word “peace” on it, he could have done a heck of a job.
But instead, he said this:
“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children. Peace is not a compromise. It is the most courageous decision we can make.”
It was as if this Yair Lapid had gone out for a smoke while the earlier Yair Lapid was proving to the Assembly how unreliable those same Arabs are in keeping the peace in exchange for territory. And then he said:
“Despite all the obstacles, still today a large majority of Israelis support the vision of this two-state solution. I am one of them.”
Not about his own support for the 2-state, although I suspect that, too, may be a lie. But he lied about the assertion that “a large majority of Israelis” support this insane plan. They may have been behind it back in 1994, during the heady years of the Oslo Accords, but the rivers of blood that flowed in the country’s major cities from suicide bombings and all other manners of psychotic cruelty, from 1995 to just earlier this week, when a mad Arab smashed a Jewish 84-year-old woman in Holon with an iron rod and kept hitting until she died. He then went and hung himself in some backyard. Yes, he was bonkers, but so are all these thousands of Arabs of all ages and sexes who devote so much of their time thinking up ways to murder Jews instead of, how did the PM put it?
“I say from here to the people of Gaza, we’re ready to help you build a better life, to build an economy. We presented a comprehensive plan to help rebuild Gaza. We only have one condition: Stop firing rockets and missiles at our children.”
But they won’t stop. And while Lapid may be trying to siphon off votes from Labor and Meretz with his sudden declared commitment to the 2-state solution, and offer Arab voters a horizon to boost their turnout and eventually the power of his left-of-center bloc – but most Israelis, I’m told, were born yesterday and most Israelis are decidedly against 2-state.
In a News 13 survey conducted ahead of Lapid’s trip to New York, 39% of respondents said they support the implementation of the two-state solution, while 43% said they oppose it. 18% don’t know.
The segmentation of the data shows a clearer trend since among the Jewish respondents, 32% support 2- states while 48% oppose it; and among the non-Jewish respondents, 77% support 2-state, and only 11% oppose it. So a hefty portion of the “positive on 2-states” comes from Arab Israelis.
Amit Segal reported on a News 12 survey shows an even clearer trend: half the respondents – 49% – said they don’t support the two-state solution and the establishment of a Palestinian state. Only 28% supported it. 23% don’t know.
Lapid then explained that in exchange for peace and a hefty chunk of Israeli land, “we have only one condition: that a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being and the very existence of Israel.”
In the 1955 film “Mr. Arkadin,” the villain, played by Orson Welles, recites what he says is a Russian fable, titled, “The Scorpion and the Frog.”
A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I am sorry, but I couldn’t resist the urge. It’s in my nature.
Happy new year, Mr. Prime Minister. You gave a good speech, even stellar. But because of the scorpion and the frog thing, I won’t vote for you.