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Anglican theologian says two-state solution is political fantasy

By David Virtue, DD
February 9, 2024

Three prominent journalists, two American, one British, and one theologian have weighed in, arguing the case both for and against a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

Tom Friedman, a New York Times columnist, Jewish, who has lived in the Middle East and is well educated in Middle East affairs, argues strongly for a two-state solution to resolve the current impasse.

He writes that the current Biden Doctrine of a two-state solution can work if all parties agree to the three-pronged approach advocated by the current administration.

It is Israel which has been losing now on three fronts. It has lost the narrative war over Gaza: Even though Hamas murdered and raped Israelis, it is Israel that has gotten hauled before the International Court of Justice in The Hague for the civilian casualties it has caused in Gaza while trying to root out Hamas fighters who embedded among civilians. Israel is losing the ability to keep itself safe without being overextended in the long term -- by invading Gaza without any plan for how to find a legitimate non-Hamas Palestinian partner to effectively govern there so Israel can pull back. And it is losing on the regional stability front: Israel is now the target of a four-front Iranian onslaught -- by Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Shiite militias in Iraq -- but cannot generate the Arab or NATO allies it needs to win that war, because it refuses to do anything to nurture a credible, legitimate Palestinian partner.

It is for all these reasons that I believe, hope and pray that a Biden Doctrine for the Middle East is coming -- and Israelis should, too, said Friedman.

"If a Biden Doctrine emerges," "it will be good geopolitics abroad and good politics at home." concluded Nader Mousavizadeh a geo-political advisor and commentator.

Melanie Phillips, British journalist, author, and a hardline Jewish commentator on Israel, believes Friedman has it all wrong.

She says Friedman is being used as a conduit for the Biden administration's anti-Israel trial balloons. He wrote that the proposed recognition of "Palestine" signals an awareness that the United States "will never have the global legitimacy, the NATO allies and the Arab and Muslim allies it needs to take on Iran in a more aggressive manner unless we stop letting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold our policy hostage."

"This venomous distortion breathtakingly blames Netanyahu for fighting to defend Israel against genocidal Iran. Yet it was the appeasement of Iran by the Obama and Biden administrations that led to the Oct. 7 pogrom, the unleashing of Iranian war across the region and now three deaths and dozens of casualties among Americans."

To imply that the Iranian regime which screams "Death to America!" and aims to Islamize the world is only waging this war because of the absence of a Palestinian state is as unhinged as it is disgusting, she concluded.

Anglican theologian Dr. Gerry McDermott, who recently visited Israel, wrote VOL to say that the so-called two-state solution presumes that there is a "good" Palestinian leadership committed to living in peace side-by-side with the Jewish state. But this is a political fantasy. Only ideologues believe it. Opinion polls run by credible Palestinians show that a vast majority of Palestinians on the West Bank reject it and would vote for Hamas tomorrow if Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (the PA) permitted free elections (which they will not because they know they will lose).

Ideologues in the West (including Tom Friedman who is defending his own waning reputation) claim that the PA could run a Palestinian state. Yet Abbas in Arabic (most media pay no attention to his Arabic speeches) says he agrees with the Hamas slogan ("from the River to the Sea"), continues to reward terrorist families with riches, and continues to sponsor education that teaches Palestinian children that Jews are animals worthy of death and that there is no Jewish Israel.

"These are the leaders which Western leaders think should take over Gaza and could run a parallel state."

Andrew E. Harrod a Middle East Forum Campus Watch fellow, and a fellow at the Lawfare Project, opposes a two-state solution with these biting comments.

To answer this question requires proper understanding of the opposition against Zionism throughout history.

History shows that the Arabs in the mandate territory have had little unique Palestinian identity. The local Arab population is largely a mixture of various immigrant waves, both during the mandate period and also before, like the Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers who settled here in the 1830s under the Egyptian potentate Muhammad Ali. While Jews during the Palestine Mandate often identified themselves as Palestinian, given the mandate's objective of creating a Jewish national home, Arabs there rejected this British governance, and often identified as southern Syrians in a wider Levant.

As the disaster of the corrupt, dictatorial, and jihad-supporting Palestinian Authority has shown after 1993, Israel's military rule is actually the best government the so-called Palestinians have ever had.

Accordingly, no two-state solution is possible as long as Palestinians under Hamas in Gaza or the PA in Judea and Samaria/West Bank continue to undergo jihadist indoctrination in schools, mosques, and society at large. With such indoctrination, as others have noted, the Palestinians have indeed developed a culture of death, where the names of terrorist "martyrs" fallen in the struggle to destroy Israel grace streets and public buildings with their names.

Thus, this jihadist conflict against Zionism, like Nazi ideology, has no material basis in fact, but rather is an ideological conflict in the minds of many Muslims. Such a mental conflict can only end when the ideology dies out, like Nazism in Germany, (though there are indications that it is not quite dead.)

Any peace with Israel would require a thoroughgoing reeducation along classically liberal lines. Such developments would place in question whether Palestinians, noted for their Islamic piety, could abandon Islamic political doctrines while maintaining an Islamic faith. Such a redevelopment of Palestinian society would also require massive foreign oversight and influence. Whether the outside world is willing to do this is also questionable.

So, no, a two-state solution, meaning the building up of a Palestinian state alongside an already preexisting, successful Israeli state is not possible, absent a revolution in Palestinian minds, just as a peaceful Iraq is not possible in a sharia-supremacist culture. I think that Israel alongside other international partners will have to institute a new control regime in the Gaza Strip, and likewise it is time to abolish the corpse of the PA. Israeli and international authorities must develop a new educational system for the Palestinians, which abolishes all incitement to hatred and violence, and emphasizes individual human dignity and a non-sectarian state. In the meanwhile, I think that at least some emigration of Palestinians to places where they could have a chance at a new, decent life is worth exploring.

Given that human beliefs can be stubborn things, this conflict is going to last a long time.

To read more on this subject click here: https://keepgodsland.com/endorse/


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