Beating on the Dead Horse of Palestinian Statehood

June 22, 2020 | David Adler and Ted Lapkin
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Among the common responses to the possibility that Israel will extend its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank is the argument that doing so will prevent Palestinians from forming a state of their own. Not only is this claim not necessarily true, but, write David Adler and Ted Lapkin, it is based on the faulty assumption that an independent Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza is a desirable outcome:

The creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank will never happen for very good legal, strategic, and moral reasons. . . . The geo-strategic argument is simpler [than the legal one], arising from the fact that Israeli territorial withdrawals most often lead to the establishment of terrorist enclaves on the doorstep of the Jewish state. After Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, it got rocket fire, suicide bombers, and terrorist infiltration tunnels rather than peace. There’s no way Israelis are going to replicate that experiment in the West Bank which is only twelve miles from downtown Tel Aviv.

The collapse of the Arab Middle East into bloody chaos over the past decade affords even greater weight to such geo-strategic considerations. As Syria is torn to shreds by civil war and Jordan teeters on the brink of financial insolvency, Israel simply cannot and will not abandon its most defensible eastern border along the Jordan River.

The moral argument against Palestinian statehood is self-evident as well. The Palestinian Arabs have forfeited any legitimate claim to independence through their repeated rejection of any political compromise that recognizes Jewish national ambitions. The state of Israel affords political equality to all citizens, including 1.8 million Muslim and Christian Arabs who enjoy freedom of speech and religious worship while participating in fair and open elections. By contrast, Mahmoud Abbas, now in the sixteenth year of his four-year term as Palestinian Authority president, demands that any future Arab state in the West Bank must be utterly Jew-free. In other words, the PA is calling for the ethnic cleansing of 460,000 Jews from their homes in Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem.

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