A Palestinian State . . . Like Canada

In an interview with the Jewish Press, the Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens speaks about his recent book on American foreign policy, the ongoing negotiations with Iran, his support for Israel, and the recent European wave of “recognition” of Palestinian statehood (interview by Sara Lehmann):

I happen to believe in the two-state solution with a Palestinian state that has more in common with Canada than it does with Iran or Yemen or what the Palestinian state is shaping up to be. And the tragedy of this kind of recognition is that it tells the Palestinians that they can behave the way they have with the use of terrorism, aggression, missiles, and lawfare and get away with it. That’s astounding. The Kurds have been responsibly building up an autonomous region in northern Iraq for many years and yet they don’t get recognition. . . . There are many other stateless people who have a far stronger claim morally and historically to a state and yet they don’t get recognition. . . .

The alternative [to Palestinian statehood] is a situation which is in my view akin to diabetes. It’s a disease, but it’s a disease that can be managed. And the question for Israeli statesmen in our lifetime is how well they manage the disease with a view that in the very long term some other cure will arise. The word “solution” should never be used when it comes to politics. Solution is something that happens when it comes to math. Human beings don’t operate according to equations.

Read more at Jewish Press

More about: Barack Obama, Iranian nuclear program, Israel, Palestinian statehood, U.S. Foreign policy


As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank