Two-State Solution

Some of my friends and followers here may be confused about the idea of a two-state solution, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state living side by side in peace.  Twenty years ago, the majority of Israelis were in favor of a two-state solution to preserve the Jewish majority in the Jewish state and a way for Palestinian Arabs to have their own state where they could live with full national identity among the nations.   Many Messianic Jews in Israel supported this solution, but many did not.  Many were optimistic that this would happen.

Some Messianic Jews agreed with the right-wing nationalist Orthodox who looked at the book of Joshua and saw that Israel had a mandate to take the whole land.  Only by exercising faith and taking all the land from the Jordan to the Mediterranean can we have the blessing of God on Israel.  Palestinians who desire to live in peace and live with some level of autonomy but not citizenship can stay, and those who do not want to live in peace on this basis would have to leave.

Other Messianic Jews rejected this view called maximalist.  Why?  Because Israel has not repented of sin and come to fully embrace the Bible’s teaching on morals and life.  We have not come to Yeshua but even more, the state supports abortion, the LGBTQ agenda and so much more. Of course, the Orthodox Jews do reject these orientations.  We Messianic Jews believe in Israel and the return to the Land, but a counsel of taking the whole Land now may not have God’s favor.  It might bring destruction as the Zealots in the first century brought Roman destruction on Israel.  This is still a debate among Messianic Jews in the Land.

However, today the majority of Messianic Jews and the great majority of Israelis reject the two-state solution, at least for now.  This is not as wrongly perceived in the West because of the domination of the right-wing national Orthodox.  Rather, the Israelis are disillusioned with the Palestinians and the two-state solution. It is not religious reasons that drive them.  Here are the reasons.

  1. Israel sought to have a two-state solution under Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. What happened?   The first big attempt was during the time of Yassir Arafat.  He rejected the plan negotiated with President Bill Clinton.  When he walked away, Clinton said to him, “You have made me a failure.” Prime Minister Olmert negotiated even more generous terms, terms that no Israeli government could go beyond.  He offered 97% of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and East Jerusalem for a Palestinian State.  He offered land swaps for the 3%. He offered a right of return to near relatives of Arabs living on the Israel side of the new border, but other refugees could return to the new state.  Mohammed Abbas rejected the plan.  Again, later there was another violent intifada uprising. Israelis became convinced that the Palestinians did not really want a two-state solution, but it was only a game played for the West.  Maybe Abbas was afraid of the radicals like Hamas and thought if he accepted peace, he would be killed.  Remember Anwar Sadat of Egypt.
  2. Secondly, Israel under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was pro-settling Judea and Samaria, came to believe that two-states were necessary to preserve Israel.  He withdrew all Israeli settlements from Gaza and turned this completely over to the Palestinians. It was a grand experiment.  There was no blockade.  They were totally free and were encouraged to make Gaza a great place.  This was very controversial.  Sharon’s desire was for them to succeed. If they did then he could withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria except for the big settlement blocks needed for Israel’s territory depth for defense and security.  He said he wanted to draw the border.  Because he did not think the Palestinians would accept any agreement, he decided that unilateral withdrawal was the way forward.

Gaza then came under Hamas rule. They killed Palestinian Authority government leaders and took over.  The population supported Hamas. Hamas did not want a two state solution but wanted to destroy Israel.  They turned Gaza into an armed military camp with offensive weapons galore.  This is the background for the present war.

  1. After this, the left wing parties declined and never again came into power. Labor that had been so big dwindled to  be a tiny party.  Why?  As Israelis looked at this history, they came to believe that there was no real partner for peace.  Palestinian education was anti-Semitic.  The Palestinian authorities gave big support stipends to terrorists who were jailed or killed. This is called pay for slay.

Contrary to Western perceptions, Israel’s rejection of a two state solution was not due to the religious fanatics, but due to a hard evaluation of the history and the present situation.

Only a change of heart among the Palestinians can lead to lasting peace under any scenario.

The Disappointing Elections in the United States on Tuesday: A Israel-American Messianic Jewish Response

Conservatives and Evangelicals hoped to see great gains on election day in the United States, but the results were painfully disappointing.  In spite of crime, inflation that has been devastating for middle-class prosperity, and the open borders issue, the Republicans did not make significant gains in the key races.  All this despite President Biden’s polling with very poor approval ratings.

The most alarming and disappointing result for me was Ohio approving an abortion change to its state constitution that makes abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy.  National liberal groups poured money into this contest.  While national polls previously showed that most would approve of abortion restrictions and preclude it after 15 weeks (closer to the European standard) this radical change to the constitution passed.

The second most disappointing election was in Virginia.  The governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin, was elected in 2021, on a platform to support parental rights in education and to see woke and LGBTQ indoctrination removed from schools.  He gained control of the Virginia Lower House of Representatives. The hope was that he would hold the House and gain the Senate.  He supported an abortion ban after 15 weeks which had not yet passed.  He lost both the House and the Senate.  The struggles over education continue locally with some materials in children’s libraries being pornographic and the transgender issue boiling where biological boys and teens are permitted to use girl’s bathrooms and locker rooms.  Louden County Virginia has become nationally famous for the struggle.  Younkin was backing the conservative parents in this battle.  This has certainly been a setback.

Some Republicans did win governor’s races, but a red state Kentucky (Republican) re-elected their Democratic governor.

Many thought that with election of Youngkin, Virginia was an indicator that the country was changing in a positive way, but now we realize that abortion is deeply ensconced in both blue states and purple states like Virginia that can go either Republican or Democrat.

This leads to comments on the law.  Some misunderstand the view of Christians who desire a return to the law that is more in accord with the Jude0-Christian heritage of the United States.  We see in this misunderstanding the alarm of some on the left due to the very strong Evangelical faith profession of the new speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson.  They think Christians want to impose their faith/values on the nation and paint them like fundamentalist Muslims. However, most of these folks want a return to some of the values in the country that prevailed historically.  This was not a radical harsh society.

It is well to respond with some reflections.  Unless there is a dictatorship or control by an elite that represses the rest of the population (more a potential of the left today than the right), the laws of a society reflect the moral consensus.  There can be tolerance for the dissenters but when there is truly a strong democratic aspect to a society, the minority cannot impose but has to win the consensus and become the majority in the society.  For example, the consensus 60 years ago was that abortion was terribly evil and should be illegal.  That consensus was lost and now it appears that legal abortion is the consensus.  The law now reflects that consensus.

There are some important takeaways from this election.

  1. Many are only now realizing how deeply committed the majority are to abortion in many states.  It trumps other issues, even the economy, crime, education, open borders, and more.  This is the reason many lost at the polls.
  2. That the people are so choosing for abortion is bringing their states and perhaps the country into judgment.  This is not something now imposed by the courts, but something chosen in elections, in referendums on abortion.  People voted for more pro-abortion politicians.  The United States is indeed in great peril of the judgment of God. God does judge nations by his most basic law standards. Abortion is the most painful manifestation of evil in our society.

This all raises a larger question on how to see reform in the United States.  Yes, we want to see our laws more in accord with the Bible, but how much can be gained by the political processes if there is not a change in the moral consensus of society first?  Yes, we should be involved in civic life and bring better laws where we can, but changing the consensus is the more crucial matter.  For me, that means that without a mighty revival and reversal of the decline in the Evangelical Churches of America (by this I include Pentecostals and Charismatics) there is not much hope.  These elections convince me more than ever that we will not see much progress before a great national revival in the Church that will affect the consensus of the society.

War and Moral Relativism

As Israel prosecutes the war in Gaza, we reflect on the terrible hatred and atrocity of Hamas. When Israel left Gaza (Sept. 12, 2005), they offered Gaza freedom and development if only they would live in peace with Israel.  Instead, Hamas came to power and murdered the leaders of the Palestinian Authority.  They turned from the offer of liberty and self-determination to create a terrorist state that would be armed to destroy Israel.  Israel had no choice but to blockade Gaza to prevent offensive weapons import.  That blockade now shows itself to have been ineffective. Patrolling the sea and the borders did not prevent the importation of missiles and the manufacture of missiles.  How amazing that the leftists and apologists for Hamas describe the problem as Israel’s occupation and ignore what happened when Hamas came to power!  There would be no blockade in a peaceful Gaza.

The recent attack of Hamas shows us people under an ideology of hatred that pursues atrocities.  Despite this, on American University campuses there are demonstrations supporting Hamas and blaming Israel for the occupation and the blockade.  Such moral blindness shocks the hearts of those who have a moral sense.  These folks talk about Palestinian children who died in past Israel wars against Hamas.  They cannot distinguish between an Israel that seeks to not kill civilians but has no choice when Hamas uses them as human shields.  Hamas is responsible for killing their own women and children and then using it for propaganda. There are videos where they even admit this strategy.  The moral issue of intentionality is ignored.  So how did we get to this place of moral blindness?

The U. S. has Palestinians living in the country who demonstrate for Hamas. The most glaring example of the moral obtuseness of some of these is Rashida Tlaib, a congresswoman from Dearborn.  In this case, the moral obtuseness is due to ethnic prejudice and hatred that knows no boundaries. This leads to gross moral blindness.

However, what of the leftist university students and leftists on the streets of our cities?   The issue is moral relativism.  Since moral relativism now dominates the university faculties, moral bankruptcy is the result.  I remember studying Nietzsche in College. I was 19 and had lost my faith.  Meaningless hit me hard.  I cried as I read.  My quest for the next three years was to overcome both historical relativism and moral relativism and to find a place to stand.  I found it again in the Spring of 1970.  In knowledge relativism, there is no true historical knowledge.  There are only warring narratives and power assertions.  What really happened in Gaza in 2005 does not matter.  There is no facticity.  The left has chosen to designate Israel as a colonial state that oppresses the indigenous Palestinian people.  Therefore they assert that the atrocities are understandable.

Wow!  I was amazed that President Biden showed moral clarity in this fight.  He gave a great speech supporting Israel.   But I am grieved that the universities have removed moral and historical knowledge and now affirm a bankrupt morality based on power.  I will be writing more on this in the future  But I would like every person defending leftist anti-Semitism and anti-Israel, antisemitic and antibiblical, and anti-American views to answer two questions.  Do they believe that there is a historical reality and that we can approach knowing the truth of what really happened in history?  Is there true historical knowledge?  The second question is whether or not there are objective moral norms.  If they do not believe in historical knowledge or objective moral norms, we should shame them and not listen to them at all.  They have undercut the ground for moral behavior.

   

Take all the Land Now

Some Christian Zionists and some Messianic Jews have a very strident position on possessing the Land promised to our people.  Their attitude is to take all the Land and don’t worry much about the Arab population in Samaria and Judea.  With Itamar Ben Gvir, leader of a very radical Otzma Yehudit party and Bazalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionists, the heated rhetoric and actions toward “taking it all” have now become part of the landscape of the Netanyahu government.   Some Christians and a very small number of Messianic Jews applaud.

I want to argue that this is a foolish direction and akin to the first century Zealot Party that gained control of Judea and went to war against Rome.  Yeshua warned what would happen.  Jerusalem would be destroyed because they did not recognize their time of visitation (Luke 19:44).  Having not recognized Yeshua, even after his resurrection, propelled them into following a false way.  Let us recognize that we as a people still have not recognized that time of visitation.  Also, our lack of embracing the apostolic witness to this day, a witness given with great signs and wonders, is compounded history of antisemitism in the  historic churches.  Yet, the trajectory was set by the Sanhedrin and the post Jerusalem destruction Rabbis in Israel who did not turn to Him.  This is why I believe that this is not the time to pursue maximalist visions to take the Land.  The Religious Zionist party today is so different from its moderate predecessor, the National Religious Party (NRP).  This party with the Otzma Yehudit of Ben  G’vir is the return of the spirit of the Zealots.

When I teach on the return to the Land and declare myself a Biblical Zionist, it is based on Ezekiel 36:24 ff.  There we read that we will come back to the Land in significant numbers before we are given a new heart and before the Holy Spirit is given to us.  Until that day, and until we call upon Yeshua (Matthew 23:39,40), we may well be bringing a counsel that will bring harm to Israel if we council “Take it all.”  Let us remember that Israel has still not come to Yeshua.  Secular Israel fosters the most radical LGBTQ agendas.  Parades celebrate Israel as the most pro LGBTQ nation.  Abortion is rampant.  The Orthodox Jews still practice a faith that is partially right but which also blinds to Yeshua in a life of a plathora of commandments.  The spirit of the Talmud is mostly not in accord with the spirit of Yeshua.

My council is, let’s lovingly support Israel’s right to exist.  Let’s stand with Israel.  Let’s support the Jewish people in this Land.  However, let us not give counsel in agreement with the radical right wing views of “taking it all now.”  For this season, living with partial fulfillment of the Land promises I think is wise.  We also do care about the Arabs in the Land of Israel and want them to be treated with justice.

Are we moving to an amazing replay of first century Israel history?

It is commonly taught that we are seeing a lineup of nations against Israel, a setup that seems like a replay of the first century but with one amazing difference.  Instead of Jerusalem’s destruction, the last days’ final war against Jerusalem will lead to Israel’s full victory with the return of Yeshua.  Zechariah 12 and 14 make this very clear.

One aspect for those who do not live in Israel might seem quite amazing.  It is that the divisions in Israel seem in some ways quite analogous to the first century.  We have Jewish secularists who still desire to be Israeli Jews but are like those who were very Hellenized in the first century.  They like the Sadducees do not believe in angels, demons, or the inspiration of the prophets.  The Ultra-Orthodox are like the strict Shammai Pharisees who believed that living strictly in accord with myriads of multiplied laws would make us so holy that the Messiah would come and bring us victory.  We also have the Zealots of our day who want to take the whole Land now and push the Arabs out of the Land.  Recently, in response to a terrorist attack, some of these modern Zealots have rioted against the nearby Palestinian village, burning cars and houses and shooting at civilian innocents.  These folks and their leaders are not democratic libertarians. The Prime Minister spoke out against this anarchy, but two of the party leaders in his coalition support the reactive violence and are frustrated at him.  Yeshua warned that the Zealots would gain ascendancy and Jerusalem would be destroyed.  As in the first century, there are also religious Jews of a more open and tolerant stream like the Hillel Pharisees of old.  Will the nations unjustly invade, maybe in some kind of U. N. action in response to zealot policies?  Maybe. Or will it be a Muslim invasion of the surrounding nations supported by the rest of the nations (writers W. Shobat and J. Richardson)?  We don’t know.

However, as in the first century, there is a growing Messianic Jewish community.  In the first century, the destruction of Jerusalem did not lead to repentance and the embrace of Yeshua, though the prophecies He gave were clear and fulfilled.  However, this time, the witness of the Messianic Jews with the whole Body of Believers will lead to the embrace of Yeshua before Jerusalem is destroyed.  He will return to rule and reign forever.

Democratic Tyranny

My followers are usually very interested in Israel and know there is quite a controversy about judicial reform in Israel. The divide is intense. To put this in a better perspective, it is worthwhile to review the system in the United States.

The United States is not technically a democracy but a democratic republic. This means that the popular vote is not the all-powerful final say on everything, but there are checks and balances. The Founders had great concern with the corruption of power. They recognized that a demagogic leader could gain the popular vote and lead the nation to tyranny. Therefore, they incorporated many checks to power; the executive power, the President, the power of the Congress, the power of the Court and the power of the electorate.

They established the Constitution, which is hard to amend. Thus, the democratic electorate, the Congress, the Executive, and the Courts must function within the boundaries of the Constitution and its famous Bill of Rights. Secondly, they established a bi-cameral legislature with the most democratic institution, the House of Representatives, and the more limited democratic Senate whose senators were elected by the state legislatures and then later by the people of the states. This protected the less populous states from being controlled by the more urban populous states. Democrats today speak against this since these senators from more rural states sometimes frustrate their agenda, but this was as the Founders desired. Thirdly, the President was limited in his function according to the Constitution to carry out the rule of laws and the legislation of the Congress. He could not make laws. He was given greater freedom with regard to foreign policy, but Congress alone could declare war. He was elected, not by the popular vote, but by electors chosen by the States. In so many ways, there were limits to power. The Courts and the Supreme Court were to apply the laws and could review laws as contrary to the Constitution, as well as noting regulations contrary to the Law. The huge issue today is the recent history of the Supreme Court, which has legislated through a broad view of interpretation contrary to the intent of the Constitution. The biggest example was Roe vs. Wade on abortion, but there are many more examples.

In Israel there is no constitution. The reasons were several. Some thought Israel would be like England with a common law tradition rooted in western democracies. Many Orthodox Jews did not want a constitution but only the Law of Moses. Instead of a Constitution, Israel passed Basic Laws that were not to be changed. Other laws could only be accepted, if they were in line with Basic Laws. These Basic Laws became a quasi-constitution. The Supreme Court of Israel was to judge laws on the basis of Basic Law, and if found to be not consistent to Basic Law, they could declare those laws unconstitutional. However, they also decided that they could judge laws by the standard of accepted general understandings of rights and laws in the consensus of Western societies. They also judged on the criteria of reasonability. The right-wing leaders in Israel really push back on this idea since what is and isn’t reasonable could be subjective. Unlike the United States, judges are not appointed by the Executive with confirmation of a Senate. In recent years we have seen the weakness of the U. S. system since Democrats and Republicans will not vote for qualified people due to their judicial philosophy. In Israel, new appointees are made by a selection committee and not politicians, but heavily dominated by other judges and lawyers. In this way, many on the right think that the Court has too much power.

However, if the Court is to be a check on power, and one of the keys to separation of power, then the present proposals of M. K. Levine go way too far. He will open Israel to democratic tyranny since he proposes a simple one vote majority of the Knesset to overturn any Supreme Court decision. Basic Law is as well in flux. Why? Because only a majority was needed to pass Basic Laws, and a majority can cancel it. It would be far different if Basic Law was passed by a 2/3 majority and could only be changed by a 2/3 majority. Alas, that is not the situation. The present proposals also give the Knesset the appointment power and the overturning power for Court decisions. This could lead to democratic tyranny. The pendulum is swinging too far. Would that we could resurrect Jefferson, Madison and Adams to give wisdom to our leaders here.

We need to pray for Israel that they will embrace good judicial reform. First, to embrace a new foundational law that only 2/3 can establish or reverse Basic Law. This would require a special legislative semi-constitutional body that could establish this one principle for stability. Secondly, that the Court would be restrained on the reasonable standard, and that the Court could be overruled by 2/3s. Maybe it could be 2/3 on its Basic Law foundation for rulings and 60% for overturning the reasonable clause. Then judges could be appointed by some expert judges and by the Knesset together where there would have to be agreement by two bodies for appointment. Reform is needed, but minority rights and stability require that we avoid the democratic tyranny of the Levine plan. Can you imagine that every new parliament could, by majority, just reverse all that was passed as Basic Law by the previous parliament and could also reverse the reversals of the pervious government?

 

The Political Dilemma in Israel

It is very hard not to be very ambivalent about politics in Israel. There is no party that has representation in the Knesset that represents me. My Facebook friends may or may not have an understanding of this. Here is a bit of the challenge. Note that the right in Israel does necessarily mean social conservative.

On the Right:
1. Likud: Bibi Netanyahu I agree with free enterprise, strong defense, and peace with Palestinians that does not jeopardize Israel’s security. I disagree with support for the LGBTQ agenda and its weak policies re: help to raise the quality of life for Arab Israeli citizens. Pro-abortion. I think they have been weak in policies to build enough housing to lower costs.

2. Otzmah Yehudit. Ben G’vir. Agree with not supporting the public fostering of the LGBTQ agenda. But wants to eliminate the historic 75-year-old grandfather clause so non-halakhaic Jews can not make Aliyah if they have a Jewish grandparent and want to identify with their Jewish parentage. This would be a terrible direction and for Russian Jews, very bad. They only want to have Orthodox conversions. Wants to annex the West Bank in ways that may be very dangerous. He also wants to gut the Supreme Court so a majority of the parliament can overturn any decision, ending the independence of the court.

3. Religous Zionist Party: Bazelel Smotrich. This is not your grandfather’s National Religious Party of yesteryear which was moderate. Most of the same position as above.

4. Shas Party, Aryeh Deri, Sephardic Orthodox Party. A convicted felon. Wants as well to up-end the Supreme Court. Was the leader who had the interior department adopt a policy to resist Jewish believers in Yeshua no matter what their qualifications. Is anti-LGBTQ agenda but not as strong as the first two.

5. United Torah Judaism Party. The Ultra-Orthodox. Wants to gain back total control over Kashrut and Conversions even if the conversions are from other Orthodox Rabbis Wants to have a monopoly over Kashrut. Wants all its men to be exempt from the army, education that prepares them for work, and to have them forever supported by welfare to study Talmud all day. This means most ultra-Orthodox live near poverty.

Centrist
National Unity: Benny Gantz. The former general was good on defense and went after terror strongly. Most policies seemed good but then supported a pro-LGBTQ agenda, including in the Army.

Left of Center
Yesh Atid, (There is a future) Yair Lapid. He is the present Prime Minister until Bibi forms his government about ten days from now. Has governed as a moderate and not bad. Pro-LGBTQ agenda for all levels of society. Pro-Abortion.

Left 
Labor Party: Similar to all the positions of Democrats in the U. S.

Arab Parties
Ra-am. Mansour Abbas has become moderate and seeks to accept Israel but desires development and a better life for Arabs. A good development that there is such a party.

Joint List: Anti-Israel Arab Party.

I really don’t fit in with any of the parties. We add all the issues up and just pick the best we can, but none have my wholehearted agreement. We pray to be led by the Spirit and then vote.

Who Dominates the Media

I was planning to write this post when Bill O’Reilly wrote a commentary that partly covered my concerns.  He opined that the reason the Republicans did not do better in the election was that the dominant media magnified the talking points of the Democrats and did not do their job as news media to question these talking points.  Non-stop we were told that a Republican victory was a victory for extremism, the end of Democracy, the extension of racism, a danger to Social Security and Medicare, a national ban on abortion (which would require a super majority of the Senate and the President’s signature and will not happen.)  Of course, conservative media sought to refute such claims, but conservative media is still much less powerful than the dominant media.

The dominant media distorts and suppresses the truth.  We see this with the doctors of the Great Barrington Declaration, top doctors who were canceled, who promoted a more reasonable response to Corona.  We see it in the narrative on global warming or climate change.  There is not sober quality of evaluation as in Bjorn Lomberg’s great book False Alarm, where he does say human caused global warming is a real problem but that the direction of world political leaders will make things worse and lead multitudes to death and poverty.  The actual UN panel in charge of the science is being misrepresented by political and media leaders.  We see it in the fostering of gender transitions for children that does not deal with trauma, abuse, and other factors that could solve the problem with proper treatment.  Gender diaspora has now become trendy among teens.  Why? The influence of social media and the domination of a corrupt elite in medicine, education and politics. 

Sometime ago I wrote about the fact of leading philosophers and scientists, former atheists and still professing agnostics, concluding that the macro theory of evolution in all its present iterations is impossible.  This is an astonishing and amazing story that cannot get any traction in media.  Media also gives no traction to major bonified and proven miracles that are taking place world-wide.  The media gives no attention to the persecution of Christians world-wide and the terrible atrocities of radical Islamists (Nigeria)

Add to all this the cancel culture and the vicious response toward those who do not hold to the received contemporary views, many of which are anti-biblical. 

How can we break through?  First, we need to see alternative media displace more and more of the dominant media, both news-media and social media. This is a tall order, but also a matter for much prayer.  Conservative media is growing, and in my view, more objective.  In education, it will take the failure of many present schools and colleges and building alternatives.  Secondly, a true revival does have the power to breakthrough at levels such that media cannot ignore it.   God has his own ability to break the media stranglehold that suppresses true information or at least does not connect to it.  When there is a revival that leads to mass evangelistic growth in a nation, with real miracles, it cannot be ignored.  It can grow by word of mouth and invitation such that it transcends the normal media but then breaks through in media.  May we see this in our days. 

Peace with the Palestinians, The Great Assumption, and the Israel Elections

Although Benjamin Netanyahu professed that he accepted a two-state solution for the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in 2009, it is quite clear that he and his Likud Party are really against a two-state solution as are most of the right-wing political parties which make up about 75 out of maybe 120 of the members of the Knesset (Parliament).  Why it is so hard for Likud to form a government?  The reason is that Bibi has betrayed several key past partners that will not form a government with him.  So, they want to form a centrist unified government with those who advocate for a two-state solution though they don’t.  However, this is not so important to them because the positions of the Palestinians make any such solution impossible.  The overwhelming conclusion of Israelis since M. Abbas walked away from the too-generous agreement with Ehud Olmert is that the two-state solution is dead.  

 

For the great majority of Israelis, a two-state solution will lead to a terrorist state on Israel’s border, just like what happened in Gaza.  So they are not in favor, at least not for the near future.  However, the international community of nations overwhelmingly favors a two-state solution. Why?  One of the reasons is the assumption that every people or person deserves full citizenship in a recognized state that is a member of the U. N.  Upon what basis in morals or history does this assumption rest?  There are 22 Arab states and Jordan is the majority Palestinian in population. There are other situations in the world, of territories that are exceptions, like Puerto Rico, whose people prefer to not be a separate nation or a state of the U. S.  Once this assumption is rejected one can see a long-term solution.  

 

Neither Israel nor Jordan want to give the Palestinians full citizenship. Jordan fears that they would upend their government.  Israel cannot absorb so many.  Indeed, they might not be able to maintain a Jewish majority (This is debated-see Carolyn Glick’s One State Solution).  Israel, due to terrorism, cannot afford to give up security in Judea and Samaria.  The answer is semi-autonomy and a special non-citizen status with Jordan that provides passports and services that are needed.  The economy of the Palestinians can be tied to both Jordan and Israel.  In this solution, the Palestinians do not get U. N. membership and state status.  But they can get most everything else in autonomy, self-government, and territory.   Israel settles the Israeli areas, and the Palestinians keep their areas.  Jordan is the protector of Palestinians in their travels through their consulates. 

 

Will this ever happen? Probably not.  The world is too locked into the rigid assumption.  The Palestinians are in an all-or-nothing mode. However, it is good to see that if we think outside of the box we can conceive a solution.   One thing for sure, Israel must make a legal decision that no government can be chosen by Palestinians that are committed to Israel’s destruction. 

 

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Thoughts Given to a Friend on Israel and the Palestinians 

Here are thoughts to help with your article.

1.  It is very important to not conflate the three very different situations in Israel within the Green Line (an armistice line- never a defined border) and Gaza and the West Bank.  Anti-Israel people, BDS, always conflate them, and I wonder if it is not intentional. I will explain.

2.  It is crucial to note that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has a definition of anti-Semitism.  It may not always be overt, but emphasizing Israel’s errors far out of proportion, much worse in occupation or oppression and persecution shows an anti-Semitic bent.  Why more Israel than Turkey, Iran, China, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. The big crime regimes are death with so much less than Israel. It is amazing.

Now for the specifics

1.  After the 48 War, the world did not resettle refugees as was normal.  They could have settled in the West Bank or other Muslim nations but were kept in camps.  This had never happened before. Israel settled an equal number of refugees from Arab and Muslim countries.  So this became a big cause but it was purposely set up to fight Israel.

2.  After the 67 war, there was dialogue with Jordan and Palestinians about autonomy or Jordan being responsible for the Palestinian areas.  It never went anywhere  It was a big and complicated time.  The 73 war did not change matters.  The 67 armistice line became known as the Green Line.

3.  After the Oslo accords, Clinton and Arafat, and Abbas tried for a 2 state solution.  Barak offered most of the West Bank except for the major Israel settlement blocks, or 95% with land swaps.  E. Jerusalem would be the capital.  Arafat walked away and stared at the intifada violent uprising.  Clinton said to Arafat, “You made me a failure.”  It began to appear to Israelis that they were being played by the Palestinians who had no intention to make peace.  Barack let the last labor government and labor never recovered.

4  Though Israel elected the conservative Likud, their leader the famous Ariel Sharon, the war hero of the 73 war and a founding military leader since 1948 became the Prime Minister  He concluded that Israel needed to separate from the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank.  With the support of Abbas, (Arafat had died) he released Gaza to independence.  His view was that it this worked, he would do the same thing with the West Bank. However, instead of peace, Hamas overthrew the Palestinian Authority and then armed for attacking Israel.  They even destroyed the agricultural greenhouses that Israel gave them.  The settlements near Gaza were taken down and Israelis lost homes and agriculture. But they did it.  Sharon died, and his plan seemed doomed due to violent rejection.  Sharon left Likkud when he withdrew and formed the Kadima Party to support the withdrawal.

5.  When Olmert succeeded the unconscious Sharon, He entered new negotiations.  He was even more generous than Barak. He gave more land, E. Jerusalem would be the capital of the new state.  Again, Abbas walked away.  For Israel, this would be the end of the matter.  For the majority of Israelis, the Palestinians proved they did not want peace but were playing the world so they could destroy Israel.

Where do we go from here?   Apartheid.  BDS

Apartheid was defined as a legal system that does not give full rights and citizenship to people of a particular ethnic or racial minority status   So let’s apply this to Israel

1.  Israeli Arabs are citizens of Israel.  They have full rights.  They can go to universities, be appointed to various roles, and have and do serve on Supreme Court.  For the 20% Israel Arabs, there is no apartheid.  There is a disparity of state spending since governments favor the groups keeping them in power. Only now has an Arab party joined the government and large amounts are being spent in the Arab town.  To speak about apartheid in Israel for Israel-Palestinian Arabs is absurd.

2  Gaza has been released.  They could declare independence and be a state  They won’t do so because they want to conquer all of Israel.  They can be part of Egypt.  But there’s no apartheid. There is a military blockade that would end the Hamas Party leaders would end their war against Israel.

3.  The West Bank (Judea-Samaria)  Usually those who claim apartheid and foster BDS are referring to the West Bank.  The West Bank is a disputed territory.  But it is not a state so it can’t be.  Are the Palestinians treated differently? Yes, they have their own government but are stateless. Israel’s settlements have citizens who are Israel citizens. They vote for the Knesset.

Palestinians vote for the Palestinian Legislature which has been suspended by Abbas to keep Hamas at bay.  So they do not have citizenship in a nation-state. That is the center. They are relatively free but not always treated well.  No one really knows what do to.  Should the Palestinian areas be linked to Jordan for Statehood but semi-autonomy so Jordan’s government will not be overthrown?  Jordan’s population is majority Palestinian but Jordan fears that more will overturn the government.  Israel does not want to give them full citizenship but fears the loss of a Jewish-controlled state which is the whole purpose of Israel’s existence. Some have argued it could be done, but then the refugees?  Barak and Olmert envisioned the refugees returning to the West Bank but not over the Green Line.  So that leaves us with a mess.  The nation has embraced the status quo.  Someday it is hoped that the Palestinians will come to their senses and make real peace. But until then we are left with the status quo.  Apartheid isn’t. But there is nothing in the Bible requiring all people to be in a nation-state, a modern invention.  There is Puerto Rico!

I hope this helps.

God Bless,

Dan Juster