Sunday, February 25, 2024

Unilateral Recognition of a Palestinian State

Image for illustration purposes only (JTA)
There was a rumor floating around among various media outlets that the Biden administration is actually considering unilaterally recognizing a Palestinians state.  That rumor has been put to rest. Most recently by US ambassador to Israel, Jack Lew, who categorically denied it.

I never gave that rumor much credence. But there is a reason that such rumors get started. The Biden administration has doubled down on the pre Trump era decades old policy that the only solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is to give Palestinians their own state. The so-called two state solution.

The renewed emphasis on that policy is directly related to Israel’s war with Hamas. Mostly generated by the over 30,000 Palestinian casualties in Gaza (according to Hamas). Those casualties have spiked huge anti Israel protests (many of which are blatantly antisemitic) calling for a cease fire. 

Those protest are mostly attended by Palestinians and young people. The former of which have been indoctrinated to hate Israel (i.e. the Jews) and the latter of which are clueless about the history of the Jewish people, the Holocaust, surviving Jewish refugees, the modern state of Israel and the Zionism that created it. Idealistic young American college students know nothing of those subjects. Instead they are fed a steady diet of progressive ideology from radical left professors. In those circles Israel is painted as a colonialist Apartheid regime which has occupied the indigenous Palestinian population with extreme brutality for over 75 years.  Zionism is a dirty word synonymous with another dirty word, colonialism. That is all they hear.

Biden is eager to get their vote. And he is eager to retain the Muslim vote he got in the last election. Which he is in danger of losing because of his continued support for Israel in its war with Hamas.  30,000 dead relatives does not sit well with Palestinian population centers like Dearborn, Michigan (represented by congresswoman Rashida Tlaib).

Biden won Michigan narrowly in the last election. He is in danger of losing it now. The Muslim vote put him over the top then. They have threated to withhold their vote from him this time. Biden is trying to win back their vote by tilting back in their direction - showing that he actually agrees with their goal of creating a Palestinian state.

It is this renewed emphasis that I believe generated rumors of US unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

In any case the people of Israel through their elected representatives in the Knesset have overwhelmingly rejected unilateral recognition by any country. By a 99 to 9 vote majority

It is easy to explain that lopsided vote in light of what happened on October 7th and polls that show wide spread support of it by the vast majority of the Palestinian. 

What American officials are actually saying is - what they want to see at the end of the war. A path that would lead to a Palestinian state that would at the same time guarantee Israel’s security. Doing whatever it takes to ensure that guarantee.

That sounds great on paper. As I have said many times - in theory I would be completely on board with that for reasons are beyond the scope of this post. But in practice it is an impossibility. The idea of guaranteeing Israel’s security is a lot easier said than done. In my view it is a near impossiblity as things stand now - in a climate of cradle to grave indoctrination of extreme Jew hatred. 

This is why the Netanyahu government has proposed their own vision for a post war Gaza:  Self governance by Palestinian moderates who will be more interested in helping their people than in killing Jews. They do exists but, based on the above mentioned poll are a very small minority. Israel will provide its own security by surrounding the perimeter with its military, controlling all access to Gaza including humanitarian aid to assure that weapons aren't being smuggled in, and creating security checkpoints to assure that Palestinians exiting Gaza aren’t terrorists.

I don’t see a better solution in he short term. In the long term – with the help of moderate Arab governments that actually recognize the potential for their own security in making peace with Israel. A goal that has been hampered by the likes of Hamas and other Jihadist groups that brook no compromise when it comes ot eradicating Israel and the Jewish people. 

The only way there can be a Palestinian state is if the educational paradigm of extreme Jewish hatred can be eliminated from every aspect of the Arab culture and replaced with an education that teaches tolerance and respect for their Jewish neighbors. That may take a generation or two. But if that is done, then eventually we can have the kind of Palestinian state that people of good will want to see now.

That the Biden administration keeps talking about it now is in my view counterproductive to that goal. Because there is no way Israel can afford to trust that a guarantee of security will be enforceable no matter what kind of apparatus is put in place. 

For now Israel must do what is in its own best interests as determined by indisputable facts on the ground.