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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Robert Wright's "A One-to-Two-State Solution": Again Wright Has It All Wrong

In a New York Times column entitled "A One-to-Two-State Solution" (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/a-one-to-two-state-solution/?hp), Robert Wright argues that if West Bank and Gazan Palestinians were to demand Israeli voting rights, moderate Israelis would be roused from their torpor regarding peace talks. As might be expected, the premise of Robert Wright's column is entirely mistaken. According to Wright:

"A recent Time magazine cover story — “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace” — explained why many Israelis just don’t think a peace deal is all that important: they’ve already got peace. Ever since Israel built its security wall, they’ve been safe from suicide bombers, and homemade rockets from Gaza can’t reach them. They’re prosperous to boot. What’s not to like?"

Unbeknownst to Wright, the Hamas arsenal in Gaza now also consists of Iranian missiles with a range of 60 kilometers (almost 40 miles), which were test fired by Hamas into the Mediterranean and which are capable of reaching Tel Aviv. In addition, Hezbollah in Lebanon has been given by Iran an arsenal of 50,000 rockets and missiles, many of which are capable of striking anywhere in Israel.

In short, Israel is again facing an existential threat, and Wright's claims of Israeli apathy to peace are entirely without basis.

It is also peculiar that Wright relies upon a Time magazine cover story, which has been roundly condemned as anti-Semitic (http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/adl-time-magazine-israel-cover-story-rehashes-anti-semitic-lies-1.313096) and which has prompted protests from readers and advertisers alike.

Notwithstanding the Time Magazine article, moderate Israelis have never given up their dream for peace, consisting of a two-state solution. Personally, like a majority of Israelis who backed the Barak and Olmert peace plans, I would be delighted to see an autonomous, prosperous, peaceful Palestinian state arise beside Israel. But like most Israelis, I am all too familiar with Palestinian suicide bombings directed against civilians. I am painfully cognizant of the Hamas charter, which calls for the murder of all Jews (not just Israelis) and rejects any negotiated peace with Israel. And I am also aware that Israel is only 9 miles wide at its waist and that Ben Gurion Airport is only 5 miles away from the border with the Palestinian Authority, i.e. civilian aircraft will be well within range of shoulder held missiles. Yes, I favor a return to the 1967 borders with land swaps to make everyone whole, but there must also be ironclad guarantees of Israel's security from Abbas, who is still unwilling to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Let Abbas in a forthright manner acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and then let's see what compromises can be achieved in order to attain a just and lasting peace.

Meanwhile, Robert, the next time you need the facts on the ground before wedging your foot in your mouth, you are welcome to contact me.

5 comments:

  1. Amen.

    If you search through Robert Wright's bibliography, you see a constant theme. The Arab and Muslim world is 100% right. The Jewish and Israeli world is 100% wrong.

    He's 100% Arabist, 100% anti-Israel, and, um, dare I say?....

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  2. Great blog, by the way. I've read your posts in the New York Times, and I appreciate that you consistently do your homework. Keep up the good work!

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  3. Anonymous, thank you for your kind words.

    Jeffrey

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  4. Why should anyone who believes in democracy -- and especially any Jew, like myself -- be content with a two-state solution that leaves a non-democratic Jewish state in existence, side by side with a new, nondemocratic Palestinian state? Two ethnic states, which, by definition, cannot be democracies (in a democracy one's civil and political rights do not depend on one's ethnic background, as they do in Israel.) And why should the Palestinians be content so long as European Jews continue to live in their stolen houses and on their stolen land?

    They only just solution is the one-state solution: Equal rights for all in a bi-national, secular state. With a full right of return and compensation for all Palestinian refugees. More and more American Jews and Americans in general -- without whom Israel could not exist -- are starting to realize this.

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  5. Anonymous, you have obviously never visited tiny Israel. Scratch the ground in Israel, and you will find evidence of a continuous Jewish presence there.

    Ethnic states cannot be democracies? Oh, really? Does this mean, for example, that the UK, where the state religion is Christianity as practiced by the Church of England, is not a democracy?

    By the way, anonymous, on the stolen land of which Native American Indian tribe do you reside?

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