Op-Ed: A two-state solution

Opinion by and
May 26, 2010, 12:19 a.m.

Yesterday I attended a debate between Yishai Kabakar and Fadi Quran. Quran wants us to divest from Israel. He accused Israel in preventing the Palestinians from getting their state. Think about this for a minute. It doesn’t make sense.

I am an Israeli Zionist. As such my goal is to live in a state with a Jewish majority, because my belief is that this is the only state that will give security to the Jewish people. I know that the only way to achieve this is through a two-state solution. Therefore, an independent Palestinian state, living side by side with a Jewish state, is a Zionist imperative. Why would Israel sign its own death warrant by refusing to accept a Palestinian state?

Think also about this: Hamas has been constantly firing rockets from Gaza. It started firing right after Israel withdrew from Gaza, before the blockades and the sanctions. What did it gain from it?

The reason these things don’t make sense, is that the paradigm that “the Palestinians are trying to get a state while Israel is trying to prevent it” is out-dated. In the last 20 years, the Palestinians had called our bluff. The correct paradigm has the roles reversed. It is Israel who desperately needs a Palestinian state to keep the Jewish state alive. If only the Palestinians wait a bit longer, some of them say, the world will force upon Israel the one-state solution. So why hurry?

Looking at the conflict through this updated paradigm, it suddenly all makes sense. When former Israeli PM Olmert was about to withdraw from most of the West-Bank in 2006 (“the realignment plan”, he called it), Hamas, a Palestinian organization who publicly declares it wants a one-state solution, had to stop him. That is why it launched those rockets onto Israeli cities – to get that plan off the table. To maintain the occupation alive. And it succeeded. No politician would dismantle Israeli settlements under a rain of rockets.

If I had thought, like Quran, that Israel did not want a Palestinian state, I would have surely agreed with him that we should put more pressure on Israel to change its ways. But this is not the case. The current round is stuck because so far Hamas has been able to block every possible progress between Israel and the PLO. How will Quran’s divestment plan help us overcome Hamas? It won’t. To the contrary, it provides ammo to the one-state supporters. I much prefer Kabaker’s counter proposal – an investment campaign. If we choose to invest in a Palestinian state-building, if we make it clear to the world that the two-state solution is the only fair and viable solution to this conflict, if we get the one-state solution off the table, only then do we resolve the conflict.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Laserson
PhD candidate in Computer Science,
Former president of the Israeli Student Organization

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