The defeatism of the left
A binational state is not a solution, but rather a flight from reality and a recipe for perpetuating a duel between two nations. Anyone who gives up on a peace agreement between two states is gambling with the fate of the State of Israel.
The settlers are right. Had today’s Zionist left been leading the Jewish community here in the 1940s there is a good chance we never would have had a state. Had those who lay proud claim to being “the peace camp,” who explain how “it’s impossible to evict 300,000 settlers,” been running the show in the early ‘50s, the Yishuv − with its population of 600,000 − would never have taken in one million Jews. The word “irreversible” does not exist in the vocabulary of the settlers. They did not say that the Oslo Accords spelled the death knoll of their enterprise. The settlers adhere to their faith all the way to another outpost and another coalition government, and the left cries all the way to nowhere.
While the settlers build house after house and destroy the peace process stage after stage, the honorable members of the Zionist left announce one after another the capitulation to “the will of the people.” In exchange for the idea of partition, they propose, accompanied by heartrending sighs, that we begin to prepare for a binational state. It’s like a marriage counselor who advises a couple that has been making each other miserable for decades to go on living together in order to avoid divvying up their assets. Instead of helping them to separate amicably, co-parent successfully and build independent new lives, the counselor urges them to perpetuate their misery.
The desperate leftists propose joining together two hostile communities with a bloodly feud between them and endless prejudices about each other. For 64 years the Jewish community realized the Zionist vision using discriminatory immigration and residential laws, unequal division of resources and hegemony over religious and national symbols. For 45 years a Jewish minority has deprived the Palestinian collective in the occupied territories of political rights and violated the dignity, property rights and freedom of movement of millions of human beings.
What will happen when the Palestinian minority in the binational state becomes the majority − in 2020, or 2030, or perhaps in 2050? What will we do then, when the Palestinian majority exercises its right to vote? The model for action already exists: The Palestinian parliament can copy the behavior of Israel’s Knesset in the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Eldad era.
Is anyone willing to guarantee that the Palestinians won’t replace Israel’s Law of Return, for Jewish immigrants, with a law enshrining the Palestinian right of return? Can anyone guarantee that they won’t turn the Jewish National Fund into the Palestinian National Fund; replace the blue and white flag with a black, white and green flag with a crescent moon on the side, and replace “Hatikva” with “Fida’i” (popularly known as “Biladi, Biladi”)? Who will light the torches on Mount Herzl on Independence Day? Or perhaps the government of Israstine will ban ceremonies marking the Jews’ temporary victory.
Why wouldn’t they give funding preference for schools in Arab local councils, rename the Israstine international airport after Yasser Arafat and change the name of Ariel University Center of Samaria to the Arab University of the West Bank? We’ve been riding them for decades, why wouldn’t they want to turn the tables on us? At best we’d come out of it with only a few broken ribs.
True, Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin has said he would rather live in a binational state than to divide Jerusalem. So what? Is he genuinely willing to cede his place on the dais to Knesset Speaker Ahmed Tibi and settle for interjections from the Jewish opposition parties’ back benches? True, “United Jerusalem” will not turn into “United Al Quds” during his term; that irresponsible mortgage, taken out by him and his friends on the new Zionist left, will be paid by all of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A binational state is not a solution, but rather a flight from reality and a recipe for perpetuating a duel between two nations. Anyone who gives up on a peace agreement between two states is gambling with the fate of the State of Israel. Leftist, go to the settlers, learn their ways and settle at the doorstep of every Israeli voter. It’s not too late.
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