The Core of the Conflict

There are seven reasons why the demand to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a legitimate one.

The demand to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people is a legitimate one. There are seven reasons for this.

First reason: That is why we came here. The supreme goal of Zionism is that in the Land of Israel the people of Israel will have a national home recognized by the law of nations.Those who don't believe in the right of the Jewish people to a national home are racists. Those who don't understand that the national home of the Jewish people should be internationally recognized are fools. Without recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the Zionist enterprise hangs by a thread.

Second reason: This is the heart of the conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems from the fact that for a century, the Jewish national movement and the Palestinian national movement refused to recognize each other. In 1993, Israel recognized the Palestinian people and its rights. But to this day the Palestinians have not recognized the Jewish people and its rights. That is the great failure of the Oslo Accords, which disrupted the peace process from the outset. For true peace to prevail in this country, there must be peace between the Arab Palestinian nation-state and the Jewish Israeli nation-state.

Third reason: The avalanche will be stopped. Over the past 20 years, a grave process has been underway. As Israel continues to recognize more and more of the Palestinians' natural rights, its own citizen's natural rights are being abrogated. Its ideological concessions do not work for it, but against it. When Ehud Olmert's Israel turns out to be less legitimate than Yitzhak Shamir's Israel, there is no true incentive to continue to give in. Only recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people will stop the avalanche and create mutual legitimacy - Israeli and Palestinian.

Fourth reason: The demand for the right of return will be put to an end. The Palestinians are still demanding the right to return to their homes, villages and cities within sovereign Israel - a demand which means the death of the state of the Jews. As the demand to return is the heart of the Palestinian national ethos, they cannot abandon it. Recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, however, can extricate both sides from the trap: it will allow the demand to return to be balanced and curbed, and neutralize the explosive nature of this demand.

Fifth reason: There will be a turning point in the consciousness of the Arab Muslim world. The reasonable relationship that today exists between Israel and the moderate Arab countries is on thin ice. These countries accept Israel as a given, but not as a legitimate entity. Recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people will make clear to the inhabitants of Marrakech, Alexandria and Baghdad that Israel is not a foreign implant, but an inseparable part of the Middle East. The Arabs will have to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish sovereign state.

Sixth reason: Our relations with Christian Europe will be settled. To this day, Europe has not solved its Jewish complex. Recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people will also mean European recognition of its moral responsibility for the Jews it persecuted for years. The continent, which nearly decimated the Jewish people in the 20th century, will ensure that people's right to life.

Seventh reason: We will calm down. The basic desire of Jewish Israelis is the desire for a home. Explicit recognition that Israel is the Jewish people's home will strengthen our willingness to take risks and leave the territories. Only recognition of the Jewish national home will make it possible to quickly and peacefully establish the Palestinian national home.

A codicil: The demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state cannot be made without maintaining a true commitment to Israel as a democracy. The demand cannot be made for recognition of a rational state represented by Avigdor Lieberman. Without ensuring the full and equal rights of non-Jews in Israel, the Jewish nation-state will not stand.

At the present time, Israel's government cannot expect the Palestinians to do what is required of them. However, the international community must contribute to the peace process by clearly and immediately recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Such recognition could end the crisis over the construction freeze and launch a true peace process. When the process comes to fruition, a similar demand will be made of the Palestinians.

Our partners for peace must understand that the rock of Israel's existence is not the Western Wall tunnel, but the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people. In the end, there is no other way: two nation states for two battered peoples.