If it’s really the case that Donald Trump’s presidency is a necessary stage in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it was surely only so that Israel Hayom’s diplomatic correspondent, Ariel Kahana, could write the following about the peace plan, which includes a Palestinian state: “[A]s far as substance goes we can rest assured that the plan drafted by Trump’s team — Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, David Friedman, Mike Pence, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo — will be exceedingly comfortable from Israel’s perspective. Since Israel’s establishment, no U.S. president has surrounded himself with a circle so committed to the Jewish state, so loving and supportive of it. ... In the American political landscape, there simply isn’t anything farther to the right than this special group.”
If there’s one thing Trump and his staff have succeeded in, it’s convincing Israelis that they are right-wing Jewish patriots, on the spectrum between the hawkish wing of Likud and Habayit Hayehudi. There’s a sense that to the Israeli right, Trump and his gang are more loyal to Israel than is the Israeli left.
Trump and his staff have succeeded in portraying themselves to Israel’s right as “one of them” — without the liberal nonsense about “the occupation” that captured the hearts of U.S. Democrats; without bothering their heads over evacuating settlements; without endangering “Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel”; without touching the apple of their eye, “Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” promised to it by God; and with an approach that’s completely free of all the schmaltz about the Nakba, the victimhood of the Palestinians and the olive trees.
The Palestinians can forget about “Jerusalem,” the right of return or symbolic recognition of their “catastrophe.” And they certainly won’t receive even a smidgen of land — totally demilitarized, of course — until they announce to the world that their claims to anything inside Israel, whether territorial or national, have ended.
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The two-state solution needed to be cleansed of its left-wing image. It needed to be appropriated by the right as the judicious, moderate, security-oriented solution — not according to the army’s old loser ethos of “shooting and crying,” but according to the ethos of special ops forces, of “Fauda,” the war on terror, “shooting and confirming the kill.” And for that, it was first necessary to reject it.
And that’s what happened. In the first stage, Trump and his staff made it clear that “we aren’t leftists.” We aren’t automatically for a two-state solution. We lean toward the Israeli side; in other words, toward the right.
What’s the most right-wing solution, one state? Then one state it is, let’s go, we can talk about that. We have no feelings of inferiority toward the Palestinians. We have no feelings of guilt. The weaker side isn’t necessarily right. And in any case, the Palestinians aren’t so weak. We’re sick of the entire world dancing to their narrative and financing it.
The Victim’s Day festivities have ended. The party at the United Nations Human Rights Council is over. Funding for the organization for preserving Palestinian refugeeism is finished.
The two-state solution had to be picked up off history’s floor after Israel’s radical left threw it there for moral reasons, because it merely perpetuates the injustices of the Nakba. The two-state solution had to travel all the way across the political spectrum, from the extreme left to the “sane” right.
And this couldn’t happen until the left formulated a new political solution. It had to wait until the “Gideon Levys” abandoned it and embraced the idea of one state with equal rights for all instead. It had to wait until talk of separating into two states became tainted with racism and nationalism in the eyes of the far left, until it was seen by leftist extremists as a relic of the old, chauvinist, colonialist world.
And what does the right want, if not to preserve yesterday’s values? Presenting the two-state solution as a conservative solution is its entry ticket into the heart of the Israeli right. What isn’t good enough for the left can suddenly be thought about quietly, without all the moral hullaballoo. Only thus could Israel Hayom have asserted decisively that “Israel must say yes” to Trump’s deal of the century.