Dershowitz’s Two State Solution is No Solution

As Jeane Kirkpatrick, former US Amabassador to the UN, wrote, the charade of legitimization of "Palestinians" is "staged daily for credulous Western audiences whose sympathies are quicker than their comprehension.”

Salomon Benzimra, P. Eng.,

Professor Dershowitz assails the notion of a “one Jewish state solution” and characterizes it as “extreme right” as opposed to his preferred “two-state solution.” 

It is not a matter of “extreme right” vs. “extreme left” as he depicts it: it is a matter of "right" vs. "wrong"; a wrong that has proven to be totally divorced from reality, as the past two decades of the failed Oslo process can attest.

First, Prof. Dershowitz’s recipe crumbles on its own logic.  If, as he says, “the Palestinians now seem unwilling to agree” to the cession by Israel of all the territory captured in the defensive war of 1967”, what makes him believe that they will accept a far smaller territory consistent with Israel’s security requirements? 

According to a recent presentation by the JCPA, Israel’s security demands it retain the Jordan Rift Valley; control the Mountain Ridge; demilitarize the putative “Palestinian state”; and control its airspace and the main transportation networks.  Does Prof. Dershowitz believe the “Palestinians” would now be more receptive to these drastic limitations on sovereignty?

Pursuing the UN Security Council Resolution 242 is now unwarranted.  Israel has more than adequately complied with that Resolution already by relinquishing 90% of “territories occupied in the recent conflict.”  There is nothing in that Resolution that would remotely refer to any additional withdrawal for the purpose of creating a “Palestinian” state.

Prof. Dershowitz seems to believe that any annexation of the entire Judea and Samaria (let’s use the proper geographic and historic names, please, rather than the fabricated “West Bank”) should automatically award the Arabs living there “the right to vote and become citizens.”  Citizenship has never been a right.  It is a privilege bestowed by the sovereign power to its residents, and must be legislated to keep and promote the national character of the state. 

This is what Japan and Switzerland do, and these two countries cannot be tarred as “undemocratic.”

Prof. Dershowitz also opposes the one-Jewish-state solution on the grounds that “it would end in Israel’s delegitimation as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people.”  But he fails to appreciate that the present and growing delegitimation of Israel has its origin precisely in the “two-state solution” which he advocates. 

By supporting this pseudo-solution, he implicitly tells the world that Israel has no right to hold on to the main parts of its ancestral homeland; that large portions of Judea and Samaria are to be returned to their Arab inhabitants; and, by extension, that the whole of Israel is somewhat unlawfully occupied by the Jews.  In that regard, Martin Sherman was absolutely right when he stated that “the support for a two-state solution has sown the seeds for the international delegitimization of Israel.” Even Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki perfectly understood the inevitable dislocation of the state of Israel should the two-state solution be carried out.

Many reasonable options have been proposed to settle the status of the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria.  But one pernicious myth must be dispelled before embarking in this effort.  With the exception of a number of long established families, many Arab residents have a rather short history on this land. 

I hope Prof. Dershowitz would not embrace the same phony definition as the one crafted by UNRWA in 1950, namely, that the “Palestinians” are those Arabs who lived in Palestine from June 1946 to May 1948.  This definition is what produced the currently registered five million “Palestinian refugees.”

Dershowitz rejects the denial of a “Palestinian people” and he dismisses as “absurd” the necessity for such a people to exhibit specific characteristics of language, script, religion, heritage or history.  Yet, the very definition of a “people” is listed as follows in the International Webster Dictionary, Third Edition: "A body of persons that are united by a common culture, tradition, or sense of kinship -- though not necessarily by consanguinity or by racial or political ties -- and that typically have common language, institutions and beliefs." (emphasis added).  Jews, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Poles, Japanese and a myriad of other peoples meet this definition.  But the “Palestinians”?

In the preceding paragraphs, I intentionally spelled “Palestinians” between quotes and this is how it should be. Newt Gingrich, for example, and anyone who observed – with an open mind untainted by political correctness – the spontaneous generation of this unheard of “people”, would immediately recognize the sham perpetrated by Yasser Arafat in the mid-1960s. 

Citizenship has never been a right. It is a privilege bestowed by the sovereign power to its residents, and must be legislated to keep and promote the national character of the state,
Tutored by the KGB and schooled in Marxist ideology, Arafat redefined the “self-determination of peoples” away from its original Wilsonian premise, as Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, explained in a seminal article published in Commentary Magazine in July, 1989. The sole purpose of creating a “Palestinian people” was to frame it in the perennial struggle against “colonialism”, “imperialism” and “oppression” and to launch a “war of national liberation”, duly endorsed by the UN General Assembly, whose purpose, as Kirkpatrick aptly notes, is “collective legitimization” (of the “Palestinians” and other “underdogs”) and “collective delegimization” (of Israel).  She added that this charade is “staged daily for credulous Western audiences whose sympathies are quicker than their comprehension.”

Finally, Prof. Dershowitz insists that “[T]he Palestinians are a people because they regard themselves as such and seek to govern themselves.” Not only "nationalism [often] invents nations where they do not exist" (in the words of anthropologist Ernest Geller), but Dershowitz’s assertion has been repeatedly contradicted by prominent Arab leaders since the 1950s (Ahmed Shukeiri, Zuheir Mohsen, Hafez-el-Asad, King Hussein, Azmi Bishara, etc.) who candidly admitted the concoction of the “Palestinian” sham described above.

But most importantly, recognizing the self-determination of the “Palestinians” is tantamount to an Israeli suicidal pact, as it dangerously compromises the Jewish people’s rights to the Land of Israel – rights that have been recognized in international law. 

Would Professor Dershowitz be willing to jettison these inalienable rights for the sake of accommodating the “Palestinians”?  Or will he acknowledge, given the prevailing definition of the “Palestinian people”, that one cannot be pro-Israel and pro-“Palestinian” at the same time?