Op-Ed: Position Paper: Why I am Against a Palestinian State
Yair Shamir, Deputy Head, Yisrael BeytenuThe writer is Minister of Agriculture, was a leading businessman and former...
The idea that a Palestinian state can lead to enduring peace in Israel has become a diplomatic obsession for Israeli and American policy makers.
Ironically, it was former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin who was in favor of territorial compromise, but opposed a Palestinian state (see his letter attached). Despite this, establishing such a state has become the equivalent of a “Messiah” that will bring the long awaited peace to the region.
President Shimon Peres declared that there is a majority that supports a two state solution. Such a declaration shows that the President is not updated, because a recent poll by Mina Tzemach proves just the opposite - namely, there is a solid majority in Israel against a Palestinian state.
The fact of the matter is that a Palestinian state would not only fail to bring peace and stability, but would increase the tension and usher in permanent instability to the region. Such a state would immediately ally itself with and become a client of rivals and enemies of America such as Iran, would harm American, Israeli, and even Arab interests. A Palestinian State would be a tailwind to insurgent terrorists in Iraq. It would provide Russia and possibly China and North Korea with a foothold in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean at the expense of vital US interests.
The history of the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas tells us something important about the likely character of a Palestinian state. Abbas, who expects to be heading this state, is afraid to call for elections in the Palestinian Authority out of fear that Hamas would gain control. In other words, he lacks public support even now. Besides that,he is a graduate of Moscow University (Ph.D. thesis: Holocaust Denial) and it was he who managed the logistics of the Munich Massacre of eleven Israeli athletes in 1972. Abbas is one of the engineers of contemporary Palestinian hate education, which has become a production line for terrorists.
This history is not that of a peace maker, and the PLO's track record of inter-Arab treachery, non-compliance, corruption, repression and terrorism does not give evidence of a peaceful Palestinian state of the future. Since its makeover from a terrorist organization to a semi-independent entity in 1993, the Palestinian Authority has been led by PLO graduates of terrorist bases in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia
The proposed Palestinian State would inflict destruction upon America’s Arab allies and would enhance the fortunes of its rivals and enemies. Other states in the region know this. During the October 1994 signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, top commanders of the Jordanian military urged their Israeli counterparts to stop short of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, “lest it destroy the [pro-US] Hashemite regime east of the River.”
Even more worrisome are the ties between the PLO and Iran. The PLO was one of the earliest allies of the Ayatollah Khomeini when he toppled the Shah of Iran in 1979. After his 2005 election to the chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas' first visits were to Teheran and Damascus. A Palestinian state would extend Iran's long terrorist arm, facilitating subversive operations against pro-Western Arab regimes. It would also enable Iran to enhance its intelligence and military operations in the region, including port facilities in Gaza.
The long and determined effort by Israeli leaders to promote a Palestinian state and to soften the Palestinian Authority’s harsh features cannot change the fact that a Palestinian State would add fuel to the fire of terrorism in the region. Besides all that, it is not hard to forsee rockets flying into Israel from Judea and Samaria as they did after the disengagement from Gaza in the south. In summation: we must remove the idea of a Palestinian state in our area from the Israeli agenda immediately if not sooner.
Note: The following letter was written Dec. 25, 1994 by Eitan Haber, who then served as an adviser and head of P.M. Yitzchak Rabin’s office, to a Mr. Shmuel Fisher:
Concerning your letter to the Prime Minister with regard to a Palestinian state, I am replying: The Prime Mintser is of the opinion that there is no room for a Palestinian state. Thank You