Op-Ed: The Sun Orbits the PLO State
Prof. MK Arieh EldadProfessor Arieh Eldad, a 25 year veteran of the IDF medical corps (Brig.-Gen.) and a department head at Hadassah-Ein Kerem Hospital, is a representative of the National Union faction in the Knesset.
For hundreds of years, the Catholic Church believed that the Sun orbits the Earth. Whoever dared oppose this view was branded insane or a heretic.
Religious dogmas are not overturned by logic. An argument between the believers of different faiths is rarely
He who wrongly diagnoses a disease cannot hope to cure it.
resolved by rational argument. The prophet Habukuk says, "The righteous man lives by his faith."
But political positions are not matters of mystical faith. They are supposed to be logical. At their best they serve the interests of he who propounds them. Occasionally, they fail because the analysis on which they are based is faulty. We can understand countries that demand Israel accept the program of "two states for two nations" because they think that the creation of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River serves their interests. If, Heaven forbid, such a state is established and, as a result, the State of Israel falls, then their own interests will be hurt, but this will simply be one more political miscalculation in a history full of miscalculations.
We can even understand those who demand the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel because they are hostile to Israel and wish to help Arabs. More than 3,500 years of recorded history bear witness to many attempts to destroy the people of Israel or to prevent its political independence. Indeed, the first time the nation of Israel is mentioned in human history outside of the Bible is on the stele of the Pharaoh Merneptah, on which is written, "Israel has been destroyed, its seed no longer exists." They tried in the past, they're still trying, and apparently they'll continue to try.
However, when the demand to establish an independent Palestinian state comes not from an attempt to serve the proponent's interests, but rather as part of a "search for justice", or under an assumption that one is benefiting Israel, we can no longer relate to the demand with the tools of logic. This is a sort of "religious dogma" that will be difficult, if not impossible, to contradict by reason.
The establishment of a Palestinian state will necessarily bring about the destruction of Israel. Whoever blindly and closed-mindedly repeats the mantra "two states for two nations" can apparently not understand this, just as the popes in the Middle Ages could not be convinced that the Sun does not orbit the Earth.
The late Yitzchak Rabin said, "A Palestinian state can rise only on the ruins of the State of Israel." He understood that the Arabs desire to destroy Israel. He was familiar with the geography and history of the Land of Israel and knew that a Palestinian state would always be an irredenta longing to take over Israel and inherit the land.
This writer is a doctor, and as a doctor I know that he who wrongly diagnoses a disease cannot hope to cure it. The most widespread error made by those considering the conflict between Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel lies in the diagnosis that it is a territorial dispute. If it were a territorial dispute, it should be curable by a territorial compromise. Dozens of such attempts have been made in recent centuries, and all of them have ended
A Palestinian state would always be an irredenta longing to take over Israel and inherit the land.
bloodbaths or war. But he who recognizes even at the most basic level the attitude of Islam towards Jews, and the status of the Land of Israel in Islam, knows that for Islam the Land of Israel is a wakf - holy land granted forever to Muslims, where they are enjoined from recognizing rule by heretics.
Thus, the Arabs can sign a political agreement, even a peace treaty, with the State of Israel, but they will never recognize it as a Jewish state; and no such peace treaty will prevent them from fighting a war with Israel, whether from within or without, in order to turn it into a bi-national state and then, at a later stage, an Arab state. The creation of an independent Palestinian state in the Land of Israel serves this purpose well. This is exactly how Yasser Arafat defined his Theory of Stages. So today, everyone who supports the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River is trying to implement Arafat's plan.
But why is the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan not only impossible for anyone who wants Israel to continue to exist, but also unnecessary?
Because there already is a Palestinian state, and it is Jordan. Seventy percent of its citizens are Palestinians. Jordan is Palestine, de facto and de jure. Nonetheless, those who believed that the Sun orbits the Earth now say that one Palestinian state is not enough; and because the Palestinians are demanding another one west of the Jordan, if they are granted that state, then peace will come to the Middle East.
Samuel Huntington, in his book The Clash of Civilizations, counted over 130 armed conflicts around the world in the year 2000. Approximately 95 percent of these were between Muslims and their neighbors. Islamic borders are bloody. Almost everywhere on the planet, Muslims are attempting to expand at the territorial expense of their neighbors. The illness is global. But for some reason, the believers think that the conflict in the Land of Israel is local, of a different nature, and territorial concessions will resolve it. In like manner did many Europeans believe in 1938 that territorial concessions to Hitler would satisfy his hunger and bring peace. For who could believe then that Hitler wanted to take over the world? And who believes today that Islam wants to take over the world?
Nonetheless, the solution of two states for two nations should indeed be accepted by everyone. Fortunately, the Jews have a state in Israel and the Palestinians have a state in Jordan. If they don't want a Hashemite king using a Bedouin minority to control 70 percent of the population, then they should change that regime. But a Bedouin minority subjugating a Palestinian majority in Jordan should not be the reason for the creation of another state at Israel's expense. With worldwide assistance, the Palestinian refugees can easily be resettled in the expanses of Jordan, and energy and water sources, along with housing and employment, can be promoted with sums much smaller that those that have been invested by the world for over 60 years to maintain the refugees in appalling conditions in their camps.
Settling refugees in Arab countries and mainly in Jordan will not completely resolve the conflict, because this is fundamentally a religious conflict, and Islam will never accept Jewish rule in the land of Israel. But this is a
For Islam the Land of Israel is a wakf - holy land granted forever to Muslims.
necessary humanitarian solution which will also diffuse many of the bombs that continue to be detonated in the Land of Israel. Perhaps after the refugee problem has been solved, and after the West stops funding the teaching of hatred and terror in UNWRA institutions, and stops mouthing platitudes instead of resettling the refugees, maybe then we will see two sustainable states, Israel and Jordan, living side by side quietly. Maybe then an Arab living in Ramallah as a citizen of the Palestinian-Hashemite State of Jordan can vote for the parliament in Amman and live peacefully in the Land of Israel.
But those who intend to establish another Palestinian state west of the Jordan at the expense of Israel, step outside, look heavenward, see the Sun shining in the east, moving along the sky and setting in the west towards evening, and they know: the Sun orbits the Earth - and another Palestinian state is necessary to bring peace. It won't help to tell these people the facts; facts would only confuse such people.