“The president is committed to peace. That’s as far as I want to go on that,” said President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, on Feb. 3 in answer to a reporter’s inquiry regarding the Trump administration’s position on the “two-state solution” for peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Will Mr. Trump push the two-state paradigm, like George W. Bush and Barack Obama before him, or will the White House realize that this idea is a dangerous fantasy like the irrational Iran nuclear deal?
History tells us that trading land for peace will not produce conflict resolution. The Palestinians claim all of Israel as their own and have never been prepared to share that land. A 2016 Palestinian Authority op-ed made clear that “all of Israel is occupied Palestine.” Palestinians believe that Jews have no place in the Islamic Middle East.
The Palestinian rejection of an Arab state living side by side with a Jewish state spans decades. They said “no” to a state offered by the British in 1937; “no” to the 1947 U.N. “two-state” resolution; “no” to a state in 2000, and “no” again in 2001 and 2008. The Jews said “yes,” despite military attacks against them in 1948, 1967 and 1973.
Palestinian terrorism against Israel has never abated since Israel’s creation in 1948. Attacks intensified in 1987 into a terror campaign, the First Intifada, which lasted until 1993, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.
In 1993 and 1995, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed the Oslo Accords outlining steps toward Palestinian self-determination and a peace treaty. Israel gave the Palestinians authority to govern 98 percent of their population in the disputed territories and Gaza under a Palestinian Authority that today remains responsible for civilian life, government institutions, local security and Palestinian elections for its residents.
But the Palestinians again said “no” to self-determination in favor of a terror campaign, the Second Intifada (2000-2005), leaving thousands of Israelis murdered and maimed in pizza parlors, cafes, shopping malls and on buses. Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians continue today, with stabbings and vehicular attacks currently the favored tactics.
In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, giving total control to the Palestinian Authority — creating the first Palestinian state. In 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist branch, Hamas, took over Gaza and started firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. The Palestinians divided themselves into an autocratic Palestinian Authority in the disputed territories headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and a theocratic terrorist state in Gaza. Without Israel’s support of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas would oust Mr. Abbas and take over the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories as well. To expect these two murderous warring factions, one a corrupt kleptocracy and the other an Islamic terror enclave, to set aside their differences and live in peace with Israel is like believing pigs can fly.
Long-standing Palestinian brainwashing of its population against Jews and Israel, against a Jewish homeland and in support of a Muslim claim to all land “from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea” has resulted in vehement Palestinian opposition to a negotiated “two-state peace” today.
A 2016 poll of Palestinian opinion in the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories and Gaza reveals this stark and consequential reality:
• 57 percent oppose mutual recognition of Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples.
• 62 percent oppose a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea and Samaria unless Israel receives no territory west of the Armistice Line (Green Line).
• More than two-thirds oppose West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
• 67 percent oppose Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter and the Western Wall.
• 67 percent oppose recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people even if it leads to peace.
The United States, European Union and United Nations have been unwilling to look at current realities, but Israelis understand that there’s no rational reason to believe that a Palestinian state would be anything other than another dangerous, anti-Semitic, religiously intolerant, homophobic, misogynistic home to Islamist terror groups — only an arm’s length away from children sleeping in Tel Aviv and Haifa.
In his book “The Art of the Deal,” Mr. Trump admonishes the reader not to “reward failure by promoting those responsible for it, because all you get is more failure.” Let’s hope President Trump realizes that offering the Palestinians a “two-state” deal yet again and expecting a different result — peace with Israel — is the height of foolishness. It’s time to move beyond the failed “two-state” construct.
• Ziva Dahl is a fellow with the Haym Salomon Center.