Hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops across the West Bank on Monday in violent demonstrations in support of hunger-striking security prisoners.
The protests coincided with the arrival of US President Donald Trump in Israel. He will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday.
But Palestinians have taken part in demonstrations on an almost daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in solidarity with the more than 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners refusing food in Israeli prisons, who have reached the 36th day of their hunger strike.
Much has been written about the “two state solution” (TSS) or “two states for two peoples” (TSTP) as the path to resolving the conflict between Israel and Arab and Muslim countries and Palestinians, but at the same time there appears to be little understanding of why it consistently fails. It fails because it is focused on territory, Palestinian statehood, rather than ideology – Palestinian nationalism and Palestinianism, the belief that Jews have no right to a state and that Jewish nationalism, Zionism, is anathema and that Jewish history is a fraud.
The idea of separating Israeli Jews and Arab Palestinians into two separate states is logical, but practically it involves other issues which remain obstacles. Supporting Palestinian statehood, therefore, without including a resolution of or reference to other problems prevents a rational, comprehensive approach to finding a realistic solution.
Granting statehood, however, depends on resolving all other issues which were included in previous “peace plans” and agreements such as the Oslo accords: 1) ending the conflict, ending violence and incitement; 2) ending all claims against Israel, abandoning “the Nakba” (the catastrophe, Israel’s establishment); 3) ending the “Palestinian Right of Return” of refugees and their descendants to Israel; 4) shared status of the Temple Mount and Jewish rights in eastern Jerusalem and the Old City; 5) continued IDF presence in the Jordan Valley and other strategic areas; 6) land swaps to include areas of major settlement; 7) access to all holy sites; and 8) recognizing Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish People and its historical and religious connection to the land of Israel and the Temple Mount.
These basic, minimal requirements to advance the “peace process” and statehood were rejected by Palestinian leaders time and again.
Supporting the TSS without including the fundamental elements upon which it rests – and dealing with the issues of ideology – renders it irrelevant. Focusing only on territory – a state – and Palestinian national self-determination without context not only distorts the problem, but prevents efforts to resolve it.
Virulent Palestinian nationalism, or more generally, Palestinianism, means only one thing: kill Jews and destroy the State of Israel. The roots of this toxic nationalism are found in the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who instigated pogroms against innocent Jews in the 1920s and ‘30s and actively supported the Nazis. His successors in the PLO, led by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Hamas, have not deviated from this path.
Several weeks from now Israel and Jews around the world will be celebrating a seminal moment in Jewish history -- the 50th anniversary of Israel’s monumental victory in the Six-Day War. For those of us alive during those daunting days in May 1967 leading up to the war, it was a period in time we will never forget, nor should we. Its ramifications were and are germane to this very day.
Throughout the days leading up to war Nasser challenged Israel to fight on a daily basis, stating: “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.” Echoing these threats of annihilation with equal and perhaps greater vigor was then Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad, the father of today’s mass Syrian murderer, Bashar Al-Assad: “The Syrian army, with its finger on the trigger, is united…. I as a military man believe the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation.”
When King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt on May 30, 1967 the noose around Israel’s neck further tightened. Nasser gleefully proclaimed: “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel... to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the World. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations." This was the one point of agreement Israel shared with her unremitting foes.
On June 2, 1967, three days before actual hostilities would erupt, Israel’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Yitzhak Rabin called a meeting with the Israeli Ministerial Committee of Defense. Although the IDF had been on full alert for three weeks, arrayed against Israel were approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft. In a grave but steady tone Rabin addressed the Committee: “We don’t want war for its own sake. I think we may find ourselves in a military situation in which we have lost many of our advantages, reaching a position, which I don’t want to express too harshly, in which our existence is in serious danger.”… “Time is not on our side. And in a week or two, or in three or four weeks, the situation will be worse.”
In the early hours of June 5, 1967 Israel launched a preemptive air strike on the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria with devastating effect. Five days later the armies of these nations along with Iraq, which also joined the fray were crushed and forced to sue for a ceasefire. The war may have taken only six days but its ramifications and similarities to today’s Middle East conflict is unquestionable. What were the accomplishments?
- For the first time since prior to the Ottoman Empire, Jews have unfettered access to their Holy sites and a united Jerusalem their ancient capital.
- The indefensible 1948 armistice line which bisected Israel from the Jordan River to within 9 miles of the Mediterranean Sea had been abrogated.
- Israel took control of Judea and Samaria, which was illegally annexed by Jordan following the ’48 armistice.
- Israel commands the highly defensible Jordan Valley where terrorist attacks had emanated from both Jordan and Syria.
- Israel was able to trade the Sinai Peninsula for a peace treaty with her main antagonist, Egypt.
- The Golan Heights, the onetime haven for terrorists and Syrian artillery, was annexed and have remained relatively quiet for the past 50 years.
- Most importantly, by winning the war decisively, Israel staved off what was intended to be another mass genocide of the Jewish people….