Roger L. Simon

No Backsies: Solving the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis for the Millionth Time

Everyone with half a brain (and not silenced by diplo speak) knows the Palestinians don’t really want a two-state solution — the vast majority of them anyway.  If they had wanted a state of their own beside Israel, they could have had one decades ago. Sure, it wouldn’t have been a hundred percent of what they sought, but it would have been ninety or even ninety-five percent.  That’s not bad. After all, it would have been the Israelis giving up the territory, as they did in Gaza. But it was never enough for the Pals.

Most of us who have been involved in negotiations — and that’s almost everybody — know that if you really want something, ultimately you compromise.  When you don’t really want something (a deal, a state), lack of perfection becomes an excuse to walk away.  That’s what happens with the Palestinians every time.  They want a one-state solution — it’s inescapable (except perhaps to Peter Beinart and the gang at J-Street).

At least Hamas is honest about that.  The Palestinian Authority plays it cozy, preferring to act, from time to time anyway, as if they do want some sort of settlement to keep the graft rolling in.  Any idea of the net worths of Mahmoud Abbas, Saeb Erekat or Hanan Ashwari at this point?  It’s  probably not quite up with Fidel’s cool billion on an individual basis, but added together I wouldn’t be surprised.  At the same time the Palestinian people are expressing their  love of peace on social media with their latest video hit “How to Stab a Jew.”  This is at the very moment the Palestinians went to the Security Council, trying to force a peace solution with Israel with a one-year deadline and no measures for Israel’s security.  Who could possibly have voted for that?

Well, the French for one.  You know — the country that made ISIS look like amateurs when it came to beheadings and was right up there with Hitler when it came to anti-Semitism, deporting some 67,000 Jews from Drancy to the extermination camps, 4000 of them arrested in one night from just one district of Paris.

But the morally superior French know what the Israelis should do, assuring us all they will be back in the Security Council to enforce a solution again.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said Paris would continue its efforts to get a resolution through the council that would help move peace efforts forward. “France regrets that it isn’t possible to reach a consensus today,” he said. “But our efforts must not stop here. It is our responsibility to try again.”

Well, the French can play all the games they want, as can John Kerry and everybody else, but we all know it’s not going anywhere, never has. The Palestinian action at the UN was just a ploy.  They never expected it to pass, since the U.S. had already informed them they would veto.  So it was just a charade  for political purposes, aided by the peace-loving French.  For the record, the Brits abstained but the Aussies voted with the U.S.  That’s the way things go these days.

I used to say, quite a while ago, that the solution would have to come between the parties.  But that’s clearly not happening either.  So, sadly, it’s up to Israel to work things out by itself and see if the rest of the world comes along — sooner or later, probably later.

Two proposals have been offered recently, both, interestingly, from excellent writers, one the columnist Caroline Glick and the other  former UN Ambassador/historian Michael Oren.  Glick wants to thumb her nose at the world and take the entire area under full Israeli control.  I never thought I’d ever say this but — it’s tempting. And Caroline makes her case well in her new book.  Nevertheless, it’s unworkable, unless you like living in perpetuity with millions of angry people — and that’s what you’d be doing.  I have enough trouble with three or four unruly neighbors complaining about noisy garbage trucks.

Oren’s proposal is for Israel to draw a two-state solution unilaterally from its side.  He hasn’t, as far as I know, as yet specified where his borders would be.  We may be hearing that soon as the former ambassador is getting into politics and running for the Knesset in the coming Israeli elections in a new center-right political party, Koolanu. Undoubtedly, he’ll be asked about his position and where he’d actually draw the lines.  If there ever were a situation where the devil is in the details, this is it.  It’s certainly got its problems, notably in the security area, but the thought of handing Abbas his state and telling him to run it is amusing. No backsies.