If In Doubt
In 1948 India and Pakistan managed to upgrade an unmanageable religious conflict into a manageable one between states. In the passage of time Pakistan split into two parts: Pakistan and Bangladesh — both managed, if barely, to function as states. In India, there many Muslims who claim to be and are Indian Muslims.
Palestine never came into being. It did manage to split into two. There are many Muslims in Israel — they claim to be Palestinians.
And there you have it. The Palestinians, for reasons entirely within their own control, have failed utterly to upgrade the conflict from an unmanageable religious one to a manageable inter-state rivalry. They have made a virtue of the inherent regional failure: no Sunna Islamic entity is capable of democratic rule. As is Iraq, as is Syria, so it is in Palestine.
Of course, there are religious elements in Israel who wish to revert to a religious conflict. Why not, we are winning? The temptation to be drawn into a religious fugue is present.
Far too many see the conflict as either a two-state solution or a one state solution. The one-state is two people in one land. The two-state solution says one people per state. The supposition is a blatant deceit. Muslims in Israel insist they are Israeli-Palestinians. In Israel, we already have a two-people state. And it is not working
We make one wrong, underlying assumption. We believe we have an either, or situation. If the Palestinians do not get their state, then our religious messianic fringe with their hoodlum rent a mob will run amok — leading to a one-state two people.
Why is this assumption wrong?
We Israelis do not desire an addition of to our Sunna Muslim population. We do not want to rule them; we do not want to provide for them; Israelis do not want to hear their constant ‘we are the Muslim victims.’ They do not identify with or take no pride and joy in our achievements. At the time of war, the so-called ‘Israeli- Palestinians’ support the other side. A large proportion of Israeli Arabs, declare themselves as Israeli: the Druze; the Bedouin and the Christians. By and large, the bed-rock Sunna do not. They do not want us, and we do not want them and certainly not more of them. We will receive only more Sunna Muslim decedents.
We Israelis are forced to live with realities and not wishful thinking. Not only can the Palestinians not govern themselves but Militant Muslims will overrun them. We have withdrawn into vacuums before — Hamas and Hezbollah are the results.
The answer is complicated.
The easiest part is to allow and force Palestinians to accept the nationality of the state they were born. They must do that or remain stateless.
Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and all other countries, where second and third generation Palestinians live must achieve full and equal rights. In Israel, our Palestinian- Israelis must be encouraged to be part of the state. We must define and enable an Israeli Muslim to live in pride as part of Israel.
The most difficult part is to realise even in utopia, Israel must control the area from the sea to the Jordan. It must monitor the airspace. Palestine may have no military capabilities, and Palestine cannot enter any military alliance or partnership. Let’s be honest; this is not a state. The Palestinian economy is dependent on Israel; her currency is ours.
So where are we heading? To a rump in the West Bank and Gaza which must learn to govern itself and take responsibility for its actions.
If Palestine is to exist, which is now more than doubtful, it must come into creation in stages. The first one is having the will and ability to rule. So far, the Palestinians raison d’etre is to bellyache and get funds. They must show they can provide peace, tranquillity and wellbeing, primarily for its citizens and the entire area. They have done neither. They do not intend to do either.
We Israelis can do little. We must control our hillbillies, and we must offer a social contract to our Israeli Muslims. We can hope and wait for a Palestinian leadership which does not receive motivation and funds from our neighbours. We must see a Palestinian leadership who represents Palestinians born here — the rest, abroad, should be accorded citizenship in their place of birth. This scenario is no longer an impossible dream. Our neighbours need us. In the age of Trump, we know what our price will be on the deal.
Meanwhile, we wait. There is an alternative to the either-or: one-state, two-state. It’s the old Yorkshire saying, ‘if in doubt, do nought.’