- General Issues
- 2011 >
- Time to Negotiate the Northern and Southern Sectors of the Israeli-West Bank Border
- President Peres and Dr. Ashrawi: Thank You for Staying on Track
- Playing the Victim Card Will Not Bring Peace
- Negotiations By the Parties
- The World Should Help the Palestinian Hunger Striker
- ...and only afterwards move to discuss the topic of Jerusalem
- A Question of Accountability
- Israel Twisting in the Wind
- Netanyahu: Too Big for His Britches
- Netanyahu's "Israeli Comfort"
- How Shaul Mofaz Can Jump-Start the Peace Process
- Netanyahu on the Brink
- Time for Taking Stock
- Israel in Wonderland
- Whatever Happened to the Quartet?
- The Palestinians Want to Negotiate
- A Time for Hope and a Call for Restraint
- Israel Can Win in Gaza, But Not Now
- Congratulations to the New State of Palestine!
- Security and Borders: Both Required for Peace
- It Is Up to Israel to Restart Peace Negotiations
- Israel and Palestine: Changing the Terms of Agreement
- The Knesset Bill to Increase the Number of Women that Elect the Chief Rabbis Is Important for Jewish Women
- Proposal on Governance of the Holy Basin
- Time for Netanyahu to Reach Across the Aisle
- Tzipi Livni's Challenge
- Women Should Be Free to Pray at the Wailing Wall
- Proposed Highway through the Jordan Valley Will Backfire on Israel
- 2014 >
- We Should Applaud Herzog and Livni for Reclaiming Zionism
- The Next Israeli Government
- West Bank Citizenry and Receipt of Individuals of Palestinian Origin
- What Next for Israel?
- Palestinian statehood
- Mischief in the Trade Legislation would Hinder Progress
- What Next for America?
- Could American Firms Choose to Gradually Disinvest from Israel?
- Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitism
- 2016 >
- 2017 >
- About the Authors
Return to Two States, cont.
The prospects of such a peace forced upon the Palestinians would be frightful for Israel. We can envision violence within Israel, new incidents of international terrorism, and a destabilization of the entire Middle East that could make Iran’s efforts seem tame by comparison. Israel’s Arab neighbors that are currently at peace with Israel predicated that peace on progress toward two states. We could see a future when these governments are overthrown and replaced by regimes hostile to Israel. For many Arabs, such a “peace” would be nothing less than a declaration of war. In short, Israel would become a much more dangerous place. At that point, Jewish families would begin leaving Israel for safer lives elsewhere. The scenario becomes dark in a hurry.
Fortunately, Netanyahu’s political defeat on May 29 makes this scenario suddenly seem more remote. Although he continues as prime minister, he may have become a lame duck. He is facing indictments for bribery, fraud and corruption that he will not likely be able to avoid.
Netanyahu had hoped that after his victory he could craft a legislative fix to his legal problems, with many analysts speculating that a right-wing Knesset could very well agree to granting him immunity in exchange for aggressive executive annexation of the West Bank. But now the Knesset, which would have had to pass a law to exempt him from indictment, has been dissolved. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who refused Netanyahu’s lawyers request for a year-long delay, scheduled the first hearing for October 2–3. Although it comes after the September 17 election, it is within the 28-day period following the election when the party with the most votes strives to form a new government. Hence, even if he wins the election, with indictments hanging over his head Netanyahu may well have trouble signing up coalition partners.
Uzi Arad, Netanyahu’s former national security adviser and now a critic, says that as Mr. Netanyahu accrued power, he became careless and arrogant, alienating one ally after another. “His demise may occur because of the toxicity of his leadership style, characterized by impulsiveness, shooting from the hip, surrounding himself with sycophants of modest abilities, using divide-and-rule on all levels, a style that had led many to turn against him.” Even his right-wing base may be having second thoughts. “People on the right… are beginning to think that perhaps the time has come to find a successor,” said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, a nonpartisan research institute. “King Bibi might no longer be invincible.”
Netanyahu still has a narrow path to victory in September. But even if he wins the election, he is still damaged goods and may not be able to form a government. Right-wing politicians are already looking to replace him.
Netanyahu’s troubles will likely cause the postponement of such a large and fundamental matter as the question of the Palestinians and the future of the West Bank. With Netanyahu weakened, Trump will not find a solid platform on which to launch his peace plan. In the meantime, we hope that all Israelis will take another look at the path their nation has been going down and put aside fantasies of one state, which they are prone to interpret as a Jewish state from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. To unilaterally decide the fate of two million Palestinians by placing them under permanent Israeli control without their consent is a recipe for disaster. History shows that time and time again, nations that forcibly subjugate another people meet with a bad end.
The Citizen’s Proposal had offered a one-state alternative, but on the condition that leaders on both sides work for a fair and equitable future for all its citizens, Jew and Arab alike. (See CP Suspending Operation) The solution that Netanyahu and Trump are contemplating is nothing like that. Given the risks attendant to this outcome, wisdom calls us to return to advocating two states.