Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Two-State Conundrum

Letter in The Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2012

      In his latest piece (“Stupid, Seditious or Suicidal?” – Into the Fray, June 22), Martin Sherman hits out in all directions. He castigates the Israeli Left as imbecile or iniquitous, the Israeli Right as impotent or insincere, and the rest of those who disagree with him, including Dennis Ross and Peter Beinart, as Arab-appeasers and Muslim-mollifiers − to say nothing of his current favoured term of abuse: “two-staters”. Which doesn’t leave all that many to endorse his favoured recipe for the future.
      He does not expound on this recipe in his current piece, but those who follow his lucid, rational, sometimes brilliant, but essentially impractical and politically naïve, arguments week by week, will know that he is all for his version of the one-state solution. In short, he advocates an Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria. The inevitable consequence of such a move on world opinion, not that any Israeli government in its right mind would contemplate it, would be to confirm Israel in the status so ardently desired by her worst enemies – a pariah state.
      It seems to me that Sherman, justifiably in many ways, sees a future Middle East through the prism of copper-bottomed, guaranteed security for Israel; but he discounts all other considerations. Most of the rest of the uncommitted world, while not dissenting from that objective, sees a future Middle East as containing a sovereign Palestinian state.
      How to achieve the one without forfeiting the other − that is the political conundrum that has to be cracked.
Neville Teller

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