Every week Jews around the world and particularly in Israel and especially here in New York where there is a large Jewish population, react to the legislative changes and rhetoric spilling out of elected officials in Jerusalem as if whatever they say is etched in stone and irreversible.
It is a new day in Israel and the country, through still isolated and maligned around the world, is pushing forward and making remarkable progress despite the diversity within and all the external critics who claim to know what is best for her.
Just this week, Bayit HaYehudi leader, Naftali Bennett said that the idea of a Palestinian state was done, finished and over. He observed in an address to a group in Israel that there are almost 400,000 Jews living beyond what the world refers to as the Green Line and another 250,000 residing in East Jerusalem. With those facts on the ground, how does anyone who considers themselves a straight or level headed thinker capable of suggesting that in another sovereign state can be plopped down right on top of these people’s heads or perhaps under their feet.
In response to Bennett who is a Minister in the current government, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Bennett does not speak for the government on this issue and that it is the PM’s position to be supportive of reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians which will by design at some stage result in the establishment of a new Arab state somewhere within the current borders of Israel.
Everyone involved in this issue has been flip flopping on it now for over two decades. There is a divide in the democratic Israeli government as well as an even greater schism between the Israeli and Palestinian positions. And it seems that as time goes by the differences become more pronounced and nearly impossible to bridge. The point is that it is safe and perhaps even smart for Mr. Netanyahu to advocate for the creation of a new Arab state in theory because in practice any realist will realize that the circumstances simply do not exist for it to happen.
Taking that into consideration it becomes additionally clear that there is no downside to at least saying that you are in favor of a two state solution. And that has to be Bibi’s thinking. Support two states because as each day passes it becomes more and more unlikely if not impossible.