Israel held elections Tuesday, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won his fourth term in a surprising, last-minute turn of events. Friday polls showed that Hertzog and his Zionist Union party were leading among voters and therefore poised to win an upset victory. But the crafty Netanyahu stooped to low-down politics in the last hours of the campaign by announcing that there would be no two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his watch if he remained prime minister. This overturning of his speech in June, 2009, in which he adopted the two-state solution for the first time in his political career, garnered the necessary far-right votes that he needed to win the election.
New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas L. Friedman had a must-read article yesterday entitled “Netanyahu Will Make History.” He usually has a good read on things, especially Israel politics. He says Netanyahu winning the Israel election Tuesday moves Israel toward a one state solution regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will threaten its democracy. How so? For details, see Friedman’s article.
Netanyahu’s win further sours his miserable relationship with U.S. President Barak Obama. I think President Obama will now turn to endorsing UN and European Union viewpoints on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And watch what the International Criminal Court now does. All of this bodes ill for the near future of the State of Israel. A two-state solution is the only way to successfully solve this problem. But the particular, and only, two-state solution that has been touted for the past almost fifty years by both Palestinians and the international community has been wrong-headed. There needs to be another two-state solution put forth.
I think the best alternative is the New Philistia solution that I have been proposing ever since 1990, when my book was published. It’s title tells it all: Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia. What is this proposal? Let Israel have all of the West Bank, and let the Palestinians have all of the coastal plain south of Tel Aviv to the Wadi el Arish, which is “the land of the Phlistines” we read about in the Bible. The result would be a very expanded Gaza Strip. See the image on the front cover of my book.
After Palestinians declare themselves to be descendants predominantly from the ancient Philistines, they should then call for the implementation of Israel’s Proclamation of Independence. That brief document has never been implemented. It declares that Jews have a “right to a life of dignity, freedom and honest toil in their ancestral land,” which is implicitly identified as “Eretz-Yisrael” (land of Israel). Throughout most of ancient history, the land of Israel did not include the land of the Philistines, a people who were the arch-rivals of the Hebrew people during antiquity.
Of course, this proposal requires a transfer of peoples. Yes, it will cost some money to do this. But it will be a true side-by-side two-state solution, whereas the West Bank-Gaza entity for a Palestinian state will not. Furthermore, Palestinians would then own a coastline about eighty miles long that will be equal to that of the New Israel, which would not really be “new” but be the Old Israel, which certainly included all of the West Bank, the very heartland of ancient Israel. Then, Palestinians would realize wealth from the oil and gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea. And that would not compromise Israel’s current discoveries out there, which are north. This land arrangement will be better for both Jews and Palestinians, and the two countries would be much more defensible. So, its a win-win for both peoples. To me, it’s a NO BRAINER!