As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s tenure ends in a few days, he will be making a final push advocating the traditional two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when he attends a Paris peace conference this weekend. He had implemented President Barak Obama’s strategy weeks ago at the UN by abstaining from voting for or against a UN Security Council Resolution 2334. It condemned as illegal according to international law Israel’s decades-long Jewish settlements program in the West Bank. Plus, the UN declares the West Bank as “occupied territory” due to Israel having taken possession of it during the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is a long-time member of the UN and therefore must subscribe to its principles, one of which defines the West Bank as such. Israel, therefore, is supposed to return that land to its former owners.
That is where the main thrust of this disagreement lies. Who owned the West Bank prior to that war? Well, Palestinians lived there, and neighbor Jordan administered that territory for Palestinians. But some Israeli Jews claim Palestinians never really owned it. Well, that’s just the Arabs lost the war in 1948-49 and Israel declared their state. Thus, those Arabs living in the disputed land never got to have a state. Plus, many religious Israeli Jews (Orthodox) claim Jews are entitled to it because it was the heartland of their “ancestral land.” Yes it was, but are Jews still entitled to it? That’s what they declared in their 1948 Proclamation of Independence.
My contention is that Mr. Kerry and so many players in this conflict keep on talking about “the two-state solution,” as if there is only one. I think that is very short-sighted. Yes, allowing the Palestinians to establish their desired state in the two separated territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, or a Swiss-cheese West Bank (with Jewish settlements in it that would be declared part of Israel), has been the only two-state solution considered. But they’ve been considering that now for what will be fifty years this October, and they are farther away from it happening than ever before.
What did Albert Einstein say–“insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”? Heh, Einstein was a pretty smart Jew, was he not? After these fifty years, I think Albert’s definition of insanity should be applied to the world’s efforts to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And it has been the U.S. and the UN as the chief power-brokers trying to solve this problem for all of those fifty years. It’s way past time for the world to think of alternative to this traditional two-state solution that has been based merely on demographics. Israel has been changing the demographics in the West Bank, making this old two-state solution worthless.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump highly criticized the U.S. position of abstaining from voting on UN Resolution 2334. His pick to be the ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, strongly advocates continuing to establish Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In fact, for several years he has aided the Jewish Orthodox settlement Bet El. Now it is being reported that Trump will authorize his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to explore the possibilities of some other type of solution. As I said in a recent post, I have sharply disagreed with Trump being our president, but this could be a good turn of events. Trump says solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “the ultimate deal.”
Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, says a two-state solution should continue to be the goal. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, is even more adamant about a two-state solution. He said in 2013, “We’ve got to get there, and the chances for it are starting to ebb because of the settlements, and where they’re at, they’re going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.”
But just about everyone on both sides of this conflict now admit “the two-state solution is dead.” But they mean the traditional two-state solution. This problem will never go away unless there are two states. A binational state–it ain’t gonna happen. An expanded Jewish state by annexing the West Bank and Palestinians living there in peace–fawgettaboutit. There’s only one way–an alternative two-state solution.
Guess what! Events have been moving for the past 26 years strongly in favor of the alternative two-state solution I put forward in my book, Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient PhilistiaI (1990). Here’s the gist of it. Israel’s Proclamation of Independence declares Jews have a right to their “ancestral land,” which this document implicitly defines in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael (land of Israel). But when that war ended and Israel was a state, it did not at all exist in the Jews’ ancestral land. They didn’t even have any of the very heartland of ancient Israel, which everyone knows was Judea and Samaria and that the West Bank amazingly resembles it. Plus, Israel existed in over half of ancient Philistia–the land of the Philistines. Ashdod and Ashkelon exist in Israel, and Israel only relinquished Gaza to the Palestinians in 2005. Those three cities were the three main cities of the five of Philistia, which was a pentapolis.
I’ve been been saying for 35 years that this conflict is going to be solved by both parties obtaining their ancestral land. In order for that to happen, I suggest that today’s Palestinians have a stronger genetic link to the ancient Philistines than to any other people group. That is why some endtimes prophecies in the Bible say there will be a Philistia and a Philistine people, especially Isa 11.14 and Zechariah 9.5-8. So, I think it refers to today’s Palestinians. This might be proved if the Leon Levy Exhibition that discovered the Philistine cemetery compares DNA. I think Jared Kushner should take a look at this.