Help Palestinians by dumping ‘2-state solution’

By WND Staff

By Paul Liberman

After 25 years of futile effort, it is time to admit the Israel/Arab Two State Solution has been a failure. Should we be surprised when the Bible prohibits ever dividing the Land into two kingdoms at all (Ezekiel 37:22)?

Diplomats cling to this tired, worn-out thinking, because they have no other ideas to consider, or so it would seem. A practical approach would be to get away from the idea of one grand conference, under an international spotlight. A solution may not be achieved all at once, but over a period of time.

Also, it could be helpful to recognize the need for separate strategies for the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Each of these areas has its own dynamic and local political issues.

Of the three, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) has the best chance of long-term remedy. Working with the Palestinian Authority (PA) has only produced stalemate. Instead, why not pursue what the individual residents of these Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria want?

The Western media would have us believe the local populace want a state above all else. According to a recent poll of ours, this is simply not the case. Rather, West Bank Palestinians want economic opportunity.

They see the wider world on television and the Internet and want what their counterparts in the West and certain other Arab countries have. They want a good job and chance to achieve and provide a better future for their children.

Full-time employment in the West Bank is only at 29 percent, and many of those are employed as police or bureaucrats. There is no real economy, nor is one likely to develop. Even if part-time or seasonal employment is counted, it only brings the percentage up to 44 percent employment.

Local Palestinians have seen billions of dollars poured in from around the world that line the pockets of their political leaders. So it is that hundreds of thousands want to leave. Polling data reflect a destination preference for self-immigration to the U.A.E., Jordan, Turkey, American and Germany – and they also are open to many other countries as well.

Why not empower Palestinians to vote with their feet? This could bring some additional pressure on the PA to negotiate more earnestly. It could be facilitated by redirecting some of the aid currently given the PA directly to the people. In other words, voucher-ize such aid and allow it to be used to reimburse Palestinian emigrants for their relocation expenses. This could be accomplished with a fund set up with the reduction of aid to the PA through the Taylor Force Act, currently before the Congress.

Under its provisions, aid to the PA would be greatly reduced if the funding of terrorism isn’t completely abandoned. An amendment to this legislation could be a vehicle to accomplish this objective.

The PA estimates the West Bank population to be 2.7 million. This is known to be an inflated figure to influence world opinion. Israel’s estimate of 1.5 million residents is probably more accurate.

If 25-50,000 Palestinians from the 780,000 registered in the refugee camps chose to emigrate over a period of 10-20 years, the 1.5 million could be reduced to perhaps only a million. During the same period, the rate of Israeli population increases in the area of 15,000 or more per year would bring the Zionist population in these territories also to about a million. Thus a demographic parity would then be achieved. Such change could make the Palestinian leadership more accountable and transparent.

What our diplomats and the media have not told us is that every surrounding Arab country has in its legal code a permanent residency provision. It is a concept from the Quran that originated in the Jewish Old Testament (Ezekiel 47:21-23).

Throughout the Middle East there is the concept of the “sojourner.” Having such identification provides for equal rights before the law to citizens. The retention of this status continues from generation to generation.

Thus, not being citizens, sojourners cannot come to leadership in a nation. This biblical and Quranic concept could solve the dilemma of Israel remaining both a Jewish and democratic state. Embracing this concept assures justice for Palestinians.

Therefore, there would be a continuing protected Palestinian presence, but not a Palestinian state. Eventually, Judea and Samaria would be annexed, and the Mountains of Israel would again belong to the Jewish nation.

For 70 years, attempts to divide the ancient Land of the Bible in contravention to its explicit instruction, has proven futile. It is time to consider some alternative thought.

Paul Liberman has been an ordained Messianic rabbi for 30 years. He is a former president of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and lived in Israel for nine years, as an Israeli citizen. He wrote a primer pioneering book about the Messianic Movement in 1976, “The Fig Tree Blossoms.”

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