2 Nations for 2 people

By Rav Aviner


(From Machon Meir's B'Ahava Ub'Emunah)


Question: The whole nation, in all its component parts, wants peace and is tired of wars and terror. You people are opposed to all territorial compromise but you do not suggest any alternative. It is impossible to ignore the existence of 2.5 million Arabs with political aspirations. It is both unethical and unrealistic. The only solution is to divide Eretz Yisrael into two: two countries for two peoples.


Answer: First of all, I suggest that you examine the map of the territory being suggested for a “Palestinian State” within our own country. With your own eyes you will see what an illusory and laughable solution that is. It is hard to believe that it was produced by serious people. What they are talking about is a country divided up into ten separate cantons, each containing branches, enclaves and zigzags, with a fence running along the whole border. There will be Jenin, Tul Karem, Nablus, Kalkiliya, Ramalah, Jericho, East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and Gaza. There will be ten small, crowded cantons, spread out throughout our country. The whole thing is a joke! This will bring peace? And all of this without relating to the security threat posed by this “country,” and its economic dependence on our own country. The plan is a national crime, and foolish as well.


Second of all, if the Arabs of Israel would like to live under Arab rule, they have a choice of twenty Arab League countries, whose total area is fourteen million square kilometers. In other words, it is five hundred times as big as the State of Israel, whose total area is 28,000 square kilometers. Why do they need to squeeze in precisely with us? That’s absurd! For example, do eight million Arabs in France deserve their own state? Please ask the French, and the Belgians in Antwerp as well. Do five million Jews in America have a right to their own country? That’s a joke.


All the same, for some reason that is unclear, the “Palestinians” want their own private country in the middle of Eretz Yisrael. They already have such a country! It is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which as is known, was torn away from Eretz Yisrael. That same area is within the Biblical borders of Eretz Yisrael, as well as the borders of the British mandate. Only, at some point, the British betrayed us and stole it from us, without the authorization of the nations of the world. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians. If we look at the flags of Jordan and Palestine, we will see that it is the same flag. Jordan’s is simply the Palestinian flag with the addition of a star representing the Hashemite crown. Jordan has ample territory, 90,000 square kilometers, three times the size of Israel including Judea and Samaria, which as stated has 28,000 square kilometers.


“Two states for two people” – they already exist. Now you are suggesting three states for two peoples, one for the Jews and two for the Palestinians, one of which is within our own country. That you call ethical! It is clear that we have not conceded the theft of Transjordan, yet it does not justify a further theft. Jordan is a well-established, sovereign state, not a band of murderers. We have good diplomatic relations with it as well as military cooperation, such that we will also be attaining peace. All of the preceding is not a flight of fancy. The Americans are enthusiastic about this plan, and the Jordanians are starting to accept it, as they understand that they will gain a lot from it. Obviously, the Arabs who leave our country will be able to take all of their property and will be compensated for their homes and lands. That is moral. By the same token, the Sephardim who fled from Arab countries, leaving behind enormous property for which they were never compensated, will now be compensated by them. That will be very moral.


The point is this: We were commanded many times in the Torah that our entire country should be under our political sovereignty. We have to realize that fulfilling the mitzvoth of the Torah, including this mitzvah, does not just constitute doing G-d’s will, but also doing what is realistic, logical and moral. When the nations pressured us to give up the Western Wall on the grounds of protecting Jewish lives, our master Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook decisively declared, with the backing of the whole Jewish People: “Not by indulgent weakness of the spirit vis-à-vis the site of our Temple will we achieve peace and security” (LiNetivot Yisrael 1:65). We therefore say, “Precisely through holding on to our whole land will we achieve peace. “The L-rd will give strength unto His people; the L-rd will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

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