In his Dec. 19 letter to the editor, Ron Fox trots out all the standard “Blame Israel” arguments for why it has not been possible to resolve the Middle East conflict. Jonathan Tobin had it right: the Palestinians don’t want a solution that doesn’t give them everything they want, including the destruction of Israel, because their identity, which is based on hostility toward Israel, could not survive a peace agreement.
Settlements are not the problem: All it would take for that issue to disappear as an obstacle to peace is an announcement from the Palestinians that they would agree that borders would not determine the future of Jewish settlements if Israel would agree that the presence of those settlements wouldn’t dictate borders. Such an announcement would signal a dramatic change in the Palestinian attitude toward Jews, which to date asserts that Jews have no place in their historic homeland.
There are alternatives to the “two-state” and “one-state” solutions. A return to the pre-1967 arrangement where Gaza was governed by Egypt while the West Bank was attached to Jordan is a good bet because both Egypt and Jordan already have treaties acknowledging that Jews have rights in their historic homeland.
It’s true that neither Jordan nor Egypt wants to be burdened with undoing the Palestinian conundrum, but there are important advantages for each of them. For Egypt, control of Gaza would enable it to crack down effectively on the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the three sources of Islamic terrorism. For Jordan, it would permit greater cooperation with Israel, which could result in higher living standards for all its people, and security assistance against Islamists of the ISIS and al-Qaeda varieties.
The Palestinians have invested tremendous resources and effort to convince the world that Israel is the problem. The reality is that the notion of a Palestinian state, and even a Palestinian people, both creations of the last half century, have been the stumbling blocks all along. Abandon that notion, and a solution to the conflict is at hand.
Yale Zussman, PhD, Framingham