1947 Partition Plan, The Washington Institute

Column: A Simplistic Solution from Norway, Spain and Ireland

PHILADELPHIA – Spain likely recognizes a chance to revive the Inquisition when the opportunity drops in its lap. Norway may seize on its chance to avenge its defeat at England’s Stamford Bridge in 1066 so it can force the Brits to conform to Norway’s anti-Israel stance.

And Ireland? They can introduce the Magdeline laundries to “Palestine” to save wayward Muslim girls from honor killings. Explanations will follow.

“In the midst of a war, with tens of thousands killed and injured, we must keep alive the only alternative that offers a political solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike: Two states, living side by side, in peace and security,” says Norway’s prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, according to Deutsche Presse Agentur.

Gaza is a state of sorts that was “living side by side” southern Israel, practically speaking. Its ruling party, Hamas, took advantage of Gaza’s proximity to Sderot and other Israeli communities where they swept in to murder 1,200 Jews and seize 240 more as hostages. And critics of Israel wonder why many of its citizens do not want to hear about a two-state solution.

When they orchestrated last week’s announcement to recognize an independent Palestinian state, the three western European nations assumed a lot and ignored a range of aspects that obstruct progress toward an independent state.

Most importantly, what Palestinian state? No Palestinian state exists for the time being. As President Biden insists, a Palestinian state can only be established through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership. “He believes a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition,” says Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, as quoted in The New York Times.

Why are they so certain that an independent state is the answer? Just about everyone falls back on a two-state solution. I have always doubted that a two-state solution can work with the current parties in the mix. Israel’s security is a prerequisite for any agreement. Hamas’ invasion of Oct. 7 proves that Palestinians cannot be trusted to live in peace when they exist “side by side” Israel.

Has anyone asked the Palestinians if they want an independent state? Their leadership, in the form of the late Yasser Arafat, would not even consider Israel’s proposal for a Palestinian state 24 years ago when President Clinton hosted a summit at Camp David. In fact, Arafat followed up the summit by initiating or facilitating a war with Israel.

We can recognize that some Palestinians are willing to live in peace with Israel, but extremists were controlling Gaza and part of the West Bank. Those extremists seek to destroy Israel. After Oct. 7, what else must they do to send us that message?

Most people never consider other options. There may be two prospects that would require the involvement of other parties, but each one carries risks.

An inter-Arab coalition from countries outside Israel can govern Gaza and the West Bank to stabilize these areas and develop local leadership. When they are ready, they could eventually lead a Palestinian state. However, a competent local leadership does not exist, or radical elements will still be able to upend a democratic government. The Arab governing board may have no intention of developing a peaceful state and is secretly in cahoots with local extremists.

The other option makes sense on paper, which is to append Gaza to Egypt and portions of the West Bank to Jordan, due to their proximity and common cultures. Gaza and the West Bank could be treated as provinces and take advantage of the protections of a larger country. Jordan and Egypt could ensure that Gaza and Jordan conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.

That will probably go nowhere. Egypt will not even allow Gazans to enter Egypt on a temporary basis while Israel attempts to destroy Hamas. It may not look any better for a Jordan/West Bank partnership.

Spain’s impatience makes one wonder if it is looking for the chance to revive the Inquisition of 1492 – when the Spainish forced Jews to convert to Christianity or expelled them from Spain. Vikings from Norway were trounced by English troops in 1066 in their bid to conquer the island. The English were conquered a few days later by William the Conqueror in the Battle of Hastings. A modern-day conquest would force the British to withdraw its support for Israel.

The notorious Magdelene laundries of Ireland operated as cruel servitude for loose Irish maidens under the Catholic church’s management. Many Arab families respond to violations of social mores by slaying women, which they call honor killings. Rape by their fathers is no excuse for their lewd behavior. Replacement with the Magdeline-style system would be more humane.

It amazes me that so many people other than Arabs and Muslims are obsessed with the Palestinians – long before Oct. 7. One friend at work sulked when I told him I was against an independent state. Then I suggested other options and his eyes lighted up. Another colleague researched how a group of people centuries ago in Russia decided to adopt Judaism as a religion before moving to the holy land.

Several years ago, an American devised a plan for transporting Palestinians back and forth between Gaza and the West Bank across sovereign Israeli space once a state is established.

If they care so much, their first and only concern should be resolution of this conflict. There are two peoples who are going nowhere. They do not care about foreign sympathizers, or what happened in Russia centuries ago, or how the Palestinians will cross from Gaza to the West Bank. They can talk to one another or continue killing each other.

About Bruce Ticker

Bruce S. Ticker, who writes from Philadelphia, also blogs for The San Diego Jewish World and Smirking Chimp and previously for the suspended Philadelphia Jewish Voice. He was previously a reporter and copy editor for daily newspapers in eastern Pennsylvania.

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