On Palestinian Statehood - Bret Stephens
- Would a Palestinian state serve the cause of Mideast peace? This used to be conventional wisdom, on the theory that a Palestinian state would lead to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
- Today the proposition is ridiculous. No deal between Jerusalem and Ramallah is going to lift the sights of those now fighting in Syria, Iraq or Yemen. Nor will a deal reconcile Tehran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza to the existence of a Jewish state.
- Aren't the Palestinians entitled to a state? Maybe. But are they more entitled to one than the Assamese, Basques, Baloch, Corsicans, Druze, Flemish, Kashmiris, Kurds, Moros, Native Hawaiians, Northern Cypriots, Rohingya, Tibetans, Uyghurs or West Papuans - all of whom have distinct national identities, legitimate historical grievances and plausible claims to statehood? What gives Palestinians the preferential claim?
- Comparisons aside, would a Palestinian state be good for Palestinian people? A June 2015 poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found that a majority of Arab residents in east Jerusalem would rather live as citizens with equal rights in Israel than in a Palestinian state.
- But isn't a Palestinian state a necessity for Israel? Can it maintain its Jewish and democratic character without separating itself from the Palestinians?
- In theory, Israel would be well-served living alongside a sovereign Palestinian state that lived in peace with its neighbors. But Israelis don't live in theory. They live in a world where Israeli prime ministers made good-faith offers of Palestinian statehood and were met with rejection and violence.