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January 13, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 13, 2017 PAGE 5A 9 By Arkady Mamaysky Considering the perspec- tives of the Israeli and Pal- estinian populations, and seeing the reality on the ground, a two-state solution seems like the best option for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The Media's Perspective Let's begin by briefly sum- marizing, in broad brush- strokes, the commonly-avail- able information from the media on Arab and Israeli attitudes towards the existing situation. Palestinian Arabs A small minority agree on a two-state solution in order to have a peaceful life and prosperity, but they seek a solution that's based on dis- proportionate compromises from the Israeli side. A significant number of the politicians and general population would agree to a one-state solution, hoping By Jonathan Feldstein Following my articles tak- ing to task President Obama and John Kerry and their stabbing Israel in the back I received many replies. The vast majority were supportive and expressed embarrassment by the Obama-Kerry tag teaming. Some apologized and made sure I knew their vindictive behavior did not reflect that of the American people. One email led to a thought- ful discussion I would like to excerpt here. A friend wrote: "I read your article with much interest. However, (I'm) a bit puzzled. While I believe (in) and support the Zionist dream .... I am deeply con- cerned about Israel's pre- dicament: maintaining a Democratic Jewish state while divorcing herself from an indigenous Arab population... divorce is rarely simple, it can be highly contestedwith many casualties. While I don't... trivialize Israel's current situ- ation with this comparison... how (do) you feel about these concerns? ...maintaining the "status quo" is as much of a cause of a new lntifada as your opinion regarding Obama's abstention." It was late at night in Israel when I replied. I was moved to do so right away, albeit abruptly: I have two quick answers... but a lot more can be said. First, it's not the place of Obama, or anyone else, to set parameters that define Israel as they want it. There's no suggestion that a Palestinian state should be democratic, or Iran or Cuba or any Of the others that the U.S. has no problem dealingwith. There's not even a hint that "Pal- estine" can't be Judenrein. Kicking all the Jews out is fine, but Israel should remain 20 percent Arab?! That holds Israel to a standard that, because we are Jews, more is to be ex- pected. I reject that because Arabs should have the same expected of them. To do other- wise is double discrimination (against Arabs and Jews). As to demographics, few in any mainstream political party here today would (say)... that that it will eventually become a Palestinian state. The great majority want the whole land "from the river to the sea," getting rid of the Jews and with Israel our of existence. Israelis A very small group of ignorant fanatics object to Israel's existence on religious grounds. Their representa- tives even shook hands with Ahmadinejad. Part of the Israeli popula- tion, especially its orthodox citizens, is against giving any land to Arabs, arguing that it is historically Jewish land that was given to us by God. A significant part of the Israeli population opposes giving any land to Arabs be- cause, based on Israel's experience with Gaza and South Lebanon, they believe giving away land will never bring peace but only endan- ger Israel. A sizable number of Is- we actually have a partnerwill- ing to make and uphold peace. That doesn't exist, period. So putting the cart before the horse and laying out param- eters of what a resolution should look like is absurd, and biased against Israel. There's not only not a partner with which to negotiate, but the Palestinian Authority (with whom we are expected to ne- gotiate) doesn't even control Gaza. So if Obama and Kerry had their dream we'd give up territory today for the hope of peace, (creating) a"Palestine" in which the undemocratic government doesn't even control all the territory it's claiming as its state. And what happens afterward when they have an internal war and Hamas takes over? This is not rhetoric, its probability. It's very complex. Few would deny there needs to be a resolution, but you can't force peace if you don't have (apartner)... Making concessions for the hope that it will bring (the Palestinians) to the table is faulty. I don't know if we'll ever have peace. But I'm not pre- pared to give up land to create a new state that will add to the list of our enemies and not make peace any more likely. There's a lot that can be done in the interim, and more should be done. But no matter how much Obama and Kerry pontificate aboutwhat's legal and what Israel has a legitimate claim to, and saying things that can only be one (their) way, they'rejustwrong. I woke up the next morning to the following reply: "Thank you for taking the time to respond. I get it and understand the situation and the dilemma. However, maintaining the status quo andnot attempting to change the conditions on the ground only adds to the frustration and then angerwhich leads to intifada and armed conflict. Where are today's Sadats, Begins, Rabins?" So before I had my second cup of coffee Iwrote back: I re- ally mean to answer sincerely but I'm at my limit and Obama and Kerry have crossed all boundaries. I'm not holding back. (As for changing the status quo) I would love to see major economic invest- raelis, based on the existing reality on the ground, accept that the land belongs to both people. The majority of Israelis would prefer that the whole historical land of Eretz Israel would belong to the Jews, but they would gladly agree to share the land with Arabs by creating a Palestinian state-- if doing so would bring peace and security to Israel and lead to Arab recognition of The Jewish state. A Strange "Occupation" Many call the present Israeli/Palestinian situation an "occupation." But isn't it a strange occupation when the occupied have their own government, access to in- ternational organizations and representation in those organizations, the freedom to spread anti-Israel propa- ganda, the right to brainwash children to hate Jews, and so on? Isn't it a strange occupation ments in "settlement blocks" which benefit Jews and Arabs here. SodaStream was a good example but they got slammed by BDS and moved to the Negev. Who got hurt? Palestinian Arabs! But I'd do more. I'd build economic facts, all kinds of industry. I'd look to invest- ments from Arabs and Jews. Maybe one could connect private schools and day care for the employees attached to the industrial centers where Arabs could bring their kids for top education (that pro- motes coexistence). It'll take someone with audacity to stand up to BDS and the deceitful notion that building and doing business here is illegal. But even if such a plan were to be wildly successful andArabs got good jobs with benefits, taking home a respectable salary, that would not mitigate the reality that incitement, hate, and violence are encouraged, nurtured, even celebrated. Unless and until that changes, we won't have peace. And un- less the Islamists are defeated, Palestinian Arabs will fear saying or encouraging things that are pro-peace and will be killed by their own. We have no Begins or Sadats today. Netanyahu is the best of what's available but he's crippled by many internal and external factors. But even another Begin won't make sacrifices if peace is not a real possibility. Today, and for the foreseeable future, it's not. So we need to make the best of what there is, build infrastructure that makes Israel continue to succeed, that benefits Palestinian Arabs, and offers hope. Overall, my friend's posi- tion, while not wrong, is ignorant. I don't say that in a demeaning way or as a put down. It's just that CNN and the NY Times and other media get it wrong and misrepresent the facts and nuance in Israel as the rule. This is true even if they don't have a proclivity to be against Israel in a way that their bias is reflected in their news reporting. Even conservative and ideologi- cally more pro-lsrael media don't get it right all the time, supporting an undertone of where the prime minister of the "occupying" power is prac- tically begging the president of the "occupied" entity to negotiate a solution, but to no avail? What could be the Palestin- ian-Arab leadership's logic for avoiding negotiations? Exploring Potential So- lutions and Outcomes Two-State Solution For Palestinians, this would mean giving up the idea of having the whole land for themselves, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and agreeing on security ar- rangements for the Jewish state. This is not what they want and not the outcome for which they brainwash the masses. One-State Solution One state for two people, in a relatively short historical time, might result in an Arab state with a Jewish minor- ity (most likely a persecuted Jewish minority). This is an anti-Israel bias which they don't intend, but about which they don't know any better. No, the status quo, leaving things as is, is not desirable. There's a lot that can and should be done short of actual peace, if that will ever come. But making concessions as a precondition to bring the Palestinians to the table, or because Obama, Kerry or others demand it, without a true hope for peace and a plan that addresses all this, is less desirable. Maybe the status quo is the best we can hope for, for now. What do you think? Please post/write respectfully and I'll try to do the same. Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. He has a three-decade career in nonprofit fundraising and marketing and through- out his life and career, he has become a respected bridge between Jews and Christians. He writes regularly on major Christian web sites about Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He can be reached at outcome the Palestinians would willingly accept, but they realize that Israel will not agree to it. Status Quo The status quo might even- tually lead to the same out- come as a one-state solution. Why Palestinians Avoid Negotiations In the Palestinian leader- ship's minds, why not wait for the status quo to cause the same outcome as a one-state solution, even if it takes avery long time? In the meantime, they initiate as many anti- Israel resolutions as possible in international organizations like the UN, glorify terrorists, and brainwash their children to hate and kill Jews. They also try to force Israel to accept a solution that is favorable to Palestinian Arabs through international pressure or- chestrated by Arab countries. Position of Overwhelm- ing Majority of Israelis A one-state solution or keeping the status quo might eventually lead to an Arab state with a Jewish minority. Even now, the status quo creates a lot of well-known problems for Israel. iiiiii!i! il ~ Even assuming that Jews will be able to keep a small majority, they will have to coexist in one state with avery large, hostile Arab population. Right now, the total Arab population in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza is estimated around 6.17 million. A two-state solution with reliable provisions for Israeli security andArab recognition of the Jewish state would be the solution that Israel is ready to accept, despite the difficult compromises that are required. Is There a Way to Solve the Present Dead End Situation? If the other side does not want to negotiate, it is possible (but very unlikely) that Israelis can find a way to unilaterally separate from theArabs, without repeating the Gaza experience and while being extremely fair to the needs of Palestinian Arabs. Maybe the help of the new American administration can lead both sides out of the present dead end situation. Perhaps it's not as unbeliev- able as it sounds. Let's hope. Planning for the Future. UN WOW/ THIS T2UMP HAS A 2EALLY WEIRD HAIRDO! 0