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Two state solution?

There is much muntering at the UN (do they do anything else other than munter and appoint Libya as head of Human Rights?) about a prospective Palestinian State.

Now I have no axe to grind but it just won’t work and that really has nothing to do with Israel. The culture, geography (and changing that is beyond the powers of Allah Himself), politics (recall when Hamas won in Gaza they chucked Fatah off the roofs), economics etc.

The idea of a unified single Palestinian state is…

Well, it’s mental. The only solution is three-state. I’ve never been there (Israel, West Bank, Gaza, whatever…) but I know. I know because a unified Palestinian “State” would be…

An Islamic Republic spatially disconnected with their direst enemy in between.

One, relatively (and I do mean relatively) prosperous and the other an economic basket case.

The more prosperous being the larger and the more prosperous and the smaller being the more densely populated.

Have we not seen this before?

If you read “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie then you see the Hell that follows. Ironically someone (Israel, Turkey…) would have to pick up the mess. Should the Palestinians have a state of their own – yes… (not that I’m into states myself being a libertarian and all) but no… They ought to have states of their own or maybe do without that boondongle. Anyway, is statehood freedom? Not if you ask me. It’s a great achievement for the folks you send to Turtle Bay but for the average geezer on the ground in Gaza or the West Bank it’s a tin full of less than nothing.

For me nationality is a feeling (like when I watch the Rugby or cricket – not the football – that’s alas a chronic embarrassment) and not a tax-code. Be careful what you wish for Palestinians because it might come true. And it might of course be the mini-me of Pakistan-Bangladesh. Hell, the “hostile” power in your midst might have to intervene as India did when the slaughter in Bangladesh (and the refugees) became so appalling.

States can be made but nations exist organically. I am fortunate enough to belong to one of the latter. It’s been England since some Egg-King called it so. Even the union with Scotland goes back hundreds of years. The union with Wales is even further back. A “union” of a part of Egypt and a part of Jordan – yeah, like whatever! I was going to say it’ll end in tears so I’m calling it the Nírnaeth Arnoediad anyway.

Am I naive? Really am I? But if everyone (that means you, Hamas) knocked off and built their own little polities then fine. Have states if you play fair. If you chuck bottle-rockets at the neighbours then expect F-16s dropping JDAMs and don’t bitch to me about it. It seems to me that (as is typical in politics) this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Gazan widow or the West Bank farmer but about the encirclement and ultimate overthrow of Israel which is best done by one state rather than two. Shall I put it bluntly? I apply the Rugby test (it’s a little like Norman Tebbit’s cricket one except totally different). Your nationality should be no more nor less than who you cheer for. It is not defined by government. It is a signal, core, failing of the UN that it represents countries and not people. At the risk (and I’m sailing bloody close to the reef) of quoting Monty Python. I shall.

But then anyone who derives their sense of self-worth from statehood rather than selfhood (is that a coinage?) is a scumbag.

I’m Nick. I am proud to be English. That feeling is totally disconnected from our state. The Palestinians want a “state of their own”. Allah save them because it won’t be their state at all!


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    “a part of Egypt and a part of Jordan”

    Isn’t that really the whole point? There is no “Palestinian people”, distinct from Jordanian (originally “Trans-Jordanian Palestine” under the British mandate, of course) or even Egyptian, since the dominant ethnicity there is Arab. If Israel isn’t to be allowed to have them, and the Arabs want them, then reincorporate the West Bank and Gaza into Jordan and Egypt. The only reason – the only reason – the PA wants a state of its own is so that it can ultimately claim the whole of Israel. That’s why it’s blatantly ignoring the Clinton peace accord and going straight to the UN, because it knows any negotiated statehood would have to include recognition of Israel’s right to exist. Because it did last time.

    And we’ve already got this, which I meant to post about at the time:

    The Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that any future Palestinian state it seeks with help from the United Nations and the United States should be free of Jews.

    There’s a word for that. It’s German.

    “After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated,” Maen Areikat, the PLO ambassador, said during a meeting with reporters

    Yeah, there’s a word for that, too. In Afrikaans. And, after Areikat’s little dead giveaway, the next time I hear it used to describe Israel I won’t be held responsible for my actions.

    “Your nationality should be no more nor less than who you cheer for.”

    So I’m Frank Williams. Or – I have been known to follow the odd Test Match – English.

    Seriously though, I know what you mean. Just yanking your chain. I wish there were more British teams in sport. My great-grandmother, who was born before the SFA (she once went to hear Gladstone speak in Edinburgh, but the train was late; nothing really changes) was always “North British”*, by all accounts. I’m convinced you can trace the resurgence of (a sort of fake, romanticized, Celticized) Scottishness to the rise of professional football. Sir Walter Scott doesn’t escape blame either, but without the Tartan Army his ideas would have been lost to most people.

    *Well, formally. “Scotch” otherwise. Never “Scottish”. I’ve no idea where the modern aversion to the old adjective comes from. The usual petty nationalist contrariness, I expect.

  2. Nelsontouch says:

    A two- or three-state solution is one stage of the solution.
    There used to be a “Movement for an Israel-Palestine confederation”, which argued that all the people in the region were at risk from their neighbours and therefore the Israelis and the Palestinians should form an alliance between their states against the Baathist extremists.
    This was in about 1981 when I met the organiser. He had been arguing for this since about 1945 and reconnected with his old contacts after 1967.
    A lonely furrow he was ploughing, I have to say.

    I’ve been in all three places; first trip to the West Bank was in 1974 – I went by bus to Hebron. Got talking to the Arabs on the bus, and they proudly pointed out the site of their great Arab victory of Kfar Etsion in 1948 – when a kibbutz of religious Jews was over-run and all but four killed.

    Nowadays, though, with the actions of settlers – I doubt that peace is possible. The time to seize the opportunity was 1968.
    Tragic, tragic.

  3. NickM says:

    As I’m a libertarian you tell me about ploughing a lonely furrow!

    Obviously the PLO (I still hold it against the French that Arafat died in a state of the art French military hospital and not howling in a gutter like he so richly deserved) and Hamas (it’s in their charter in much the same way freedom of religion is in the US Constitution) want Israel destroyed. I have always supported Israel – even as a kid. As a kid it was for a very simple reason – I was (and am) obsessed with the one job my peepers prevented me from even attempting to do – driving fighter jets. The IAF are magnificent. I have had more mature thoughts since but hell’s teeth! If you can fly F-16s and Mirages like that then I pity the Syrian fool! MiG-23 up against a Viper. Game over.

  4. Paul Marks says:

    In private (or even in their schools and Arabic language television station) the PLA (the “Palestinian Authority”) agrees with their enemies Hamas on the fundemental need for the extermination of Israel – all statements to the contrary are smoke and mirrors.

    Hamas and the other lot may hate each other – but they hate the Jews far more (that is true of the other divisions in the Islamic world, the factions hate each other – but they hate nonMuslims, all over the world, far more).

    There is also the little matter of what the “West Bank” actually is…..

    A lot of it is closer to the Med than it is to the Jordan river – at the narrow point one could cut Israel in two (drive straight to the sea) in a couple of hours.

    “Bottom line?”

    Peace is impossible – it is a fantasy.

    But no one in authority (not the Prime Minister of Israel – no one) will admit it.

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