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Debate: A Two-State Solution?

November 11, 2007

From “Vatican favors Palestinian homeland,” Rosemary Radford Ruether, National Catholic Reporter, July 27, 2001:

In 1975 Pope Paul VI stated, “we are conscious of the still very recent tragedies which led the Jewish people to search for safe protection in a state of its own, sovereign and independent,” but for this very reason “we would like to ask the sons of this people to recognize the rights and legitimate aspirations of another people who have also suffered for a long time, the Palestinian people.” Recognition of the state of Israel was withheld by the Vatican in part because it saw the legitimacy of the state of Israel as resting on the 1946 U.N. partition plan that also granted to the Palestinians a state of their own on the remaining territory of historic Palestine. The Vatican declined to recognize the state of Israel until a Palestinian state was also recognized.

In 1993, with the Oslo accords that seemed to lay the basis for the recognition of a Palestinian state within the territories seized by Israel in 1967, the Vatican formally granted diplomatic recognition to the state of Israel. It appeared for a time as if the Holy See had abandoned its concern for the equal rights of Palestinians. What remained largely unreported in the U.S. press at that time was that, in October 1994, the Holy See also recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the political representative of the Palestinian people, at a time when the PLO was still headquartered in Tunisia.

This diplomatic recognition of the Palestinian people was formalized on Feb. 15, 2000, when the Holy See entered into a “Basic Agreement” with the PLO on behalf of the Palestinian Authority parallel to the Vatican’s Basic Agreement with Israel. Both agreements stipulate that the ministerial work of the church and its property will be respected by the two “authorities,” Israel and the PLO. In addition, the agreement with the PLO has a special section on Jerusalem that calls for religious freedom and equality before the law of the members of the three religious communities, Jews, Christians and Muslims, and their equal access to their holy places in Jerusalem….

From “Palestinians Are Winning,” Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Cause, April 2 2002:

Israel is not at war with terror. Israel is at war with Palestine.

The terrorism of the suicide bombers of the intifada – ugly and awful as its manifestations are in Netanya, Haifa, and Jerusalem – is but a tactic in a guerrilla war of national liberation being waged by the Palestinian people against Israeli occupation. It is a tactic with a venerable pedigree in the 20th century, where it was used repeatedly and successfully against the Western empires.

(…)

Is there no way out?

The only hope lies in a Palestinian state. A small state of their own would give Palestinians a huge stake in peace and in preventing acts of terror against Israel – i.e., national survival. Syria does not allow acts of terror on the Golan Heights, because Assad knows he has a nation to lose in any war with Israel. And, after independence, the IRA, the Irgun, the Mau Mau and the ANC terminated the terror.

But time may be passing us by. For the Israeli repression has radicalized the Palestinians, and through Al Jazeera’s nightly clips of Arabs cut down by Israeli Jews using American weapons, it has radicalized the Arab world. Arabs and Muslims are concluding that the tactics used to drive Israel out of Lebanon and bring her to Oslo may be the tactics that can drive the Israelis out of the Middle East altogether.

From “Vatican Official Calls on World Community to Avert U.S.-Iraqi War,” USCCB, December 23, 2002:

Archbishop Tauran said he was well aware that fighting terrorism was on the minds of many countries these days. He said the best strategy for countering terrorism was to rediscover the “sense of sacredness” of human life and human dignity and remove some of the biggest causes of terrorism — including unresolved conflicts and social tensions around the globe.

He called the Israeli-Palestinian war “the mother of all conflicts.” He described it as a crescendo of terrorism on one side and punitive military forays on the other.

Although many Israeli officials have denounced Yasser Arafat for allegedly tolerating terrorism by Palestinian groups, Archbishop Tauran said the Vatican would consider Arafat a legitimate leader as long as Palestinians considered him their representative.

The archbishop said he was concerned that some people are now rejecting the idea of a Palestinian state as part of the negotiating framework.

“The peace process — which is practically dead — had as its objective the coexistence of a Palestinian state and an Israeli state, as foreseen by the 1948 (U.N.) resolution,” he said.

“If this is not the objective, what use is the peace process?” he said.

From “Vatican to U.N. on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” ZENIT, November 3, 2006:

(Address by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations)

The centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the persistent instability in the Middle East cannot be ignored. This is why my delegation remains convinced of the two state solution as the basis for the resolution of the crisis, which would permit Israelis to live in security in their own land and Palestinians to live safely in a viable state of their own.

(…)

In the hope that the many problems of the region will finally be resolved by negotiation and dialogue, my delegation further underlines that a lasting solution must include the status of the holy city of Jerusalem. In light too of the numerous incidents of violence and challenges to free movement posed by the security wall, the Holy See renews its support for “internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the Holy Places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities”

Finally, we repeat our call to the international community to facilitate significant negotiations between the conflicting parties. Only with a just and lasting peace — not imposed, but secured through negotiation and reasonable compromise — will the legitimate aspirations of all the peoples of the Holy Land be fulfilled.

From “Vatican endorses two-state solution in Holy Land,” Asia News, November 10, 2007:

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio heading the Holy See’s Permanent Observer mission to the United Nations, endorsed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a Thursday address to the UN refugee agency.

“My delegation remains convinced that the two-state solution has the best chance to settle the crisis,” he said.

(…)

Archbishop Migliore underlined the importance of the Holy City of Jerusalem to a two-state solution. Quoting a UN General Assembly Resolution of April 25, 1997, he declared that the Holy See renews its support for “internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the City of Jerusalem the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the Holy Places by the faithful of all religions and nationalities.”

* * * * * * * * *

From “The Threat Inherent In A Palestinian State,” Don Feder, Insight Magazine, May 13, 2003:

….a Palestinian state would still be the grave of Israel.

To understand why, consider what’s been going on in the Palestinian Authority since the Iraq war started. Demonstrators have crowded the streets chanting, “Death to America. Death to Bush.” An official of Arafat’s PLO told Al-Jazerra TV, “Iraq’s battle is Palestine’s battle.”

Fiery sermons are regularly broadcast on Palestinian television, including one by Sheikh Ibrahim Mudayris expressing the hope that “Americans will drown in their own blood.” The PA renamed a city square in Jenin to honor the suicide bomber who murdered four American soldiers on March 27th.

Hamas (a member of Arafat’s PLO) enlisted terrorists to fight U.S. forces in Iraq. And Arafat sent Saddam his “warmest greetings” and “deepest prayers to Allah, may He … strengthen our brotherly ties, cooperation and solidarity.” In the past, those brotherly ties have included Arafat’s active support for Iraq in the Persian Gulf War and Saddam paying $25,000-bounties to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

This is the face of a future Palestinian state – not the diplomatic delusions of a peaceful and democratic Palestine living in harmony with Israel – but fundamentalism, irredentism and terrorism.

From “The Nightmare of Hamastan,” Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, FrontPageMagazine.com, November 31, 2005:

Hamas views the future Islamist Palestinian state as an extension of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, where all aspects of life would be controlled by radical Islamist laws. This state will also maintain close connections with other Arab Islamist states and movements, and will use terrorism to obliterate the Israeli state. In response to a question concerning the nature of Palestine under Hamas rule, from a Newsweek reporter on August 30, 2005, Zahar responded, “It should be Hamastan.”

From “High Priestess of the Palestinian State,” Don Feder, FrontPageMagazine.com, October 23, 2006:

In recent opinion polls, 61 percent of Palestinians supported suicide bombings and terrorism, 56 percent favored rocket attacks on civilian targets, 75 percent endorsed the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers (which sparked a mini-war on Israel’s northern border in July and August), and 97 percent were pro-Hezbollah.

Palestinian tastes run to Protocols-of-Elders-of-Zion-type anti-Semitism, “honor killing” of women suspected of adultery, the brutal murder of Israeli civilians, and the sectarian-cleansing of Nazareth and Bethlehem, once overwhelmingly Christian cities.

In the aftermath of Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at a Bavarian university, which included a quote by a 14th century Byzantine emperor, the state-run television station of the Palestinian Authority described the pontiff as “arrogant,” “stupid,” and “criminal.” The pope will be judged by Allah on the day “when eyes stare in terror,” the jihad network predicted.

Hey, the Palestinians need a symbol for their state, right – like Uncle Sam for the U.S. or John Bull for the Brits? How about the mother of a suicide bomber decked out in fashionable black robes describing her pride and pleasure that her martyr son did Allah’s will by detonating himself along with as many innocents as possible?

From “A Christian-Free Holy Land,” Justus Reid Weiner, JCPA.org, December 8, 2006:

The growing strength of Islamic fundamentalism within the Palestinian national movement poses problems for Christians, who fear they will be deemed opponents of Islam and thereby risk becoming targets for Muslim extremists. This is exacerbated by the fact that Hamas holds substantial power and seeks to impose its radical Islamist identity on the entire population within the PA-controlled territories.

From “Jerusalem in Peril,” Michael Anbar, FrontPageMagazine.com, September 10,2007:

It is well known… that previous leftist Israeli governments, including those under PMs Rabin, Peres and Barak entertained the idea of conceding the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem to “Palestinian” Arab sovereignty, allowing the incipient “Palestinian State” to establish their capital in the Arab sector of a divided Jerusalem. Israeli advocates of a divided Jerusalem believe that this would achieve the desired peace with the Arabs, since Jerusalem is a great importance to them.

However, peace between Israel and Muslim Arabs is extremely unlikely in view of the Islamic premise that prohibits peace (not a ceasefire or truce) between Muslims and non-Muslim. As Islam is becoming more radicalized by the day, this religious Islamic prohibition of peace with non-Muslims has become dominant in the Islamic world. Moreover, because the Land of Israel was occupied by Muslims in the 7th century, religious Muslims believe that it belongs to Muslims for perpetuity. The Land of Israel, they call “Palestine”, is considered by Muslims as stolen property that must be regained as soon as there is a chance to do so. Therefore, according to religious Muslims, even a truce with the Jewish state must be of the shortest duration possible. Consequently, the establishment of a new Arab state west of the River Jordan, which will very likely be a religion-driven Islamic state, must maintain an incipient or real war with the Jewish state.

(…)

To defeat the Jewish state, if Jerusalem was divided, the Arabs would not have to shell Ben-Gurion Airport or launch missiles into the center of Tel-Aviv. Capturing Jerusalem would be sufficient.

The worldwide political consequences would evidently be hardly imaginable. Since this scenario is so likely to occur, the division of Jerusalem, surrendering parts of it to Arab rule is truly asinine.

Keeping Israeli security forces in the Arab parts of the city to prevent such an outcome would not change the situation from what it is today. It would be “occupation” again, not peace. Using international forces to defend Jewish Jerusalem would be as effective as their current presence in South Lebanon.

Furthermore, even before they capture Jewish Jerusalem, and possibly the rest of Israel, the Arabs will systematically destroy all archeological evidence for Jewish or Christian historical claims to the city, as they are doing already today on the Temple Mount. They will also destroy synagogues and churches or convert them into mosques as did recently in the Gaza Strip and in Samaria, in line with what Muslims have been doing throughout history.

It might be enough for them to destroy all Jewish and Christian testimonials from the old city of Jerusalem to signal to the Islamic world that Judeo-Christian civilization is being wiped out by Islam.

Finally, once Jerusalem is captured, the Arabs will rid the Middle East from all non-Muslims. They will follow the script of their war with the crusaders, when they methodically conquered all remaining Christian enclaves in Palestine and Lebanon after the conquest of Jerusalem.

See also:
Reuters: Vatican praises Arafat for Palestinian vision
Asia News: Arafat and Catholic Church, a relationship that never came to fruition
Jewish Press: The Palestinians Have a State
CNS News: Two-State Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Not Viable, Experts Say
Daniel Pipes: Annapolis Blues
FrontPageMag: Genesis of an Anti-Semitic State
FrontPageMag: The Peace Process: Helping Hamas
Jihad Watch: A problem that cannot be solved, only managed

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