No, The US Shouldn’t Push Israel to Create a Palestinian State

“Ultimately,” contends Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the next Israeli government “is going to have to put us back on a path to have a Palestinian state. That’s not easy, but it is the only way forward for Israel, is the only way forward for long-term peace.”

Well, it’s not the only way forward, right? Israel could clamp down on Palestinian autonomy until the violence against innocent Jewish civilians stops, and residents start living peacefully with their neighbors and begin accepting history’s outcomes. That’s another option.

While the situation today is appalling, creating a three-front Iran-backed terror state on the borders of a nation the size of New Jersey would make things significantly worse. No sane citizenry would sign off on such a suicidal policy. No genuine ally would pressure a friend to do it.

But that is exactly what a new country called “Palestine” is destined to be: an Islamic autocracy and, more than likely, a proxy of Iran (who may well have nuclear weapons at some point).

Perhaps Murphy is unaware that the last time Israelis handed autonomy of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority in 2005 — ejecting thousands of Jews who would otherwise have been murdered by the only “ethnic cleansers” in this conflict — it quickly lost power.

And does any sentient person believe that Hamas or the Islamic Jihad or Muslim Brotherhood-proper wouldn’t end up running a Palestinian state again? Does Murphy want to send in American troops to Gaza when they do? Because Israel, compelled to act on the inevitable provocations from this freshly created nation with unfettered access to weaponry, surely would. The resulting war would be deadlier than the one going on now.

Rest assured, when Hamas runs a state in the West Bank that bumps right up against major civilian Jewish populations, it won’t be “us” — certainly not a Connecticut politician’s home — that are targeted by missiles.

These days, we keep hearing how Hamas is a tyrannical organization that doesn’t truly represent the will of the Palestinian people. If they only had real elections, things would be different. This, too, is either a lie or wishful thinking.

While Hamas might not be quite as popular with Palestinians as it is with American Ivy League students, it nevertheless garners significant support. In 2021, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 53% of Palestinians believed Hamas was “most deserving of representing and leading the Palestinian people,” while only 14% preferred the somewhat less terroristic Fatah. Most polls show similar or more enthusiastic support for Hamas. It’s the reason there hasn’t been an election in the West Bank in over a decade. Hamas would win. Easily.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Palestinian culture is steeped in generational, self-destructive, virulent animosity toward Jews that manifests in waves of extremism and violence. This was the case in the early 20th century when Arabs began sporadically massacring Jews before Israel existed, throughout the 1940s when Palestinian leadership embraced Hitler and during a post-war faux nationalism phase (also before Israel existed), in the 1960s when the Palestine Liberation Organization introduced the world to modern terrorism (before “occupied territories” existed), and to the present Islamist iteration of that violence.

Yet, Palestinians, and their defenders, remain the only people in the world who think they can reset history every time they lose a war of aggression. Their very claim to a state is contingent on the myth that Israel invaded and “occupied” the West Bank and Gaza (and Tel Aviv) in an act of colonialism, when the “occupied territories” were taken in defensive wars against Egypt and (the existing Palestinian-majority state of) Jordan.

But forget history. Forget that you can dig anywhere in the ground and find ancient Jewish artifacts. Forget that Israel offered Arabs back the land on numerous occasions in exchange for basic recognition. More importantly, there is zero evidence that Palestinian self-governance will lead to more peace — quite the opposite, in fact.

Murphy’s notion that the only way to bring about coexistence is to reward the vilest act of Jewish murder since the Holocaust speaks to the destructive, insular, morally confused nature of the Brookings-approved D.C. blobthink. Every time the sides revisit the negotiations on the terms dictated by these people, it ends in disappointment and, inevitably, violence.

Fortunately, this state can’t be willed into existence by Hamas-friendly newspaper and editorial boards, nor by resolution-happy tyrants at the United Nations. And that’s fine. Just as there is no independent Hungarian nation in Transylvania and no Republic of Basque, there may never be a “Palestine” — or rather, a second Palestine (Jordan being the first).

Nothing says there has to be. Yes, the situation might be intractable right now. But that is no reason to make it worse.

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David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and author of "Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent."

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