Former Republican presidential nominee and current Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) apparently believes that there is no alternative to Israel’s longstanding feud with the Palestinian-Arabs — who are run by the corrupt, kleptocratic, Holocaust-denying Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and by the genocidal Sunni jihadist outfit Hamas in the Gaza Strip — other than the misbegotten “two-state solution.”
Romney, who recently returned from a trip to the Middle East as part of his service on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke to reporters today to offer his rather uninspiring prognosis. The Jerusalem Post reports:
US Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told reporters Tuesday that he “doesn’t know what the alternative is other than a two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a joint briefing with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) following their visit to the Middle East as members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Romney added that “no one articulated to us anywhere in the region an idea or a proposal for something other than a two-state solution.”
During their time in the Middle East, they visited Jordan, Iraq, Israel and the West Bank, where they met with PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.
“They [Palestinians] described what would occur if there were not a two-state solution, and that would be an Israel for one state and an Israel where you have 6.6 million Palestinians and 6.6 million Jews – and the Palestinians have larger families than the Jews,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee continued. “Over time, it would become predominantly Palestinian, which did not seem to be something which the Israelis were looking forward to, and something which the Palestinians felt was unlikely to be the outcome that would be satisfying to the Israeli government.”
The Holy Grail for the hubristic democracy-promoters and naive nation-builders of the bipartisan “two-state solution” is the 1990s-era Oslo Accords. One is forced to ask whether Romney, who ran a staunchly pro-Israel presidential campaign in 2012, is even particularly familiar with the galling and tragic details of the Oslo Accords-induced Second Intifada — during which approximately 1,000 Israelis (the population size-adjusted equivalent of roughly 38,000 Americans) died, in addition to thousands others who were gravely wounded. As Daniel Polisar recently noted for the indispensable Mosaic Magazine, Oslo and its genocidal Second Intifada progeny — along with the subsequent botched unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, after which Palestinian-Arabs democratically elected a Sunni jihadist group that would rain countless rockets upon Israeli civilians — utterly destroyed the leftist “land for peace” formula in the minds of the Israel public:
To appreciate the stability of voters’ preferences, a good point of departure is an IDI survey in late January 2019, before the lists of parties and candidates had been finalized. Israelis (Jewish and Arab alike) were asked to place themselves along an ideological scale in which the numeral 1 signified a position on the left, 4 in the center, and 7 on the right. Among respondents who expressed an opinion, 14 percent self-identified as left (numeral 1 or 2), 8 percent as center left (3), 20 percent as center (4), and 17 percent as center right (5). The largest grouping of all, 41 percent, declared themselves on the right (6 or 7).
Most of those who blithely cite the “two-state solution” shibboleth mean something closely akin to the co-called “1967 borders” — which are really not borders at all, but are a mere armistice line reached after Israel miraculously withstood a full-frontal transnational Arab assault to existentially eviscerate it. Those borders, furthermore, which would make Israel nine miles wide at its narrowest point, are often referred to as “Auschwitz Borders” by Israeli Jews. There is simply no way that any sane Israeli leader would ever make such a sacrifice with such a corrupt and murderous enemy — especially not in the aftermath of the Second Intifada and Ariel Sharon’s calamitous unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.
But many, like Romney, continue to promulgate the canard that Israel is doomed — that Zionism itself may be doomed — if Israel does not offer up 20% of its New Jersey-sized land area to terrorist groups who not only refuse to recognize Israel’s existence, but actively seek to destroy it.
This is nonsense. There are many competing ideas. Here are just a few.
One idea, long promoted by American-Israeli columnist, speaker, and activist Caroline Glick, is full Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria. In her book, “The Israeli Solution,” Glick disputes the generally accepted demographic calculations that Romney cites, noting that Israeli Jews have among the highest fertility rates of any Western demographic or ethnic group. In her recent failed Knesset bid, under the partisan label of the “New Right” party formed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, Glick helped promote the idea of immediate annexation of what Oslo deems “Area C” of Judea and Samaria — which constitutes roughly 61 percent of the geographic territory of Judea and Samaria and wherein Israeli Jews already outnumber Palestinian-Arabs.
Another paradigm, currently being promoted by the Middle East Forum and its president, Daniel Pipes, is the “Israel Victory Project.” The Israel Victory Project, which is more of a means and less of a concrete end, seeks to finally end obstinate Palestinian-Arab rejectionism and anti-Semitic eliminationism by means of refocusing the Israeli-Palestinian quagmire as a true “conflict” in which Israel has clearly won and the Palestinians have clearly lost. As the Forum says, “To win, to be accepted, Israel must return to its pre-1993 policy of deterrence, establishing that Israel is strong, tough, and permanent. That is achieved through the tedious task of deterrence, convincing Palestinians and others that the Jewish state will endure and that dreams of its elimination must collapse.” The Forum continues:
This process may be seen through a simple prism. Any development that encourages Palestinians to think they can eliminate Israel is negative, any that encourages them to give up that goal is positive. The goal here is not Palestinian love of Zion, but closing down the apparatus of war: shuttering suicide factories, ending the demonization of Jews and Israel, recognizing Jewish ties to Jerusalem, and “normalizing” relations with Israelis.
Under this framework, only once the Palestinian-Arabs earnestly accept defeat can negotiations reopen.
One additional idea is the so-called “New State Solution,” which calls for the creation of a new Palestinian-Arab state in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula. This new state would be geographically contiguous with the Gaza Strip and would include heavy economic and political incentives for large swaths of Palestinian-Arabs in Judea and Samaria to voluntarily relocate. Such relocation, in turn, would then ideally allow for full Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria in such a way that demographic concerns are assuredly no longer a problem at all for the perpetuation of Zionism. Here is how the plan’s progenitors recently described it in a New York Daily News op-ed:
The Sinai peninsula, contiguous and largely uninhabited, is 10 times the size of Gaza and the West Bank combined. It is a massive, undeveloped piece of real estate crying out for development. There the Palestinian people could establish a state with significant potential for economic prosperity, without having to give any territory in return. The establishment of the new state could mark the end of the conflict, or at least begin to give both sides something constructive to pour their energies into.
Palestinians living under the rule of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would receive citizenship of the new state, instantly transforming them from being a stateless people to a people with their own government. No one in the West Bank — Israelis or Palestinians — would be forced from their homes.
There are certainly other non-“1967 borders” plans, too. But suffice it to say that Mitt Romney is wrong here.