Yariv Oppenheimer
Ynetnews (Opinion)
May 19, 2011 - 12:00am

In one sense, Israel’s leadership should be grateful to the hundreds of protestors who invaded the Golan and illustrated to all of us what Israel faces ahead of the Palestinian UN move in September. In the face of settler insistence to cling to the Greater Israel vision and Palestinian demands (endorsed by small parts of Israel’s Left) to turn the territories and Israel into one state, lacking a Jewish majority, the mainstream of Israel’s society must unite and earnestly promote the two-state vision.

Those who were not wise enough to compromise in recent years and resolve the Palestinian problem by creating a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel are now forced to fend off arguments questioning the Zionist idea’s legitimacy and Israel’s right to exist.

The hourglass is running out. In September, precisely a year after Israel’s unilateral announcement on the resumption of settlement construction, the Palestinians will embark on their own unilateral move and promote a declaration of Palestinian statehood at the UN. The Arab side, which upon Israel’s establishment rejected partition and embarked on war against Israel, will adopt the same idea 63 years later and declare that the West Bank and Gaza are the new Palestinian state.

Israel is now embarrassed and helpless, lacking any desire or political power to take the required decision and earnestly announce a move that would end Israel’s presence in the West Ban

In the past, the Palestinian unwillingness to accept the partition notion cost the Palestinian people years of victims and pain. Israel’

current unwillingness to recognize the partition idea will cost all of us a third Intifada, international support will decline, and the Jewish people’s right for a national home in the 1967 borders will be undermined as well. Those who are unwilling to compromise on dividing the land and withdrawing from the territories will end up having trouble explaining and fighting for the legitimacy of the Zionist idea as a whole

The only solution

The suggestion brought forth by delusional rightist elements within Likud and elsewhere to respond to the Palestinian move at the UN by unilaterally annexing the settlements to Israel is the best news for enemies of the Zionist idea, whoever they are. Annexation will be perceived in the world as an anti-democratic act of war whereby one state invades a neighboring state, just like Saddam Hussein did when he occupied Kuwait. The annexation idea is already causing grave damage to Israel’s image and provides more ammunition for anti-Israel propaganda.

On the other hand, the handful of leftists who take part in Palestinian rallies demanding a return to Jaffa, Haifa and Ramallah are also hurting the two-state vision and creating a false display whereby Israel’s Left has decide to concede the right of return and terminate the Zionist idea premised on Israel’s existence as the national, democratic home of the Jewish people.

Meanwhile, the natural desire of many Israelis remains to maintain the status quo, continue to talk about two states while building the settlements, and “hold the stick on both ends.” Yet the protestors in the Golan reminded all of us that without substantive progress, the third Intifada is at our doorstep and that the agreement which Israel can offer at this time may be forced upon it, under worse conditions, in the near future.

A moment before this game is over, all pragmatic forces within Israel’s society must adopt a clear, joint ideological line that endorses the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, while securing a compromise in Jerusalem and turning it into a shared capital for both states. This is the only solution.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017