"In a recent article entitled 'Disputing Dershowitz,' Martin Sherman tries to make the hard right case against the two-state solution. In doing so, he never even addresses the issue of democracy. This is perhaps because he doesn’t care whether his 'one state' is or is not democratic… because Sherman doesn’t value democracy," wrote Alan Dershowitz in a Newsmax article from March 2012.
This is typical of the misplaced moral and intellectual arrogance that supporters of the two-state principle ("two-staters") — like Alan Dershowitz — regularly display towards anyone — like myself — who has the temerity to oppose this disastrously failed formula.
A Perverse State of Affairs
The two-state prescription (“two-statism”) — which calls for the establishment for an independent Palestinian state to be established in Judea-Samaria (a.k.a. the “West Bank”) that fell to Israeli forces in the 1967 Six-Day War — has, for almost a quarter of a century, virtually monopolized the discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict, in general, and the Israeli-Palestinian one in particular. Indeed, as the dominant policy paradigm advanced for the resolution of the conflict, its endorsement has been an indispensable part of the credentials of anyone seeking access to “polite company.” Conversely, anyone opposing it was maligned by means of any one of a wide range of pejorative epithets, such as: “primitive,” “ignorant,” “right-wing extremist,” “religious fanatic,” and “racist” to name but a few.
This is clearly a perverse state of affairs. Indeed, very little thought is needed to show that two-staters' claim to the moral (and intellectual) high ground is, to be charitable, tenuous. Moreover, beyond perfunctory Pavlovian-like professions of their commitment to democratic values, two-staters’ political prescriptions prove that, in practice, they care little for democracy.
Touting Yet Another Muslim Majority Tyranny
Indeed, once all the moralistic rhetoric is stripped aside, support for Palestinian statehood is revealed as nothing more than a call for the establishment of (yet another) homophobic, misogynistic, Muslim-majority tyranny, which, in essence, will comprise an entity that will be the antithesis of all the values invoked for its inception.
For there is little persuasive reason to believe — and two-staters have certainly never provided one — that the societal hallmarks of such a state would be anything other than: cruel gender discrimination against women/girls; ruthless persecution of homosexuals; vicious religious intolerance of non-Muslim faiths; and relentless pursuit and prosecution of political dissidents. After all, with varying degrees of intensity these are features that characterize virtually all the countries across the Muslim world — from the Sahara Desert to the slopes of the Hindu Kush…and beyond. They are certainly undeniable characteristics of society in the terror-ruled enclave of Gaza — itself the ill-begotten product of two-statism.
Moreover, two-staters have likewise never provided any convincing argument — beyond unsubstantiated hope — that once the IDF withdraws from Judea-Samaria that it would not suffer a very similar fate to that of the ill-fated Gaza Strip — and descend not only into abject penury and theocratic tyranny — but become a bastion for jihadi terror organizations. (Significantly, this was an outcome long predicted by the opponents of two-statism — but sadly their prescient counsel was ignored — making their foreseen tragedy inevitable.)
A Mega Gaza Overlooking Tel Aviv?
Accordingly there is little reason to doubt that, were Israel to relinquish control of Judea-Samaria, it would rapidly become a “mega-Gaza.” However, unlike Gaza, which has no topographical superiority and a relatively short border (approx. 50 km.) abutting Israel’s sparsely populated largely rural South, this mega-Gaza (in Judea Samaria) will have a border of some 400-500 km., abutting and overlooking Israel’s most populous urban centers. Indeed, from the hills that would comprise much of its territory, any prospective Palestinian state could easily dominate nearly all of Israel’s coastal megalopolis — see here — including: Israel’s only international airport and virtually all other major airfields (civilian and military); main seaports and naval bases; vital infrastructure installations/systems (power generation and transmission, water, communications and transportation axes); centers of civilian government and military command; and 80 percent of the civilian population and commercial activity.
Dedication to Dogma, Not Democracy
It has been almost a quarter-century since two-statism’s ascendance to its position of almost total dominance as the perceived sole paradigm for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wider Arab-Israeli one.
It has proved a total and tragic failure, wreaking sorrow and suffering on Jew and Arab alike. It is time for two-staters to admit error — and discard their fatally flawed and failed formula.
Clearly, their continued adherence to it has little to do with dedication to democracy and its enlightened values. It is rather a dogmatic refusal to discard a disproven doctrine and one that, in essence, imperils the only democracy in the Mid-East, while touting the establishment of yet another tyranny in a region already replete with despotic regimes.
Dr. Martin Sherman is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, dedicated to the preservation and propagation of joint values shared by the USA and Israel as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and Israel’s Declaration of Independence. He served for seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment and acted as a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir's government. Sherman lectured for 20 years at Tel Aviv University in Political Science, International Relations, and Strategic Studies. He holds several university degrees — B.Sc. (Physics and Geology), MBA (Finance), and PhD in political science/international relations. He was the first academic director of the internationally renowned Herzliya Conference and has authored two books as well as numerous articles and policy papers on a wide range of political, diplomatic and security issues. He was born in South Africa and has lived in Israel since 1971. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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