Letters | May 9, 2019


A Palestinian state, but not like Gaza or Lebanon

I appreciate Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb’s support for Israel and share some of his concerns. (“What does it mean to be pro-Israel?” Voices, April 18). I do not support new settlement construction or unilateral annexation in the West Bank.

But he seriously oversteps when he seeks to define all skeptics of a two-state solution as not pro-Israel.

Even mainstream supporters of a Palestinian state acknowledged that such a state would be demilitarized. In this formulation, it was never fully a “state.” While I once supported such a “state-minus,” I no longer believe it is the only valid option for Israeli disengagement from Palestinian areas of the West Bank.


Supporters of a Palestinian state in the “long term” need to explain precisely how such a state avoids becoming another Hezbollah-controlled territory as in south Lebanon or another extremist-controlled Gaza once independence is achieved. Enormous portions of Israel are now under a constant threat of devastating rocket fire on two fronts that Americans would not tolerate on their borders for one minute. What will prevent an independent Palestine from devolving into a third front, absent military intervention by Israel?

While confederation with Jordan may be a dormant concept, some arrangement that provides autonomy and as much self-rule as possible on the West Bank, consistent with the peace and security of neighboring states, needs to be explored. That should not be a state-minus, at least until proposed security arrangements are robust, of indefinite duration, and more than paper guarantees. Progressive Zionists could help by working for the disarming of Hamas.


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