In his letter to The Jewish Week (“Koch Off Base,” July 29), Richard H. Schwartz comments: “Like most U.S Jews and many Israeli and security experts, Obama recognizes that a just, sustainable, comprehensive two-state solution is essential in order for Israel to avoid another intifada…”
I am sure that Schwartz defines a “two-state solution” as a state for the Jewish people called Israel and a state for the Arab/Palestinian people. The problem is that literally nobody on the other side accepts this definition for a two-state solution. Instead, whether it’s the “moderate” Saudi initiative or the official position of the Palestinian Authority, their bottom line is that Israel must accept a solution based on a “right of return” of Arabs to pre-1967 Israel, which literally means opening up Israel to millions of Arabs. This is not mere posturing; this is their genuinely deeply felt, bottom-line position. This explains why, for example, huge numbers of Palestinians remain in “refugee camps” in Gaza despite the total withdrawal of Jews and the Israel Defense Forces from Gaza.
I think that when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, it’s more than a symbolic demand. Instead, it’s a pragmatic attempt to discern whether or not there’s any congruity between the positions of both sides and whether the “peace process” is merely difficult, or moribund.