David Friedman makes at least two incorrect assumptions in the views expressed to Gary Rosenblatt (“How Trump Would Shake Up Mideast Policy,” July 29).
First, he asserts that “those on the left are unwilling to even consider alternatives [to a two-state solution].” Not so. Those on the left and in the center have seriously considered a bi-national state and rejected it because the demographics of such a state make impossible that it could be both Jewish and democratic. The latest projection by serious and well-trained demographers is that by 2020 such a state would be 49 percent Jewish, and by 2030, 44 percent Jewish. Unless that state is not democratic, it would not be Jewish.
Second, he believes that since “Gaza ended up a disaster,” a conclusion with which I agree, “the prospect of removing perhaps ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Jewish residents from the West Bank is completely unrealistic.” I do not know where he gets his information that “hundreds of thousands” of Jewish residents would have to be moved. But, in any event, using the withdrawal from Gaza as an excuse not to consider withdrawal from the West Bank is flawed for at least three reasons: First, any withdrawal from the West Bank would be pursuant to an agreement which was not the case in Gaza. Second, in any withdrawal from the West Bank, the IDF would remain until the government of Israel decides it can be pulled back. Third, unlike in the disengagement from Gaza, there would be real and effective planning of how and where to move those Jews who decide to leave the West Bank.
The writer is a past chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and of the Anti-Defamation League. The views expressed are his own.