what's the solution, then?

Yourish has an interesting anecdote about a pair of siblings reunited after six decades. It's a touching story, and brings to mind many similar ones I've read about at the Holocaust museum in Los Angeles (thee only one, unfortunately, I've ever had a chance to visit, though the Boston Holocaust Memorial still takes my breath away with its stark and elegant design, which conveys the sheer human cost of the Holocaust in inescapable, visual terms).

But I confess to being completely mystified by the assertion that follows:

This is why Israel was established. This is why Israel must exist. The one-state solution is not a solution for Jews. The palestinians have never protected so much as a single Jewish religious site. What makes you think they'd care about an old man wanting to see his little sister after 65 years?

I'm sorry but I don't really see the connection between the specific story she relates and why a binational state couldn't exist. Her implication seems to be that hatred must be eternal, and exists for its own sake - which is I guess a point where hyper-semites like Yourish and third-party moderate observers like myself disagree. I think it's about the occupation, she thinks that it's anti-Semitism as a pure force of hatred that is an axiom of the world, completely separate from any other type of hatred directed at ethnic groups and religions since the dawn of human history. This really is a rhetorical impasse that won't be readily bridged.

And let's not forget that Jews have propspered and thrived in America more so than any nation on the earth and through all of history - far more so than Israel - and this is precisely because America has no ethnic or religious identity as its foundation. If Jews can succeeed so spectacularly here, despite America being founded by Europeans whose history of violent anti-Semitism remains far in excess of the collective thuggery the Arab world could ever inflict, then it seems that a binational state is (in theory, at least) not an impossible dream. While others have made persuasive arguments as to why a two-state solution must be an interim goal, I remain fully convinced that the American model is the desirable end point, and that any peace in the middle east needs to acknowledge that ideal as the one worthy of ultimate adoption.

But assuming that there's a special resonance to this story that does support the assertion that a binational state could never work, what's the alternative? It's clear from Yourish's other writing that she is a Zionist in the "settlements must remain in the West Bank" sense of the word, not the tamer lowercase-z "Jews have a right to a homeland" sense (which prety much makes me a zionist too).

Consider what outcomes remain, then, if we accept as axioms that 1. Israel must always be Jewish majority and 2. Greater Israel must be secured. I can think of only one logical policy that adoption of these axioms will require, and it does indeed hinge on a group of semitic peoples being driven into the sea.

Fortunately, Sharon seems to disagree. I'll leave judgement of whether he is sincere or not to experts, but his public acknowledgement that settlements are an obstacle to peace and the Jewish self-interest does indeed seem to be the rhetorical death knell of capital-Z Zionism, and at the hand of a Settler PM, no less.

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