Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi offers Israel some free advice in today’s New York Times, and it’s worth every penny. Qaddafi suggests that Israel consider flinging open its borders and allowing the Palestinians to become Israelis in the one-state model, since Israel has already assimilated a million or so Arabs. That will bring peace and happiness, even though their enemies want to impose an Islamist government and kill all the Jews:
THE shocking level of the last wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence, which ended with this weekend’s cease-fire, reminds us why a final resolution to the so-called Middle East crisis is so important. It is vital not just to break this cycle of destruction and injustice, but also to deny the religious extremists in the region who feed on the conflict an excuse to advance their own causes.
But everywhere one looks, among the speeches and the desperate diplomacy, there is no real way forward. A just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians is possible, but it lies in the history of the people of this conflicted land, and not in the tired rhetoric of partition and two-state solutions. …
Assimilation is already a fact of life in Israel. There are more than one million Muslim Arabs in Israel; they possess Israeli nationality and take part in political life with the Jews, forming political parties. On the other side, there are Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israeli factories depend on Palestinian labor, and goods and services are exchanged. This successful assimilation can be a model for Isratine.
Qaddafi makes a few interesting admissions for a leader in the Arab world. He acknowledges that the Israelis did not drive the Palestinians out in 1948 despite the rhetoric of the PLO, Hamas, and almost every Arab state over the last 60 years. He also admits that the Israelis treat Arabs as full citizens of the state and gives them the same rights as anyone else, rejecting the allegations often made by neighboring states of “apartheid” within Israel. That much at least sticks to reality.
It runs off the rails, though, when Qaddafi suggests that having Israel annex Gaza and the West Bank would solve all of the region’s woes. Qaddafi, after taking these surprisingly realistic stances, indulges in fantasy when he states that Palestinian Arabs in these areas have an interest in assimilating into Israel. Neither Fatah nor Hamas have ever given any indication that they want an Israel at all, let alone live in one. Hamas has a specific agenda for Islamist rule over what is Israel today, and they’re backed by Iran for that very purpose.
In fact, Qaddafi never even mentions Hamas once in this essay, despite their popularity at the polls in the last Palestinian election. Clearly, the Palestinians didn’t support Hamas in order to pursue a policy of assimilation and accommodation. They supported Hamas because they support a policy of annihilation. Qaddafi never addresses Hamas because it completely undermines his argument.
Regardless of whether the borders exist in Gaza or the West Bank, the Palestinians want to destroy Israel and claim the land for their own. Taking the borders away would only change the conflict from a partition issue to a full-scale civil war, in which the Palestinians would be overmatched and would have no ground to call their own. When conflicts arise, tens of thousands would die rather than hundreds, and Iran at the very least would ensure that conflicts arise on a regular basis.
The one-state solution is national suicide for Israel. This is not a land where nationalism could get shared between the two peoples; they have never before shared a nation together. It’s not Iraq, which had been a cohesive nation before Saddam Hussein began his brutal reign and where partition made little sense. Partition in this case is the right policy, and advice to the contrary from a dictator who has a clear bias towards the Palestinians should be taking with a five-pound bag of salt.