Alan Dershowitz’ Ugly Analysis Of The Abandonment of Two-State Solution | Arabs and Israel on Blog#42

Alan Dershowitz’ Ugly Analysis Of Trump’s Abandonment of Two-State Solution

Donald Trump shocked the world when he seemed to abandon the ‘Two-State Solution,’ a principal tenet of American foreign policy of the last several decades.

Trump’s language, a couple of sentences, was too ambiguous to suss out what he envisages as a solution, but clear enough to understand that he, Trump, isn’t married to anything prior administrations before him long sought to achieve. That is bad enough.

“I’m looking at a two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I could live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and if the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

What’s worse is that legal scholar and Fox News talking head, Alan Dershowitz, who used to be one of my Jewish idols, has taken Trump’s fuzzy thought and turned it into something  so crass as to be antithetical to anything resembling Jewish teachings. In his latest column for U.S. Jewish newspaper, Algemeiner, Dershowitz writes:

“Put most directly, the Palestinians must earn the right to a state. They are not simply entitled to statehood, especially since their leaders missed so many opportunities over the years to secure one. As Abba Eban once put it: “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.””

Earn a state? Wait! You mean like Jews from all over the planet earned the right to return to the state they were forced to abandon? Earn an ever shrinking state Israel is filling with settlers who are bankrolled by this nation’s Jewish oligarchs?

Abba Eban didn’t live to see an Israel that has become so polarized that the grandchildren of its founders have left it by the tens of thousands. Abba Eban didn’t live to see an Israel so polarized that his own party is barely a shadow of itself. Abba Eban didn’t live to see the kind of settlement policy Israel now has and that Menachem Begin himself would never have signed on to.

As you can see in this documentary of Eban’s, the man was far too sophisticated to be so crude and undiplomatic:

From Eban’s obituary in The Guardian:

“Eban started as a brilliant scholar and would probably have been happy to spend his life as a highly respected professor writing books, a figure like Sir Isaiah Berlin, probably staying in Cambridge. Or he might have been successful in British politics. At Queens’ College, Cambridge, he took a triple first in oriental languages, outstripping all comers in Hebrew, Arabic and Persian. The following year, in 1938, he was appointed as a resident fellow and tutor at Pembroke College.

He was recruited by British intelligence and brought to the attention of Winston Churchill, who picked him for a secret mission to Egypt to discuss ways in which the Arab nations could be involved on the British side in the war that was just beginning. In 1942 he became a liaison officer at allied headquarters in Jerusalem, his responsibility being mainly to communicate with the Jewish population and to recruit for the army. He also had much to do with the Jewish Brigade.

In 1944 he was chief instructor at the Middle East Arab Centre in Jerusalem, but left to join the Jewish Agency in 1946, thereafter becoming fully involved with the Zionist cause. He was a member of the first provisional government, and always the most moderate voice at a time of conflict, uncertainty and confusion. In 1947 he was sent as head of a special commission to the UN. The following year Israel became a fait accompli, having declared itself on May 14 to be an independent state.”

Abba Eban, the polished diplomat’s diplomat and a legendary linguist, would never have allowed such an arrogant and rude statement about his Palestinian counterparts to get past his lips. Eban, the oriental language scholar and historian he was would never have stooped so low as to use such a crude word as “earn,” when speaking of the peace process or his counterparts in it.

Earn? No. The Palestinians don’t need to earn their land. Both Israel and Palestine need to stop it with the posturing  and do the adult thing: negotiate. Dershowitz needs to step back and take stock of just how far outside the bounds of Jewish and secular ethics, he has moved over the last 30 years and how far the Jewish oligarchy has moved us from the core Jewish ethic that has always distinguished us as a people united, in the diaspora.


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  • Yonit Gefen

    Why are people so upset when somebody suggests talking about alternatives? Maybe something will come of it maybe not . Whatever the outcome would be, rejecting a discussion about an alternative to a policy that has not worked for decades is not logical.

    When the Sheikh of Hebron rejects two states, it is time for us to listen and examine our assumptions.

    • Come on!

      This wasn’t thrown out there as the result of some kind of meeting of the minds and it isn’t being offered as an alternative. Bibi is playing mind games now that he has a new friend in the White House.

      If things were at an impasse until now, this kills the process.

      • Yonit Gefen

        There are so many mind games on all sides. How about okaying one on the, takin the on their world ( which try admittedly did nit mean) and having sane meetings on alternatives. Put aside our western sacred cows, Realize that we do not understand middle eastern culture, that we do not know the priorities of Palestinians living on the west bank or those of the Israeli population (NOT THEIR POLITICAL LEADERS ANF+D NOT THE PLO), examine the possibility as a tight experiment that what the west has been assuming for decades may not be what people want, that the UN and western involvement may have harmed and not helped. If the sheikh of Hebron can reach our to settlers it’s time for us to listen. This could be a waste of time =. On the other hand it may not. Ignore Netanyahu, and do the real thing