It is this prospect that caused Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to blurt, "If the two-state solution collapses," Israel will "face a South African-style struggle." It is this prospect that caused President Carter to warn of Israel's becoming an "apartheid" state.
For what other comparison comes to mind if the 4 million Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza are to be confined to such Bantustans, with no country to call their own, their economy and movement subject to Israeli authorities and the Israeli military?
There is another and fatal flaw in the Bibi option.
According to the U.N. Population Division, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem) will be home to 4.4 million Palestinians in 2010, but 10 million by the centennial of the Jewish state in 2048. Palestinians in the occupied territories alone will equal the population of Israel, and Israel's population of 10 million will itself be about 30 percent Arab. By mid-century, Palestinians west of the Jordan will outnumber Israeli Jews two to one. And there will be 6 million more Palestinians in Jordan.
Moreover, according to Mearsheimer, since 2007, more Jews have left Israel than have come in. Some 700,000 to 1 million Israeli Jews live abroad, and a 2007 poll reportedly found that nearly one-half of all young people are considering leaving.
Yet Netanyahu's case is not uncompelling. We left Gaza and got Hamas. Never again! And as Hamas is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state, we will never negotiate with Hamas.
Which means no negotiations and no peace. For, in any free election, Hamas will win 35 percent to 65 percent and control or be part of any government coalition. And there will always be the possibility that Hamas will be voted into power in a new Palestinian state.
Netanyahu wants Obama to commit to go to war if necessary to denuclearize Iran, but he cannot force Obama to fight a war he cannot want. Obama wants Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, but lacks the clout in his own country and Congress to force Netanyahu to comply.
Where there is no solution, there is no problem.
In the short run, we shall find out if the King of Jordan is right.
In the long run, demography is destiny.
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