The March 14 editorial (“Michael Oren’s Unilateral Withdrawal”) aptly points out that unilateral action is not a viable substitute for direct negot- iations. On the other hand, the JTprejudges the outcome of negotiations by stating, “The two-state solution is the best Zionist option.” The two-state solution is not the best Zionist option by a long shot.
At the present time, Israeli and Palestinian interests are in direct conflict. The current Palestinian leadership refuses to recognize the Jewish state and seeks to erase all evidence of the millennia-old Jewish presence in the land of Israel. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stated, the current Palestinian leadership is not negotiating in good faith. In effect, Israel and the United States have been unilaterally negotiating among themselves since 1993, while the Palestinians have been free to carry on their campaign of duplicity and delegitimization against Israel.
Rather than base negotiations on an inherently flawed paradigm, we must look to the original basis for negotiations found in the words of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 and the 1979 Camp David Accord between Israel and Egypt. If we do so, I believe we shall find two steps are required to achieve peace.
First, a serious effort must be made to identify a Palestinian leadership neither tainted by terrorism nor harboring a demonic desire for the demise of the Jewish state.
Second, negotiation parameters should be based on according the Palestinians some form of “autonomy,” not statehood. At the same time, Israel’s right to “secure recognized and defensible borders” requires that Israel exercise sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, as well as the Jordan Valley, to guarantee maximal security.
This two-step process is the best Zionist option for guaranteeing peace and security to Israel and its citizens while affording Palestinians the fundamental civil rights to which they are entitled.
President, Louis D. Brandeis Chapter
Zionist Organization of America