The results of the Israeli election last month came as a relief
to those who believe in Israel’s right to security, self-defense and, most
importantly, its right to exist. Netanyahu’s reelection is a verification that Israel’s self-determination in the face of its neighbors is crucial to
ensure the sanctity and preservation of the only Jewish state in the world.
Aaron Sege’s opinions column, “Israeli Elections Demand New Era in U.S. Policy,” published in TSL several weeks ago, fails to critically analyze the reasons why a ‘two-state
solution’ will not pave the way to peace.
I would like to address a few of Sege’s claims. First, there is
no ‘occupation’ of ‘Palestinian territories’ by Israel, given that one cannot
occupy a land that has never legally existed. Furthermore, Sege and others who fall for and spew such rhetoric make the ‘settlements’ seem as though Israelis
are moving in droves to the West Bank and East Jerusalem and overtaking land
and resources like an infestation. However, in the West Bank alone, 80 percent
of Israelis living outside the “Green Line” live in just five percent of the
Second, Sege claims that Israel will “lose either its Jewish or
its democratic character” if it does not end this fictitious ‘occupation.’ Israel, as the only Jewish country in the world, would only lose its Jewish
identity by handing over Judea and Samaria to the genocidal government in
Ramallah. If a two-state solution were instated, Israel would be open to a
direct attack from neighboring terrorist organizations, as happened when the
Jordanians controlled the West Bank between 1949 and 1967. If Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization succeed in destroying Israel’s population centers, the result would be a 24th
Arab country on the map and no Jewish state.
Furthermore, Israel cannot lose its democratic character, given its
parliamentary government and electoral process. Even though Netanyahu and
the Likud party may have received the majority of votes in this election, the
Knesset has representatives from many different religious backgrounds: Arab, Jewish, Christian and secular. In fact, there are 17 Arabs who hold seats in
the Knesset, and this past election cycle set a new record of 28 female
parliamentarians out of 120 seats. That’s more than can be said for
the monarchical and dictatorial regimes in the rest of the Middle East.
Third, by no stretch of the imagination will a two-state
solution act as a “realization of full human and civil rights.” Israel is the
only country in the Middle East that protects LGBT rights, has equal pay between men
and women, and provides better wages for
Arab workers than their counterparts in Palestinian territories. If you look at the rest of the Middle East—such as the Gaza Strip, Iran and
Iraq, just to name a few—not only is homosexuality delegitimized, but people
are dragged in the streets, beaten, hung and killed solely because of their
sexuality. I’m sure J Street doesn’t discuss how 94 percent of Palestinians view homosexuality as immoral.
In focusing on the Arabs in the Gaza Strip, people like Aaron
Sege and J Street U Claremont conveniently ignore the physical, emotional and
psychological harm Palestinian terrorism has caused Israelis—Jewish,
Christian and Muslim alike—with their constant rocket bombardments, suicide
bombings and continual rejection of Israel’s right to exist.
Earlier this semester, Claremont Students for Israel was
fortunate enough to host an event with Noam Bedein, the director of the Sderot
Media Center in Sderot, Israel. Sderot, located less than a mile from the Gaza
Strip, is known as “the world’s most bombarded city.”
Bedein’s talk emphasized the emotional and psychological impact
the constant rocket downpour has had on Israeli citizens, particularly
children. A handful of people whom I personally know are scarred from the
constant warfare. They jump when an alarm goes off or an ambulance drives
by, since they are still affected
psychologically by the Red Alarm rocket alert system continuously warning of
Hamas rockets coming from the Gaza Strip. If this happens to American Jews
after a few months in Israel, imagine the trauma that Israeli citizens have
been subjected to their whole lives.
Despite all of this, Israeli children still yearn for peace with
their Arab neighbors and write letters to their Arab counterparts of hope and
understanding. Meanwhile, Palestinian children are not only indoctrinated to
hate and kill Jews through children’s shows and in the classroom, but they
are also used as human shields at the hands of Hamas. Where is J Street’s cry
Given the persistent struggle Israel has had to face since its
establishment 67 years ago, where do J Street and the U.S. government and Left
get the idea that their opinions and policies are the be-all-end-all on matters
concerning Israel’s right to exist?
And yet, Sege and J Street U Claremont love to champion the idea
that Israel is delaying peace negotiations with
Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. However, they conveniently
tend to ignore the fact that since 1937, Palestinian
leadership has never accepted any peace deal that creates both a Jewish and
Arab state. How’s that for direct negotiations?
If J Street truly cared about both sides of the conflict, then
they would not demonize the validity of the democratic process from which
Netanyahu was reelected or those of us who do not believe that a two-state
solution is a solution. Sege’s piece, which preys on the emotions of the
uninformed, is just one example of how organizations like J Street do not
objectively or honestly analyze the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Instead, they bash Israel’s democratically elected leadership and make them
scapegoats for Arab failures. So much for J Street’s claim of being pro-Israel.
Rachael Hamilton SC ’16 is a chemistry major and
a fine arts and classics double minor. She is the President of Claremont
Students for Israel.