One State, Two State, Red
State, Blue State

By

Leonard Zwelling

         The emails are flying in asking whether the BW and I are
surviving in the violence-laden Middle East. No violence where we are on the
beach in Tel Aviv, but following the news on the various web sites, it does not
surprise us that Americans believe that Israel is coming apart at the seams. It
isn’t. And it won’t. Chicago is, however.

         All this recent violence shows is that the facts on the
ground are undeniable.

First,
the West Bank, save for the settlements in Area C, is functionally cut off from
the burgeoning economic growth in pre-1967 Israel. The highway from Tel Aviv to
Haifa is lined with one high tech company after another. And these are your
favorites like eBay, Google and Microsoft. No such buildings are rising east of
the Jordan or even in East Jerusalem. Those buildings represent jobs.

The
Jewish settlements in Area C of the West Bank are growing and will not be going
away. Life in areas A and B where most Arabs live on the West Bank are
economically poor with little chance for growth. There is a first world country
separated from a third world one by a cement barrier and barbed wire fencing.

The
money that comes into the West Bank from foreign sources like the UN is probably
gobbled up by the leaders for their own corrupt purposes and never reaches the
people we walked among in the market in Nablus. It is no wonder there are these
random knife attacks near the Old City. The poverty abuts the wealth as sure as
the Arabs are living in Israel, an Israel carved out of war. Is it occupation?
Well, I guess the American sovereignty over South Dakota negated the Indians
claims to it in pretty much the same way as the Israelis annexed East
Jerusalem. It is not likely that East Jerusalem or Pierre, SD are going back to
their original occupiers.

The
most optimistic of Israelis believe that a one-state solution with Arabs and
Jews living side by side equally is possible. They are a minority. Most
Israelis wish the awful cement wall was higher, stretched farther and that they
never heard another word about Palestinians again. Most of the Israelis we have
met have never been where we have in the West Bank and never would think about
going. Their attitude is that a two state solution is fine and that the Arab
state shall have nothing to do with Israel. In short, as one Israeli expressed
it to me, “that’s not our problem.” But it is, for if some accord is not
reached, the Palestinians will continue to hurdle the wall with weapons.

This
is a have vs. have not equation and no one is willing to budge. The leaders are
feckless, on both sides and there appears no condition that would lead anyone
to take a principled stand and reach out to the other party to attempt a peace
accord.

And
back in the USA, the House is in turmoil because it too cannot find any willing
leaders. All those wishing to be Speaker are unfit to lead and all those fit to
lead (Mr. Ryan and Mr. McCarthy) won’t run. The Presidential battles rage on
with two rather small states, Iowa and New Hampshire, dominating the headlines
as if either will matter much in the general election.

It
is like a Dr. Seuss book in both countries. In Israel, it’s The Butter Battle Book. In the US it’s If I Ran the Zoo.

In
both countries the disquiet is running high. The people just want to be able to
run their lives without the threat of terrorism in Israel or impoverishment
from taxes or medical bills in the US.

Most
Israelis do not believe in a one state solution. They fear the overgrowth of
the Arab population, which may in itself be an overblown notion as we have been
told that Israeli Jewish families have grown larger than Arab ones and not just
among the Orthodox Jews.

 http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=13951&r=1

There
is a resistance to full rights for Arabs and thus many here are sure de facto apartheid would eventually take
hold in Israel. Most Israelis go for the two state path with a very high wall
between the states that almost guarantees continued friction, jealousy and
hostility.

The
battle of Red and Blue in the US is also a mess. The Republican menagerie
cannot seem to get out of its own way now that Ben Carson has determined that
the Jews of 1930’s Germany could have avoided the Holocaust had they been
armed. Really? I want to see how those Republicans would react to the DEA
raiding its headquarters. Do they really think that a few guns in the hands of
the oppressed will overwhelm a disciplined national army? What are they idiots?

Carly
Fiorina makes up what was on the Planned Parenthood videos and Donald Trump
makes up his entire life.

The
Blue side is little better as Hillary continues to fumble about trying to find
a coherent theme and despite having no real challengers yet (unless Biden gets
in), she is already limping in, but after her debate performance she may well
have righted the ship. If she can get past the Benghazi hearing intact, I think
she may get the nomination. Is this changing my tune? Somewhat as I thought the
emails would cripple her. But her challengers are so clearly not in her league,
the Dems have to hope she’s got enough gas in the tank to make it to 1600
Pennsylvania on her own.

In
Israel, the Palestinian Territories and all over America, the paucity of
leadership cloaked in risk-averse steadfastness is disheartening. No one will
risk anything. Thus we all, Israelis, Arabs and Americans find ourselves
leaderless and angry.  

The
basis for the support of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson is all
the same—anger. We don’t like the way things are. Change them. Do you really
think the disaffected Palestinian youth wielding knives near the Old City and
the cynical elders who encourage them are any different? I don’t. Ignoring the
problem or building walls does not remove the problem. Only leadership will do
that.

Leonard Zwelling