In today's Jerusalem Post appears an egregiously hideous op-ed by Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh (who is noted there as a member of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus).
The essay bears the title, "There is No Such Thing as a Two-State Solution." When I first espied this title via my Google alert, I thought, wow, the JPost published a piece in favor of a one-state solution?
What Walsh argues for, in essence, is that Israel should annex the West Bank and create a bigger state of Israel. His rationale? The Palestinian Arabs simply don't want peace, whereas Israel has always wanted peace, and only Israel has tried to achieve it.
Funding for Walsh's re-election campaign is assured. You can guess where it will be coming from.
And as for those Palestinians who don't like that plan? Says Walsh:
Those Palestinians that wish to may leave their Fatah and Hamas-created slums and move to the original Palestinian state – Jordan. The British Mandate for Palestine created Jordan as the country for the Palestinians. It was the only justification for its creation. Even now, 75 percent of its population is of Palestinian descent. Those Palestinians that remain behind in Israel will maintain limited voting power, but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens. They will be free to raise a family, start a business and live in peace, all of which are impossible under Arab rule.
If I might raise a few points here:
- Walsh's ignorance of history: Britain did not create Jordan as "the country for the Palestinians." Britain's original Palestine mandate after World War I included the Transjordan, which became the Kingdom of Jordan after World War II. Many Zionists ca. 1920 expected the entire Palestine mandate to become a new Jewish state, per the Balfour Declaration's expressed intent to support the creation of a Jewish "homeland" (not state) in Palestine. Britain split off the Transjordan from Palestine in 1921 to accommodate (and mollify) the Hashemite scion Abdullah bin Hussein, whose family's hopes of establishing its domain over most of the Arab portion of the defeated Ottoman empire had been wrecked by France and Britain. Britain in no way established Jordan as a Palestinian state. Indeed, Britain spent much of the 1920s-1940s trying to accommodate (in the now smaller "Palestine") both the Arab and the Jewish communities.
- Walsh's ignorance of international law: The annexation that Walsh advocates flies in the face of UN resolutions and other international law forbidding the annexation of territory "conquered" by military action and occupation.
- Walsh's dismissal of "American values": Walsh advocates relegating West Bank Palestinians to a second-class citizenship in an enlarged state of Israel. "Limited voting power" hardly reflects the American democratic ideal, unless one is referring to the Jim Crow American South.
That an ignoramus such as Walsh (1) can be elected to the nation's legislature and (2) will quite likely be re-elected while spewing garbage such as this speaks volumes about the blighted state of US political discourse when it comes to Israel, and about the ignorance and bias that afflict the broader American electorate.