Israel considers herself a “Jewish State” and is the only reasonably free and democratic nation in the Middle East. There are many “Islamic States,”
none of which approach the only Jewish State in freedom and democracy — for all, not only for Jews.
Here’s a summary of the meanings of “The Jewish Question(s):”
The Jewish question was the name given to a wide-ranging debate in European society pertaining to the appropriate status and treatment of Jews in society. The debate involved the civil, legal and national status of Jews as a minority within society, particularly in Europe. The debate started within societies, politicians and writers in western and central Europe influenced by the Age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution. The issues included the legal and economic Jewish disabilities, equality, Jewish emancipation and Jewish Enlightenment.
The term, however, has also been used by advocates of increased antisemitism from the 1880s, as well as by proponents for and opponents to the establishment of a Jewish state.
In the 20th century, the Nazi leadership in Germany had decided to annihilate the Jewish people. Heinrich Himmler was the chief architect of the plan, and the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler termed it “the final solution of the Jewish question” (German: die Endlösung der Judenfrage). This plan resulted in the systematic state-sponsored killing of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II.
Minority non-Jews in Israel have far greater legal, civil and national status than did minority Jews in many European countries not very many years ago. They have essentially the same rights and freedoms as do Jews in Israel, rights and freedoms not generally available to Jews (or for that matter to most others) in Islamic nations. Palestinian leaders apparently desire a slow “final solution,” resulting in the diminution of the rights and freedoms of Israeli Jews and the eventual elimination of Israel. They are concerned that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state would diminish that possibility.
As far as they are concerned, as soon as the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, their claims and the demand for all of the land of Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea will no longer be considered legitimate. The Palestinians demand a state for themselves, and also demand to settle their citizens in Israel, the neighboring Jewish state. This hypocrisy increases exponentially when the Palestinians claim Israel is a country of discrimination, occupation, apartheid and oppression. If this is so, why do they insist so strongly on the “right of return” and not rush to welcome their refugees with open arms into the newly liberated state of Palestine? [Emphasis added.]
The core of the problem is that Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish People would not only end the dream of the return to Palestine, but also of the destruction of Israel currently being implemented through the incitement and terrorist campaign waged by the Palestinians in their institutions, mosques, schools, terrorist organizations and foreign propaganda centers — one facet of the myth being constructed of the existence of the “Palestinian People.” Recognition would also give Israel Islamic legitimacy. [Emphasis added.]
Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State is necessary for her continued existence, surrounded by Islamic States dedicated to her elimination.
Secretary Kerry recently presented his view of “The Jewish Question” by arguing that although the United States recognize Israel as a Jewish State, it is a mistake for Israel to insist that the Palestinians or other Islamic entities in the region so recognize her. Paul Mirengoff at Power Line commented on March 15th,
Kerry is now absolutely convinced that “it’s a mistake” for Israeli leaders “again and again” to raise the PLO’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state “as the critical decider of their attitude toward the possibility of a [Palestinian] state and peace.” Apparently, Kerry believes that Israel should consider as its peace partner an entity that doesn’t accept its right to exist as it is fundamentally constituted. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
Kerry says that “[The] ‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in [UN General Assembly partition] Resolution 181 where there are more than 40-30 mentions of ‘Jewish state.’” The idiocy of this argument is obvious. Since the passage of this U.N. resolution, Israel has had to fight three major wars against forces that refused to accept it as a Jewish state. Kerry isn’t asking that Israel make “peace” with the U.N; he wants it to make “peace” with an entity that refuses to affirm what Resolution 181 “mentions.” [Emphasis added.]
Kerry also sniffs that “Chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed [Israel] would be a Jewish state, and there are any other number of mentions.” But if even “Chairman” Arafat was willing to say (albeit insincerely) that Israel would remain a Jewish state, it becomes particularly telling that the current leadership won’t say it.
Even Tizpi Livini says that she agrees with Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel must be recognized as a Jewish State.
A key concessions is agreeing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a tenet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insists is a key building block of any agreement with the PA, explaining that the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel stands at the heart of the conflict.
Livni, although in disagreement with many of the stances of members of Netanyahu’s coalition on the political right, agrees with the Prime Minister on this point.
As this article argues, Secretary Kerry is wrong; it is an existential question, not a foolish or trivial one.
Why should it be necessary to search high and low for Palestinian recognition of a Jewish state? Because there is none. One can read the declarations of the Palestinian Authority and its leaders over the past 20 years. Indeed, opposing recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people is more important to the Palestinians than land, since this is the true heart of the conflict, rather than the other territorial nonsense that the Left has been selling for years. It’s not about territory and not about settlements and not about refugee rights, not at all. [Emphasis added.]
The hundred-year-old argument is about the Jewish people’s right to an independent home in the Land of Israel. Not only the Palestinians — no Arab state recognizes our right as Jews to any part of the region. They obscure the issue and talk about “recognizing Israel,” since the desire is to perpetuate the conflict even after a diplomatic treaty is signed, when the false claim will be that the Arab minority in Israel is suffering under “apartheid” and should have autonomy, since they belong to the Palestinian people who have been here since the dawn of creation. The international battle against Israel will continue to dismantle its Jewish identity on the way to making it a state for all its nationalities. There will be no end to the conflict without recognition of a Jewish state. This should be at the top of the Left’s priorities. [Emphasis added.]
Kerry should read the Palestinian National Charter, the founding document of the “moderate” Fatah. It was ratified by the Sixth General Assembly of the Fatah Movement in Bethlehem in August 2009, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was again elected head of the organization. This conference approved a plan that included the principle of “absolute irrevocable opposition to recognition of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ to protect the rights of refugees and the rights of our people [Israeli Arabs] beyond the Green Line.” [Emphasis added.]
Here, Mr. Kerry, is the rationale for the Palestinian refusal to recognize a Jewish state: They will continue to demand that refugees return even after a deal is signed and turn the parts of Israel around the Green Line into a binational state. Abbas and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat both voted in favor of the plan.
. . . .
The call to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is intended to block the PLO’s progressive tactic in which each territory it receives serves as the base for the next demand. And not recognition in empty words, but a requirement that this recognition make its way into the Palestinian school studies and media. As of now, the state of Israel doesn’t exist in the PA. So the Israeli insistence on recognition is non-negotiable. Without this, it is better to maintain the status quo. The so-called threat that without a diplomatic deal Israel’s situation will worsen has been made for a hundred years already. Don’t try to scare us. We’ve managed all right so far. [Emphasis added.]
The Palestinians — Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other alleged representatives of the Palestinians — will almost certainly continue to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. They have said so repeatedly (most recently on March 16th as Abbas headed to Washington to meet with Secretary Kerry and President Obama). They have also repeatedly demanded the release of more terrorists, including
Ahmad Sa’adat – who is responsible for the assassination of the late Israeli minister Rehavam Ze’evi – and Marwan Barghouti – who is serving five consecutive life sentences and 40 years and is responsible for many terror attacks in which many Israelis were murdered or wounded.
. . . .
Israel’s objection to these demands is almost guaranteed. Israel has refused to release Barghouti and Sa’adat as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, so the odds it agrees to free them in return for an extension of peace talks are slim
They have also demanded more Jewish settlement construction freezes, more territorial concessions as well as that “millions” of “refugees” — most of whom never lived in Israel — have the “right of return.” It is unknown how many would in fact forfeit citizenship and residence elsewhere to “return.” In part, at least, the answer likely depends on how badly they come to be treated where they now live should the Palestinian demand for the “right of return” be granted.
Where does President Obama stand?
Will President Obama pressure President Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish State or to yield on any other matter of importance? He may, but as suggested by Jackson Diehl, a Washington Post editorial writer, it seems unlikely. It also seems unlikely that Abbas would yield should President Obama try to persuade him to do so.
Mr. Diehl noted that shortly before meeting with PM Netanyahu, President Obama granted an interview to Jeffrey Goldberg and assured him that, unlike Netanyahu, President Abbas was serious about peace —
“the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have,” as Goldberg paraphrased it — and Netanyahu as the potential spoiler. “I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist,” the president said. “You’ve got a partner on the other side who is prepared to negotiate seriously . . . for us not to seize this moment I think would be a great mistake.”
Assume that Abbas is, indeed, the most moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. He is seventy-eight years old, in ill health and the identity of his successor is unknown.
According to the Palestinian Basic Law, if the president is to become incapacitated, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament must fill the position pending new elections to be held within 60 days. The current speaker of parliament is Hamas member Aziz Dweik, a fact adding to Fatah’s angst over the day after Abbas. [Emphasis added.]
Abbas’ successor seems unlikely to be sufficiently “moderate“to implement any concessions that he may make.
Israel is being told to accept the Kerry framework so that there will be peace. Peace, in our time or any other, can be good; but not at any price. Extinction is too high a price to pay even for lasting peace; no peace resulting from an agreement with Abbas and his Palestinian colleagues seems likely to last even as long Abbas does.
Here is a YouTube video of the beloved Samantha Power talking in 2011 about how to deal with the Jewish problem.