Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Other Two-State Solution: India and Pakistan

by Mohshin Habib
January 11, 2012 at 5:00 am

The first round of "face-to-face" talks, after a fifteen months interval, between Israel's chief negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, and his Palestinian counterpart, Saeb Erakat, ended January 3, 2012 in Jordan's capital, Amman, with both positive and skeptical reactions. Jordanian Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh said, "The two sides expressed their commitment to a two-state solution, [but] we do not want to raise the level of expectations." Washington and the European Union joined in, saying the talks were a "positive development" and "inspiring."

A Palestinian official, however, told Agence France Presse that as the Israeli delegation did not bring up any new element during the discussion, the meeting bought nothing. It is unclear what "new elements" the Palestinians brought up.

We already have a "two state solution": India and Pakistan. But not peace.

The Israel-Arab conflict has never been conventional one. For the Israelis, if they stay in the settlements they will be shot at; if they withdraw from the settlements, they will be shot at. It often seems as if Israel's neighbors look at the entire country as a settlement. Israel has recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people, but the popular Hamas and other Palestinian rejectionist groups have yet to fully, or even partially, recognize the state of Israel. The Palestinians will never forget to try to revert to the lines before 1967, in reality just armistice lines where fighting stopped in 1948.

Also, whoever it is -- Palestine or Hamas or Hizballah or Fatah, or the neighboring countries around Israel – they either believe strongly in Islam or, even if they do not, are being educated to hate and kill Jews -- in their schoolbooks, in their summer camps and even in their television shows for children.

Perhaps what is difficult for the West to understand is that the followers of Islam automatically follow some core words from the holy book, the Koran, which first desperately needs to be erased from the views of the Muslims for any real peace in these enclaves. For example, prominently written down in the book is:
•Allah is the enemy of unbelievers [in Islam, unbeliever always means whoever does not believe in Allah - Author's note]. -- Surah 2.98 (means second Surah, verse number 98)
•lay them where ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out... – Surah 2:191
•Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – Surah 2:216
•O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends are one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – Surah 5:54
•Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what God and his messenger have forbidden, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. -Surah 9:29
•When you meet the unbelievers smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, and then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – Surah 47:4
•To him who fights in the cause of God, whether he is slain or victorious, soon we shall give him a great reward. – Surah 4:74

There are many more orders there is not room to cite here. So how can peace succeed if Muslims stick to these orders and advice? An accord is needed not only politically; it has also to be a permanent cultural and religious accord, although that is most likely impossible because of the antagonistic sentiment.

Above everything, Israel desperately needs a strong hand. The world has the perception that Israel has a plan to attack Iran preemptively, to destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons it is trying to make. The U.S is not warm enough with the current leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, but the U.S. has bosom friends in Middle East. If any Islamic state gets attacked by any power, it will first launch some objects toward the Israeli sky, the way Saddam Hossain did with Scud missiles. And if Iran has any conflict against the U.S. or any Western power, it will try to throw Shabab-3, Ghadr-1 or Sajjil missiles with chemical weapons toward the same sky. The reality is, if Israel wants to keep her back unbroken, she must have to act against Iranian nukes and be always vigilant about the forces that surround her.

Of course most people would prefer to solve conflicts with talks, but if Iran has nukes, no talks will save Israel from huge bloodshed again, and the disappearance of a nation state. The Middle-East countries that are neighbors to Israel produce megalomaniac leaderships like Iran's Ahmedinejad's.

Any conventional peace process is not helpful for Israel any more than it is for India or Pakistan. The two state solution simply does not resolve animosities the way people dreaming of it like to fancy it does.

Israel needs some extra-ordinary effort, if the world leaders can present her with one – but acting responsibly does not now look hopeful. Otherwise, for the sake of her survival, Israel should act with her capability against all possible dangers ahead.