Borders in dispute
The borders of Israel
Yoel Meltzer explains why he doesn't endorse two-state solution, urges others to follow
The difficulty for some to clearly define Israel's borders is not merely a geographical problem; rather, it is a reflection of how much we are in tune with the core of our meaning as the Jewish people. If we know who we are, both as individual Jews and as the collective Jewish nation, and also are aware of our purpose in this world, then the border issue is much less complex.


However, when these basic understandings are vague, then the natural outgrowth of this is a lack of clarity regarding the meaning of the State of Israel and its borders.


Thus, we find ourselves in a situation where the Arab world is very clear about its claim to the land while our leaders frequently say, "we'll discuss it". As a friend of mine once pointed out, when two parties have a claim for the same object and one claims it is his while the other says "we'll discuss it", from a Talmudic perspective this is already tipping the scale in favor of the party that is forthright with its claim.


I remember roughly 20 years ago walking into a UN office in Jerusalem only to see a map of Israel with the name “Palestine” written on it (in Arabic of course; in English, the language of tourists and diplomats, such a map didn't exist). So too, I was amazed when during the course of my studies I met fellow graduate and doctoral students from various Arab and Muslim countries who refused to refer to Israel as "Israel," calling this tiny piece of land "Palestine."


In the face of the above, and at the risk of not being very politically correct, I would like to clearly state that the borders of the State of Israel extend from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Jordan River in the east. For some this might sound "crazy" or perhaps "extreme," but this is what the Torah tells us. Moreover, being a plain, ordinary Jew, this is good enough for me. Of course this may sound unrealistic given the fact that there are a few million Arabs living west of the Jordan River, but this also doesn't faze me.


In a similar vein, I'm sure if someone was to tell a simple Jew living in Poland 120 years ago that within the next 120 years there would be 5-6 million Jews living in a recreated State of Israel, he would assume that this person was nuts. Indeed, what may appear to our limited vision as being unrealistic or impossible does not mean that one day it will not happen.


In God we trust

Still further, for those who will say that such a claim is not being "realistic" I would counter that those who propose the two-state solution (two states between the Mediterranean and the Jordan) are the ones not being "realistic". Although on the surface such approach is understandable and sounds "fair," that alone does not make it viable or sustainable. I would argue that the opposite is true and its implementation would be suicidal for the Jewish people.


If removing soldiers from Lebanon brought missiles to Haifa, and dismantling Jewish communities in Gaza brought missiles to Beersheva, then one does not need to be a military genius or Mideast expert to know where missiles would reach if a Palestinian state was created in Judea and Samaria. Furthermore, the endless terrorist attacks and killings that have occurred since Oslo started back in 1993, despite the abovementioned pullouts and frequent Israeli "goodwill gestures," should finally put to rest any lingering thoughts of creating a Palestinian state west of the Jordan.


If so, how then have so many Jews came out in favor, albeit cautiously, of the two-state solution? The answer to this is very simple. Public opinion on the issue has been heavily influenced by the predominately one-sided view of the Israeli political echelon, academic world and mainly left-wing media. On top of this is the endless onslaught by foreign countries that indefatigably preach morality to Israel and "demand" that Israel quickly implement the two-state solution. Even the American citizenship document of my children, all of whom were born in Israel, states their city of birth as "Jerusalem" while their country of birth is blank, the reason being that the official status of Jerusalem according to the American government is "to be determined"!


The combined effect of all these parties on the mindset of the average Jew cannot be overstated. Not surprisingly, many have come to believe that there is no other option despite the obvious problems and perils involved in creating two states west of the Jordan.


How will one state come about? What will be with the Arabs? I don't know. What I do know is that God, the same God who has brought us home after nearly 2,000 years in exile, has final decision on who lives where. Personally, I choose to accept it since I am convinced that only by internalizing our mission and living accordingly in the Land of Israel can real peace and harmony be achieved, not only in our troublesome region but in the whole world as well. It is my hope that other Jews will start to internalize these truths, which is essential for the dream to become a reality.


 new comment
See all talkbacks "The borders of Israel"
This will delete your current comment