Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News
Two States are Better Than One [Los Angeles Times Letters to the Editor on Saree Makdisi]
Los Angeles Times
Re "Forget the two-state solution," Opinion, May 11
I find it touching that a professor in English and comparative literature is venturing into international relations, but Saree Makdisi's suggestion that a one-state solution will magically bring together two peoples with hundreds of years of animosity is not grounded in reality.
It will take great leadership and sacrifice on both sides, but the only way to a real and lasting peace will be to create two secure and economically viable states side by side with leaders dedicated to peaceful coexistence. This is why every mainstream Israeli and Palestinian political group -- and both Democrats and Republicans -- back this solution.
After reading Makdisi's Op-Ed article about combining Israel, West Bank and Gaza into one entity, I expect him to strongly condemn the recent carving up of Serbia to create a separate state for the Muslim minority in Kosovo.
After reading his call for "a single democratic, secular and multicultural state," I expect he will even more eloquently denounce Saudi Arabia, which blatantly discriminates against non-Muslims.
But I am not holding my breath. The two-state solution is not in place primarily because the Palestinian leadership has always been intent on destroying Israel rather than building a state of their own. Unable to do it militarily, they are now trying to do it demographically -- with the help of the Makdisis of the world.
Makdisi recycles his long-held view that a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is not viable. Embedded in his approach is an outright denial of the legitimacy of Israel's existence.
This line of thinking has been around for more than 60 years. It was the basis for Arab repudiation when the U.N. voted in favor of a two-state solution in 1947. It has been the basis for Arab decisions to invade Israel, and it is the justification for Hamas' terror attacks against Israel.
Sadly, negating Israel's right to exist undermines the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own. If the Arab leadership had accepted the judgment of the international community in 1947, Palestinians would also be celebrating the 60th anniversary of their state.
The writer is the board chairman of the Anti-Defamation League's Pacific Southwest region.Note: Articles listed under "Moonlighting: Non-Specialists in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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