For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
To end the Year 2009 on an upbeat note, I would recommend the reading of two recently published books: One State, Two States by Benny Morris, and Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer –provided you read them in that order.
Morris has gone a long way since his self-appointment as a "new historian" poised to question Israel's historical narrative and "myths." In January 2004, he surprised –and shocked- many by declaring to Ari Shavit that "when the choice is between destroying or being destroyed, it's better to destroy;" that "there are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing;" that it was necessary to uproot the Palestinians in 1948; that Ben-Gurion "had carried out a full expulsion –rather than a partial one- he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations;" that "the non-completion of the transfer was a mistake;" that in circumstances which "are liable to be realized in five or ten years … acts of expulsion will be entirely reasonable. They may even be essential;" that "there is not going to be peace in the present generation;" that "we are doomed to live by the sword;" that "something like a cage has to be built" for the Palestinians; that all Israelis can do at this point is "to be vigilant, to defend the country;" and that "the Arab world as it is today is barbarian" ("Survival of the Fittest," Haaretz, 9 January 2004).
In One State, Two States, Morris shows that the Zionist movement accepted the principle of partition out of political realism from the time it was first proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have systematically rejected the idea, and Arafat only deceived Israel with the Oslo Agreements to implement the "phased strategy." With the steady radicalization and islamization of Palestinian society today, Morris argues, chances of implementing the two-state solution are null.
Morris also shows, no less convincingly, that the alternatives to the two-state solution (including an Arab-dominated bi-national state) are unrealistic and undesirable (as far as Israel is concerned, at least). So there is no alternative to a solution that doesn't work. Great.
Morris is a realist. He realizes that Israel is in a catch-22 type of situation. Probably because he didn't want to end his book on a bleak note, he does suggest a way out by proposing the revival of the "Jordanian option." Nice try, but it doesn't wash. Jordan doesn't want it and, as Morris himself explains at length, the Palestinians will never sign a deal that leaves a sovereign Jewish state in the equation.
Despite his unconvincing attempt to sound optimistic in the last two pages of his book, Morris makes a compelling case: There is no solution.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"