Following the U.S. lead, the near universal consensus appears to be that the Arab-Israel conflict can be resolved only by the establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza, providing a “Two-State Solution”.
But a fundamental problem inherent in the “Two-State Solution” is clearly reflected in the controversy surrounding the proposed Ground Zero Mosque. Those sharing an extremist Arab Muslim mindset that insists on building a multi-storied Mosque only at Ground Zero, seem to share that mindset with Arab Muslims who are intent on gaining exclusive control of all of Palestine, including Jordan.1
Despite his artful public posture, Imam Rauf, leader of the Ground Zero Mosque project, affirmed the singularity of that Arab mindset when he refused to admit that Hamas, as labeled by the U.S. State Department, is a terrorist organization, challenged that America “was an accessory to the crime of 9/11”, Osama Bin Laden “was made in America”, and by his pursuit of U.S. compliance with Shariah law. And when he notably stated: “…my own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution”. (Italics supplied)
The one-state that the Imam would consider “coherent” certainly is not the Democratic Jewish State of Israel. From his public statements we know that the one-state he envisions and would consider “coherent” is an Islamic Arab State governed by Shariah law, and like twenty other Arab states would hardly feature democratic freedoms and human rights. This one-state solution is precisely the dictum of the Muslim Brotherhood, major fount of Arab terrorism, and its offshoot, Hamas. It is familiar code for challenging Israel’s very right to exist as a sovereign state, thus attempting to legitimize the prospective destruction of Israel.
Moreover, there is little doubt that a new Palestinian Arab state would ally itself with and become a client of despotisms like Iran and Syria, and other forces hostile to America; it would directly threaten Jordan’s survival and put Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf states in peril. This would make the region more combustible than it already is – hardly in U.S. or Israel’s interest.
Against this background the “Two-State Solution”, as proposed, inevitably would constitute an unwarranted threat to vital American national security interests and to Israel’s survival, a danger manifestly detrimental to U.S. credibility and its security interests in a true and lasting Arab-Israel peace.
Unfortunately U.S. and Western attention has focused almost exclusively on issues of “territory” and “settlements” as keys to the conflict. But the Arab-Israel conflict really is not about “territory” or “settlements”. Its root cause is in that Jihadist religious political mindset that will not allow Israel to exist and is resolved to restore Arab Muslim influence, prestige, control and power to their glory of ages past. That is the Jihadists’ proclaimed ultimate goal, and they will not willingly accept compromise.
Those who deny that extremist Ground Zero mindset do a disservice to the Muslim community that truly seeks reciprocal mutual respect, accommodation and accord with others, in the American tradition. Nor can we, who are committed to freedom, the civil, political and religious rights of all people, succumb to the immorality of not facing the reality of a great divide
1 A multi-storied mosque at Ground Zero would be seen in the Middle East and beyond as a triumphal testament to the terrorists success on 9/11. The name “Cordoba House” recalls the Arab triumph in Cordoba, Spain, and the quick conversion of its church to a mosque, just as the two mosques built on the Jews’ Holy Temple Mount signaled their conquest of Jerusalem.
*Dr. Arnold M. Soloway, President Emeritus and Founder of the Center for Near East Policy Research, earned a Doctorate degree in Economics at Harvard University in 1952, taught on its faculty until 1960, and was elected Chairman of the Graduate Society Council in 1982. Following his 1952 analysis of Boston’s financial problems, he was asked to and did serve on the Mayor’s Committee on Boston’s Finances from 1953-1957. From 1961-62 he served as Special Advisor on Fiscal Affairs to Governor John A. Volpe. From 1964-1966 he was Special Consultant to the (U.S.) Economic Development Administration. From 1974-1979 he was Director-at-Large, National Bureau of Economic Research. In 1978-79 he served as Chairman, Mayor’s Special Commission on Boston Public Housing. He was principal author of Truth and Peace in the Middle East, Friendly House, New York, 1971 and The Role of Arab Political Culture and History in the Conflict with Israel, Center for Near East Policy Research, April 1985.