In early December, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for new elections to be held on March
17. He could no longer tolerate the behavior of his parliamentary coalition
partners. Those on the right criticized him for yielding to the
Palestinians. Those on the left criticized him for not yielding to
gain peace with the Palestinians. Even Netanyahu's closest allied
partner in this government, Avigdor Lieberman, was very critical of his
Gaza war policy. There is no other country I know of where the cabinet
ministers publicly criticize the head of government! Ah, the uniqueness of
Without going into the details, I think the Prime Minister was correct in
his policy during the latest round of combat in Gaza, to defeat Hamas but
not to re-conquer and govern Gaza. However, there are also urgent unsolved
social problems in Israel, especially the price of housing and welfare
costs for the ultra Orthodox (many of whom are given taxpayer money to
study and not work). These issues cause great division within Israeli
society. I think the Prime Minister has been weak on dealing with these
issues. His call for elections will probably not produce a better
coalition, even if he wins, which now seems to be in question. Public
opinion, admittedly a very fickle indicator of the actual outcome, seems to
have swung away from Netanyahu since the election announcement.
Views on the Issue of the Palestinian State Debated
Former ministers in Netanyahu's coalition, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid,
support a two state solution - a Palestinian State formed from Judea and
Samaria, next to a smaller Jewish state. Other former coalition ministers
are calling for different ways forward with the Palestinians. The Modern
Orthodox nationalists under Naftali Bennett are calling for annexing large
parts of the West Bank while giving the Palestinians greater autonomy in
local government. Avigdor Lieberman is proposing a two state solution that
includes land swaps, giving some Arab villages on the border to the new
Palestinian state in exchange for the retention of the larger blocks of
Israeli settlement such as Ma'alei Adumim. This last proposal has been
What of Jerusalem? It is interesting to note that the world somehow
considers East Jerusalem as belonging to the Palestinians. There is
no good reason for this since the Jewish people were historically settled
in East Jerusalem. Such institutions as the synagogues of the Old
City, the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital - both on Mt. Scopus -
were established well before the '48 War when the Jewish areas were
forcefully evacuated due to advances of the Jordanian army. The U. N.
partition plan envisioned an internationalization of the city with the
Jewish areas of East Jerusalem not being evacuated! Now since 1967, these
areas have been resettled by Jewish people. Dividing Jerusalem, as well as
the rest of the Land that now includes large Jewish towns, seems
impossible. The evacuation from Gush Katif (northern Gaza) ten years ago -
a much smaller number of people and land area - created significant
emotional and physical trauma within Israeli society that is still
The Call for a One State Solution
There is also a growing movement for a new one state solution promoted by
conservative author and former government official Carolyn Glick. It is
described in her book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for
Peace in the Middle East, published in March last year and widely
available on-line. I think it is good for our readers to know her
arguments, especially since the leading Messianic Jew who works in the
field of human rights is supporting her position. So here is the argument.
- The population of the Palestinians on the West Bank is not nearly as
high as claimed. The true numbers are such that without Gaza in the
picture, they could be given citizenship in one state. The refugees
who are not in the land of Israel from the 1948 war would have to be
settled elsewhere except for very limited family reunion
- Only by having one state can the Arab educational system, currently
using international funds to teach intolerance and hatred, be brought
under control, to end incitement and to promote harmony.
- In a one state solution like this, the Jewish population would still
be two thirds of the total. The statistics of population growth now
favor the Jewish people, both due to aliyah and by the number
of children born to Jewish couples in Israel, which is more than 3 per
- The Arab/Palestinians would be offered full citizenship in return for
support of the state. They would also then have freedom of movement to
live in any Israeli city.
- This would greatly improve the economic and social condition of the
Arabs in the Land.
- Gaza would be released to Egypt or to independence as a city state.
- By unifying police and security throughout the one newly expanded
state, terrorism would be significantly reduced, if not largely
eliminated, and security would improve for all residents.
- This solution would end the possibility of Hamas coming to power in
the West Bank. (Hamas coming to power there is a likely outcome of a
two state solution.)
- The Jewish settlements of the West Bank would remain and be a source
of economic development and prosperity for the whole territory.
The Response to the One State Solution
More and more people are embracing this as the best solution, while others
oppose it strongly. Leaders in the Messianic Jewish community have many
different positions on the issues.
It is not presently realistic to think this will happen, and it would
certainly involve significant risk. Yet none of the alternatives look good.
Today, the level of world opinion against Israel is shocking. Israel is
more vilified than those killing thousands and hundreds of thousands in the
Muslim Arab world and in other countries where Muslims are committing
genocide. (Compare the number of U. N. resolutions and E. U. resolutions).
For Messianic Jews the imperative of the Gospel for Arabs and Jews remains
the greater priority, but we are also citizens and are called to consider
how to vote in regard to the policy positions of our nation. Please pray
for us and our nation that this election campaign will be honest and reveal
the true positions of the various parties and candidates. We know that
"there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been
instituted by God" (Romans 13:1). May we see God's government
operating in the Land of Israel, soon and in our days.
Dan Juster is on the board of Tikkun International and oversees the Tikkun America network of congregations.
to Restoration from Zion.
Let us know what you think - why not comment to this
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00:03 01Feb15 Diane Macaulay -
The notion of forming one state which allows several heavily
populated Arab cities in Judea and Samaria local control and
governance while offering them Israeli citizenship is an option
that may enable some semblance of peace. Israeli citizens may
still remain at risk from Muslim terrorists so security for the
Jewish people remains a huge priority. We are praying for Godly
wisdom on behalf of the political leaders of Israel as they
prepare for a very critical election on March 17, 2015.
-- Dr Juster replies: It is interesting that Prime Minister Natanyahu has invited
Carolyn Glick to be on his list for election to the Knesset. The
idea of the One State Solution is that the incitement in Arab
education would end. They would lose total control over
educational materials, which incite against Israel.
01:03 01Feb15 Deborah -
This article is precise and informative. It gives me a fair
interpretation of current events which helps to focus my
prayers for Israel. Thank you!
04:08 01Feb15 Ian -
The politicians have no right to give land promised by God away.
Just look at Gaza and Ariel Sharon! So this One State solution is
the way to go even though it may look impossible, but with God
nothing is impossible.
-- Dr Juster replies: Of course, Carolyn Glick does not write from the perspective of
the divine right to the Land, but only on the issue of what could
work. She has done an amazing piece of work.
08:07 01Feb15 Deborah Parlato -
The one state solution is attractive form a biblical point of
view. However, Netanyahu's/Israel's recent law
declaring that only Jewish citizens have certain rights would
naturally be disturbing to Arab citizens. How do you keep
Israel a Jewish state and maintain freedom? How can any nation
declare itself to be of only one true religion and not become
coercive over time? Already isn't it illegal for a
non-Jew to marry a Jew in the land of Israel? I understand that
God that gave the land to Abraham and his descendants, and I
love the Jewish people and the land of Israel. But I don't
see from a reality point of view how any nation can insist
that it it's citizens must be one religion for full rights
and still be called free. We abhor Islamic states. How can a
Jewish state not become more coercive to maintain that legal
and institutional identity? Also, just because Jews in Israel
are now having approx. 3 children is no guarantee for the
future. We war against principalities and powers, wickedness
in high places--Islam being a wicked principality devoted to
spiritual deception and death. The Islamists are very clear
and they are vocal: they say they are patient, and they tell us
brazenly "Do the math". They mean to win by out populating us.
I am not discouraged. Jesus is building His church and He is
Lord. I don't have the answers, but I have been
wondering--how does Israel stay Jewish and be a truly free,
democratic nation? That seems impossible. I'm very
interested in how you as Messianic Jews see that dilemma.
19:49 02Feb15 Peter Hartgerink -
Thank you for this concise overview. As an intercessor for
Israel and the nations, this helps me to know how to pray.
08:21 03Feb15 Erik Ronneberg -
I can remember Carolyn Glick from attending the same school
with her when we were both growing up in Chicago. I thank God
for calling her to Israel. She has grown up a lot, and has
been blessed by her decision. This is a testimony for many
Jews in the USA, and I hope she has continued growth as she
enters into politics. More than that, lets pray for her to
respond to the Gospel
29:48 04Feb15 Allan MacLeod -
This is an excellent article, and I believe that the one-state
solution, proposed by Caroline Glick in her excellent and
thoughtful book is the best answer for Israel. Personally, I
think Bibi Netanyahu is the best leader for Israel at the moment.
If he is not elected PM, then I hope whoever takes his place will
have the courage and wisdom from HaShem to fulfill the amazingly
difficult post well and honorably!