One of the email lists that I’m active on is the New Zealand Jewish list.
Not surprisingly, after Obama’s speeches over the last few days, there has been discussion on the list about the pros and cons of a Palestinian State and “Defensible Borders”
On of the regulars on the list, who in the past has expressed opinions against a Jewish Sovereign State in a long message included the following comment:
I do not believe that there is an existential threat to Israel whether or not the Palestinians recognise Israel or not.
Below is my response:
I have no idea whether there is an “existential threat to Israel”, however if there is a Palestinian State under present circumstances, I think that it a near certainty that there would be missiles on or near my home within a short space of time (probably within a year, certainly within 5 years).
I live in Modi’in, which is regarded by much of the Palestinian leadership as “Occupied Territory” as, like Tel Aviv, it has been occupied by Israel since 1948. I cannot conceive of the possibility of a Palestinian State that would not necessitate me preparing my bomb shelter for use.
If the Palestinians were ready to live in peace alongside Israel, and accept the existence of a Jewish State next to their borders, and would be prepared to accept Jewish Residents in their state, it wouldn’t matter where the border was any more than the Americans and Canadians are bothered by the exact location of their border – people are free to cross the US-Canada border relatively easily and there is no risk of life crossing from Windsor to Detroit, or from Niagara NY to Niagara Ontario.
On the other hand, in the present circumstances when it is extremely dangerous for Jews to enter any areas under Palestinian control and Palestinians regularly fire missiles from their territory to Israeli towns and cities, I don’t think that there are any safe borders that would allow Israelis and Palestinians to co-exist.
What would it take for me to support a Palestinian State? A show of willingness to co-exist from the Palestinians; they need to say clearly in English and Arabic that they respect the right of Jews to live in Israel, and would be happy to accept and protect a Jewish minority in their state (The way that Israel accepts and protects an Arab minority within its borders).
They need to educate their children to live in peace and have their mosques and media preach co-existence, the way that co-existence is taught in Israeli schools.
They need to crack down on ALL attacks against Israel, and live up to their obligations to provide safe access for Jews to visit sites within Palestinian security control.
As soon as Jews can freely visit Joseph’s Tomb in Shchem, or the markets in Janin, or set up joint-ventures with firms in Ramallah, the way that Arabs can safely walk around in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Modi’in, then I would support the existence of a Palestinian State; in the meantime, I want to make sure that I don’t have to teach my children how to run to a bomb shelter within 15 seconds (would actually be less than 15 second warning if Modi’in came under attack).