By Arlene Bridges Samuels
The United States and five Arab countries are uniting in an unasked-for effort to push Israel into a worn-out and ineffectual two-state solution. The “reasoning” emerging from the United States, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates borders on the delusional. That’s because for decades, Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza have proven their aversion—their outright refusal—to negotiate with Israel.
Any blueprint for a Palestinian state side by side with Israel is also doomed, because Israel has already “been there and done that”—as witnessed by the disastrous, ongoing results of October 7. A look at the Hamas charter reveals that peace will never be an option for these terrorists, only violence. That is the only solution they will consider for Israel.
Let’s examine the implausibility of this six-nation “peace plan” in light of events during the last two decades. In 2005, Israel unilaterally—without negotiations or advice from any country—handed Palestinians a state in Gaza. At the time, Israel believed its departure would permit the rise of a well-functioning government, a “Singapore by the Sea.”
In making this magnanimous move, Israel forfeited years of hard work by its Jewish community living in Gaza. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (1928-2014) ordered Israel’s own soldiers to remove more than 8,000 Jewish citizens from the enclave. Thus, on August 15, 2005, the Israel Defense Forces began removing the Jewish community from Gaza. Jewish soldiers who were forced to evacuate the Jewish families and the families themselves shared the heartbreak as these Israelis left behind their homes, businesses, synagogues, and schools. By September 22, 2005, the last IDF soldier locked the gate to Gaza behind him.
Instead of putting this windfall to good use, the Palestinians immediately trashed everything left behind that could have provided them with jobs and food—and in 2007 they voted to put Hamas in power. Eventually, Hamas proved to be a destabilizing presence, unleashing a bloodthirsty culture of terror that roped most of the Gazan population into Jew-hatred, misery, and war.
Not one Jewish person has lived in Gaza for almost two decades.
It is imperative to recall the patience Israel has exhibited while living close to those who want to murder them. The intricately planned October 7th invasion, combined with almost two decades of life under constant threat, shows why Israelis do not now support a Palestinian state. The six nations’ leaders are morally wrong to compel Israel to a cease-fire instead of holding accountable the perpetrators—Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah, and Iran—and requiring Hamas to lay down its arms, destroy the tunnels, and release the hostages. Following the unspeakable evil and brutality of October 7th, proposing any two-state solution or ceasefire is insulting, untenable, and unworkable.
Evacuating its citizens in Gaza in 2005, Israel’s one-of-a-kind sacrifice for peace turned into a 19-year nightmare of rocket barrages. I have traveled to the kibbutzim many times and heard their stories of trauma. However, my admiration for their bravery and zest for life grew each time. Unbelievably, the world blamed Israel every time terrorists forced the IDF into protecting its civilians living along the Gaza Envelope.
Sderot kindergartners became accustomed to indoor play areas with reinforced concrete and steel doors. And try to imagine parenting in the context of falling rockets. Moms who are alone during the day with young children chose not to take showers for fear that the Red Alert would sound, where they could not quickly grab their children and run to their safe room. A dad driving in Sderot with his children in the backseat was forced to stop the car, jump out, open the back door, and throw himself over his children to protect them.
Palestinians devised all kinds of attacks. They destroyed Israel’s beautiful crops by launching what I call a balloon intifada, arming these innocent-looking toys with explosives that floated over to Israel and burned up crops. Parents were forced to warn their children against balloons, a formerly joyful sight, if they fell into their yards.
The class schedule for Shaar Hanegev High School in Sderot was constantly disrupted with Red Alert alarms and frantic sprints to bomb shelters. In 2012, Israel spent $27.5 million on concrete walls, reinforced windows, and architectural designs to absorb and deflect rocket fire. The necessary safety features meant students could stay put. One principal commented, “You can finally teach without constantly worrying about what to do when there is a rocket attack.”
On October 7th, Hamas murdered 50 of Sderot’s citizens. Most of the over 30,000 residents are now living in temporary shelters and lodging. Including Israelis on the Lebanon and Gaza borders, 125,000 people from kibbutzim, towns and villages are displaced. Yet the six nations are pressuring Israel, which was the target of evil, instead of the terrorists who perpetuated that evil.
Are these wrong-headed purveyors of peace pressing or arresting the top Hamas leaders who fly in private jets and appear for media interviews? No Arab countries are willing to resettle the Gazans. Yet, they expect Israel to live next to them again after years of dealing with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Further, what Palestinian can govern a state peacefully?
Amir Tsarfati, the Israeli founder of Behold Israel, succinctly describes the Palestinian mindset via his Telegram channel: “They don’t want to live next to us—they want to live instead of us.” Tsarfati does not envision either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas signing on to any new deal that recognizes Israel’s sovereignty, despite the settled biblical facts of both ancient and modern history.
I agree, since any two-state solution is akin to the Nazis’ “final solution,” which resulted in the Holocaust. Appeasing evil does not produce peace. In human terms, any such plan is a roadmap to disaster. In the past, present, and future the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob kept—or will keep—His promises to His Chosen people.
In the meantime, I support the clear, unanimous decisions on February 18 rendered by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his war cabinet: “Israel utterly rejects international diktats regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. A settlement, if it is to be reached, will come about solely through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.” On February 21st, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, strengthened Prime Minister Netanyahu and his security cabinet’s unanimous decision by resolving to formally oppose any imposition of a Palestinian state. The vote: ninety-nine lawmakers in favor and only 9 against. Their unity is absolutely remarkable.
Before finalizing their latest foolish plan, the six leaders should not only take note of Israel’s unity but revisit the outcome of former President Clinton’s Camp David summit in 2000 with Yassar Arafat, founder of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister. Barak agreed to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank (the biblical heartland) and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. Further, Barak approved a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Arafat, however, refused all offers, unwilling to accept any Israeli sovereignty anywhere.
Are the six leaders aware that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to condemn the 10/7 massacres? The question of who would govern a Palestinian state remains unanswered. The question eludes the misguided two-state proponents and the polluted airways filled with Palestinian lies and evil.
Former Prime Minister Golda Meir said it best: “You cannot negotiate peace with someone who has come to kill you.” As Prime Minister Netanyahu said last weekend, “There is no alternative to total victory. And there is no way to achieve total victory without destroying those battalions in Rafah, and we will do so.”
We welcome you to join our CBN Israel team this week to pray with understanding that God’s covenants with the Jewish people are eternal. Deuteronomy 14:2 reminds us, “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession.”
- Pray that other nations will stop meddling in Israel’s rightful decisions to defend its homeland.
- Pray for unity to remain within Netanyahu’s war cabinet and Israel’s citizens.
- Pray that Jew-hating voices will grow silent.
- Pray for Hamas to free all hostages or for IDF to miraculously rescue the remaining hostages.
- Pray for IDF preparing for a widened war to oppose Hezbollah’s attacks from Lebanon.
Arlene Bridges Samuels pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel and has traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. By invitation, Arlene attends Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summits. She also hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on her website at ArleneBridgesSamuels.com.