OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

Schumer’s two-state disaster

Netanyahu must immediately smother an idea that would place Israel in further existential danger.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Photo: Ron Adar/Shutterstock
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Photo: Ron Adar/Shutterstock
Benjamin Anthony
Benjamin Anthony is co-founder of the MirYam Institute.

Amid a volley of paternalistic insults lobbed at Israelis, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer egregiously attempted to resuscitate the two-state solution. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must smother the idea and proclaim its death.

Ironically, Schumer did precisely what he accused Netanyahu of doing: He placed his party’s election considerations above the interests of Israel. 

Like a zookeeper casting red meat to the crocodiles, Schumer sought to placate his party’s restive progressives with the non-vision of land-for-peace. But like crocodiles, the progressives will not be sated. The solution they’re seeking is well-known: “from the river to the sea.” For them, two states simply won’t do.  

With his speech, the man who constantly repeats the hackneyed claim that his surname makes him a “shomer”—a “guardian” of Israel—intensified the diplomatic avalanche descending on Israel’s legitimacy. The highest-ranking elected Jewish official in America called on Israel to reenter a process that would see it cede land even as it battles for its very existence in territories from which it withdrew.

On Oct. 7, Hamas used sexual assault, gang rape and necrophilia as weapons of war against Israeli civilians and soldiers. Many of Hamas’s 1,200 victims—elderly, bloodied, mangled and murdered—were paraded through the streets of the Gaza Strip to cheers of mass approval. Gazans endorsed Hamas’s actions in a twisted fusion of popular opinion and government action. Scores of Israeli hostages still languish in Hamas’s subterranean dungeons and tunnels.

In Judea and Samaria, where Hamas does not rule, 72% of Palestinian Arabs support Hamas’s massacre. Polls show that, if elections were held in Judea and Samaria, the majority of Palestinians would vote for the terror organization. 

Duress is not the cause of Palestinian support for Hamas. It is popular agreement with Hamas’s policies. These are the sentiments of the people with whom Schumer wants Israel to enter into negotiations.

Two-thirds of the State of Israel has been subject to rocket attacks from Gaza since at least 2012. In American terms, that would equate to everything west of New York up to Colorado. Such are the circumstances under which Schumer wants Israel to enter into an agreement that calls on Israelis to provide land for what would almost certainly become a terrorist state. 

Does Schumer’s record imply that he’d ever impose such things upon the New Yorkers he represents? 

After the horrors of 9/11, America waged a 20-year war in Afghanistan and an eight-year war in Iraq. Schumer voted for both. Yet when Israel responds to an attack roughly equivalent to 13 9/11’s, Schumer has the temerity to suggest that Israel’s prime minister has “lost his way.”

Regardless of Netanyahu’s popularity, his stated policy of finishing the job against Hamas enjoys sky-high support among Israeli voters. They know what was done to them. They know what must be done to prevent such horrors from occurring in the future. Schumer, it seems, does not. 

Since Oct. 7, approximately 320,000 of Israel’s reservists—fathers, mothers, professionals, workers, farmers and innovators—have been mobilized to combat terror organizations on two fronts. In both cases, the enemy is ensconced in and operating from territories Israel vacated: Gaza in 2005 and Lebanon in 2000. 

Due to Israel’s lack of strategic depth, Israeli forces can often see the towns they are defending from their forward operating positions. Khan Yunis is a 60-minute drive from Jerusalem. Gaza City is a 40-minute drive from Tel Aviv. Rafah is a 30-minute drive from Beersheva. 

Unlike America’s withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq, no ocean or significant land mass separates Israel from the terror organizations that inevitably fill the vacuum left in territories from which Israel withdraws. For Israel to survive, territory matters. 

At a time when Israel’s minister of defense is openly calling for an urgent increase in the military’s manpower, Schumer is endorsing the opening of a potential third front for Israel—this time on its eastern flank in Judea and Samaria. 

Under the terms of a two-state solution, commuters along Israel’s Highway 6 would be within range of the very weaponry that is currently killing IDF soldiers inside Gaza. To cede more land is to place more Israelis in harm’s way. Schumer thus shamefully called on Israeli parents and children to accept for themselves a reality that no other people would be asked to consider.

Cynically attempting to divert attention from the two-state disaster with the carrot of broadening the Abraham Accords, Schumer dangled the prospect of adding Saudi Arabia to the list of Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia has conditioned normalization on a pathway to Palestinian statehood. 

As enticing as Israel-Saudi normalization may be for some, Israelis know that none of the signatories to the Abraham Accords were able to prevent the Oct. 7 massacre. Nor will any future signatories be able to do so. Israel cannot be expected to accept normalization on the one hand while signing on to the doomsday two-state policy on the other. No positive relations abroad, current or future, can secure Israelis from the threats on their doorstep. 

In response to Schumer’s speech, Netanyahu must wield the power he has, denounce the two-state solution and declare that Israel is not and never will be chum for the consumption of the insatiable Israel-haters.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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