The Corner

Imam Rauf and the ‘One State Solution’ for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Understandably, Feisal Rauf’s assertion that the U.S. has more innocent blood on its hands than does al-Qaeda is getting lots of attention (see, e.g., Keep America Safe). Something else caught my eye, though. Way down toward the end of the transcript, we find him endorsing the “one-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (my italics):

We now have post-Zionism movements in Israel. We have a very broad spectrum of people in Israel who regard Israel as a nation state, as a secular state, as a multicultural state. The very fabric and demographic, and I would say even identity, of Israel has shifted enormously in the last 60 years since its founding. . . .

The differences, perhaps, may lie on whether the solution lies in the two-state solution or in a one-state solution. I believe that you had someone here recently who spoke about having a “one land and two peoples” solution to Israel. And I personally — my own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution.

This is the “solution to Israel” preferred by the Muslim Brotherhood and the anti-Israel Left.

For the Islamists, the terror campaign of Hamas (which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch) is a method of keeping up the pressure. It is not something they believe will, by itself, destroy Israel. Terrorism is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. The end in question here is the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. Hamas is pledged to use violent jihad, but the important thing is accomplishing the mission, not how it is accomplished.

As I’ve pointed out before (I’ve even written a book about it), the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda are after the same bottom line: Islamist rule. The Brotherhood, however, distinguishes itself by being willing to work through available political and legal processes. Al-Qaeda, by contrast, rejects this, reasoning that this approach legitimizes non-sharia processes and, in any event, takes too long. The terrorism and non-terrorism methods of advancing the sharia agenda are far from mutually exclusive; in fact, they reinforce one another. And the non-terrorism approach has, for practitioners, the added advantage that Western opinion elites will laud them as “moderates” even though their agenda is the very opposite of moderate.

For the Brotherhood, Hamas’s jihad (and Fatah’s terrorism, and Israel’s responses) create international pressure for a political solution. In that political solution, the idea is to turn the West’s democracy infatuation and rhetoric against Israel, so that Israel is browbeaten into putting its character as a Jewish state up for a democratic vote. In the interim, the Arab population in Israel (now over a million) is swelling, and Palestinians insist on the “right of return” as part of any political settlement. Between this push for ever-higher Palestinian numbers in Israel and support from secular Israeli Jews who would be willing to trade Israel’s Jewish identity for “peace,” the Brotherhood is moving toward what it expects will be an electoral majority.

The idea is that once Israel’s status as a Jewish state is delegitimized and democratically overturned, the Palestinian territories can be formally joined to Israel, and it will soon become a Palestinian Islamic state — at which point there will be no further need for democracy. That’s the one-state political solution. It just happens to be the same as Hamas’s terrorist solution: No more Israel.

For anyone who has studied how the Brotherhood operates, taken note of Rauf’s Brotherhood associations, and listened to the imam’s slippery answers to simple questions such as Do you believe Hamas is a terrorist organization?, none of this is surprising. But it does raise a question for the Obama administration as it pressures Israel to return to the negotiating table: If the official policy of the United States is that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “two states living side-by-side in peace,” how can the State Department be using, for diplomatic missions to Arab states, an emissary who doesn’t believe Hamas is a terrorist organization and who favors a one-state solution in which the Jewish state is disappeared?

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