fbpx

There Already Is a Palestinian State

There has already been a de facto Palestinian state for over fifteen years. It is called Gaza.
[additional-authors]
May 21, 2021
Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In the current round of fighting against Hamas, Israelis are also combatting the misconceptions, half-truths and outright falsehoods bandied about by politicians, media pundits and cable comics, who fancy themselves experts on a conflict of which they are woefully uninformed.

The falsehoods begin with the conflict’s origins in the “expulsions” of Palestinians by Jewish “settlers.” In reality, there were no expulsions. There were eviction notices given to a handful of Palestinian families after a decades-long court battle to get them to pay rent to the trust, which, Israel’s courts have ruled, are the rightful owners of the dwellings.

Because Israeli laws regard these Palestinian families as “protected tenants,” all the residents had to do was pay rent in order to stay in their homes. This they have refused to do. Not for months or years, but for decades. This was a landlord/tenant dispute which has been in court for thirty years. Not a “gross human rights violation,” “expulsion” or ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem. (That is not to say that expulsions and ethnic cleansing have not taken place in Jerusalem. In 1948, when Jordan conquered the Old City and East Jerusalem, they did indeed expel Jewish residents, many of whose families had been there almost a thousand years).

Indeed the six Palestinian families facing eviction notices were given what amounted to squatters’ rights to the land seized by the Jordanians from its Jewish owners in 1948. Jordan occupied East Jerusalem for only 19 years. The fact that those families were able to live in their homes for decades is due to the protections provided them by Israeli courts.

Another aspect of the conflict that is misconstrued is the concept that the residents of Gaza are homeless refugees living under a harsh Israeli occupation, thus precluding any possibility for a viable “Two State Solution.”

This unfortunately ignores the fact that there has already been a de facto Palestinian state for over fifteen years. It is called Gaza.

Gaza has a defined population, territory and government. While Gaza is being contained by Israel due to the threat of rocket and missile attack, it is obviously not under the control of either of its neighbors, Israel or Egypt, since it has been free to go to war against Israel four times in a little over a decade.

It maintains a standing army and possesses a rocket arsenal larger than that of any European

NATO member. It has a charter, levies and collects taxes and exercises (poorly) all the functions of government, from health care and education to sewage management.

More than just the trappings of a state, Gaza possesses all the blessings any state could possibly hope for. It has a mild climate, thriving agriculture and an industrious people. It has a Mediterranean port and some of the best beaches in the region. It is geographically blessed as the gateway between Europe and the Arab world. It could, and indeed, should be the Singapore of the Middle East. All it would have to do is admit that that Israel has as much right to exist within its borders as any other country in the region.

The only thing Gaza doesn’t have, which is keeping it from becoming a virtual paradise, is a government that strives for the success of its own people, rather than the annihilation of its neighbor.

The only thing Gaza doesn’t have is a government that strives for the success of its own people.

The way in which Hamas chooses to bring its people to Paradise is by forcing upon them the role of the martyr. Hamas’s most expensive weapons — their rockets and terrorist tunnels — are designed for one purpose: to kill Jews.

One of Israel’s most expensive weapons systems, Iron Dome, is designed for one purpose: to neutralize the rockets launched to kill Jews. Therein lies the difference.

The bottom line is there already is a de facto Palestinian State. Maybe there should be a second one in the West Bank. But the question needs to be asked: What have they done with the first one?


Dan Gordon is a screenwriter and served in the IDF as a sniper in an armored infantry unit, an officer in the Military Spokesperson Brigade and as the Documentary Officer of the Givati infantry Brigade. He served in six of Israel’s armed conflicts.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Dear Status Leftists

If only you hadn’t unfriended your publicly pro-Israel friends, ashamed to be connected to us even on social media…

The Wait

I sat directly in front of the grill where Hank, the short-order cook, performed his magic.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.