As we begin in the Jewish year 5775, a radical way to approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, is to refresh ourselves by turning to our Torah for solutions. Torah is dynamic as the cadence of its Hebrew letters import. We were brought out of the burning cauldron of Egypt to give us the Holy Land of Israel. Unfortunately we were exiled twice, but we have now returned through the Zionist progression to the Third Commonwealth of Israel with the unified city of Jerusalem as its holy capital.
What is the duty of Israel in its modern metamorphosis to peace with the Palestinians? Is it to give way to the Palestinian narrative or is it to seek a different approach that would recognize Palestinian rights but preserve Israel’s holy mission as the true sovereign in the Middle East. The two-state solution is a mantra that has fallen in ashes. Three wars perpetrated by Hamas in Gaza and a brooding, sullen resentment in the West Bank – ever ready to explode in violence –would particularly ignite in the absence of an Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley.
Palestinian revanchism seeks on the one hand to destroy Israel by murder and on the other to truncate Israel through diplomatic means by arrogating its territory and cutting asunder Jerusalem, thereby turning the Holy City into a Stalingrad war zone. Hamas, once again, is seeking to recruit young Palestinian boys into its terrorist forces for another Gaza war. The veneer of moderation Abbas and the PA seek to unilaterally force their version of a peace settlement on Israel through the poison of international coercion. The West Bank would be judenrein.
What is a different approach? One has to look for a model in the biblical history of Israel. This is a true approach as it is anchored in the holy truth of G-d’s revealed word. Davidic times tell us what to do. King David subjugated the alien kingdoms around Israel. However, this is a framework not suited for modern times. The Palestinians would be granted autonomous territorial rights (Gaza and the West Bank) with a representative-based council. The territories would be cantons of Israel with Palestinian delegates to the Knesset who would have particular weighted rights as to their territories. Palestinian custom and Islamic and Christian privileges would be recognized. Political and economic harmony would prevail. This is a true vision of applied Torah in the Middle East. As the cadence of Hebrew letters marches forward, Israeli dynamics are in line with her biblical future. Instead of a Palestinian state destroying itself as armed ISIS or Iranian terror squads subvert it to attack Israel, Israeli pan-sovereignty with its Palestinian cantons will be a democratic, economic and political engine that will be a new beacon of hope in the terror-plagued Middle East.
To create this vision is an immense task for the United States, Israel, Europe and the world. It requires statecraft of a different order with a different paradigm. Our political leaders must recognize Israel as the true sovereign over her land and Jerusalem as the true capital.
MOSES MORDECHAI TWERSKY is a self-described scion of the Chernobyl Belz Makarov Hasidic rabbinical dynasty, a candidate for a Masters degree in American history at Providence College and a writer.