By Stephen M. Flatow
We all know why the creation of a Palestinian state would be dangerous for Israel — the indefensible borders, the vulnerable airports, the lack of water sources.
But let’s consider why a Palestinian state would be dangerous for America.
— Turmoil and instability: The Palestinians have a long record of fomenting regional instability. They provoked an armed conflict with King Hussein of Jordan. They instigated a civil war in Lebanon. It’s only a matter of time before a Palestinian state would stir up turmoil and mayhem throughout the region. That kind of chaos, in such a sensitive region of the world, is the last thing the U.S. needs.
— Proxy for rogues: The Palestinians have always allied themselves with the most extreme and aggressive regimes in the world. In the old days, it was the Soviet Union; today, it’s North Korea and Iran. “Palestine” would quickly invite Iranian “volunteers” and North Korean missiles. It would become a proxy-state for the world’s worst rogue regimes. How would an Iranian port in Gaza be good for America?
— Against American values: We can already see from the Palestinian Authority’s practices over the past 23 years what kind of state it would have. Islam will be the state religion. Elections will be held rarely, if ever. Critics of the regime will be suppressed. Labor unions will be harassed. Prisoners will be tortured. Christians will be intimidated. Women will be second-class citizens. The Islamist and authoritarian values embodied by the Palestinian state will be the exact opposite of the democratic and pluralistic values that we Americans cherish.
— Enemy of America: A Palestinian state would be an actively anti-American state in word and deed. How do we know? Just look at what the Palestinian Authority has been teaching its people, and especially its children, for the past two decades. The P.A.’s media and schools portray the United States as racist, colonial and war-mongering. They accuse the United States of carrying out the 9/11 attacks, spreading disease and immorality and conspiring against Islam.
A Palestinian state will promote hatred of America, vote against the United States in international forums, and align itself with radical Third World regimes. The world already has plenty of America-hating countries. Why do we need yet another?
One of the more remarkable things about the P.A.’s behavior has been its habit of taking $500 million from the United States every year and then turning around and naming streets, parks, schools and sports competitions after terrorists who have murdered Americans. Some of them are even named after the notorious Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who murdered the niece of a U.S. senator. If this is how the P.A. acts now, when it desperately needs U.S. support for its statehood campaign, just imagine how it will act when it has a sovereign state and no longer needs American assistance.
— Undermining America’s ally: Israel has always been America’s closest friend and most reliable ally. As a matter of principle, and as a matter of strategic wisdom, the United States should always stand by its friends. To set up a Palestinian state along Israel’s borders would pose a grave danger to our ally. It would also undermine the confidence of all of America’s allies, and call into doubt the value of America’s promises.
— Dragging the United States into overseas conflicts: Israel has never asked the United States to defend it militarily. The Israelis fight their own battles. But if a weakened, shrunken Israel is in danger of being overrun by a Palestinian-Iranian-North Korean onslaught, there will be tremendous pressure on the United States to take military action rather than see its closest ally destroyed. Thus, the United States could find itself dragged into an overseas conflict that was entirely preventable.
In every conceivable respect, a Palestinian state would be bad for America — bad for American values, bad for American interests and bad for America’s allies.
Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.