It’s Time to Bury the Two-State Delusion Once and for All
by Matthew Hausman (March 2023)
Untitled, Farid Belkahia, 1968
It remains an article of faith among western progressives that a Palestinian state will bring about Mideast peace; and some pundits wasted little time citing the recent murders of seven Israelis as proof (and by implication mitigating the culpability of the terrorists who killed them). But the two-state paradigm is based on the false assumptions that (a) indigenous Palestinian-Arabs occupied the Jewish homeland for thousands of years before their displacement by Israel, (b) the conflict is driven by this displacement, and (c) the wider Arab world considers the Palestinian issue existential and fundamental to Arab identity. These were not assumptions informing the 1920 San Remo Accords, the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922, or the geopolitical sea change that followed the Six-Day War, but only became political orthodoxy after the ill-conceived Oslo Accords in 1993.
The conceit of Oslo was its foundation on revisionist principles that repudiated Jewish history and implicitly demanded that Israel accept the veracity of the Palestinian narrative, which essentially required her to deny her own historical antecedents and legitimacy. It also tacitly validated the theory of “linkage,” a progressive sacred cow holding that (a) Israel’s existence causes instability throughout the Mideast, and (b) peace with the wider Arab world is unachievable absent the creation of a Palestinian state. Though the Oslo fantasy was embraced by several successive administrations in Washington, coercing Israel’s existential denial could never assure conflict resolution.
Then along came President Trump and the Abraham Accords, which exposed the two-state paradigm as the chimeric farce it always was. The Accords demonstrated inter alia Israel’s ability to conclude economic and normalization agreements with Arab nations without the need to accept a hostile border state that would threaten her existence.
The Biden administration, however, has a regressive foreign policy view with little regard for the Abraham Accords, and instead favors a two-state fantasy that rewards Palestinian extremism. And this policy is being prosecuted by wonks and diplomats who support BDS, disparage Israel, and tolerate political antisemitism. Through it all, moreover, President Biden refuses to acknowledge the antisemitism permeating the progressive wing of his party and influencing its Mideast policy, as illustrated by his silence when Democratic “Squad” members last year introduced a House of Representatives resolution to recognize “the catastrophe” of Israel’s creation.
Biden’s failure is unconscionable considering the dramatic increase in antisemitism at a time when, according to US law enforcement statistics, prejudice and hate-crimes against all other identified minorities in the US have declined.
Antisemitism has many forms of expression, some not redressable through dialogue or engagement. Those for whom “anti-Zionism” is merely Jew-hatred posing as political speech will always find outlets for their bigotry. Moreover, many liberal Jews believe in two-statism as an article of faith or have embraced the progressive agenda and its antipathy for Israel. But those whose anti-Israel biases arise from ignorance can be educated if we understand history and advocate from a position of confidence.
Therefore, it is essential to be unapologetic in addressing the false premises underlying the progressive view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to distinguish historical fact from revisionist fiction.
The False Premise of the Two-State Delusion
False assumptions about Palestinian historicity obscure the true nature of the conflict, which is not really a dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over real estate, but an existential battle to delegitimize Israel by erasing Jewish history. The establishment of an independent state of Palestine (which never existed) will not facilitate peace because the Palestinian goal is not harmonious coexistence, but the destruction of Israel—whether by Hamas’s genocidal strategy or the PA’s phased approach.
A more rational resolution from a legal, historical, and demographic perspective would be for Israel to annex or declare sovereignty in some or all of Judea, Samaria, and other areas that were part of the ancient Jewish commonwealth. This makes sense considering that (a) Jewish kingdoms and commonwealths were the only sovereign nations ever to exist between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, (b) only the Jews have an uninterrupted connection to the land going back thousands of years, and (c) Jews represent the overwhelming majority population when Israel and the territories are considered together.
Although the liberal establishment dismisses any discussion of sovereignty or annexation as extremist, neither concept is particularly radical. Indeed, the San Remo Accords and Mandate for Palestine originally contemplated Jewish settlement throughout the traditional homeland, well before the term “Palestinian” entered common usage after 1967 as a propaganda tool for delegitimizing the Jewish State.
After Transjordan was created on most of the Mandate lands under British control (pursuant to the Transjordan Memorandum of 1922), the goal for the remainder was unrestricted Jewish habitation west of the Jordan River. This objective was recognized long before the dialogue was hijacked by revisionist mythology and the canard that Judea and Samaria were ancestral Arab territories. Historical revisionism cannot change the facts that Palestinian nationalism is a modern political construct or that Judea and Samaria were never under sovereign Arab rule.
Those who chastise discussion of Israeli sovereignty or annexation ignore the role of Arab-Muslim rejectionism in perpetuating a state of war against Israel for decades. Indeed, the Arab League declared at its 1967 summit in Khartoum that there would be “no recognition, no negotiations and no peace.” Nevertheless, the legacy media today portrays Mahmoud Abbas’s PA as moderate (despite a constitution that delegitimizes Israel) and Hamas as a benign political party (though its charter screams for jihad and genocide).
Western progressives ignore Palestinian incitement while falsely accusing Israel of apartheid; and they reward Palestinian provocations but label Israel obstructionist, despite her history of unilateral and unrequited compromises. Indeed, western governments and NGOs falsely accuse Israel of oppression, although she allowed Palestinian autonomy in Judea and Samaria, permitted the arming of PA security forces, and fueled an economy that provides the highest standard of living in the Arab world.
And then there’s Hamas, which shoots missiles into Israel from Gaza, engages in terrorism, and precipitated several hot wars after Israel’s disengagement in 2005. Despite all, however, Israel continues to ensure Gaza’s infrastructure needs. No other nation would service the utility needs of an active belligerent; and yet, Israel would be pilloried if she were to cease doing so.
Whereas Israel affords Arab citizens the same political rights, economic opportunities, and freedom of movement as Israeli Jews, she is falsely accused of apartheid. And while Hamas has since the disengagement maintained a de facto terrorist state that consistently threatens Israeli security and serves as Iran’s regional proxy, Israel remains the target of criticism from progressive politicians and journalists who somehow portray Gaza as occupied.
To her own strategic detriment, Israel also takes great pains to minimize civilian casualties and damage when taking military action—often dropping warning leaflets or sending mass texts before engaging—only to be wrongfully accused of targeting noncombatants.
In contrast, the PA is never reprimanded for rejecting Israel’s legitimacy, denying Jewish history, engaging in antisemitic incitement, or enabling terrorism against Jewish men, women and children. Instead, its revisionist claims are endorsed uncritically—although a nation called Palestine never existed and there was no demand for Palestinian statehood when Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria from 1948 to 1967. If the Palestinians were truly indigenous and displaced, it seems counterintuitive that they would not demand statehood when the territories to which they claim entitlement were occupied by the Arab nations that seized them in 1948.
If these inequities show anything, it’s that those who favor the two-state agenda (including the Biden administration) have no regard for Israel’s existential concerns or sovereignty. They are instead preoccupied with elevating revisionist propaganda over more than three-thousand years of documented Jewish history.
Absent any hard historical basis for a Palestinian state, such advocacy can only be explained by ignorance, animus, or the sacrifice of Jewish history on the altar of identity politics. Delegitimization of Israel has become a vital plank of the progressive political agenda, and tolerance for antisemitism has infected the Democratic Party—which today provides safe haven for BDS advocates and antisemitic conspiracy theorists.
Given the disregard for Jewish sovereignty that lies at the heart of the two-state paradigm, it seems clear that Israel is at a crossroads. She can either entertain a process weighted against her national interests or proactively craft her own resolution. And if Biden’s administration continues to reward Palestinian intransigence with renewed funding and talk of a Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, Israel should act on the latter impulse. That is, she should formally reclaim Judea and Samaria as ancestral Jewish lands and shake off any vestiges of the ambivalence that was engendered by Oslo, and which only encouraged terrorism and compromised Israeli security.
And Israel may be closer to considering such policies as an ironic result of her recent electoral dysfunction. Specifically, it seems the tumult of five elections in four years motivated Israel’s conservative center to consolidate, align with the political right, and form the most potentially stable government in years. So, the time may be right for Israel to ignore Biden’s policy regression, seize the day, and chart her own destiny.
Annexation or Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria Makes Historical Sense
Historically, Israel has claims to Judea and Samaria because they were part of the ancient Jewish Commonwealth. Jews lived there from biblical times through successive conquests, the Ottoman occupation, and British Mandatory period until 1948, when they were attacked and expelled by invading Arab forces from east of the Jordan River.
These lands were conquered by Transjordan (thereafter Jordan) and renamed the “West Bank,” in the same way the Romans renamed the Kingdom of Judea “Syria Palaestina” to associate it with the extinct Philistines and obscure the Jews’ national connection to their homeland (the word Jew, after all, derives from Judea). However, Jordan’s conquest in 1948 was illegal and could not be legitimized after the fact; and the only nations that recognized its occupation were Great Britain and Pakistan.
Despite Jordan’s attempt to erase Jewish history from Judea and Samaria, their provenance is evidenced by the sacred landmarks they contain, including Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, and Ramat Rachel near Bethlehem. Their pedigree is also reflected by the plethora of Arabic placenames derived from Hebrew, which evidence Jewish habitation from Biblical times. These include towns like Batir (or Beitar, the seat of Bar Kochba’s rebellion against Rome); Beit-Hur (or Beit Horon, where the Maccabees defeated the Assyrian Greeks); Beitin (or Beit El, where the Prophet Shmuel held court and the Ark of the Covenant was kept before the First Temple); and Tequa (the site of ancient Tekoa, where the Prophet Amos was born and prophesied).
Aided and abetted by the left, the Arab-Muslim world rationalized its usurpation of Jewish land by falsely claiming the Jews were foreign interlopers and their “settlements” colonial enterprises. The falsity of these claims, however, is exposed by an archeological record that reinforces Jewish history, not revisionist myth. The Judenrein status of Judea and Samaria after 1948 did not reflect their true provenance, but rather the aftermath of Arab efforts to annihilate Israel. In truth, only the Jews had a continuous presence since antiquity – until they were displaced by Arab aggression and immigration from elsewhere in the Mideast.
Israel has Superior Legal Claims to Judea and Samaria
In addition to the Jews’ historical connection to Judea and Samaria, Israel’s claim to these lands is consistent with international precedents recognized by the San Remo Convention in 1920. Regarding lands liberated from Ottoman rule during the First World War, San Remo resolved as follows:
The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers.
The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. —San Remo Convention Resolution, Paragraph (b).
Underlying San Remo’s affirmation of the Balfour Declaration was the recognition that the Jews were (a) defined by descent as well as religion, (b) indigenous to their homeland, and (c) possessed of the inalienable right to political and national self-expression.
The San Remo program was ratified in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922, the preamble of which included the following passages:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and …
…Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country…
Consistent with this language, Article 2 of the Mandate clearly articulated the British obligation to effectuate these goals in accordance with the San Remo Resolution, stating:
The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion. —League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, Article 2.
Regarding the intended geographical scope of Jewish habitation, the Mandate specifically provided:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes. —League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, Article 6.
The Mandate did not contemplate a Jewish state with indefensible borders (as do those who demand that Israel accept the 1949 armistice lines as permanent boundaries). Rather, by recognizing the Jewish right of “close settlement,” the Mandate envisioned Jewish habitation in some or all of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza (all of which were part of the ancient Jewish Commonwealth). The Mandate specifically recognized the Jews’ connection to their entire homeland, which historically included these territories.
Clearly, there was international consensus that Jews were entitled to their national home. But Jewish rights under the Palestine Mandate were not recognized in a vacuum, and Arab self-determination was addressed by the establishment of the French Mandate in Lebanon and Syria and the British Mandate in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Transjordan. However, there was no separate mandate for “Palestinians” because they had no independent national existence, as evidenced by the absence of a Palestinian historical record or any of the cultural or societal institutions considered the hallmarks of nationhood.
Indeed, Palestinian nationality is a modern invention, as Yasser Arafat acknowledged in his authorized biography, wherein he stated: “The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”
Or, in the words of Zahir Muhse’in, who in a 1977 interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, stated:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.
In contrast, both San Remo and the Mandate for Palestine evidenced a universal recognition of the Jews’ national existence and connection to their homeland, consistent with the scriptural, historical, archeological, and literary records.
This recognition of Jewish national rights was ratified by the United States on June 30, 1922, when both Houses of Congress issued a joint resolution unanimously endorsing the Mandate and the goal of reestablishing the Jewish national home. The Congressional resolution stated in relevant part:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected. —Joint Congressional Resolution No. 360, the Lodge-Fish Resolution.
Despite the Jews’ willingness to accept an area comprising substantially less than their ancient homeland, the Arab world refused to accept any expression of Jewish sovereignty and scorned all proposals providing for a modern Jewish state. The 1947 UN Partition Plan was rejected by every Arab and Muslim nation because it provided for Jewish autonomy. Significantly, there was no mention of Palestinian claims (which had not yet been invented). In fact, the Arabs themselves rejected the term “Palestine” to describe lands under mandatory control because, as stated by Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi to the Peel Commission in 1937:
There is no such country [as Palestine]. ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.” This was the prevailing Arab view at the time.
In light of the resounding Arab rejection of the 1947 partition plan, it cannot be relied on as legal precedent to validate Palestinian claims to Judea and Samaria, or for that matter to Jerusalem or Gaza. Moreover, Israel’s right of ownership cannot be impugned simply because she came into modern possession of these lands during wartime.
In weighing the lawfulness of wartime land acquisitions, it is important to distinguish belligerent nations from their targets. The laws of war have long recognized that a country which seizes territory while defending itself against unprovoked attack can claim ownership of lands captured from the aggressor nation. There is no dispute that Arab nations started wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973, with the expressed goal of exterminating Israel and her people.
There is likewise no dispute that attacking Israel violated Article 2, Section 4 of the U.N. Charter, which provides: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” Consequently, Israel was acting within her legal rights when she captured Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, Golan, Sinai, and Gaza during the Six-Day War.
Just as relevant is the fact that Judea and Samaria were never constituent parts of any other sovereign nation after the Roman conquest. Rather, after the Jewish-Roman wars, they were unincorporated territories that passed from one empire to the next until 1948—when they were occupied by Jordan in derogation of international law.
Israel can claim lawful ownership today because she was acting defensively in 1967 when she ousted Jordan, an aggressor nation that had acquired these lands by illegal conquest in the first place. Although detractors often cite the Law of Belligerent Occupation and Fourth Geneva Convention to accuse Israel of unlawful occupation, these standards apply only to sovereign territories seized by belligerent conquerors. They do not apply to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem because, among other things, they were not sovereign when Jordan seized them illegally or when Israel subsequently liberated them.
Under prevailing legal standards, moreover, Jordan’s illegitimate occupation could not give rise to lawful ownership. Thus, when Jordan transferred its putative land rights to the Palestinians at the beginning of Oslo, it had no lawful title to convey. The Palestinians therefore cannot rely on derivative Jordanian rights to claim legal interest superior to Israel’s. Nor can they assert superior chronological claims given the more than 3,000-year history of indigenous Jewish presence that long predated the Roman, Arab, and Ottoman conquests and occupations.
When Jordan first seized Judea, Samaria, and the Old City, it expelled the Jewish inhabitants and appropriated or destroyed their synagogues, shrines and holy sites. Until Jordan’s illegal annexation, Jews had lived in Jerusalem, Hevron, the Etzion region, and throughout Judea and Samaria since ancient times. Because Jordan’s land grab violated international law, Israel’s capture of Judea and Samaria in 1967 constituted liberation from foreign occupation, and Israeli settlements thereafter manifested repatriation to Jewish land.
Despite subsequent UN attempts to render Israel’s actions unlawful by passing ridiculously unbalanced resolutions (claiming inter alia the Temple never stood in Jerusalem and designating historic Jewish sites as “Palestinian” landmarks), Israel has legitimate grounds to retain Judea and Samaria under long-established legal principles. Palestinians cannot claim the same precedents or superior, superseding interests.
Security Council Resolution 242 never Required Israel to Surrender Judea and Samaria
Prior to Oslo, UN Security Council Resolution 242 was often invoked (erroneously) to demand Israeli withdrawal and acceptance of borders based on the 1949 armistice lines, but it actually required nothing of the kind. And analysis of both the black letter of Resolution 242 and its underpinnings is instructive in understanding Israel’s legal rights today.
Resolution 242 recognized that Israel was attacked by Jordan, Egypt and Syria in 1967 and called for the negotiation of a “just and lasting peace” based on “secure and recognized borders.” Implicit in this language was the recognition that Israel’s capture of territory from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria (including Judea, Samaria, Golan, Gaza and Sinai) was not illegal under international law. If it were, the resolution simply would have demanded that Israel return the captured lands to her attackers. That is, there would be nothing to negotiate and no imperative for deviating from the 1949 armistice boundaries dubbed the “Green Line.” Significantly, Resolution 242 never characterized the Green Line as permanent.
Furthermore, Resolution 242 did not require Israel to withdraw from “all” of “the” territories captured from Jordan, Egypt and Syria. As explained by the late Eugene Rostow, the former U.S. Undersecretary of State who participated in the drafting of Resolution 242, the exclusion of the adjective “all” and definite article “the” was intentional and indicative of the essential meaning.
Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until ‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’ is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces ‘from territories’ it occupied during the Six-Day War—not from ‘the’ territories nor from ‘all’ the territories, but from some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy in 1967 made it perfectly clear what the missing definite article in Resolution 242 means. Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from ‘all’ the territories were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the ‘fragile’ and ‘vulnerable’ Armistice Demarcation Lines [‘Green Line’], but should retire once peace was made to what Resolution 242 called ‘secure and recognized’ boundaries …— “The Future of Palestine,” Rostow, Eugene V., Institute for National Strategic Studies, November 1993.
Significantly, the black letter of Resolution 242 applied only to incorporated states, not amorphous groups like “Palestinians,” who did not collectively constitute a sovereign actor involved in the conflict. And while the Resolution mentioned “refugees,” the term referred to Jews and Arabs who lost their homes during the war in 1948, not a Palestinian national entity that did not exist. The Palestinians as a group had no corporate national existence; and to the extent Jordan conveyed to the Palestinians its interest in Judea and Samaria as part of the Oslo process, Jordan’s title was invalid because it seized the territories illegally.
Demographic Reality Favors Sovereignty or Annexation
Slightly more than 60% of Judea and Samaria rests within “Area C,” which now has a Jewish population of more than one-half million and is currently under Israeli control. (The Oslo Accords established three administrative divisions, designated as Areas A, B and C.) Moreover, nearly 350,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem and the surrounding neighborhoods beyond the Green Line. So, despite dire warnings of an “Arab demographic time bomb,” Jews do not comprise an insignificant minority in the “disputed territories” and are not likely to be dispossessed. There is little doubt that these territories were historically Jewish or that the Arab population expanded through immigration from the late nineteenth century through the British Mandatory period.
At the present time, the total population of Israel proper is estimated at approximately 9,663,680, of which the significant majority—7,080,000 or more—are Jews. Moreover, more than half a million Jews live in Judea and Samaria, and Jerusalem has a two-thirds Jewish majority. Given these numbers (and that Israeli Jews have higher overall birthrates than the Arabs), the demographic threat appears to be more hype than fact, particularly as it relies on conjecture and dubious census statistics that in the past have overstated the Palestinian population by as much as half.
In addition, the Arab population in Israel, the territories, and Gaza, is not historically uniform. The European powers never understood the cultural complexities of Mideast society during the mandatory era, when they arbitrarily drew boundaries for Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon to include ethnic and religious groups that had been enemies for generations and remained so thereafter. And today, that same mentality drives the attempt to enforce a dysfunctional dynamic on Israel by demanding validation of a national narrative that repudiates her own cultural and historical antecedents.
Considering the irreconcilable intricacies of Mideast culture and dubious motivations of other nations in attempting to force the creation of a Palestinian state, Israel would be better served by annexing or declaring sovereignty in those territories that are integral to her security and continuity as a Jewish state. Or perhaps supporting the “Jordan is Palestine” option. That is the only reality that will insure her continued national and cultural survival.
Issues to be determined would include whether to provide Arab inhabitants of the territories the opportunity for citizenship, grant them permanent resident status, or compensate them to move elsewhere. However, considering that the original intent of San Remo and the Mandate was to restore the Jews to their ancestral homeland—and that an Arab state in Jordan was created on three-quarters of the territory under the British Mandate—Israel may well have no obligation to extend citizenship benefits, particularly to those who reject her existence as a Jewish state.
Regardless of strategy, Israel has superior legal and historical claims to Judea and Samaria and no obligation to divide Jerusalem – which was never anything but a Jewish capital. How she chooses to express those claims are matters to be determined by her alone. The international community cannot be relied on given its past denials of Israel’s historical rights and interests, and its obsession with creating yet another Arab state at the expense of those very rights and interests.
Though Israel’s rights do not depend on external approval, she might garner more support by aggressively promoting her historical integrity. And corroboration of her legitimacy is clearly reflected by the historical, scriptural, archeological, and literary records. Though for some, the denial of Israel’s legitimacy is antisemitic, for others it may simply stem from ignorance. But even the ignorant have an intellectual obligation to reevaluate their core beliefs when confronted with facts undermining their predicate assumptions. If they ignore facts that present inconvenient truths, their ignorance becomes willful and may well cross the line to antisemitism.
And Jews shouldn’t be shy about saying so.
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Matthew Hausman is a trial attorney, adjunct professor, and writer from Connecticut. A former science and medical news correspondent, he now writes about American law, politics, and foreign policy, Jewish affairs, and antisemitism. His work appears in publications and websites in the US and abroad. He also frequently appears on radio and is a weekly featured guest on the Zelda Young Show, a popular cultural and political affairs program on CHIN Radio in Toronto.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast