Liberal MP and prominent Israeli apologist, Anthony Housefather, has neatly expressed Canada’s approach to the illusory two-state solution proposed for Palestine. On Monday, the NDP proposed a motion in the House of Commons that would support a ceasefire in Gaza and recognition of a Palestinian state. In rather tortured prose, Housefather explained his fear of what the motion would mean: “It changes 50 years of consecutive Liberal and Conservative governments’ positions on the recognition of a Palestinian state to move away from the fact that it’s something that would have to be negotiated by the parties where they agree on a territory and normally do recognize the state.”

He’s right if he’s saying what I think he is, i.e. that Canada’s official position has always been that there should be no recognition of a Palestinian state until after final-status talks between the two parties. What he didn’t say is that this approach is a fallacy, if not an outright scam.

It suggests putting the two parties in a room and tasking them with negotiating the two-state solution. This is in effect asking the Palestinians to negotiate on their knees. Israel has all the leverage: they control the land, they control the water, and they have a superb army backed by the most powerful country in the world. The Palestinians have no leverage at all.

In other words, the Palestinians are to take any crumbs the Israelis might offer. The interests of Israel would be paramount, those of the Palestinians irrelevant, which is no doubt what Israel and its supporters intend.

This explains why we have consistently followed the United States lead and done everything in our power to prevent the Palestinians gaining their liberty in any other way, through the UN for example or through the courts. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when the House passed the NDP motion on Tuesday, albeit a watered down version—a good old Canadian compromise. The National Council of Canadian Muslims were also pleased, declaring “Canada voted in favour of Palestine today. That is history.”

MP Housefather begged to differ, accusing the House of rewarding Hamas. And once again, there was some truth in what he said. If not for the Hamas raid and its precipitation of Israel’s bloody vengeance, we would not be seeing the international community finally putting a high priority on justice for the Palestinians.

And they have. Britain, France and others, even the United States, are now talking about recognizing a Palestinian state without waiting on the two parties to negotiate.

It is time for Israelis and their supporters to recognize that a fair deal for the Palestinians is the best, if not the only, road to security for Israel.

If the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza gain a meaningful state, if a two-state solution is even still possible, or if not then equality as citizens in Palestine/Israel, the Arab countries can normalize relations with Israel, and the external threat will be greatly diminished.

And if Israel no longer has a large restive population to subjugate, it can free itself of future October 7ths, eliminating the internal threat.

So Israeli apologists need not fret about the Palestinians, nor their generations of suffering, not even the slaughter of 15,000 of their children in Gaza, they can focus entirely on security for the region’s Jews, on building a sanctuary for these other beleaguered people. That project obviously isn’t yet complete, and won’t be complete until justice is done for the Palestinians.

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