By Letter to the Editor on March 27, 2020.
Gwynne Dyer calls for one state for the Arabs and Jews (March 14 Herald). He did not mention whether this state would be democratic or autocratic.
The Palestinian Authority is an autocratic state. Its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, was elected president in 2004. Another election was supposed to take place in 2009. This election was cancelled. Abbas is now in the 16th year of his four-year term. Israel has had three elections in two years and is contemplating a fourth to arrive at a democratic consensus. Israel is a country with a democracy on steroids. Palestinian media is not free to criticize the government. Reporters have been threatened and jailed for exposing corruption. By comparison, Israel’s media is totally free to be critical of the state and its institutions and does so with gusto.
The court systems in both countries are incompatible. In Palestine, courts are used to settle feuds and to punish the regime’s opponents. By comparison, Israel’s courts are preparing to charge the prime minister with corruption as they did in the past with another prime minister, Ehud Olmert, who was actually incarcerated. No Palestinian court would ever contemplate charging President Abbas.
The two cultures are totally incompatible. Combining them into one state would result in chaos. Having another chaotic state in the Middle East is not what the world needs.
Here is the bottom line: the one-state solution is the strategy employed by the Arabs to destroy Israel. Israel will never agree to commit national suicide. Surely a superb journalist like Gwynne Dyer knows this.
Larry Shapiro (proud Canadian)
Rancho Mirage, Calif.