Since the beginning of the Oslo paradigm, security experts, intellectuals and politicians from the right warned of the outcomes. We were warned that if Israel supplied Palestinians with weapons and the U.S. trained the Palestinian Authority forces, those weapons and that training would be aimed at Israeli soldiers and civilians. But the hope for an era of a new Middle East was dazzling and these prophecies were scornfully rejected.
The same people warned that tracts of lands conceded to the Palestinians would be used as bases of war and terror against Israel. When they spoke of the threat of rockets that could shut down Ben-Gurion International airport, and ultimately all of Israel, American and Israeli security experts scoffed at them and brushed them off, asking the Right to stop disseminating fear. Instead the Israeli Left, together with the U.S State Department, continued to push Israel's leadership to make greater and more painful concessions to appease the Palestinians, believing almost religiously in the spirit of Oslo and the two-state solution.
While they remained obtuse and ignored reality, the harsh reality did make its way into the hearts and minds of other Americans and Israelis. For years now, more and more Israelis and Americans are beginning to understand that the two-state paradigm does not fit into reality and that the time has come to recalculate.
It is hard to guess how the current war in Gaza will end. However, it seems that this war will mark the tipping point in the way we view the two-state paradigm. During this latest Gaza operation, all the warnings and prophecies materialized. Flights were grounded and the airport was shut down. Hamas death tunnels from the below and Hamas rockets from the air made it very clear why a border fence is not enough, and why the size of the land does carry importance. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' support of Hamas' aggression made it clear not only that there is no partner on the Palestinian side, but that any future Palestinian state would become a second Gaza, only bigger, less isolated and more threatening.
Seeing as the prophecies of the Right have materialized, it seems prudent to heed the solutions proposed by the Right. It is time to consider keeping Judea and Samaria under Israeli sovereignty and applying Israeli law there. There are a number of different ideas. There are ideas with gradual implementation, like the one proposed by Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett. There are comprehensive suggestions such as was outlined by Caroline Glick. There are other, similar proposals and they all require further thought, but a thorough examination of these ideas can bring about a new paradigm. Not only will such a paradigm provide better security for Israeli citizens, but it will also promise a better future to the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria, and will afford them better quality of life.
As President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue with their messianic and obsessive approach, hurting the trust of America's allies and chiefly Israel, some in Congress have begun the recalculating process. Last week I initiated a conference where some of these ideas were shared. This is but the first step, but the attendees enjoyed the breath of fresh air and new out-of-the-box thinking. It seems that slowly, the discourse on this conflict is shifting, and ideas other than the two-state solution are gaining legitimacy.
I can understand people from the Left who refuse to give up their dreams. Being a religious person they remind me of Israel in the books of prophets. Despite explicit prophecies and warning from God, they refused to believe the coming evil and chose to believe in the false prophets. We the Americans and Israelis pursue peace and justice. We dream and hope for a just and better future. Sadly it seems that some people confuse reality with our hopes and wishes. They convince themselves that the dream is the reality and don't allow facts and reality to deter them. But we must not be dragged by them; we cannot wait for more evil to materialize. The process of change will be long; other players such as the Europe will have to get accustomed to the idea. But I believe and hope that in America and Israel it is already understood it is time to take the first steps on this new path.
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R) represents Colorado's 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus.