Over the weekend, the Obama administration began walking back its support for Israel's demand that the PLO recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
At a State Department media briefing on Friday, State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said, "If you look at the issue of a Jewish state and whether Israel will be called a Jewish state, that's been our position, as you know, for a long time, but that doesn't reflect what the parties will agree to, which I know you know."
In other words, the US is neutral. It's fine with Washington if the PLO accepts Israel's right to exist. And it's fine if the PLO continues to refuse to accept Israel's right to exist. As far as the Obama administration is concerned, making peace between the Arabs and the Jewish state has nothing to do persuading the Arabs to recognize the Jewish state.
More and more people these days are questioning Israel's stubborn insistence on being recognized.
Israeli leftists like Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and President Shimon Peres say they don't care.
"We know we're the Jewish state," they thump their chests and say patriotically. "What do we care if PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas agrees with us?" Well, here's the thing. People who recognize Israel's right to exist have generally not been waging a terror and political war against it for the past 50 years whose declared aim is to destroy Israel. The PLO has been doing those things. And Abbas and the PLO are now supposed to be our peace partner.
If Abbas and the PLO aren't even willing to recognize our right as Jews to determine our own destiny and define our own state as our own state, then how can it be said that they are our partners in peace? Their unwillingness to recognize Israel is the only thing that we should care about. It points to the utter futility of the two-state model.
As I explain in my new book, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, the two-state formula places all the blame on Israel for the absence of peace.
By claiming that the cause of the conflict, and through it all the problems of the region owe to the absence of a Palestinian state, and by claiming that the reason that such a state doesn't exist is because Israel won't surrender sufficient quantities of land to appease Palestinian demands, the two-state formula says that the Jews are responsible for everything bad in the region.
Israel's demand that our "moderate" Palestinian "peace partners" recognize our right to national self-determination in our historic homeland is an attempt by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take this hallucinatory policy and force it into reality.
In reality, the reason that the conflict began, and the reason it continues to this day is because the Arabs writ large, including the Palestinians, and the Islamic political world reject all Jewish rights - to peoplehood and to national self-determination.
The PLO 's 1964 charter, posted on the group's UN Mission's website, sums up the prejudiced sentiment thus: "Judaism, because it is a divine religion, is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore, the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens to their states."
Supported by the Arab and Islamic worlds, the PLO 's fight is not about establishing an Arab state next to the Jewish state. It is about destroying the Jewish state, because, as far as the PLO and its supporters are concerned, Jews have no right to self-determination.