Israelis are facing a surge of recent attacks by Palestinians, including on the cities of Hadera, Beer Sheba, B’nei Berak, and Tel Aviv. As we write this, 14 innocent people have been murdered in bloody, pre-meditated attacks, and dozens wounded. At the same time, tensions and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the West Bank are on the rise, with one analyst counting 15 Palestinians killed in the West Bank in clashes with Israel Defense Force during the first two weeks of April. And on April 18, Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket into Israel for the first time since Dec. 31, to which Israeli aircraft responded by attacking Gaza.
The three of us — a former Head of Shin Bet, Israel’s secret security service tasked with combatting terrorism; a senior peace negotiator under Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak; and a former fighter pilot who leads social entrepreneurship projects involving Israeli Arabs and Jews — are familiar with Israel’s national security interests. We have never deluded ourselves that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will end Palestinian and Islamist terrorism. Nevertheless, a partition of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea into two nation-States and demarcating a border between them is indispensable to creating a future that will curtail and defeat that terrorism. And there is a way to move towards such a scenario.
Ten years ago, The New York Times published our op-ed Peace Without Partners, in which we called on Israel to “take constructive steps to advance the reality of two States based on the 1967 borders, with land swaps — regardless of whether Palestinian leaders have agreed to accept it.” We noted that “through a series of unilateral actions, gradual but tangible changes could begin to transform the situation on the ground.”