OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

What would a two-state solution solve?

Hamas, Hezbollah and Tehran are fighting for an Islamic empire.

U.S. President Bill Clinton looks on as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat shake hands at the signing of the Oslo Accords on Sept. 13, 1993. Credit: William J. Clinton Presidential Library/National Archives & Records Administration.
U.S. President Bill Clinton looks on as Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat shake hands at the signing of the Oslo Accords on Sept. 13, 1993. Credit: William J. Clinton Presidential Library/National Archives & Records Administration.
Clifford D. May
Clifford D. May is the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), as well as a columnist for “The Washington Times.”

I don’t oppose a two-state solution. Nor do I oppose Tinker Bell. I just seriously doubt that either exists.

If you’re among those who believe that widespread recognition of a Palestinian nation-state would resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I’d remind you: This is an idea that has been tried and found wanting.

For example: In November 1947, the U.N. General Assembly recommended partitioning western Palestine (eastern Palestine having been given over years earlier to what would become the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) into two states: one for Palestinian Arabs, the other for Palestinian Jews. Jewish leaders accepted the recommendation. Arab leaders rejected it.

Palestinian Jews knew what total Arab control of Palestine would mean for them. In 1929, Palestinian Arabs had carried out a terrible pogrom—akin to that of Oct. 7—against Palestinian Jews in Hebron. In 1936, the “Arab Revolt” included terrorist attacks not just against the British who had replaced the Ottoman Empire as Palestine’s rulers but also against Jews.

And the most important leader of Palestine’s Arabs at that time was Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who had spent World War II in Berlin assisting Hitler.

So, the week after the British withdrew from Palestine, the Jews declared an independent state. In response, the armies of five Arab nations invaded Israel, waging a war to exterminate the fledgling Jewish state.

Against all odds, Israel survived. Palestinian Arabs who neither fought the Jews nor fled from them became Israeli citizens. Nevertheless, what was then called the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted.

In 1964, at a summit meeting in Cairo, the Arab League created the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Three years later, Israel’s Arab neighbors again attempted to push the Jews into the sea. Again, they failed.

By the conclusion of the Six-Day War, Israel had taken Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan. The West Bank, by the way, had been known by its biblical names, Judea and Samaria, before those territories were conquered by Jordan in the 1948 war. Following that conquest, Jordan expelled the Jews, destroyed the synagogues and desecrated Jewish cemeteries and shrines.

In the aftermath of the 1967 war, the Arab League issued what became known as the “three No’s”: no peace with Israel, no negotiation with Israel, no recognition of Israel.

Today, Israel’s most consequential conflict is with Iran’s rulers who fund, arm and instruct Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Hezbollah, based in Southern Lebanon, has been rocketing northern Israel since Oct. 8. The Houthi rebels in Yemen and the Shia militias in Syria and Iraq are also proxies of Tehran.

For 45 years, Iran’s self-proclaimed jihadis have vowed “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!” The slogan of the Houthis: “God is Greatest, Death to America, Death to Israel, a Curse Upon the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

Could there be a more explicit rejection of a two-state solution? Is it not indisputable that what Iran’s rulers and their minions want instead is a “final solution”—the Nazi term for the extermination of Jews?

Iran’s rulers believe the world is divided into Dar al-Islam, the countries ruled by Muslims, and Dar al-Harb, the countries ruled by non-believers who must be fought and conquered. Israel is the only slice of land between Morocco and Pakistan not ruled by Muslims. To an Islamist, such diversity is intolerable.

The various “peace processes” have ignored these inconvenient truths. The Oslo Accords of the 1990s—agreements between Israel and the PLO—set up the Palestinian Authority to govern parts of Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Its main problem has not been that Israel and the United States have refrained from granting it formal recognition as a nation-state.

Hamas violently ousted the P.A. from Gaza in 2007, two years after the Israelis withdrew from that territory.

Since then, what attributes of statehood has Gaza lacked? Huge amounts of aid have streamed in from the “international donor community.” Health care, education and other social services have been provided by U.N. agencies that became Hamas’s handmaidens. These agencies have employed Hamas members, some of whom took part in the atrocities of Oct. 7.

Israel has supplied Gaza with electricity and water and, before Oct. 7, permitted thousands of Gazans to enter Israel to work at higher salaries than they could command in Gaza. For decades, Israeli hospitals have opened their doors to Gazans in need.

Media reports have often called Gaza an “open-air prison.” But we now know that Gazans were always able to leave and return over their border with Egypt. Some did so for terrorist training. Hamas constructed an elaborate subterranean fortress. Do prisons generally allow inmates to dig tunnels?

Through highways under the Egyptian border, an enormous supply of weapons and munitions poured into Gaza over the years.

Hamas’s goal has not been nation-building. Its goal has been, and still is, to create an emirate “from the river to the sea” to be included in a new caliphate and empire.

This is why any solution to the multiple conflicts now underway in the Middle East must begin with the destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities.

More challenging but essential: Neutralizing the neo-imperialist and openly genocidal regime in Tehran that, you should note, is now firmly allied with Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang.

The day after that, progress can perhaps be made towards establishing an independent Palestinian state with leaders willing, however reluctantly, to peacefully coexist alongside Israel.

To sum up: Belief in a two-state solution does not make it a realistic option, any more than belief in Tinker Bell can bring the little fairy to life.

Originally published by The Washington Times.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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