Is a two-state solution even possible?
The notion of two peaceful co-existing nations in the Middle East – with one the State of Israel, a Jewish nation, and the other a State of Palestine, an Arab Islamic nation – has been a goal since the founding of Israel back in 1948.
There was no Palestinian two-state solution back then because most of the Arab nations would not recognize the right of Israel to exist. How can you enter into an agreement when the Arab world would not accept the existence of one of the two states?
After many years and several wars, most Arab nations have come to accept the reality of Israel and its right to exist. The major hang-up in formalizing that fact has been the prerequisite that there must first be a two-state agreement between the Palestinians and Israel before any progress could be made.
The greatest obstacle to a two-state agreement has been, and is, the Palestinians – particularly Hamas in Gaza. Their official charter calls for the eradication of Israel. As long as the Palestinian governing bodies would not agree to the existence of Israel, no two-state solution was doable. Even President Obama – who was more sympathetic to the Palestinians – could not advance his two-state policy over the obsessive desire of Hamas and others to crush Israel.
Rather than beat that old dead camel, President Trump abandoned the two-state requirement — which led to productive negotiations with several Arab states. Without the proviso that there must be the two-state agreement before any other nations could normalize relations with Israel – officially accepting its right to exist as a Jewish state – progress was made.
The result was the unprecedented Abraham Accords, in which four Arab nations – The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan — signed cooperation agreements with Israel. In terms of Sudan, it was also a peace agreement since that nation was officially in a state of war with Israel at the time the Accords were signed. Saudi Arabia was about to sign a similar pact with Israel.
Hamas and the hardliners appear to have misjudged their influence and the view of other Arab nations. They seemed to have assumed that the Arab world would continue making the two-state option a condition for normalizing relations with Israel. It has now been shown that several Arab nations were more than happy to see the two-state issue taken off the table so they could proceed with bilateral negotiations with Israel.
While the Arab world has been critical of the Israeli response to the Hamas attack, that appears to be largely political rhetoric for domestic consumption. The condemnation of Israel is little more than diplomatic posturing. What those other Arab nations say is belied by what they do – or more accurately, what they do NOT do.
Under Hamas leadership – and to a lesser extent under the Palestinian Leadership Authority in the West Bank – the Palestinian people are outcasts in most of the Arab world. Their problem is not exclusively with Israel. The Abraham Accords showed that Arab nations were not happy to have their relationship with Israel hampered by a two-state prerequisite. Once Trump took that proviso off the negotiating table, progress was made stabilizing the situation in the Middle East. That progress has been only temporarily paused as the War proceeds. Saudi Arabia is still expected to still enter into an agreement with Israel. Other Arab nations are expected to follow suit.
Even more telling of the Arab world’s disfavor of the Hamas-led Palestinians is the fact that no other Arab nation is willing to allow Palestinian refugees into their countries – not Egypt, not Jordan, not Hezbollah in Lebanon, not Saudi Arabia, not Syria, not Iraq and not even the leaders of Iran, who are sponsoring the Hamas terrorism. They do not give a rat’s ass about the people of Palestine as long as they are controlled by Hamas.
The Palestinian PEOPLE are not even cared for by Hamas, who see them only as pawns in their ongoing genocidal terrorist campaign against Israel – only as shields and as useful collateral damage in the international public relations game.
Hamas never used billions of dollars in aid for the benefit and protection of the Palestinian people. Even as the hospitals were being impacted by lack of fuel and medical needs, Hamas horded fuel, food and medical supplies. The people of Palestine are suffering and dying in a war that would never have happened had it not been for Hamas’ heinous attack on Israel. Worth re-emphasizing. All the suffering and death among the Palestinian people would NOT be happening were it not for the madness of Hamas.
Until the Palestinian people are led by a responsible governing body more interested in the welfare of the people and the stability of the Middle East than in the destruction of Israel and the extermination of Jews, there can be no two-state option even put on the table for serious negotiation. Until Palestinian leadership joins the majority of the Arab world in recognizing and accepting the existence of the Jewish State, there can be no consideration of a Palestinian State. Until that changes, the most prudent course of action is bilateral agreements with individual Arab nations – which is likely to proceed despite the war of Hamas.
Hamas is a pariah among the nations of the world – even most of the Arab nations in the Middle East. The terrorist organization is an agent of the regime in Iran – as are most other Islamic terrorist groups. Middle East terrorism is a single organic political and military operation headquartered in Tehran. Wiping out Hamas is a battle victory, but the terrorist war will continue. Palestinians will not have a homeland – will not have peace — as long as the terrorist leaders in Tehran are allowed to control Gaza with puppet terrorist governments like Hamas.
Civil War General William Sherman notably said, “War is Hell.” But even with that in mind, the worst outcome is to allow Hell to win. That is what is at stake in this battle between Israel and Hamas.
So, there ‘tis.