May 30, 2007


A two-state solution could work (Rafi Dajani and Ori Nir, May 30, 2007, Boston Globe)

One alternative is perpetual conflict. Israeli and Palestinian hard-liners say there will be peace only when the other side is defeated. Surrender is not an option for either side, as we have seen in 20 years of on-again-off-again violence. But repeated Israeli attempts to defeat the Palestinians militarily have not brought Israel security. And Palestinian violent resistance has hurt the Palestinian economy, people, and cause rather than force Israel to end the occupation. Neither side can defeat the other, make the other disappear, or drive the other away.

The other alternative is propounded by those, mainly on the Palestinian (and Israeli) far left, who support a "one-state solution," the revival of the old chimera of a binational Israeli-Palestinian state. This two-headed monster is as unrealistic and undesirable today as it ever was. A binational state means, for all practical purposes, dismantling the state of Israel. Would Israeli Jews ever accept that? Would Palestinians -- or anyone else, for that matter -- ever be able to impose it? Why should Israelis give up on their dream and why should Palestinians give up on their yearning for a national homeland? And how would the two communities share in government and administration? [...]

The two-state solution stipulates a historic compromise, a grand deal that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians have repeatedly said they support. It involves an end to Israeli territorial claims in the West Bank and an end to Palestinian claims inside Israel. It requires a Palestinian recognition that those refugees from the 1948 war choosing to return will largely do so to a new Palestinian state rather than to what is now Israel, and an Israeli recognition that a fulfillment of the right they believe they have to settle in the West Bank will be either in a Palestinian state or as part of a negotiated minor West Bank land swap. It requires complex compromise-formulae to both divide and share the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of two states, to divide and share resources such as water.

We are used to dynamics on the ground making it increasingly difficult for both sides to consider such compromises. But that is not always the case. Now, for example, the League of Arab States is urging Israel to consider a substantial incentive for compromising: full peace and normal relations with all 22 members of the Arab umbrella-organization, in return for an Israeli withdrawal from the territories it occupied 40 years ago. Senior Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his defense and foreign ministers, have lately expressed interest in exploring the Arab League's initiative. has to acknowledge that the single state solution isn't working to well for the Israelis.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 30, 2007 7:05 AM

One also needs to acknowledge that Israel hasn't been allowed to completely defeat their enemies either.

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2007 7:40 AM

1. Presumably, the two-state solution would be good for the State of Israel.

2. And presumably, the Palestinians will eagerly (or even not so eagerly) embrace what is good for the State of Israel.

3. Presumably, the two-state solution would also be good for Palestinians (but according to whom?....oh, never mind....)

4. And presumably, the Palestinians will eagerly (or even not so eagerly) embrace what is good for Palestinians (once again, according to whom?....once again, never mind....).

5. Most of all, one must presume that the Palestinians, politicians and populace alike (presumably, such distinctions exist), are content (or not so content, but at least willing, or perhaps not so much willing, but ready) to live alongside Israel.

(Of course, all this is most presumptuous.)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at May 30, 2007 8:05 AM

Why does anything after #1 matter? It's typical of Israel and its supporters to advocate what they acknowledge is bad for Israel just to teach the Palestinians a lesson.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 11:23 AM

The Palestinians already have a de facto state.

Fine mess they've made of it, too.

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at May 30, 2007 11:29 AM

allowed? They're allowed, they just wouldn't have a society worth living in if they did.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 11:41 AM

George Washington didn't settle for a de facto state.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 11:46 AM

How allowed? Every skirmish, can't call them wars, resulted in Israel being forced to return territory to the defeated in the interest of peace and every peace initiative and "treaty" was trashed by the "Palestinians" before the ink way dry.

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2007 1:37 PM

By whom? They return land because they can't hold it.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 3:45 PM

The Palestinians aren't going to succeed as a 'people' until they stop being proxies and zombie warriors for Damascus, Riyadh, Cairo, and even Tehran. They need to 'reform' for themselves, not be used as pawns (again).

Israel is exhausted, and will finish the fence and might just close the gates. I'm sure there will be propagandists who will draw comparisons to Noah at that point.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 30, 2007 4:40 PM

By us.

Posted by: erp at May 30, 2007 5:35 PM

No US president can afford to tell Israel what to do. Even Jim Baker had to beg them not to retaliate in Gulf I.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 7:19 PM


Tell it to Lafayette.

Posted by: oj at May 30, 2007 7:20 PM teach the Palestinians a lesson.

The trivial conclusion of someone who has nary a clue.

It is rather to try to prevent a) the destruction and decimation of Israel AND b) the decimation of the Palestinians, with the hope (senseless, alas) that with time, the Palestinians will come to their collective senses.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, believe that the destruction of Israel is merely a matter of time and that the decimation of the Palestinians is either impossible or worthwhile in the cause of Israel's destruction.

God, you see, is great.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at May 31, 2007 3:02 AM

Except that you've already conceded point #1. The rest is justification for mere spite.

Posted by: oj at May 31, 2007 6:53 AM