The two-state solution is the most widely endorsed diplomatic idea for Israeli-Arab peace since the passage of UN Resolution 242 in November 1967 (“Kenneth Stein, “Political Views of a Two-State Solution”, washingtoninstitute, August 15, 2013). It’s used so often in diplomatic discourse it’s become the idee fixe—the obsession--of the modern world.
With bumper-sticker simplicity, this catchy phrase seems to capture the idea of a final peace in the Middle East. It’s become the holy grail of Arab-Israel relations: there will only be peace if a new ‘Palestine’ sits next door to Israel.
With two-states-for-two-peoples, the endless war is supposed to end. As US President Barack Obama puts it, this ‘solution’ is the only true and lasting path to peace for Israel and ‘Palestine’ (speech by Barack Obama as printed in haaretz in “Peace Is the Only Path to True Security for Israel and the Palestinians”, July 8, 2014).
Everybody who’s anybody in the diplomatic world believes this: US President George W Bush, US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State John Kerry and (former) EU Foreign Relations Representative Catherine Ashton, are just a few who have signed on to this trope.
Unfortunately, this phrase (‘two-state solution’) is meaningless. It’s actually just a throw-away phrase. It’s used to avoid hard thinking. It should be thrown out.
The phrase has never been thrown out. It’s never been acknowledged to be useless.
How do we know the ‘two-state solution for peace and security’ is useless? Look at history: the world has been talking about such a peace for Israel since 1967. That’s 49 years and counting.
We’ve been talking about this idea for so long for a reason. It doesn’t work. It keeps failing.
Nevertheless, the ‘two state solution’ is repeated. It repeats endlessly, like a broken record.
No one’s throwing it out. In fact, they’re enhancing it, not trashing it.
The diplomatic world has even come up with a new way to sell ‘two-states’. It’s being repackaged by ‘the Quartet’. This Quartet contains four powers--the US, EU, Russia and the UN. Together, they sell a dressed-up two-state solution. They sell it as “two states for two peoples living side-by-side in peace and security”.
They even supersize it. They expand it to create, “two states, Israel and sovereign, independent, democratic and viable Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security” [emphasis mine] (the Quartet, 2013, Kenneth Stein, ibid). They claim the supersized version is the ‘only’ solution (haaretz, ibid).
Curiously, the EU has its own supersized version of ‘two-states’. It says its goal is a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours [emphasis mine] ("The EU & the Middle East Peace Process", from the EU website, eeas.europa.eu (accessed Aug. 18, 2015).
US President Barack Obama joins the chorus. Over time, he says, “the only way that Israel is going to be truly secure, and the only way the Palestinians are going to be able to meet the aspirations of their people, is if they are two states living side by side in peace and security,” (Jessica Schulberg, “Obama Says Israel Will Only Be Secure With A Two-State Solution”, huffingtonpost, October 16, 2015).
The broken record keeps playing:
-US Secretary of State John Kerry (2013): “We all understand the goal that we're working towards: two states living side by side in peace and security”, (“Kenneth Stein, “Political Views of a Two-State Solution”, washingtoninstitute, August 15, 2013).
-Catherine Ashton, (former) EU Foreign Relations Representative (2013): “A two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security” (ibid).
-US President G.W. Bush (2007): “two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security” (ibid).
This ‘two-state’ business is popular indeed. Everybody loves it. Everybody talks about it.
There’s just one problem. It won’t work.
‘Two-states’ is destined always to fail because the Palestinian Authority (PA)—Israel’s supposed ‘peace partner--fails. This PA has no history with ‘democracy’. It has no history running a ‘viable state’. It has no history with ‘peace’. It isn’t even interested in ‘two states’.
Look at the map of ‘Palestine’ printed by the PA. It doesn’t show Israel and ‘Palestine’ sitting side-by-side on the map. It shows the new Arab-Muslim ‘Palestine’ replacing the Jewish Israel on the map.
The PA doesn’t want peace with Israel. It wants to conquer Israel. Instead of seeking peace with Israel, the PA wants its people to kill Jews. It calls for that, it incites for that and it rewards those who do that.
The PA rejects peace. It prefers genocide to peace (see the website Palestinian Media Watch).
That’s why the ‘two state solution’ is nonsense. The ‘Palestinians’ don’t want it.