If you have been following the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly heard of the two-state solution.
The two-state solution has been seen as the ultimate answer to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Multiple U.S. presidents have supported it. Many Israelis agree that it is the only way to broker peace between both parties. However, the two-state solution has serious flaws that make it almost impossible to achieve.
The two-state solution involves creating an independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. The idea is that this Palestinian state would exist peacefully beside Israel. It appears to be a reasonable way to broker a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The international community has endorsed the two-state solution for decades. Members of both Israeli and Palestinian leadership have expressed their commitment to creating a viable Palestinian state.
However, the challenges to implementing this solution have persisted. Several factors make a two-state solution seem almost impossible.
Many believe that Israeli settlements are the main impediment to the peace process. Since the end of the six-day war in 1967, Israel has erected settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. While Israel’s detractors insist that settlement activity is illegal, U.N. Resolution 242 has shown that this accusation is misleading.
It has also been said that Israeli settlement activity is a hindrance to the peace process. However, history shows that this statement is also untrue. Arab and Palestinian aggression existed long before Israel started building settlements. Any time Israel offered to put a freeze on settlements to negotiate a lasting peace, the Palestinians rejected Israel’s offer.
It is easy to believe that a two-state solution is the best option. It seems to make the most sense, doesn’t it?
But the party that would benefit most from the idea doesn’t appear to want it; therein lies the actual problem.
The Palestinians have shown over and over again that they do not want peace with the Jewish state. They wish to expel or annihilate the Jews.
In 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government forcibly evicted all Jewish residents of the Gaza settlements. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon believed that this gesture would bring about a peace deal that both parties could accept.
He was wrong.
Instead, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip elected Islamic terrorist group Hamas as their government. They have continued to launch terrorist attacks on Israel.
In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is in power. Headed by Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah party governs the Palestinians living in the West Bank. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority refuse to recognize Israel as a legitimate Jewish state.
From the time they are children, Palestinians are raised with a blinding hatred of Jews and the State of Israel. They are brainwashed into believing that Israelis are the embodiment of evil. Obviously, this poses a huge problem to those who actually want peace. This upbringing all but ensures that hostilities will persist for generations to come.
Continued aggression on the part of the Palestinians is making a two-state solution impossible. While the Palestinians continue to embrace Islamic terrorism, Israel will not be willing to move towards an agreement that gives the Palestinians their own state.
Ziva Dahl of the Washington Times discusses this very issue,
The United States, European Union and United Nations have been unwilling to look at current realities, but Israelis understand that there’s no rational reason to believe that a Palestinian state would be anything other than another dangerous, anti-Semitic, religiously intolerant, homophobic, misogynistic home to Islamist terror groups — only an arm’s length away from children sleeping in Tel Aviv and Haifa.
To make matters more complex, there are no viable alternatives to the two-state solution. There are some who wish to see a one-state solution, where Israelis and Palestinians live together in the same country. However, this would permanently destroy Israel as a Jewish state since the Palestinians will outnumber the Jews.
Either way, the United States must ensure that we are playing a productive role in the process. Every administration which has tried to broker peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has failed. During the joint press conference between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the President stated that he was committed to supporting Israel.
The president also indicated that it is incumbent on both the Israelis and Palestinians to work out a peace agreement. Jonathan S. Tobin of the National Review sums this up nicely, “The U.S. cannot impose peace on terms that aren’t accepted by the parties, and we shouldn’t behave in a manner that encourages Palestinians’ ongoing refusal to make peace.” Israel’s security is its highest priority. Until the Palestinians are willing to give up their ambitions to destroy the Jewish state, there will be no peaceful resolution.