It’s Time to Sack the ‘Two-State Solution’
“The president is committed to peace…. That’s as far as I want to go on that,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on February 3, when asked if President Trump supported a two-state solution to the Mideast conflict. After Trump’s press conference with Benjamin Netanyahu last week, many speculated that Trump indicated he no longer supports such a policy. He shouldn’t, because the two-state paradigm is a dangerous fantasy.
History tells us that trading land for peace will not resolve the conflict. The Palestinians claim all of Israel as their own, and have never been prepared to share that land. A 2016 Palestinian Authority op-ed made clear that “all of Israel is occupied Palestine.” Palestinians believe that Jews have no place in the Islamic Middle East.
The Palestinian rejection of an Arab state living side by side with a Jewish one spans decades. They said “no” to a state offered by the British in 1937; “no” to the 1947 UN “two-state” resolution; “no” to a state in 2000; and “no” again in 2001 and 2008. The Jews said “yes” every time, despite military attacks against them in 1948, 1967 and 1973.
Furthermore, Palestinian terrorism against Israel has never abated since Israel’s creation in 1948. In fact, attacks intensified in 1987 leading to a full-blown terror campaign — the “first intifada,” which lasted until 1993.
In the early 1990s, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed the Oslo Accords outlining steps toward Palestinian self-determination and a peace-treaty. Israel gave the Palestinians control of 98 percent of their population in the West Bank and in Gaza.
But the Palestinians again said “no” to self-determination in favor of a terror campaign — the “second intifada” (2000-2005) — which left thousands of Israelis murdered and maimed in pizza parlors, cafes, shopping malls and on buses. Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians continue today, with stabbings and vehicular attacks currently the favored tactics.
In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, giving total control to the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and creating the first Palestinian state. In 2007, the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist branch, Hamas, took over Gaza and started firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.
The Palestinians divided themselves into an autocratic PA in the West Bank, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, and a theocratic terrorist state in Gaza. Without Israel’s support of the PA, Hamas would oust Abbas and take over the PA-controlled territories as well. To expect that these two murderous warring factions, one a corrupt kleptocracy and the other an Islamic terror enclave, could set aside their differences and live in peace with Israel is like believing that pigs can fly.
What’s more, longstanding Palestinian brainwashing of its population against Jews and Israel has resulted in vehement Palestinian opposition to a negotiated “two-state solution.”
A 2016 poll of Palestinian public opinion in the PA-controlled territories and Gaza reveals this stark and consequential reality:
- 57 percent oppose mutual recognition of Palestine and Israel as the homelands of their respective peoples.
- 62 percent oppose a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea and Samaria unless Israel receives no territory east of the Armistice Line (Green Line).
- More than two-thirds oppose West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- 67 percent oppose Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter and the Western Wall.
- 67 percent oppose recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, even if it leads to peace.
The US, EU and UN have been unwilling to look at these current realities, but Israelis understand that there’s no rational reason to believe that a Palestinian state would be anything other than a dangerous, antisemitic, religiously intolerant, homophobic, misogynistic country that is home to Islamist terror groups, just a stone’s throw away from Tel Aviv and Haifa.
In his book The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump admonishes the reader not to “reward failure by promoting those responsible for it, because all you get is more failure.” Let’s hope President Trump realizes that offering the Palestinians a “two-state” deal yet again, and expecting a different result, is the height of foolishness. It’s time to move beyond the failed “two-state” construct.
Ziva Dahl is a fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. She has a Master of Arts degree in public law and government from Columbia University and an A.B. in political science from Vassar College. A version of this article was originally published by The Washington Times.