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I Can Live With Either One

by Teapot Harding (Principles: Shrinking Government) - 2 year ago

Creative ideas for solving the Middle East impasse have been crushed for too long under the weight of the Two State Solution. Trump provides hope that will change.

Finally, we have a President who declares that the Emperor is not wearing any clothes. At the risk of blurring the line between church and state, let me say Hallelujah!

The Emperor in this case is the vaunted Two-State Solution (or TSS) to the Palestinian Israeli conflict; the solution that “everyone” has come to agree is the “only way” for a peaceful resolution to that conflict. All must grovel at the feet of the TSS since to do anything else makes you a proponent of apartheid denying the legitimate aspirations of an ancient people.

Well, maybe not that ancient. Back in the 1940’s, the Jews who lived in Israel called themselves Palestinians. Their newspaper was the Palestinian Post which ultimately changed its name to the Jerusalem Post.

Don’t get me wrong, there was a time then the TSS really did wear the finest clothes. It brought hope of a better day to the good people, Israelis and Palestinians, who have suffered for too long. It even almost succeeded not only once, but twice. The momentum built by the Wye River Accords in 1998 came within inches of a deal being consummated in 2000 between Ehud Barack and Yasser Arafat. It didn’t happen then but secret negotiations between Israeli PM Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came even closer in 2008.   

Perhaps it was a failure of leadership on one side or the other, or perhaps the TSS was fatally flawed from the beginning. Regardless, in order to be able to see a TSS bringing peace to the region, you have to have an imagination capable of seeing clothing on a naked Emporor:

Among the fatal flaws:

  1. There is no single Palestinian leadership with which Israel can negotiate.
  2. The Palestinians have not created stable government institutions which can resist a terrorist takeover. Gaza is the perfect example.
  3. Palestinian children have been raised since birth to hate Israelis.
  4. No Israeli government can give up any part of Jerusalem and survive.
  5. No Israeli government is going to give up control of the Jordan valley and allow terrorists to infiltrate Palestine through Jordan.

In short there is zero chance that the TSS can be implemented now or any time in the foreseeable future. The situation has moved on from those days when a settlement seemed close and we finally, finally (Hallelujah!) have a President who realizes that.

His words were simple yet elegant: “So I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one."

Exactly. For the past decade, think tanks and groups in Israel, sometimes in cooperation with Palestinian counterparts, have been exploring more creative ways to solve the impasse. To them, the idea that the land is limited and every square inch must either be yours, or mine, is nonsense. With 41 states in the United States being larger than the entirety of the “two states,” there simply isn’t enough land to go around. And yet, the TSS has been held over their heads like an anvil ready to strike them down if they deviated from its orthodoxy.

“I can live with either one.” Thank you Mr. President. You have now created hope where none existed before. 

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