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A Two-State Non-Solution By: Moshe Dann
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, April 07, 2008


In a bold critique of current Israeli policy, Gen (ret) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council, said that negotiations to achieve a Declaration of Principles based on the "two-state-solution" plan were unrealistic.

Eiland, one of Israel's top strategic and intelligence advisors, was responsible for implementing Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Today, however, he readily admits that it was a mistake.

Despite warnings at the time from the entire military and intelligence community, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon went ahead with the destruction of 21 Jewish communities  in the Gaza Strip, including the critical border area with Egypt – a narrow strip called the Philadelphia Corridor. The vacuum was filled by the Iranian-backed terrorist organization, Hamas.

The decision to end Israel's presence in the Gaza Strip, Eiland said, was made by Sharon's political advisors, but would not identify them. "And we keep making the same mistakes," he noted.

A "shelf-agreement" now under discussion by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mohammed Abbas would fail, Eiland indicated, for the following reasons:
  1. There's no trust. The PA has done nothing to stop incitement and terrorism, despite a near-freeze in settlement building. The PA sees any expansion of settlements as an indication that Israel will not withdraw from those areas.
  2. Neither government can make fundamental compromises and survive. Israel cannot withdraw to the Armistice lines of 1949 (as the PA demands); the Palestinians refuse to give up the 'Right of Return' of millions of "Palestinian refugees" to Israel.
  3. Hamas, who control Gaza and are likely to control the West Bank if Israel withdraws, will undermine any agreement signed by the PA.
 "The concept (of a two-state-solution) can't work," Eiland stated. "It's not about details; those have been well-known since the negotiations during Clinton's presidency. The problem is that no one can guarantee what will happen if the PA violates the agreements."

The obsession with the "two-state-solution" in its current form, moreover, prevents the emergence of any other option. "There are other possibilities, but they aren't being considered," Eiland suggested. "For example, Jordan and Egypt could be involved."

"Two-thirds of Jordan's population are Palestinian," Eiland elaborated. "Jordan would be the logical partner in any solution, especially because a Hamas dominated state would present a direct threat to its existence."

"Similarly, Egypt does not want a terrorist-run state on its border, since it would probably ally with the radical Moslem Brotherhood, a terrorist group in Egypt."

"A Palestinian state, as envisioned is not viable or stable economically, politically, or militarily. It will, inevitably, become radicalized, dominated by the most powerful groups."

"Most important, the Palestinians don't want a 'two-state solution.' They rejected it in 1947/48, again in 1967, in 2000 and today. They prefer to be seen as 'victims,' and seek revenge. Given the choice between no Palestinian state and no Israel, on one hand, and being divided among neighboring Arabs states, on the other, 80% would choose the latter."

"As long as Israel exists and refuses to agree to the 'Palestinian Right of Return' no solution is possible."

"There is no basis for the illusion of a 'two-state solution' as now being presented," Eiland concluded. "The Arab world isn't interested in resolving the conflict, and the risks Israel faces in this scenario are too great."

"We need to think more creatively, and be open to more options."




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