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:
"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."
- 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.
- 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.
- Hamas, who control Gaza and are likely to control the West Bank
if Israel withdraws, will undermine any agreement signed by the PA.
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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