"No," insists Gen (ret)
Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's
National Security Council. In a bold critique of current Israeli policy,
Eiland said that negotiations to achieve a Declaration of Principles based on
the "two-state-solution" plan could not work. "The concept is
These views seem to be shared by
most Israeli military and security experts not serving in the government
or IDF and many who are, but can't speak out. Yet, no major media will
cover the story.
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, and total withdrawal, including the critical border area with Egypt – a
narrow strip called the Philadelphia Corridor riddled with smugglers tunnels.
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 also fail, Eiland indicated, for the following reasons:
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
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 extend their hegemony to the West Bank if Israel withdraws, will undermine
any agreement signed by the PA.
"The concept of a
two-state-solution, with an independent Palestinian is naïve," Eiland
stated. "It's not about details; those have been well-known since the
negotiations during Clinton's
presidency. The problem is that it's impossible to 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 considers themselves 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
"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
"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, especially a regional approach."