The U.S. Fixation on the "Two-State Solution"

(National Review) Elliott Abrams - Barak Ravid of Axios reported on June 8 that the Biden administration proposed to hold a high-level summit with the Palestinian Authority. A high-level summit with the PA right now would serve no useful purpose. As the Israelis suggest, there is a real downside in creating an expectations crisis. Even inveterate peace processors in the U.S. and Israel acknowledge that there is no chance for any agreement today. This is largely because the PA has the support of so few Palestinians, and is viewed widely as both incompetent and corrupt. As of last fall, 80% of Palestinians were demanding the resignation of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and roughly the same number have complained of corruption in poll after poll. Another 2021 poll found that 67% of Palestinians want to annul the Oslo Accords entirely. Even more significantly, 60% opposed the principle of a two-state solution, and 54% opposed resuming negotiations with Israel. Perhaps strong, credible leaders could change public opinion, but the Palestinians have no strong leaders who favor peace. Serious negotiations always require compromises, and the PA is in no condition to make any. U.S. officials should be seeking pragmatic ways to help Palestinians, who face enormous economic and governance problems. They should be dealing with realities on the ground and trying to make lives better. And they should stop dreaming of summits that would very likely produce nothing but more tension. The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2022-06-13 00:00:00

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