After the War: A Two-State Solution?

(Jerusalem Post) Amb. Alan Baker - In his plan for "the day after" the current war between Israel and Hamas, U.S. President Joe Biden has reasserted his belief in the return of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to replace the Hamas terror organization in governing Gaza, and in the necessity to reach a "two-state solution" as the outcome of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. The phrase "two-state solution" is constantly being repeated despite the fact that the concept of two states as a solution to the conflict has never been officially accepted as the agreed solution either by Israel or by the Palestinian leadership. On the contrary, as agreed in the still-valid Oslo Accords, the permanent status of the territories remains an open negotiating issue. As such, repetition of the call for a two-state solution prejudges the outcome of the negotiating process and seriously underestimates the flawed capabilities of the PA in its present form. Clearly, any concept of two states that would include the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel could only emanate from direct negotiations between Israel and a unified and fully representative Palestinian leadership. It could not be a result of any off-the-cuff political declaration or UN resolution. A politically and economically unstable and non-viable Palestinian entity would be open to manipulation by Iran and other foreign states and terror elements. As such, it could never be acceptable to Israel or to the international community inasmuch as it would constitute a constant threat both to Israel's security as well as to regional stability. Calls for the restoration of the PA as the governing body in Gaza are naive and uninformed in light of the corruption rife among its leadership, its failure to maintain security within the area it governs (Judea and Samaria), and its policies of encouragement and incitement to terror - as well as its financing of terror through payment of salaries to perpetrators of terror and their families. Only after the formation of a unified responsible Palestinian administration - and not a corrupt one like the PA - that would be fully capable of governance and of fulfilling its international obligations, would it be possible to consider viable options for solving the dispute. The writer, former legal adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry and ambassador to Canada, directs the international law program at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

2023-12-07 00:00:00

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