Is the Path to a Palestinian State "Irreversible?"

(Council on Foreign Relations) Elliott Abrams - On Feb. 7, Secretary of State Blinken visited Israel and called for "a concrete, time-bound and irreversible path" to a Palestinian state. The danger to Israel implicit in these remarks is very great. What Blinken has done here is to destroy any preconditions. Blinken, of course, said that new state should live side-by-side with Israel in peace, but he did not make that a condition of its creation. If the path forward is "time-bound and irreversible," there are by definition no conditions that would slow or preclude creating that state. Not Iranian influence, not Hamas control, not support for terrorism, not teaching hatred of Jews, not importing weapons, not building tunnels into Israel, not brutal repression of Palestinian voices that criticize those in power. Nothing. Have we learned nothing in the last 20 years, watching the Palestinian Authority degenerate into a corrupt and ineffective autocracy that Palestinians loathe, while Iranian support helped Hamas turn Gaza into a murderous headquarters for anti-Israel violence? George W. Bush once spoke of the soft bigotry of low expectations, and that is part of what we see here. Blinken's statement demands nothing of Palestinians. They are not asked to confront hatred of Jews, not asked to end terrorism, not asked to create decent and effective governance. They are asked for nothing. And if that is what they are asked for, that is what they will deliver. The writer, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at CFR, served as deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor, where he supervised U.S. policy in the Middle East for the White House.

2024-02-09 00:00:00

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