To Palestinians, a Two-State Solution Means Something Different

Sept. 7 2018

When Americans or Israelis speak of a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, they usually mean a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish one. Eric Mandel points out that when Palestinians use this locution, they mean something else entirely:

From my extensive experience speaking with Palestinian leaders and laymen alike, I have come to learn that the Palestinian version of the two-state solution leaves no room for a Jewish state. . . . To almost all Palestinian citizens of Israel I spoke with, from Arab mayors to teachers, a state of the Jewish people is illegitimate; Zionism is a colonizing enterprise of Jews stealing Arab land. Judaism, to them, is exclusively a religion, without a legitimate civilizational or national component. They view the Jewish historical claim to the land as fictional. . . .

Their idea of a fair “two-state solution” is one completely Arab state in the West Bank and one democratic binational state of Israel that allows the right of return for descendants of Palestinian refugees. It is a “two-state solution,” but not the one American Jews would recognize or Israel could survive.

I asked these Palestinian citizens of Israel if, were they to have every economic advantage that Jewish Israelis have without performing any compulsory civil service, they would then consider Israel a legitimate democracy. Almost all said no: not until the Jewish star is removed from the flag, ha-Tikvah is no longer the national anthem, and the right of return for diaspora Jews to Israel is rescinded. . . .

There is little doubt that future American administrations will re-attempt negotiations with the Israelis and Palestinians in hopes of achieving some form of a two-state solution. But it would be wise, before proceeding, to have both parties sign an agreement that, at the end of the negotiations, one of those states must be the state of the Jewish people, with the final resolution including a signed end-of-conflict agreement that unambiguously states that . . . all Palestinian claims [against] that state are settled.

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Read more at Forward

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian public opinion, Two-State Solution

 

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy