The Two-State Solution Isn’t a Magic Formula for Bringing Peace

April 26 2021

In the relatively short time the Biden administration has been in place, its representatives have repeatedly invoked the “two-state solution” with reference to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. After considering the ubiquity of this phrase, Alan Baker notes how little attention is paid to its legal and practical rationale, or what exactly it entails. He adds some clarity to the issue:

While the two-state vision has become a standard component of non-binding UN political documentation, it has never been part of any formal, binding resolution or agreement between the parties.

The . . . glib repetition of the phrase “two-state solution” as if, in and of itself, it can solve the Israel-Palestinian dispute, indicates a lack of understanding of its meaning and historical evolution. [Moreover], no such two-state solution could materialize without cognizance of the inherent realities of the Israel-Palestinian dispute as a basis for acceptance by the parties, as well as by the international community, of several basic assumptions.

A Palestinian state would have to be politically and economically stable. It could not open itself to manipulation by terror elements that could constitute a threat to Israel’s security. A Palestinian state would have to be demilitarized and limited in its military and security capabilities and other sovereign prerogatives. Such a state would have to be based on principles of democracy, liberty, and good governance and would be obligated to prevent terror and incitement.

A unified Palestinian leadership must be able to speak in the name of the entire Palestinian people and be capable of entering into and fulfilling commitments. In light of the widening schism between the Palestinian leadership of the West Bank and the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip, such a situation does not exist at present. A Palestinian state will need to commit to solid legal, political, and security guarantees that it will not abuse its sovereign prerogatives and international standing in order to violate or undermine the agreements.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: International Law, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Two-State Solution

 

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia