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

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security