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.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

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

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy