The U.S. Remains Faithful to the Two-State Solution While Ignoring Its Dangers

In his visit to Israel last week, President Biden affirmed his support for the Jewish state in no uncertain terms, and acknowledged that “the ground is not ripe at this moment to restart negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet he also maintained America’s commitment to the creation of an “independent, sovereign, viable, and contiguous” Palestinian state. Elliott Abrams comments:

An “independent, sovereign” Palestinian state would quickly become a great security threat not only to Israel but to Jordan as well. That is why calls for an independent Palestinian state are empty gestures or simple virtue-signaling unless they confront the security challenge. If you don’t have a solution for the problem of keeping Hamas and other terrorist groups out of power in a new Palestinian state, your demands to establish one are irresponsible. And that is precisely why the “peace camp” in Israel has fared so poorly for the last twenty years.

It’s all too easy for Americans to lecture Israelis on the danger of “maintaining the occupation” which after all is “untenable” or “unsustainable.” But after 55 years, why conclude that it is unsustainable—unless a better option now exists that is also realistic and safe? And why lecture Israelis on its dangers (which certainly exist) when it is they, not Americans, who will bear the risks of coping with a terrorist-controlled West Bank? Israel has faced repeated rounds of conflict in Gaza—even after leaving there in 2005. Those awful little wars would pale in destructiveness compared to a conflict in the West Bank, and the death toll on both sides would be far higher. It’s too easy to repeat old formulas about two states. First, tell us how security for Jordan and Israel would be achieved and maintained. Then give your lecture.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Joseph Biden, Two-State Solution, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria