On a phone call with his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Tony Blinken reasserted in mid-February the Biden Administration’s support for the “Two-State Solution.” So far, so predictable. But what does that mean, in practice? The report on the phone call is here.
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Israeli counterpart on Monday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was best for the future of Israel, the US State Department said.
Is it the role of the American government to tell the tiny, permanently imperiled Jewish state what “is best for the future of Israel”? Shouldn’t that decision be left up to the people of Israel? How about a more modest formulation, such as “a two-state solution may be the best for the future of Israel”?
Blinken, in a call with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, “emphasized the Biden administration’s belief that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state,” the State Department said.
In repeating the peace-processers’ mantra that a “two-state solution” is the “best way to ensure Israel’s future,” Blinken called for something that contains a multitude of possibilities, and is meaningless unless the details are filled in. After all, the Palestinians are now offering their version of a two-state solution in which Israel is squeezed back within the 1949 armistice lines, with a nine-mile-wide waist from Qalqilya to the sea, and without control of either the Jordan Valley, which is necessary to block an invasion from the east, or of the Golan Heights, control of which by Israel blocks an invasion from the north.
That is one version of the “two-state solution.”
Another “two-state solution” was that proposed by the Trump administration’s “Peace-To-Prosperity” plan, which would have given the Palestinians all of the Gaza Strip, 70% of the West Bank, and two large swathes of territory in the Negev that Israel would give up in exchange for the 30% of the West Bank it would be retaining. That 30% includes the Jordan Valley and the five largest settlement blocs. Another part of the Peace-to-Prosperity Plan would require the Palestinian state to be disarmed, and for the Palestinians to end their demand for a “right of return” of Palestinian refugees, or rather, of those millions of descendants of the original Palestinian refugees who are uniquely privileged, among all the world’s refugees, in being allowed to treat the status of “Palestinian refugee” as an inheritable trait.
The Secretary noted the United States’ continuing commitment to opposing unfair, one-sided actions against Israel in the multilateral arena,” it continued. “Foreign Minister Ashkenazi and “Secretary Blinken acknowledged the steadfast partnership between the United States and Israel, and that the two countries would work closely together on challenges ahead.”
In other words, Secretary Blinken conveyed almost nothing except that the new administration wanted there to be “a two-state solution.” With no details, there are a plethora of possibilities.
There’s a lot wrong with this formulation. First, use of the word “solution” is misleading. It’s not Blinken’s fault; the phrase “two-state solution” has been on the lips of peace-processors for decades. But, I maintain, there is no “solution” to the Arab war on Israel; that war is based the texts and teachings of Islam, which treat all lands that were once in the possession of Muslims as forever belonging to them. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not a problem to be solved but, rather, a “situation” to be “managed.” In order to keep the peace between Israel and the Arabs, the Jewish state must employ the strategy of deterrence: Israel must remain overwhelmingly stronger than its present or potential enemies, so as to discourage any aggression. Israel cannot rely on treaties, for Muslims take as their model of treaty-making with Infidels the Treaty of Hudaibiyya, that Muhammad made with the Meccans in 628 A.D. This “truce” treaty was to have lasted 10 years; within 18 months, sensing his forces had grown sufficiently strong, Muhammad broke the treaty and attacked the Meccans. For Muslims, it is permissible, it is even admirable, to break treaties with Infidels. This ineradicable fact has never been sufficiently appreciated, if it is even known at all, in Washington.
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