There is a dirty little secret in the Obama administration’s policy on the Middle East: the two-state solution is a lie, at least under current conditions. Yet the U.S. administration continues to push that lie and is now looking to punish Israel for telling the truth.
For the same reasons expressed by Alan Dershowitz, I support the principle of a two-state solution. Israel itself accepted it in 1947 when the UN first proposed it, and Israel has since then offered several times to make peace based on that principle. However when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel”, how could I possibly disagree? Yet the Obama administration not only disagrees, but it is looking at punishing Israel for Bibi’s blatant and truthful assessment of today’s situation.
Here are the facts:
- When Israel left Gaza, essentially giving it independence, while Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas pontificated about Gaza “awakening with new hope and promise”, Gaza was quickly taken over by Hamas, and it became a major terror base against Israel.
- Since Israel left Gaza, Hamas has caused three wars with Israel, and despite significant human and material losses each time for the Palestinians, Hamas continues to place war and hatred above the interests of its own people.
- Despite the pain and misery that Hamas has inflicted on Gaza, the terrorist organization is highly popular in the West Bank.
- Even if Hamas weren’t popular in the West Bank, its ruthless actions against Fatah in Gaza show that if only the Palestinian Authority stood in Hamas’ way in the West Bank, Hamas would take over the West Bank by force.
- Neither the U.S. nor anyone else has done anything meaningful to stop the Hamas takeover of Gaza or to stop it from attacking Israel using Iran-supplied missiles.
Based on these undisputable facts, common sense indicates that if a peace agreement were signed today, giving the Palestinians autonomy, Hamas would quickly take over the new Palestinian state, and it would turn the West Bank into a terror base just as it did in Gaza. Neither the U.S. nor anyone else would do anything about protecting Israel, but they would lecture about the need for Israel to use “proportional force” in its response to terror attacks. With the proximity of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to the West Bank, Hamas would be able to paralyze the Israeli economy and likely inflict major civilian casualties through missile attacks and tunnel infiltrations.
There is no question that under current conditions, a two-state solution is unattainable because no Israeli government would accept such suicide. There is no question that Obama and all Western leaders know this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Yet Obama and his allies preach the two-state gospel without shame and without care for reality.
If Obama, France’s President Francois Hollande, and others truly wanted a two-state solution, they would tell Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas the truth. They would tell Abbas that he needs to get rid of terrorism, he needs to put the interest of his people first, and he needs to build a democracy that can deliver peace, just as Palestinian human rights advocate Bassem Eid has demanded many times. They would tell Abbas that until these things happen, there is no point in even talking about a Palestinian state or a two-state solution.
Obama does not want a two-state solution; he just wants to use the concept of two-states as a device to blame Israel because blaming Israel is the path of least resistance, and it increases his credibility with the Middle East’s many antisemitic regimes. Obama knows that while Bibi may have the temerity to deliver a speech in congress contrary to the wishes of the U.S. President, Israel’s response to Obama’s big lie will only consist of words. Israel will never threaten or attack the United States, and unlike everyone else in the Middle East, Israel will never work against the U.S.’s interests in the region.
As my friend Klari Bates a left-wing American Jew and Obama voter wrote, Obama’s mishandling of the Israel file led straight to Bibi’s re-election. Israelis know better than anyone else that Obama’s so-called two-state solution is a lie, but to a casual observer, Obama’s lie sounds like the truth, and that lie is used widely to demonize Israel and the Jews.
With two years left in his mandate, it is unlikely that Obama will suddenly become a courageous and truthful leader in terms of his Middle East policies, and that he will stop pushing a blatant lie to the detriment of Israel. I just hope that the U.S. and Israel will be able to pick up the pieces of their formerly strong relationship once this President finally leaves office.