Steven Frank

After October 7th, even to raise the ‘two-state solution’ is obscene

On October 7th, Palestinian terrorists and Gaza residents massacred 1,200 Israeli citizens, gang raped countless women, burned babies alive in front of their parents and abducted two-hundred-forty hostages into the tunnels of Gaza. Remarkably, in the aftermath of the worst slaughter of Jewish people since the Holocaust, there is renewed talk of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In other words, rewarding Palestinians for their latest round of terrorism, following a century of horrific acts of terror, with a country of their own. It is obscene.

It is not just pro-Palestinian extremists attempting to resuscitate the moribund plan. In November, following the October massacre, President Biden said, “We need to renew our resolve to pursue this two-state solution. Two states for two peoples. It’s more important now than ever.” On October 8th — the day after the massacre, Secretary of State Blinken told CBS “We think the best way to resolve [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] remains a two-state solution.” Vice-President Kamala Harris chimed in: “There cannot be, in my opinion, peace and security for that region, for the people of Israel, or the Palestinians and people of Gaza, without a two-state solution.” It was recently disclosed that the Biden administration is drawing up policy options to officially recognize a Palestinian state after Israel’s war in Gaza.

The United Nations, the European Union, France, Jordan, the United Kingdom, nearly forty-nine Democratic United States Senators, and of course, the ever-delusional Tom Friedman of the New York Times, have endorsed the two-state plan. This even though most pragmatic commentators have long pronounced a two-state solution dead. Indeed, in a recent poll conducted by a respected Palestinian polling institute, seventy-two percent of Palestinians approved of the October 7th attack on Israel and only twenty-four percent favored a two-state solution.

This is consistent with almost a century of historic precedent. Palestinian/Arabs rejected plans for their own independent state living side-by-side in peace with Israel on at least seven occasions: 1939, 1948, 1967, 2000, 2008, 2014 and 2020. What is it about the October massacre that makes anyone think they have changed their minds? Unlike other legitimate nationalist independence movements (such as the Kurds), Palestinian nationalism was birthed in violence and it has remained its birthright for the past century.

Palestinian violence did not begin on October 7th. There was the massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929 and 1939, the invasion of Israel by five Arab nations upon Israel’s Declaration of Independence, airplane hijackings in the 1970’s, the murder of Olympic athletes in Munich, the Maalot massacre in 1974 (where Palestinian militants massacred 21 school children), the surprise attack on Israel on the Jews’ holiest of days, Yom Kippur, in 1973, suicide bombings that targeted buses, restaurants, discothèques, shopping malls, a university, and civilian homes, car rammings, stabbings, and consistent missiles fired from Gaza into Israeli homes, to name just a few instances, in the decades following. All of this, including their rejection of previous statehood offers is because Palestinians do not merely want to “end the occupation,” but because they want to destroy Israel. It is certainly clear by now, if there was ever any doubt, that when Palestinians chant “Free Palestine from the river to the sea,” they mean all of historic Palestine, including present day Israel.

Display, in Jerusalem, of posters of Israeli hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

The last attempt at Palestinian sovereignty began when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005 forcibly removing 5,000 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. Hamas quickly took over the Strip and turned it into a terrorist nation. Its final act of sovereignty was the massacre of its neighbors on October 7th. To even suggest that Palestinians should be given another chance to engage in more October 7ths, which they have pledged to do, is more than insane, it is obscene.

About the Author
Steve Frank is retired after a 30-year career as an appellate lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. His writings on Israel, the law and architecture have appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish News Syndicate and Moment magazine.