The illusion of the status-quo in the territories

David Horovitz, the editor of The Times of Israel, has done it again in his latest column [1]: He is correct in his critique of the proponents of the 1-state solution – from the Left and the Right. However, the only thing that he has to offer to those in favor of a 2-state solution is: Keep the torch lit, stay put and hope for better times in the future. He is wrong: It ignores the economic reality and the idealistic motives that drove hundreds of thousands of Jews to Judea and Samaria during the last fifty years. This is a process that, if left unattended, will erode the vision of the 2-state solution. It must be redirected, and the only practical way to do this is by defining the international border in the West Bank. The sooner – the better will be.

Trump’s Peace Initiative provides a unique opportunity to achieve the 2-state solution, however imperfect it might be or appear to be. Regrettably, due to the past and present unwillingness of the Palestinians to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a sovereign state of their own, it must begin with a joint Israeli-US unilateral step: replace the 1949 armistice border in the West Bank by an international border recognized by the US. If the Israeli government will adopt this initiative and be wise in defining the new border, it will carry with it most of all the basic ingredients of a stable long-term 2-state solution: an international border recognized by the United States, a long-term freeze on the indiscriminate development of Jewish communities outside the US-recognized Israeli international border, and a renewed affirmation by Israel of the idea of the partition of the land between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river between Jews and Arabs, leaving to the Palestinians in the West Bank to decide whether to have a separate state of their own, or within a confederation or single state with Jordan, as long as the security needs of Israel are met, essentially, a demilitarized West Bank. The Israeli laws will apply equally to everyone, Jews and Arabs living in Israel within its new borders: In particular, the rights to citizenship and the right to vote and choose their representatives to the Knesset.

Trump’s Peace Initiative provides also a bottom-up solution to bypass the rigidity of the political structures in the Palestinian society: a multi-billion economic “Marshall plan” for the West Bank and Jordan.

A solution for Gaza may take much longer to implement: Hamas and the Islamic State will control this strip for as long as Iran will be controlled by the Ayatollahs’ regime. Trump’s peace initiative provides the needed flexibility for a different economic and political time table for the West Bank and Gaza.

Yes to a 2-state solution – No to a status quo illusion!!

[1] David Horovitz, “Two-state solution: The worst and only way to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (The Times of Israel, August 6, 2020)

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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