We have all heard the repeated and now shrill calls for the Two State solution to bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis. Two independent states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, peacefully, like many civilized states. Good neighbours living happily forever after.
Well, that is the ideal, the panacea to solve what has been an intractable problem for 75 years. I tend to think that a two-state solution is currently dead. Why? Because neither the Palestinians, and after October 7, now not even the Israelis want it. Israel had agreed to a Palestinian state many times. But every time the Palestinians walked away. The Palestinian extremist groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, do not want Israel as a neighbour. They want all the land of Israel as their state. They want it all. "River to the sea". This position by the Palestinian leadership has not changed for well nigh 70 years.
Despite this rather obvious flaw in the concept the Two state solution remains the only 'solution' proposed by much of the Western World. It cannot be becasue they believe it is a possible, given the history of failure. But I guess they support it to appease their Muslim minorities, They want to have a fall back option that gives hope to Palestinians.
Of course the status quo is unacceptable for both Israel and the Palestinian population. The Palestinian leadership is to blame for failing their people. I guess that is a topic in itself. and I will leave it for another day
And I do have hope that if Israel is given the chance to eliminate Hamas as the ruling regime in Gaza there is an opportunity for creating leadership. If that works then of course the case for "River to the Sea" moves down a notch. Hard to visualise during a bloody war but "spiro spero".While there is breath there is hope.
I recently came across an alternative to the Two State solution. Lisa Liel has proposed A Three State Solution
This is a novel idea and has some compelling arguments for it.
In summary, she proposes an independent Palestinian state taking about 30% of Jordan in a section of Jordan not contiguous with Israel (see map). The idea is that all Palestinians from Gaza and the West bank would be relocated to this new state.
There are some notable advantages of this proposal which Lisa identifies clearly.
- The total area of the proposed state is roughly equal to the combined areas of Gaza and the West Bank disputed territory.
- While Jordan loses some land, given that Jordan was historically intended to take all the Arabs of Palestine, it is not an unreasonable compromise.
- In addition Jordan gains strategically by losing its border with Iraq and shortening its borders with Syria and Saudi Arabia
- Also the proposed land is currently not highly populated.
- Most importantly the Palestinian state would not border Israel, which would strategically be welcome presumably by both Israel, no more rockets, and Palestine, no more occupation
- While landlocked the land does have some water resources with a large fresh water basis.
- it also has an airport and is located strategically between Jordan and Iraq so could offer trade opportunities
- UNRWA could be disbanded and the funds redirected to help build infrastructure for the new state
It is easy to dismiss such ideas, but history has shown such mass relocations have been possible if there is a will.
Great work by Lisa in putting forward a novel idea!