Forgetting the Two-State Solution – by Joseph Klein


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Ever since 1977, the United Nations has sponsored the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” to mark November 29th, the date in 1947 when the UN General Assembly approved its partition resolution. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called November 29th a “day of mourning and a day of grief.” It takes place every year at UN headquarters in New York and at the UN Offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere. This year it was observed on November 30th since the 29th was a Sunday.

In honor of this year’s “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a special “Message” stating that sixty-two years ago, “the General Assembly, resolution 181, put forth a vision of two States.” He said that the “State of Israel exists” but the “State of Palestine does not.”

I asked the Secretary General’s spokesperson at the press briefing at UN headquarters on that day if Ban Ki-moon has a position on whether the two-state solution should include specific protection of Israel as a Jewish state. After all, the whole purpose of establishing the state of Israel in the first place was to create a Jewish homeland where Jews would no longer be a persecuted minority who were told that they do not belong in the country in which they happened to reside. The international community at the time passed the partition resolution knowing full well that its vision of two states included a Jewish state living side by side with a Palestinian state. But the Arab states rejected the UN partition resolution – the original two-state solution. The Jewish state accepted it.

Fast forward sixty-two years. President Obama, when he addressed the General Assembly in September, talked about a Jewish state of Israel living side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian sovereign state. But in a press briefing at UN headquarters on September 22nd, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad rejected the idea of a Jewish state. He said it “was not part of the Palestinian Authority’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist in peace and security.”

My question to the Secretary General’s spokesperson was meant to elicit whether Ban Ki-moon had the courage to reaffirm the UN General Assembly’s original vision – a Jewish state of Israel and a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security. The answer was, No.

“We don’t have a position on that,” said Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson. “We have said it over and over again. What we do recognize is the need for the existence of two States, living side-by-side. We don’t actually want to venture into determining what each State will be like. I think it’s for the people of those States to determine what those States will be. What I would say is that, for us, it is important that the two-State solution be carried through.”

Every November the United Nations makes a public spectacle of mourning what it had recommended as a peaceful solution to the Arab-Jewish dispute over the Palestine Mandate territory sixty-two years ago. The UN is effectively repudiating its own original two-state solution, spurned by all of the Arab countries back in 1947 but accepted by Israel and backed back then by the international community.

The Palestinians continue to insist on their own state, to be governed as they wish – very likely under Islamic law. The UN is rallying to their cause and blaming Israel for defending itself against unremitting terrorist attacks. And gone is the clear international recognition of the reason that Israel was established in the first place.

The Palestinians will not even come to the negotiating table until they get their way completely on certain pre-conditions, such as a total freeze of all settlement activity. But negotiations, if they ever start in earnest, are doomed to fail if the Palestinians and their enablers refuse to recognize Israel’s right of self-determination to live in peace and security as a Jewish state.

  • andyFree

    It must be obvious that, if one apartheid state is good, then two are better.

    The problem is that, despite early enthusiasm and agreement to a Palestinian state, Israel now refuses to allow such a second state to be set-up, and demands that the lives of all Palestinians are subject to the Zionist regime.

    Under such conditions, the options remaining are two, either ethnically cleanse the Palestinians (spreading even more chaos and causing even more terrorism in the neighbourhood) or annexing the occupied territories and granting the Palestinians citizenship of Israel.

  • CowboyUp

    “Does the UN support the existence of a Jewish state?” No, they merely tolerate it because they have no real power to change it. They obviously have no problem with muslim states. The UN has never even attempted to physically slow down Israel's attackers, and they never even attempted to enforce their own 1948 partition mandate. We should have should have withdrawn from the UN when we found out the US rep for its' founding was representing the soviet union, and kicked them to france a long time ago.

  • Robert Bernier

    Learn from History.
    A proposed Palestinian state on one hand, and Middle East stability and US and Israel national security on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron. A Palestinian state would add fuel – and not water – to the fire of terrorism and Middle East turbulence. The promotion of “The Two State Solution” proves that the US and Israeli policy-makers are determined to learn from history by repeating – rather than by avoiding – past dramatic blunders. About the lies blocking peace in the M-E at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/08

  • Robert Bernier

    The Two States solution has reduced the prospects for peace
    The Two States solution is based on a series of erroneous assumptions, ignoring documented precedents, and therefore constituting an erroneous policy. “Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace,” while the PLO and Hamas have been engaged in a horrific civil war, while there has not been inter-Arab peace during the last 1,400 years, while there has not been inter-Arab compliance with most inter-Arab agreements during the last 1,400 years, while there has not been a single Arab democracy during the last 1,400 years??? The Two States solution has exacerbated regional turbulence, has fueled terrorism, has promoted war and has reduced the prospects for peace, thus undermining the national security of both the US and Israel. As to the legitimacy :
    http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/04

  • CowboyUp

    More terrorism than what, and by who if the terrorists are kicked out? It's not like muslims are going to hate Israel any more than they already do. The pa is already set up, or was I not supposed to notice?

  • LindaRivera

    JEWISH Refugees must be compensated in LAND and FINANCES!

    Around, and after 1948, one million Jews suffered violent religious Jew cleansing from Arab countries. Arab governments seized the land, farms, homes, hospitals, schools, businesses and bank accounts of the Jews.

    Most Jewish refugees fled to Israel where the religious terror war against Jews never stops.

    Cruel global war is fought to subjugate all humanity under merciless Islamic sharia law where defenseless non-Muslims have no human rights-it is unacceptable to Islamics for Jews to have self-rule in tiny Israel.

    The 1948 Jewish refugees and their descendants who make up about half of Israel's Jewish citizens MUST be compensated in land and finances!

    See:
    http://www.theforgottenrefugees.com/

  • LindaRivera

    There NEVER was an Arab country of Palestine. Jerusalem was NEVER the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Jewish Bible, not once in the Koran!

    The inalienable rights of Jews to the Biblical heartland must not be violated! No one is demanding Muslims surrender THEIR top religious areas of Mecca and Medina!

    In 1948, Egypt invaded Gaza, ethnically cleansing all Jews and in 1948, Jordan invaded Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, ethnically cleansing all Jews.

    In violent opposition to G-D, Muslim Jordan destroyed 58 synagogues in Jerusalem. The jihad is against the Holy One.

    When Israel won the Arab war of aggression in 1967, Jews returned to the areas of their ancestral homeland they had been ethnically cleansed from for 19 years. Anti-Israel propaganda deceitfully calls Jews' legitimate return “occupation”.

    Jews have had a continuous presence in physical and spiritual homeland Israel for 4000 years.

    All Land and Property Stolen from Jews in the 1948 Islamic Invasion Must be Returned!

  • LindaRivera

    Before 1948, JEWS were known as the Palestinians.

    The Jewish newspaper, the Jerusalem Post was called the Palestine Post. The Jewish-founded electric company was Palestine Electric. The Palestinian Symphony Orchestra was all Jewish. During World War II, the British army had a Palestinian Brigade made up entirely of Jewish volunteers.

    After Jews migrated to Palestine in significant numbers in the late 1800s and miraculously transformed desert and swamps into rich, agricultural land, Arabs came in large numbers from Arab countries for jobs from Jews.

    The fact that the overwhelming majority of Arabs resided only briefly in Palestine is attested to by a one-time special UN decree: that any Arab who had resided in Palestine for only two years before 1948, and then left, would be considered a refugee and so would his descendants!

    Throughout history, people were never regarded as refugees if they had resided in a country for ONLY TWO YEARS because they were clearly citizens of other countries!

  • USMCSniper

    The US backing the creation of a Palestinian state is an insane idea.

    Such a state would only serve as a safe haven for terrorists to organize, train under Hamas, plot and launch their attacks not only against Israel, but also against America for Muslim terrorist groups throughout the world to attack American and Israeli targets.

    Most Palestinians openlt support these terrorist groups and consider themselves enemies of the United States. It is time to agree with them and treat them as enemies.

  • PAthena

    The name “Palestina” was given to Judea by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 A.D. after he had defeated the last of the Jewish rebellions under Bar Kochba. “Palestine” then became the synonym for “land of the Jews” or “the Holy Land' (since Jesus was a Jew), and “Palestinian” became synonymous with “Jew.” That is why the Zionists wanted the “Palestine Mandate.”
    Soviet propaganda turned Arabs into “Palestinians,” with phony history, when the Soviets and Nasser founded the “Palestine Liberation Front” (P.L.O.) in Cairo in 1964. Why should there be yet another Arab state, especially since that state would be on the territory of the land of the Jews, Judea and Samaria.

  • fembem

    Israel and Zionists seem to not understand that most people and international law view states as belonging to their citizens and not to fixed religions or ethnicities, and that this applies to all nations. Israeli apologists seem to think we should make some sort of exception for Israel. If other nations adopted definitions of statehood based on ethnicity and religion, the map of the world would turn into a fractal. Imagine if the US decided to define itself as a Christian state or if Russia wanted to define itself as an atheist state. Especially so-called democracies ought to realize that states belong to their citizens. The only right an individual has is to vote in the state that controls his town, city, or farm. That is self determination. Self determination is not all the Mormons in the US deciding they need a state and that Utah will be a Mormon state. It is not Kurds deciding they need a state and ripping a piece out of Iran, Turkey and Iraq.

  • andrewnitzberg

    It is disgusting and factually inaccurate to refer to Israel as an aparthied state.

    More than 1 million Arab Muslims hold full Israeli citizenship, vote in elections and elect their own politicians to national office including the Israeli Congress or parliament [called Knesset].

    The Arab Israelis join the military and are employed everywhere at every level – including that of full professor at the universities. In fact, although 20% of Israelis are Arab Muslims, 25% of all university professors are Arab Muslims.

    Yhe big difference is that Arab Israelis are not drafted into the military. Some might call this a 'privilege' rather than a disability.

    Callling Israel Apartheid is racist.

  • andrewnitzberg

    The point of asking the Arabs to accept Israel as a 'Jewish State' is to avoid a weasel loophole in any peace treaty where the Arabs declare war not on Israel, but on a 'Jewish State'.

    The idea is not to define Israel to israelis, but to get the Arabs to stop promnising to “drive the Jews into the sea and make the Mediterranean red with the blood of the jews.”

    It's about trying for a real and lasting peace and not just a lull and a vocabulary change between wars.

    [In addition, as a practicing attorney with expertise in Internaqtional Law I am dismayed at another supporter of the Palestinian Arabs distorting the content and foundation of International Law. They love to cite 'International Law', but always get it wrong. I find the ignorant and inaccurate citations of International Law as hypocritical, deceptive, and manipulative.]

  • John C. Arens

    King Solomon had it about right: There is nothing new under the sun.

    Rabid anti-Jewish hatred is a virulent today as it was in Germany in 1944. Israel could be pushed into the sea, the whack-job terrorist in charge of Iran could have his most fond wish, and every Jew in the world could be magically “Final Solution-ed”– It would STILL not be enough for the vast bulk of humanity that needs a scape-goat.

    Jews were reviled before the creation of Israel for worming their diaspora into the native populations around the world… Then they were reviled for withdrawing into their own land. Of course the UN is anti-Semitic, and filled with hatred for the Jewish people: it would be utterly unlike the vast history of humanity for it to be otherwise.

    The bright, shining moment in the history of the world vis-a-vis the Jews was after it witnessed what unbridled hatred looked like as it was horrifically expressed in the death camps of Nazi Germany, and then the world determined through the UN not to repeat it. But, that was nearly 70 years ago now, and out of the living memory of most people on earth. There will be a second Holocaust, and we will have to learn the lessons all over again, and the institutions we created to prevent it, are the very ones that will cause it. We will cry oceans of tears over it, wailing about why we didn't prevent it, why couldn't we see it, etc.

    The world is as bad today looking at Israel as the German population was watching the loaded cattle-cars filled with Jews embark for God-knew-where. We know it will end in something catastrophic, but are completely unwilling to come to Israel's rescue.

    Ban KI-Moon included.

  • idviking

    The only interest Islam has in Israel is to use it as a tool to perpetuate the “victimization” of Palestine. Israel will never be able to offer the rest of the Islamic world a satisfactory compromise with regard to a two-state solution. The reason? The appearance of negotiating garners support from the easily manipulated and uninformed. “Victimization” creates sympathy in the theatre of world opinion and from this position radical Islam can expand its position by demonizing the very people it tries to destroy. Sound familiar?
    Hamas/Hezbollah can launch 100 rockets into Israel and there isn't a peep in the world press. One Israeli soldier shoots back and you can't get a plane ticket into Israel the next day because the entire news world flies in to cover the “cruel, murdering Israeli”.
    The only way “Palestine” will be satisfied is if the entire state of Israel is dhimmified or if the borders of Israel become so condensed that it will be impossible for them to defend themselves. Either way Israel is destroyed and Islam gets the goal it has always wanted, total Sharia law in the region with no Jewish or Christian faith alternative in the way to inhibit its expansion.
    We need to quit making excuses for the human rights abuses inherent in Islam. If these changes aren't made the religion needs to discarded the same way the world has discarded Nazism.

  • davidhorowitz

    No, the Israel should expressly NOT be a 'Jewish' state, as such a declaration would expressly discriminate, both de facto and de jure, against non-Jews who live in there; it would discriminate against non-Jewish immigrants; it would replicate the mistakes of Nazi Germany by emphasizing 'purity of blood' and a homogeneous racial demographic; and finally, it would create a sense of superiority as racial constructions always have, since politico-racial categories were invented a few hundred years ago. We only have to look at calls for immigration restriction in the U.S. following WWI, calls that were based on the notion of white supremacy as advanced by Madison Grant. Conservatives supported the draconian immigration laws of the early 1920s, thus (unwittingly to some extent) leading to the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews who otherwise could have escaped the horrors of the Holocaust. The Nazis, influenced by American policy (they put out a red carpet for conservative Lothrop Stoddard, who followed directly in the footsteps of Madison Grant in the late thirties, when he visited Nazi Germany), implemented racial restrictions and laws with the obvious results. Israel, of course, was formed in the rush to judgment following WWII, as a form of reparations for Jews. But for the security of the Middle East and the world, it's imperative that we now move toward new protocols for peace in the 21st Century, that move us beyond the tired racial ideologies of the past.

  • davidhorowitz

    This just sounds like the old 'Right of Return'. Do you support returning all land to the Iroquois Confederacy, or the Cherokee. Somehow I doubt it…

  • LindaRivera

    There are 22 HUGE, Arab Muslim states. 57 Muslim countries who jealously guard their religion and culture. Non-Muslims are forbidden entry into Islam's top religious cities of Mecca and Medina. At the airport in Saudi Arabia, anyone found with a Bible, have their Bibles siezed and shredded. Muslims vandalize and destroy at the Temple Mount, the top religious site of Jews and the holiest place on earth. Muslims regularly desecrate and destroy Jewish holy places in Israel.

    In the filthy Islamic invasion of Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, Judea, Muslims tore up Bibles for toilet paper. Christian majority towns, Bethlehem & Nazareth are now majority Muslim – terrified Christians were driven out by cruel Islamic persecution. Many Bethlehem Christians' homes and land were stolen by Muslims. The Christians who remain, live in constant fear. US/EU/UN are silent about the suffering and terrible persecution of Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and other non-Muslims, by Islam.

    In 1980 PLO Chairman Arafat explained Islamic peace: “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel . We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.”

    The PLO Charter calls for the destruction of Israel.

    On the same day Oslo “Peace” Accords were signed in 1993, PLO leader, Arafat stated: “Since we cannot defeat Israel in war we do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish sovereignty there and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel.”

    The Arab League's Charter states its goal is to eradicate the Zionist entity.

  • davidhorowitz

    But does the Israeli charter call for the preservation of Palestine?

  • Steven L

    Anybody involved in the Israelo-Palestinian conflict must read the Balfour declaration and San Remo treaty.
    The rest is BS.

  • richardebrandt

    The United Nations is a useless entity