In the wake of Hamas’s relentless aggression, it’s time to debunk the myth of the two-state solution. Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the dream of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel has remained elusive. The recent atrocities committed by Hamas during the October 7 assault, which left over 1,300 innocent lives lost, have compelled the Biden administration and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reevaluate their approach to Hamas.
A Turning Point
For 17 years, the Western world had pressured Israel to tread carefully when dealing with Hamas. However, the horrific scale of the October 7 attack demonstrated that the status quo could no longer be maintained. President Biden’s remarks have given Israel a green light to act against Hamas. While the exact nature of Israel’s response remains uncertain, it’s evident that the time for decisive action has arrived.
Revisiting Two-State Advocates
Despite the urgency for Israel to address the Hamas threat, some continue to advocate for a Palestinian state. They argue that the two-state solution is the path to peace, but their perspective is flawed. The Hamas-controlled state in Gaza starkly contradicts this vision of peace. It’s not just that Hamas’s ideology clashes with the idea of a two-state solution; the two-state solution itself is fundamentally incompatible with lasting peace.
The Need for a Credible Alternative
While President Biden refrained from mentioning the two-state solution in the current context, others have not been as cautious. Influential figures like Thomas Friedman and Richard Haas are already calling for a return to the two-state approach. They argue for opposing Israeli operations against Hamas in favor of renewed efforts to pressure Israel into concessions for a “more moderate” Palestinian Authority.
Gaza: A Forgotten Reality
One fact often overlooked is that an independent Palestinian state already exists in Gaza. In 2005, Israel withdrew all its presence from Gaza, envisioning a region of peace. However, this dream was never realized. Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007 and transformed it into a base for launching attacks against Israeli civilians.
The Two Faces of Palestinian Leadership
The argument that Hamas is the only obstacle to peace is misleading. Even within the supposedly “moderate” Palestinian Authority, there is a deep-seated resistance to recognizing Israel’s legitimacy. Anti-Semitism, incitement against Jews, and a “pay-for-murder” scheme have all been promoted by the Palestinian Authority. The rejection of Israeli offers for statehood and continued hostility toward Israel reveal a deeply rooted commitment to opposing the Jewish state.
The Elusive Dream of Peace
Peace between Israelis and Palestinians necessitates a fundamental change in Palestinian ideology. The Palestinian Arabs must acknowledge their failure to erase Israel’s presence, dating back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Hamas’s violent extremism and the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to make peace underscores that calls for a two-state solution are not conducive to peace or Israel’s security.
In light of the recent events and the enduring animosity in the region, it is high time we abandon the notion that a two-state solution is a viable path to peace. It has been exposed as a recipe for enabling violence and instability rather than fostering genuine coexistence. Let us embrace a more realistic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one that considers the complexities of the situation and the need for lasting peace.