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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Three-State Solution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90

It is unfortunate and thoroughly confusing that such versions of wishful thinking have usurped the name “three-state solution.” So their authors have blinded both themselves and other to the arrival of three states in reality.

Eiland, in any case, now regards the independence of Gaza from the West Bank as a convenience for tactical purposes. But it is neither this nor the “nightmare or fiasco” suggested by Afrasiabi. Nor should it be regarded as a temporary phase, to be overcome sometime in the future.

Rather, the permanent separation between Gaza and the West Bank is a necessary condition for both present stability and any future settlement of Israeli-Palestinian relations. So an “all-out Israeli military invasion and reoccupation of Gaza” would be very unwise, if it ended Gaza’s current independence.

To give further credit, there have been some commentators who perceived separate independence as a beneficent prospect, such as S.C. Denney in 2008, Colin P. Clarke in 2009 and Ori Z. Soltes (who drew attention to the parallel with Pakistan) in 2010. They proposed this, however, as a new basis for negotiations. But just as the Palestinians fail to negotiate unity, they will resolutely refuse to negotiate disunity. Forget about negotiations, in this regard. Rather, note the reality of three states and reinforce it until it becomes irresistible. Something like this was recommended by Bruce Bialosky in 2009.

In a 2009 blog on the Huffington Post, Cameron Sinclair listed some advantages of creating two Palestinian states instead of one. In particular, instead of receiving outside funds automatically, they would have to compete for them on grounds of excellence. Only his choice of the names for the two states, “East Palestine” and “West Palestine,” was unfortunate (yes, he placed Gaza in the East). Just “Gaza” and “Palestine” would do better, as proposed independently by Stephen I. Siller in 2011. Sinclair’s data also contained some inaccuracies. Three years on, nevertheless, his momentary bright idea is all the more justified.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: Malcolm Lowe is a regular contributor to the Gatestone Institute.


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