Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Secretary Clinton Is Wrong To Pursue The Two-State Solution


H.L. Mencken famously said “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong.”

In Morocco last month, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said she “was the first American associated with any administration to call for the establishment of a Palestinian state” 10 years ago. “A lot of people thought that was very radical; now there is consensus.”

Her view WAS radical then. Yet it is consensus now. Her solution is neat, plausible and wrong.

Fast forward ten years from Secretary Clinton’s radical pronouncement, and now, my view that Secretary Clinton’s “two state solution” is folly, is the new radical. The sea change in Ms. Clinton’s direction occurred quickly. The sea change in a completely new direction can occur quickly as well, but only if people stand up and aren’t afraid to be counted.

Consider Switzerland and Denmark, home of tolerant Western societies. This week, the Swiss people unexpectedly voted to keep Switzerland, well, Swiss. They backed a ban on new minarets. And in Denmark, the government has offered ‘anti-social’ immigrants $20,000 to leave Denmark because, well, the Danes would like Denmark to remain Danish. Now there’s sea change!

Secretary Clinton’s once radical view regarding Israel and the territories became consensus only because people stood up and supported this view. My view, that pursuing the goal of creating a Palestinian state in Israel’s very tiny heartland is causing immense harm to Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs alike, is ignored, dismissed and considered radical fringe. Until more people who actually share this view have the courage to stand up against convention, things won’t change. Changing the goal of creating two-states in this too-small geography will not become consensus if people stay silent.

So forget that Israel is on the fault line of jihad. Ignore Kashmir, Kosovo, Sudan, the Philippines, Southern Thailand, and so forth. But recognize that the concept of ‘live and let live’ is not in short supply in Denmark, Switzerland, or Israel. It is in short supply in the Palestinian territories and the Islamic world.

The lives of Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews would be vastly improved if the Obama administration would take the lead and recognize that carving Israel and the territories into two pieces cannot solve the dispute between Arabs/Muslims and Israel.

It is time to stop pursuing an ill conceived and wrong-headed two-state solution. It is time for a sea change. There is plenty of room for everyone in the Middle East.

--David Naggar