Monday, December 31, 2012

Topology, terrorism and the two-state solution

A great deal has been written about a plan that could be the "solution" of the Israel-Arab conflict.  The international community has fastened onto the "two-state solution" as an equitable outcome, after all what could be more fair, Israel as the State of the Jews, and Palestine as the State of the Palestinian Arabs.  Now President Peres has entered the fray by making a speech to Ambassadors to Israel saying that Pres. Abbas of the PA is our "partner for peace" and supporting the the "two-state solution"  Apart from the fact that the Israeli President is not supposed to be involved in politics, there are two major problems with this so-called "solution."
1. Topology; If you examine the topology of the area, including the coastal plain (in Israel) and the West Bank (currently occupied by Israel and the Palestine Authority), you will quickly see that anyone who holds the heights of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) will be able to dominate everything that goes on below.  A few terrorists with a few mortars could hit the populated areas of Tel Aviv and Netanya and bring everything to a standstill.  A few mortar shells on the runways at Ben Gurion airport could cut-off contact between Israel and the outside world. Jerusalem would also be vulnerable to shells fired by one determined individual, who could hit the Knesset easily. No sane Israeli government could agree to such borders.  The borders that were the pre-1967 ceasefire borders of the West Bank would be suicide borders, or what Abba Eban called "Auschwitz borders." Agreeing to such borders and the formation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank would be a death knell for Israel.  There is only one exception to this, and that is if the whole of the West Bank, or the putative State of Palestine, would be demilitarized, as PM Netanyahu has insisted.  But, how to ensure that that would be adhered to, as in the case of Gaza the Authorities would simply say we have no control over those terrorists.  And if Israel held them responsible and counter-attacked, well you'd have a war again.  A "two-state solution" is a prescription for instability.
2. What happens next?  Barry Shaw has written an article in The Jerusalem Post ("Why a Two-State Solution will never work;" in which he points out the following problem. What happens after there is a two state solution, and the State of Palestine is established on the West Bank, and it becomes a haven for terrorists (Hamas) and anti-Israel attacks, as is very likely?  Israel will be bound to counter-attack, but what would the international community do, that has pushed for this solution.  One thing is sure, they will take the Palestinian side, they would argue that they have worked hard to ensure a Palestinian State and they are not going to stand by and see Israel destroy their creature.  Currently the international community (including the EU, US and UN) are pressing Israel not to build on controversial sites in the West Bank, so that they can save the possibility of a larger and contiguous Palestinian State.  Would they be able to control the Palestinian State once it was formed, would they be able to prevent terrorist attacks on Israel, would they even consider supporting Israel militarily?  Of course not, their sympathy is entirely with the other side.  They would urge restraint on Israel, as they do now, and not place any restraint on the Palestinians, as they do now.  So once again Israel would be sacrificed on the alter of international indifference. 
To summarize, even if there was a Palestinian partner that was prepared to negotiate in good faith with Israel, which there is not, and even if the UN established a Palestinian State that was recognized by the international community, unless that State truly wanted to live in peace with Israel, which it doesn't, then the whole "solution" is an illusion.   Even though PM Netanyahu has accepted the concept of a "two-state solution" he is insisting on a demilitarized Palestinian State, because he knows that only this can resolve the situation.  But, the Palestinians will never agree to that, so the whole idea of a "two-state solution" is an illusion sponsored by the western governments for their own political purposes. 


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