The Delusion of the “Two-State Solution”

The world still believes that the “Two State Solution” is the way to resolve the Israel-Palestine Conflict. But when the Palestinians invoke this idea, they mean something very different, which has nothing to do with peace

Only a phase in the path of the destruction of israel; Salah Khalaf with Yasser Arafat

For some time, the slogan of the so-called “Two-State Solution” has constantly been presented in the media as a desirable goal, one that Israel and the Palestinians should implement in the interest of peace.  Whenever one raises this idea, it is implied that Israel should make major sacrifices in exchange for an unclear benefit. During the Obama administration, Secretary of State, John Kerry, bitterly accused the Government of Israel of not being committed to the “Two State Solution,” and even last week in London, Prime Minister Theresa May declared that she favored the “Two-State Solution.” She asked Prime Minster Netanyahu if he were also committed to this formula.  For his part, the Prime Minister did not respond directly but stated that Israel is committed to peace.

This slogan completely lacks merit.  The PLO first introduced it as a stratagem, and its real purpose has been to conceal their true aims and those of their successor, the Palestinian Authority.  Those who launched the idea of the “Two State Solution” intended that it be understood differently by the Israelis — their potential victims — and other well-meaning outsiders who seemingly would want a fair solution to this war.

During the war in Vietnam, the North Vietnamese originally launched the “Two-State” formula in order to hide their strategic goal.  They adopted a strategy of phases which, by devoting attention to the intermediate stages of their struggle, would enable them to reach their goal by gradual steps.  Their real intention was that North Vietnam would conquer South Vietnam, but they spoke of the “Two-State Solution,” a tactic whose purpose was to disguise their aims and manipulate world public opinion.  In the end, Communist North Vietnam subdued and conquered South Vietnam, and in 1975 the last Americans fled from the rooftop of their embassy in Saigon by helicopter. This was a major defeat both for the South Vietnamese and for the United States of America.

During the early 1970s Salah Khalaf, known as Abu Iyad, led a PLO delegation to Hanoi to learn from the North Vietnamese.  There, they met the legendary General Vo Nguyen Giap and political advisors who coached them on presenting their case and changing their image of being terrorists in world public opinion.   Abu Iyad described this important visit in his book, My Home, My Land (which he published with Eric Rouleau in 1978).  Abu Iyad recounted that the North Vietnamese advised the Palestinians to devote attention to the intermediate stages of their war and to accept the need for “provisional sacrifices.”

“Without ever referring explicitly to Fatah or the PLO, the Politbureau members gave a long exposé of the various stages in the Vietnamese People’s struggle, explaining why they had had to resign themselves to various concessions, sometimes important ones such as the division of the country into two separate, independent states.”  Independently, in 1997 Yossef Bodansky, an intelligence analyst, published more information on this meeting.  “The Vietnamese suggested that seemingly accepting ‘the division of the land between two independent states,’ without stressing that this was only an interim phase, would neutralize the PLO’s opponents in the West.”

We live in a high-technology culture of sound bites and text messages, of quick and simple communication, of one-line messages, and such habits discourage the public from the careful study of past experience.  In order to understand what is wrong here, we must remember the history of this slogan, which was designed from the start to be a swindle.  It began as a tool of political warfare, and its purpose never changed.  Its potency has remained, because people do not know the past or have been lulled to sleep.

By tracing and documenting the origin of the term, we can know with certainty that it is a fraud, and those who advance it cannot wish Israel well.  For the same reason, no Israeli who wishes his country well should ever advocate the “Two State Solution.”  Its program means nothing less than the politicide of Israel.  The idea may have been fashionable during the Oslo era, but it is still necessary to listen carefully to what the enemy is saying and what he means.


Dr. Joel Fishman is a member of a research center in Jerusalem

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7 comments on the article

  1. I can hear how this may in the past have been an interim strategy and may be held that way by some in the present, but there are also many Palestinians who are earnestly interested in living in peace with autonomy and this is one strategy that meets those needs. I’d be curious to hear a viable alternative from you that also meets those needs, as well as for equality.

    1. While the ordinary Palestinian in the street is “earnestly interested in living in peace with autonomy”, he does not have any say.
      The tribal-clan culture of the Middle East as witnessed at work in Iraq,Syria and other states will not allow the loss of power to the masses.
      Just as the Imam’s control of religion refuses to tolerate any straying from the extreme interpretation, so the tribal leader, to maintain power, retains an iron grip on their society.
      It should be clear from the observed behaviour whether by Palestinian leaders, Hezbollah or others.
      It is time to stop projecting Western cultural norms onto other societies.

    2. Daniel Cohen:
      I can only assume that you haven’t made any great effort to study Palestinian documents. If I were you, I’d try reading the Palestinian National Charter (both the 1964 and 1968 versions) and the Hamas Covenant. You might also try reading the “Ten Point Program of the PLO” aka “PLO Phased Plan”.

      Any normally intelligent person reading these documents can be left with no doubt as to the Palestinian intentions.

      You might also want to see an interview with the late Omar Sharif, talking about the stupidity of the US in trying to being democracy to Iraq. The same kind of culture and mentality he describes is pan-Arab, not unique to Iraq (or to Palestine).

      It’s far past time that westerners stop the idiotic habit of expecting Western cultural norms from other cultures. This is what has made Western “diplomacy” such a failure in the so-called “Third World”.

      You would have more luck assigning your morals, ethics and beliefs to Klingons than you would to Arab cultures.

  2. very true, there is no need for a false state “Palestine” in 1920 according to San_Remo convention all the area of Israel included Judea, Samaria, Gaza strip, Golan Heights and
    the area called Jordan today was the lands designated for the Jewish people as their
    homeland to come and settle anywhere they wished to without prejudice towards other people living around. The British created an Arab State called Transjordan around 1923, by
    cutting 77% of the Jewish designated promised homeland and giving it to the Hasemite Dynesty. the Jewish people were left with only 23% of their original promised homeland.

    For centuries all the areas of Israel including Gaza, Golan Heights, and Judea and Samaria
    were populated by Jews while in Jerusalem (the whole) Jews were the majority. and their
    settlements all around were legal by the San-Remo Convention that was integrated into the British Palestine Mandate. with the British commitment to realise the promise of
    a homeland to the Jewish people. (watch the video “The Forsaken Promise”) so because the Arabs continue to attack and kill the Jewish settlers the UN came up with the famous 181 resolution of the partition which was rejected by the Arabs.

    At the time of the declaration of the state of Israel her borders were from the Jordan River to the Sea including Gaza Judea Samaria and Golan Heights, however the Arabs countries around attacked the newly born Jewish State and took over all these areas where the Jewish people had to flee for their lives losing their lands and property
    in these area that were occupied by Egypt, Jordan and Syria. these areas were filled
    with Arabs settlements between 1948-1967 in contrast to the Geneva convention.

    In 1967 Israel liberated its lands from the Arabs occupiers and the Jewish people
    returned to the lands of Israel. so actually they have the right to settle anywhere
    in the liberated lands.

    Jordan is an Arab state consisted on 70% Palestinian Arabs and in fact is the State of the Arabs who called themselves “Palestinians” (non existence race and culture) they are actually Arabs who came from Tribes around all today Arabs countries and can be traced to these tribes by their names.

    While Jews always welcome these Arabs and befriended them helping to improve their
    lives the Arabs refused to recognise the Jewish people inheritance and connection to this land and all they aspired for was the destruction of the Jewish settlements before the
    establishment of Israel and after that. (an exception to that was the cooperation between Emir Fasail of Hejaz and Chaim Weitzman agreement 1919)

    Cutting more lands from the Jewish homeland will put Israel in grave danger as Gaza Strip
    proved to be, the Arabs never wanted Peace but the elimination of the Jewish people their negotiation is what called “Hudna” a pretend peace until they are strong enough
    and able to slaughter all Jews. People who want peace do not teach their infants to hate and kill Jews. become Jihadists and capture Haifa Tel-Aviv and the rest of Israel.
    until they stop brainwash their children with distorted lies and recognise the biblical, historical and legal right of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland no other Arab state should be formed. God Forbidden.

    1. Absolutely correct. Every word of it. Let us stand strong and not cave in to any pressure imposed by ignorant people or biased politicians.

    1. As a fifth generation Christian Zionist who knows the modern history of Israel very well, Mr. Fishman is indeed absolutely correct. A Two State Solution will never work because it is not part of the covenant promise God has made with the Jewish people. History proves that all peace and safety agreements based on lies and deception, (which is all Israel’s enemies have) end in disaster. Modern Israel is proof that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will stand with them against all odds. Israel is back in their land to stay and this “only solution” plan of dividing Jerusalem and the land of Israel will fail miserably for all those who endorse it.