Ignoring the elephant in the room
Ignoring the elephant in the roomY Kirschen (Dry Bones)

President Biden and New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman are attempting to resuscitate the failed solution they have both championed for decades to end the 100-years old Jewish-Arab conflict: Creating an independent Palestinian Arab state between Israel and Jordan (“the two-state solution”)

In his latestNew York Times article – Friedman writes:

“The president is wrestling with whether to pursue the possibility of a U.S.-Saudi mutual security pact that would involve Saudi Arabia normalizing relations with Israel, provided that Israel make concessions to the Palestinians that would preserve the possibility of a two-state solution.”

Stop wrestling Mr President.

The two-state solution – also embraced by Saudi Arabia and the Arab League for the past 20 years - was trashed with the publication of an alternative solution on 8 June 2022 in the Saudi-Government controlled Al Arabiya News - calling for Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' to be merged into one territorial entity to be named “The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine” (“Saudi Solution”).

Friedman continues:

“I’d love to see Israel’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, go on Israeli television and explain to the Israeli people why it is in Israel’s interest to annex the 'West Bank' and its 2.9 million Palestinian inhabitants — forever — rather than normalize ties with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world.”

You won’t get that pleasure Tom.

Israeli annexation of the 'West Bank' won’t happen under the Saudi Solution – but division of sovereignty in the 'West Bank' between Israel and Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine will.

In 2002 Friedman provided an intriguing insight into the role he played in conceiving the two-state solution:

“Earlier this month, I wrote a column suggesting that the 22 members of the Arab League, at their summit in Beirut on March 27 and 28, make a simple, clear-cut proposal to Israel to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse: In return for a total withdrawal by Israel to the June 4, 1967, lines, and the establishment of a Palestinian state, the 22 members of the Arab League would offer Israel full diplomatic relations, normalized trade and security guarantees. Full withdrawal, in accord with U.N. Resolution 242, for full peace between Israel and the entire Arab world. Why not?”

Imagine Tom’s surprise when he broached his proposal during dinner with Saudi Arabia's then Crown Prince and de facto ruler - Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud:

“After I laid out this idea, the crown prince looked at me with mock astonishment and said, ''Have you broken into my desk?''

''No,'' I said, wondering what he was talking about.

''The reason I ask is that this is exactly the idea I had in mind -- full withdrawal from all the occupied territories, in accord with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem, for full normalization of relations,'' he said. ''I have drafted a speech along those lines. My thinking was to deliver it before the Arab summit and try to mobilize the entire Arab world behind it. The speech is written, and it is in my desk.”

Thus was the Friedman-Abdullah two-state solution born.

The Obama-Biden administration unsuccessfully pushed this solution between 2011 and 2016 – bequeathing its implementation to the United Nations after instructing their UN Ambassador Samantha Powell to abstain – rather than veto – Security Council Resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 as they were packing up and vacating the White House.

That Obama-Biden ploy has failed - after seven years of intense UN pressure to broker its implementation.

Biden, Friedman and the UN have never acknowledged the existence of the Saudi solution in the thirteen months since its publication.

They need to – for the Saudi solution has now become the key to a Saudi-Israel peace.

Please join my Facebook Page: “Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine supporters”

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.