Trump’s two-state solution should not be trashed

Obama used his last days in the White House to let infamous UN Res. 2334 be passed. Trump must push for his peace plan then. Op-ed.

David Singer ,

Dry Bones: Trump Plan and Biden
Dry Bones: Trump Plan and Biden
Y. Kirschen

A departing President’s ability to make decisions seeking to impact his successor’s future actions - even as he is vacating the White House in the last weeks of his Presidency – was dramatically illustrated on 23 December 2016 when America failed to veto Security Council Resolution 2334.

Then Secretary of State - John Kerry - explained why the Obama-Biden administration had taken that decision on the eve of handing over to the Trump-Pence administration:

“In the end, we could not in good conscience protect the most extreme elements of the settler movement as it tries to destroy the two-state solution. We could not in good conscience turn a blind eye to Palestinian actions that fan hatred and violence. It is not in U.S. interest to help anyone on either side create a unitary state. And we may not be able to stop them, but we cannot be expected to defend them. And it is certainly not the role of any country to vote against its own policies.

"That is why we decided not to block the UN resolution that makes clear both sides have to take steps to save the two-state solution while there is still time. And we did not take this decision lightly.”

Kerry was at pains to point out that America had nothing to do with drafting Resolution 2334:

"The United States did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward. It was drafted by Egypt – it was drafted and I think introduced by Egypt, which is one of Israel’s closest friends in the region, in coordination with the Palestinians and others… In the end, we did not agree with every word in this resolution. There are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed or even addressed at all. But we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that condemns violence and incitement and reiterates what has been for a long time the overwhelming consensus and international view on settlements and calls for the parties to start taking constructive steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground."

Abstaining on - rather than vetoing - Resolution 2334 - when it did not address or sufficiently address important issues - was irresponsible.

Kerry showed how (intentionally?) out of touch the outgoing Obama-Biden administration was with President-elect Trump’s intentions:

“President Obama and I know that the incoming administration has signaled that they may take a different path, and even suggested breaking from the longstanding U.S. policies on settlements, Jerusalem, and the possibility of a two-state solution. That is for them to decide. That’s how we work. But we cannot – in good conscience – do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away… This is a time to stand up for what is right. We have long known what two states living side by side in peace and security looks like. We should not be afraid to say so.”

Kerry specifically recounted Israel’s former Prime Minister Peres telling him:

“The original mandate gave the Palestinians 48 percent, now it’s down to 22 percent. I think 78 percent is enough for us.”

That was Revisionist history and pure rubbish: The original mandate gave the Arabs 78% – and that is what they have, 78% (Jordan) - and promised the Jews a national home in the remaining 22% - down to 17% (Israel until the Six Day War) The remaining only 5% comprised Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

Trump’s Peace Plan provides a detailed and comprehensive two-state solution, which was intended as a starting negotiation point:

  • Israel: with its current borders extended to include sovereignty over 30% of Judea and Samaria immediately
  • A demilitarised Palestinian Arab State comprising Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria on condition it renounces terror and is willing to make peace with the Jewish State, with a four year testing period before its establishment.

Trashing Trump’s Plan going forward and going back to square one would be the height of folly.

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. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog