Let us hope Lapid-Bennett consensus buries Biden’s renewed two-state solution bid

It seems the Palesitnian Authority is not the only one with unachievable preconditions for negotiating a two-state-solution. Op-ed.

David Singer ,

Biden and the Two State Solution
Biden and the Two State Solution
Y. Kirschen

The likelihood of President Biden being the American President finally overseeing an end to the 100 years old conflict between Arabs and Jews - promisingly advanced by President Trump’s Abraham Accords - was dashed this week when Israel’s Foreign Minister – and its next Prime Minister in 26 months’ time - Yair Lapid - told the EU Foreign Affairs Council:

"A future Palestinian state must be a democracy that seeks peace with Israel"

Israel’s current Prime Minister – Naftali Bennett – shares Lapid’s opinion:

“Self-determination also depends on democracy so that the people are able to determine what they want. Almost none of our neighbours enjoy democracy and if they did they would cease to be.”

Bennett and Lapid’s consensus democracy-demand is also supported by two former American Presidents:

President Bush on 30 April 2003:

“A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established”

President Trump in his 2020 Peace Plan:

“The following criteria are a predicate to the formation of a Palestinian State and must be determined to have occurred by the State of Israel and the United States, jointly, acting in good faith, after consultation with the Palestinian Authority:

-The Palestinians shall have implemented a governing system with a constitution or another system for establishing the rule of law that provides for freedom of the press, free and fair elections, respect for human rights for its citizens, protection for religious freedom and for religious minorities to observe their faith, uniform and fair enforcement of law and contractual rights, due process under law, and an independent judiciary with appropriate legal consequences and punishment established for violations of the law.

-The Palestinians shall have ended all programs, including curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism against its neighbours, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.

The Obama-Biden administration - between 2009 and 2017 - failed to achieve any two-state solution - the creation of a new Arab state between Jordan and Israel for the first time in recorded history - betraying Israel in the process on 23 December 2016 by failing to veto United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 as the Obama-Biden administration was vacating the White House.

That UN decision – inimical to Israel’s interest – was described by Lapid as:

“dangerous and unfair, and Israel will not accept it”

Biden’s latest support for a two-state solution expressed in his telephone call with Jordan’s King Abdullah on 7 April 2021 - seems even further from being realised given Lapid’s four additional conditions for its creation – backed up by Bennett:

-“Israeli security should stay in Israeli hands” - enabling the army to enter Palestinian territory if they are aware of terrorists planning an attack on Israelis.

-The Jordan Valley remain in Israeli hands

-There is no such thing as the right of return” - referring to the Palestinian demand to return to pre-1948 lands.

-Jerusalem remain undivided “because countries do not divide their own capitals.”

Bennett opposes any two-state solution – even one that is democratically-based:

“My option is that Palestinians have an ‘autonomy on steroids,’ and I’m open to ideas about how this materialises; it could be a confederation with Jordan, or local municipalities, or a central government.” Lapid beleives it is the way to go. but his preconditions put paid to that belief.

Biden’s renewed pursuit of the two-state solution - without stipulating there be a democratic outcome - is destined to end up in the garbage bin of history.

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.