Dry Bones - Saudi plan ignored
Dry Bones - Saudi plan ignoredY. Kirschen

Kenneth Roth – recently retired Executive Director of Human Rights Watch – has undermined the continuation of the policy espoused by the UN, USA and Australia for the last 20 years supporting the the creation of a new Palestinian Arab State between Israel and Jordan for the first time in recorded history (two-state solution).

Addressing a recent discussion hosted by the Washington-based think-tank - Arab Center - Roth declared:

The two-state solution is great but it's gone”

Roth’s bombshell admission was followed by this statement made by Hady Amr - US deputy assistant secretary for Israeli and Palestinian affairs:

"We remain committed to rebuilding our bilateral relationship with the Palestinian people, with the US president's goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict along the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,"

In reversing Australia’s decision to recognise western Jerusalem, later revoked, as the capital of Israel – Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong said:

Australia is committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders. We will not support an approach that undermines this prospect.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been repeating a similar mantra since 2017:

A two-state solution that will end the occupation and, with the creation of conditions, also the suffering even to the Palestinian people, is in my opinion the only way to guarantee that peace is established and, at the same time, that two states can live together in security and in mutual recognition,”

This blinkered approach by the UN, USA and Australia has seen each of them refusing to acknowledge – let alone discuss – the merits of a new alternative solution emanating from Saudi Arabia in June : Shredding the failed two-state solution and calling for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one territorial entity to be called The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine whose capital will be Amman – not Jerusalem (Saudi Solution).

The Saudi Solution supersedes the 1981 and 2002 Saudi Peace Plans – subsequently incorporated in the Arab Peace Initiative adopted in Beirut in 2002.

Significantly – no rejection of the Saudi Solution has been expressed since its release by:

· -Saudi Arabia’s recently appointed Prime Minister: Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman

· -Jordan’s King Abdullah

· -PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas

· - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh

· -The Arab League

Roth’s reality call sees the UN, US and Australia exposed as three Emperors with no clothes – paddling furiously against a growing tide of opinion that is destined to consign the two-state solution to the diplomatic graveyard with other failed plans proposed over the last 74 years.

The Saudi Solution is the lifeline the UN, US and Australia need to grab if they wish to see the 100-years old conflict between Arabs and Jews finally resolved.

The Saudi Solution points the new way forward:

The Palestinian problem can only be solved today if it is redefined. The issue in this day and age for people should be not so much the ownership of ancestral land but more the critical need to have a legal identity—a globally respected citizenship that allows a person to operate in the modern world. Labor in this day and age is mobile and having citizenship in a country that facilitates such mobility is critical to human development.”

Israeli Prime Minister – Yair Lapid – continues to support the two-state solution. With Israeli elections set for 1 November - no other Israeli politician has yet told Israeli voters whether they:

· -agree with Lapid

· - would back exploring the Saudi Solution as a basis for negotiations or

· -what their alternative policy would be for ending the long running conflict.

Flogging a dead horse is in no one’s interest.

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.