The 1947 UN solution: Creating one Jewish State and one Arab state between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea (UN two-State solution) - was aimed at ending the Arab-Jewish conflict in Western Palestine which had then been raging for the previous 50 years.
This proposal was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs - becoming the catalyst for the War that broke out in May 1948.
The Arabs ended up controlling some 22% of the territory between the River and the Sea. The major part was unified with Eastern Palestine located east of the Jordan River - (granted independence in 1946 as The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan) – and renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950.
The balance – the Gaza Strip - was occupied and administered by Egypt.
The founding document of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1964 (PLO) expressly disavowed any claim to sovereignty “over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” and “the Gaza Strip”. It was only in 1968 – after Jordan and Egypt had lost these lands to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War – that the PLO began to agitate for an independent Arab state west of the Jordan River – employing terrorism to try and achieve it.
The PLO strategy failed.
However the long-dormant UN two-State solution was resurrected by the international community in:
1980: Venice Declaration
1993: Oslo Accords
2003: President Bush Roadmap
2011: President Obama
2020: President Trump
Powerful backers indeed – but no such two-State solution has appeared a remote possibility for the last forty years
A radically-different proposal however surfaced in Saudi Arabia on 8 June 2022 that was both revolutionary and ground-breaking: Merge Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and part of the West Bank into one territorial entity to be called the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine – no new Arab State between the River and the Sea.
The UN’s response has been disgraceful.
Instead of welcoming this Saudi proposal and the prospects its successful implementation offers for ending the Jewish-Arab conflict – the UN has failed to even acknowledge its existence - denying it any oxygen, exposure or traction in the UN.
Secretary General Antonio Guterres and UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Process Torr Wennesland have made no public comments whatsoever on the Saudi proposal or included any reference to it in their monthly reports to the Security Council since its release. They need to break their silence. Until they do – they remain compromised and conflicted.
A UN closed forum convened on 8 November by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) with Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) from “Palestine” Israel and the United States “Advocating for Accountability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” - - asserted that “Safeguarding the two-State solution” remained their prime objective.
Not one of them apparently mentioned the Saudi proposal - whose successful implementation would put them all out of business by finally ending a conflict that has defied resolution for more than 100 years.
Guterres continued parroting the UN’s commitment to the two-state solution on 22 November -without mentioning the Saudi solution – which needs to be aired and debated in the UN General Assembly, Security Council and CEIRPP and no longer suppressed.
The UN’s 75 years-old failed two-State solution to end the Jewish-Arab conflict has well and truly passed its use by date. The time has come for the UN to adopt the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution to replace it.
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.