Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenReuters

Are the proponents of the Two State Solution stupid, or are they just lazy?

During the Oslo years of the 1990s, both the American and Israeli governments could have taken Yasser Arafat to task for not bothering to do the bare minimum to prepare his people for peace, for spreading incitement and antisemitism, supporting terrorism, and creating a society geared entirely towards killing Jews. But they chose not to, seeing the newly-born Palestinian Authority as ‘too big to fail’ and unwilling to put in the work to ensure that it could do anything but fail.

The Bush Administration was willing to call out the incitement and support for terrorism of the Arafat government and called for a ‘reformed’ Palestinian Authority that moved away from the terrorism and Jew-hate of Arafat, but it never put in the work to pressure Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, to end the incitement and payments to terrorists, or to live with the reality of a Jewish state.

The Obama Administration devoted all of its energy to pressuring Israel out of the belief that if only a Palestinian state were created, most of the Middle East’s problems would be solved or made much easier to solve. Figures like John Kerry were too intellectually lazy to consider that things may not be as easy as simply declaring a Palestinian state or any other approach.

The Trump Administration has been the only US Administration that has shown the intellectual capability of thinking outside the box, securing normalization agreements between Israel and four Arab countries through innovative approaches not wedded to outdated and intellectually lazy concepts.

Now, the Biden Administration is hemming and hawing about a Palestinian state again, as if they are incapable of thinking of anything else when Israel is attacked.

Like the Bush Administration, there is lip service paid to the idea that the Palestinian Authority needs to be reformed. But there is no semblance of a plan to carry out these reforms.

2024 is an election year, which puts added pressure on the Biden Administration. The administration wants to have a foreign policy success to present to voters in November, and like all presidents, President Biden would like to have ‘achieved peace in the Middle East’ as a legacy for the history books in the event that this is his last year in the Oval Office and he is voted out of office.

Calling for a Palestinian state or the Two State Solution is easy. It’s something that can theoretically be done by convincing Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria the way it withdrew from Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula. But it does nothing to create peace. That would require actual work, not to mention time.

Even before October 7, calling for a Palestinian state could charitably be called a bad idea that only persisted because of ideological conformity and intellectual laziness.

The best-case scenario for a Palestinian state was that the state would become a brutal dictatorship where the dictator clung to power by killing or imprisoning his enemies like Bashar al-Assad’s Syria or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. It would not even end the conflict as the incitement to kill Jews and ‘pay-to-slay’ policy of granting financial incentives to terrorists would continue to inspire terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. The only benefit would be to Abbas himself and his cronies, and the Western leaders and diplomats who would pat themselves on the back despite not accomplishing the basic goal of peace.

The more-likely scenario was that the weak Abbas would be overthrown by Hamas, turning ‘Palestine’ into the same kind of failed state as Lebanon and Gaza, a ruined land controlled by Iran whose people would only exist to be used against Israel. All of Israel would come under direct threat of constant rocket barrages, subjecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to the same horrors the residents of Sderot have lived with for the last two decades.

This was before October 7, before the world discovered that Hamas has not only the desire, but the capability of massacring 1,200 people in one day for the crime of having been born a Jew or being in close proximity to a Jew.

After October 7, the idea of a Palestinian state is ludicrous. It is worse than the Munich Agreement, because Hitler had not launched a genocidal war in September 1938. Even Kristallnacht was yet to come at the time. Declaring a Palestinian State now would be rewarding Hamas for committing an act of genocide.

The Biden Administration does not want to encourage more massacres like October 7, but that is precisely what they are doing. If terrorists are rewarded for such atrocities, then such atrocities will be repeated. Peace can never come from such a boneheaded policy.

Real peace is hard. It takes more than good intentions and an overestimation of one’s abilities. It takes a willingness to acknowledge and deal with the actual problem, and then the time and effort required to deal with said problem.

The problem, the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is antisemitism. That is the primary cause of the Arab side refusing so many offers to create a Palestinian state over the years. Any peace plan that is worth more than a sheet of toilet paper must deal with this murderous and genocidal antisemitism first and foremost.

This will be difficult. It will take more than a year. It will take more than the four-year term of American presidents, and likely longer than the eight-year maximum an American president can serve. But it is the only approach that has even a chance of working.

Given the extent of the problem, the generations that have been raised to see killing Jews and dying for ‘Palestine’ as the two highest values one can possibly aspire to, to see mass-murderers as the greatest heroes, it will likely take a generation to denazify Palestinian society to the point where peace is possible. And that assumes that a consistent effort is begun today.

It is so much more difficult to confront a problem like such deep hatred than it is to simply point at a map and tell the two sides where the line dividing them will be. The Two State Solution only requires telling Israel where Jews have to be expelled from, offering empty security ‘guarantees,’ and letting Israel worry about the devastation that will follow.

Actually working for peace will mean putting tremendous pressure on the Palestinian Authority instead of artificially propping it up. It will mean having people on the ground to monitor textbooks, newspapers, mosques, the media, and of course the words of Mahmoud Abbas and other government officials. It will mean putting in the effort to pay attention to what is said in Arabic instead of believing everything that is said in English. It will mean creating new curriculums that do not teach that Jews are subhuman. It will mean forcing Abbas and the PA to end the pay for slay program. It will mean spending years inculcating the value of human life and destroying the old values of worshipping death.

There is no guarantee that efforts to combat the antisemitism that so completely defines the society created by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas will be successful, but that is the only thing that can possibly work to bring about real peace.

‘Peace for our time’ was a nice slogan, but the decision it promoted turned out to guarantee not an era of peace, but the bloodiest war in human history. As long as American administrations and the international community continue to do what is easy and quick and not what is difficult but necessary, their efforts are doomed to fail again and again.

To Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, David Cameron, and Josep Borrell I say this: Do not choose the easy path of trying to force peace today. History will not remember you as peacemakers if you just repeat the same mistakes that doomed the efforts of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Choose the difficult path, the path of combatting the hate that is the true root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

You will not be able to complete the task during your terms in office, and you will not be the ones who are photographed at the signing ceremonies when peace is finally achieved. But if you are serious about peace, if you are serious about ending the killing and creating a world where Israelis and Palestinian Arabs can both live in peace and prosperity, this difficult and long road is the only path. The quick and easy path of a Palestinian state now only leads to more violence and death.

Gary Willig is a member of the Arutz Sheva news staff.