The Three-State Solution

I am not a great supporter of the state of Israel. Israel is without doubt the most liberal and democratic state in a very tough neighborhood. However, the Israelis are pickle and it’s their pickle. The only solution to their problems with their neighbors is finding some sort of modus vivendi with them. The more we make it our pickle, the worse the problem becomes.

However, that having been said, I agree with David Ignatius. What in the world was John Kerry thinking?

Secretary of State John Kerry has made a significant mistake in how he’s pursuing a Gaza cease-fire — and it’s not surprising that he has upset both the Israelis and some moderate Palestinians.

Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.

What is the end state of his approach? A three-state solution—Israel, a Hamas-dominated Gaza, and a Fatah-lead West Bank? Hamas taking control of both segments of the Palestinian territories? Diplomacy is not Slap-Jack. You’ve got to think at least one step ahead if not several.

9 comments… add one

  • ...

    John Kerry can think? Do you know who he is?

  • michael reynolds

    Kerry seems obsessed with his legacy, with creating some big accomplishment he can point to. I think he’s looking in the wrong place.

    On the larger issue, US support for Israel loses its justification if Israel is not pushing for peace and a two-state solution. If this is just a straight-up power struggle then I’m not sure we really have a dog in this fight.

  • ...

    Besides, how bad can Hamas be? It’s not like they’re members of the US military, or some other band of Mongolian Horde wannabes.

  • TastyBits

    If there is a one state solution, Israel will become a Palestinian country. The Jewish population does not reproduce fast enough.

    This was a conquest from the beginning, but it was treated as a legal matter. It was never going to end well.

    Historically, the Palestinian men would have been slaughtered, and the women and children would have been sold into slavery. More humane solutions were relocation programs, but these always ran the risk a revolt or uprising.

    The President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have a silly and childish idea of how the world works. Their historical knowledge is the Cold War, but they have no understanding of the actual framework. Furthermore, they believe anything before that was ancient history, and it is of no value to modern man.

    They assume that if you do the opposite of the Cold War you will get the opposite results of the Cold War. If you stop being mean to people, they will stop being mean to you. 10,000 years of human history refutes that belief, but if you reject that history as valid, you can reconstruct reality.

    If you have studied the past 10,000 years of human history, nothing going on today is any different. It is the “same old, same old.” Humans fight for power, land, and resources. (In arid climates, water is more valuable than gold.)

    If you do not or will not understand this, you cannot formulate a solution, or you will not understand there may not be any solution. Actually, there are always solutions. It is just that the solutions involve a lot of blood letting.

    Their opposition suffers from this lack of historical knowledge, and they also fail to understand that the solutions will often require far more blood letting than they anticipate. This does not become apparent until they have gotten the US into something it they do not have the will to finish.

    This is a thumbnail sketch of a thumbnail sketch. I do not have time for a full blown dissertation.

  • jan

    <“Kerry seems obsessed with his legacy, with creating some big accomplishment he can point to. I think he’s looking in the wrong place.”

    John Kerry’s entire life has been obsessed with creating a glowing legacy — about something! In Vietnam, his final 4 month tour of duty, was aimed at becoming a war hero — a perk he could put in a future political resume. After the war, he then became obsessed with becoming a famous, televised war activist, setting up the photo opt where he dramatically threw his war metals away. He then married two rich women — one after the other — and went on to become an uninspiring Senator, later on a defeated presidential candidate, only to finally establish himself as something between a joke and a buffoon, once he became Obama’s SOS.

  • Andy

    The solution is there is no solution. Kerry’s ego is no match for the hard reality that neither side is interested in either peace or surrender.

  • steve

    “he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza”

    Is he serious? John Kerry will single handedly make Hamas legitimate? It won’t be the thousands of Gazans who have voted for Hamas? How about Israel killing hundreds of civilians making Hamas more popular? Sigh. Anyway, I agree with Andy. Neither side will give an inch. Not sure why we bother at this point.

    Steve

  • Andy

    Yes, thousands voted for Hamas. And then after they won the election they assassinated or drove out all political opposition. That was 7 years ago – one wonders when the next election will be (rhetorical question). That’s the middle-east modus operandi – gain power by whatever means necessary and then use the levers of power to stay in power by whatever means necessary.

    It’s not clear how popular Hamas is now considering there is no alternative, but they are certainly more popular than Israel which isn’t saying much. Regardless, the simple fact is that Hamas cannot be ignored as they are the de facto government for Gaza no matter how much the US and Israel may wish otherwise.

  • CStanley

    Internal politics aside though, Andy, what of the shift in Egypt (from its previous support for Hamas?) Will it matter?

    My gut reaction is that it would, except that the liberal position in US and Europe has moved quite a bit from its support of Israel, and the particular way this is playing out has the effect of strengthening Hamas’ hand.

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