Death of the two state solution

By Geoffrey Alderman, July 31, 2014

I hereby dedicate this column to Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, better known here in the west as Hamas. In the 14 years that I've been writing this column I never imagined that I would actually pen so much as one sentence – let alone an entire column – in praise of Hamas. But it's clear to me that that time has now come.

Why? Because, in its latest endeavours in support of its ambition to wage war on us Jews and bring about the complete annihilation of Israel, Hamas has achieved two victories of extraordinary significance. It has sabotaged any possibility of there being a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And it has materially assisted in the final and – one hopes – irrevocable refutation of the arguments that contemporary anti-Zionism is in no sense whatever racist, and that all men and women of goodwill can, with a clear conscience, oppose the existence of a Jewish nation state, without running the risk of being exposed as the racists that they undoubtedly are.

I deal first with the death of the two-state solution. For the purposes of my argument I am going to ignore the fact that the kingdom of Jordan is, as a matter of historical fact, a Palestinian-Arab state, carved out of the geographic territory that was part of the original Palestine mandate.

The two-state solution is, strictly, speaking, the three-state solution. But never mind. For the moment I'm going to ignore this inconvenient truth, and argue on the basis that the phrase refers to the idea that the solution to the present conflict lies in the conflicted parties agreeing to the creation of a Palestinian state, based on the West Bank and Gaza, living in peace and harmony alongside a Jewish state – meaning Israel more or less within the 1949 armistice lines.

The two-state solution has a long history. It might be said to have originated in proposals dating from as far back as 1937. In 1974 the UN voted in favour of "two states, Israel and Palestine," and this formulation – often expressed as "two states for two peoples," and re-endorsed by the UN as recently as last year - has long been touted by politicians and pundits the world over.

We are seeing EU citizens baying for Jewish blood

It is the mantra repeated ad nauseam by the likes of David Cameron and Ed Miliband, not least because it enables them to avoid confronting the religious nature of the conflict, rooted as it is, and as Hamas (a Sunni affiliate) has always insisted, on the Islamist refusal to countenance a Jewish state anywhere in the historic Realm of Islam.

By deliberately firing rockets into central Israel, and thereby bringing about the temporary closure of Ben-Gurion Airport, Hamas has killed off the two-state solution. This solution is dead. No Israeli government is ever going to agree to the creation of an independent Palestinian state based on the West Bank, ruled by a regime of which Hamas is a part.

Rockets from Gaza are bad enough. But with launch-pads in Ramallah and Jericho, Hamas would be able to close Ben-Gurion Airport permanently. Greater Tel Aviv would be within easy reach of Hamas's Iranian-made missiles. Jewish Jerusalem would be the easiest of targets.

The most that Mahmoud Abbas can now hope for is Israeli agreement to a limited Palestinian enclave on the West Bank, a sort of glorified county council, internally self-governing, totally demilitarised, and with a continued Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley. Hardly the two-state solution, is it?

Meanwhile, throughout Europe, we have witnessed manifestations of EU citizens baying for Jewish blood.

In the Paris suburb of Sarcelles a supposedly peaceful anti-Israeli demonstration degenerated into a min-pogrom. "They are not screaming 'death to the Israelis,'" explained Roger Cuikerman. head of Crif, the representative body of French Jewry, "they are screaming 'death to the Jews.'" In Germany (Germany!), a howling mob demanded that Jews (Jews, not Zionists, please note) were "cowardly pigs" and should be gassed! In Belgium protesters chanted "kill the Jews."

All this Hamas has achieved. Its leadership must be delighted.

Last updated: 1:15pm, July 31 2014