Friday, April 5, 2013

There is no acceptable Two State Solution (TSS)

by Michael Diamond

In my exchange with several Jewish leaders, we have been discussing the feasibility and likelihood of numerous variations of a “2 state solution”.

 These materials below were obtained from a conservative Israeli blog.{From Israpundit  (  )}
 I am reproducing the blog entry and 2 articles that were cited. The survey of the Palestinians by the Palestinians is too  long to reproduce, but I have reviewed it thoroughly to ensure that Diamond's remarks when he discusses the results are accurate

John Train

There is no acceptable Two State Solution (TSS)

by Michael Diamond

Michael Diamond, Board Member of the Canada Israel Committee, sends me his commentary on the Commentary article by Rick Richman.

The focus of the poll and the Richman article is what the Palestinians don’t want. If the same poll was asked of Israelis, an even bigger majority would reject..
Ted Belman
This is a short article which tells you what you need to know about the status of efforts to generate peace through a two state solution.
In summary, what it says is
  1. 1. there are many forms of a two state solution
    2. Israel cannot accept a two state solution which includes a right of return, nor can it accept a militarized Palestinian state, nor a state which results in indefensible borders-  recent history has proven that is a recipe for annihilation

    3. a two state solution which includes a right of return, and requires Israel to take a serious risk with borders, and also requires removal of 100,000 Jews from a new Palestinian state (but does not require removal of Palestinians from Israel proper) is not welcomed by Palestinians based on poll results.
    4. the only version of a two state solution the Palestinians are in favour of is one which Israel cannot accept.  
    5. and all of this is only based on what Palestinians are telling us….if you broaden the survey to the Arab world, the results would be far worse, as much of the Arab world wants no Israel at all.
Obama may want to see peace talks re-started, but he and Kerry need to understand the basics.  I do not think they have the foggiest idea of how far we are from the reality of a two state solution.  And while the alternative of continuing as is is difficult, and continues to put enormous pressure on Israel, the alternative of accepting what PAlestinians are expecting is far worse- a militarized Palestinian state highly connected if not controlled by Hamas, which is sworn to wish to eliminate Israel, supported by a to-be-nuclearized Iran, right across the street, literally from the major Israeli population centres.  
Earlier this week, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) released a new poll of 1,270 Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post highlighted one of the findings: “poll finds 55% support two-state solution.” The PCPSR has been releasing these polls since 2003, and they always lead to misleading headlines such as the one in the Jerusalem Post–because a “two-state solution” as used in the polls doesn’t mean what you think it means.
In addition to polling whether Palestinians support a two-state solution in general, the PCPSR polls the support for a two-state solution modeled on the Clinton Parameters, described by the PCPSR as involving the following:
(1) an Israeli withdrawal from more than 97 percent of the West Bank, with a land swap for the other 3 percent; (2) a Palestinian state with a “strong security force” (but no army), and a multinational force; (3) sovereignty over land, water, and airspace, but Israeli use of airspace for training and retention of two West Bank early-warning stations for 15 years; (4) a capital in East Jerusalem, including all Arab neighborhoods and the entire Old City, except the Jewish Quarter and the “Wailing Wall”; and (5) a “right of return” for refugees to the new state of Palestine (with compensation for “refugeehood”).
In the January 2013 PCPSR poll, only 43% supported that solution.
Moreover, in every poll PCPSR poll since 2005, that package has failed to generate Palestinian majority support. While a slight majority of Palestinians may support a two-state solution in the abstract, what they mean is a militarized Palestinian state, next to an Israel pushed back to indefensible borders, with retention of an asserted Palestinian “right of return” to Israel. Such a state would “live side by side, in peace and security”® with Israel for about a week–the period it took to turn Gaza into Hamastan after Israel left in 2005. The new PCPSR poll also found that “only 42% support and 56% oppose mutual recognition of Israel as the state for the Jewish people and Palestine as the state for the Palestinian people.” In other words, the Palestinians want a state, but not if it involves recognition of a Jewish one.
Israel is constantly warned it will eventually be faced with a demand for a “one-state solution” if it does not make the concession du jour to the Palestinians, but the January PCPSR poll found that “despite the belief that the two-state solution is no longer practical, a large majority of 71% opposes the alternative one-state solution” (emphasis added). That is not surprising: the peace-partner Palestinians demand a Judenrein state in Judea and Samaria; the last thing they want is to be in a state with Jews in it. Fatah and Hamas cannot even live side-by-side with themselves.
It was obvious in 2008 that the assertion that “everyone knows” what a peace agreement entails was false. It was obvious in 2010 that “everyone” did not know what “everyone” supposedly knew. It is obvious today, confirmed again by the PCPSR polls. Perhaps we should stop relying on polls to gauge Palestinian readiness for peace. We will know the Palestinians are ready when they start educating their children for peace; when their media stops demonizing Jews and puts Israel on their maps; when their leaders give a Bir Zeit speech to match Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan one; and when they are able to hold an election in which the person making the speech is elected.

Rick Richman  11-25-08

Amid continuing indications that the Obama administration plans to tackle Middle East peace as a priority, Aaron David Miller warns “experts, politicians and would be mediators to keep their enthusiasm for quick or easy solutions under control.”
There is a myth out there driven by the Clinton parameters of December 2000, the Taba talks in 2001, the Geneva accord a year later, and the hundreds of hours of post Annapolis talks between Israelis and Palestinians that the two sides are “this close” (thumb and index finger a sixteenth of an inch apart) to an agreement.
Not only are they not “this close” — the “current situation on the ground between Israelis and Palestinians makes it impossible” to reach an agreement:
That everyone knows what the ultimate solution will look like (an intriguing notion that is supposed to make people feel better) is irrelevant if the circumstances for an agreement don’t exist.
The circumstances include a dysfunctional Palestinian Authority and the existence of political parties with their own armies, who will continue their war from any vacated land.
National security experts Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski suggest the “major elements of an agreement are well known” and urge Obama simply to “declare” the “basic parameters of a fair and enduring peace” and deal with Israeli security concerns with an “international peacekeeping force.” But this merely papers over disagreements with adjectives (a “fair” and “enduring” peace) and disregards the abject history of international Middle East peacekeeping forces (including the one that failed to prevent the Six Day War and the one currently preserving peace in Lebanon by watching Hezbollah rearm).
What everyone should know by now – one year after the parties “agreed” to reach a peace agreement within a year (presumably on the basis of what “everyone knows” is the solution) but could not, even with the assistance of a Secretary of State making umpteen trips to the region – is that the circumstances for an agreement do not currently exist. A new Obama Process, featuring an imposed agreement and an ineffective enforcement mechanism, is not a solution.

Rick Richman 12-29-10

For more than a decade, the guiding principle of the peace process has been that “everyone knows” what peace will look like: a Palestinian state on roughly the 1967 lines, with land swaps for the major Israeli settlement blocs, a shared Jerusalem, international compensation for the Palestinian refugees, and a “right of return” to the new Palestinian state rather than Israel.
A new poll conducted jointly by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace shows that the Palestinian public opposes such a solution by a lopsided majority.
The poll presented a package modeled on the Clinton Parameters: (1) an Israeli withdrawal from more than 97 percent of the West Bank and a land swap for the remaining 2-3 percent; (2) a Palestinian state with a “strong security force” but no army, with a multinational force to ensure security; (3) Palestinian sovereignty over land, water, and airspace, but an Israeli right to use the airspace for training purposes and to maintain two West Bank early-warning stations for 15 years; (4) a capital in East Jerusalem and sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods and the Old City (other than the Jewish Quarter and the “Wailing Wall”); and (5) a “right of return” for refugees to the new state and compensation for their “refugeehood” and loss of property.
The package was opposed by 58 percent of the Palestinians, with only 40 percent favoring it.
It was not a case of one or more individual elements in the package causing a problem. Each of the five elements was polled separately; not one of them commanded majority support.
Writing today in Yediot Aharonot, Sever Plocker asserts that while most Israelis are prepared to support a Palestinian state, they have in mind a state “not much different from the Palestinian Authority that exists today.”
Ask now in a poll how many Israelis are ready for the evacuation of 150-200,000 settlers from Judea and Samaria, an IDF withdrawal from bases in the Jordan Valley, the deployment of Palestinian border police between Kalkilya and Kfar Saba, a new border in Jerusalem and turning the territories into a foreign country that will absorb hundreds of thousands of militant refugees from the camps in Lebanon – and see how the numbers of those who support a “two-state solution” drop to near zero.
Interestingly, the new poll showed that Israelis supported the hypothetical package by 52 percent to 39 percent, demonstrating that a majority or plurality of Israelis (the poll has a 4.5 percent margin of error) would support a demilitarized Palestinian state, as long as the IDF is empowered to keep it that way, the state does not assert a “right of return” to Israel, and there is a land swap that does not require the mass uprooting of Israelis from their homes. Plocker’s assertion may show, however, that a lot depends on how polling questions are framed, and the implications of flooding the West Bank with refugees (as opposed to resettling them where most have lived all their lives) deserve further study.
But all this is hypothetical. The Palestinians rejected the Clinton Parameters in 2000 and effectively rejected them again in 2008 in the Annapolis Process. The new poll makes it clear they would reject them a third time, despite what “everyone knows.”