TRUMP AND THE ONE STATE SOLUTION
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu’s trip to Washington for his first face to face meeting was a stirring success because, finally, an American President, Donald Trump, has acquiesced to the obvious and been honest enough to admit it. The ‘Two State’ solution that would see an independent and secure Israel and an independent sovereign Palestinian State is dead, and it is time to move on to a ‘One State’ or Israel solution.
Successive United States administrations, both Republican and Democrat, and the United Nations, European Union, and even Russia invested themselves so much in the ‘Two State’ solution’ that when it fell apart in 2014, that they could not put it together to move forward. The cognitive dissonance of the Obama administration was particularly, dazzling. The Obama administration and their Great Power friends sat on their hands and have watched as both Israel and the Palestinian Authority both struggled. The Obama administration embraced Arab Spring in 2011 as though it was a panacea for all the region’s problems and it was not. In so doing they made life rough for Israel as though Israel was to blame as the only democratic state in the region. Everyone knew when the Obama administration, and its left-wing ideologues in the national security realm got into power, that Israel was in for a rocky four years and then a further four as the administration watched the Middle East go up in flames in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. In the process, the Obama administration let the Islamic State, Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia into the region particularly Syria, Iraq, and Yemen to fill the void of American inaction and lack of leadership.
The ‘Two State’ buckled because only Israel was prepared in 2011 and 2014 to negotiate and recognize a sovereign Palestinian State. The Palestinians for their part refused to negotiate and decided to go it alone in the United Nations. In 2015, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, told the United Nations General Assembly that the Palestinians would not be bound the Oslo Accords or any agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Israeli government have made repeated offers to restart negotiations and all have been brushed aside. You cannot negotiate a ‘Two State’ solution if only one party is coming to the table. The merger of Abbas’s Fatah Party with Hamas, only hardened the Palestinian position and Hamas refusal to accept that Israel and Israelis have a right to exist. Since October 2015, in a series of stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run vehicle attacks by Palestinian militants have left more than 40 Israelis dead. Since the Palestinian rocket war in 2014 ended, Israel gets targeted, on average, twice a month from Hamas rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Without question, had all things remained the same with a democrat in the White House, Israel would continue to suffer in the grips of the failed ‘Two State’ solution. But luckily for Israel and the world, the Wilsonian paralysis of the Obama administration was brought to the end by a Donald Trump electoral victory, and a nation tired of American foreign policy failures.
True to the Trump approach he set out his plan to solve the problem. Make no mistake, with President Trump and his team, you solve the problem, or he will do it for you. It is President Trump’s way or the highway. President Trump in a move of pragmatism that he is known for sat up the terms for a solution. If the Palestinians do not want a ‘Two State’ solution then he will accept a ‘One State solution; Israel. Trump has warned that he will move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem a city claimed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority as their rightful capital. He asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to hold back on further settlements, presumably to see whether, or not, the Palestinian Authority wants to return to the negotiation table. Not surprisingly President Trump did it without the United Nations, European Union, or Russia at the table. In one move, President Trump set the case in play for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Obama cognitive dissonance has been replaced by Trump pragmatism and thinking outside the box, and Israel will have no better friend than a Trump-led America and will be safer for it.