The Two State Solution Is Dead (And That’s Good)

Barack Obama was a big believer in the the two state solution, the theory that there should be two states, one for the Jews, one for the Palestinians, side by side, living in peace. Obama did not invent the two state solution, but he did cling to it. He and his Secretaries of State pushed it and got nowhere with it. In that regard, he was just like his predecessors, who also pushed it and got nowhere with it. Now Trump has abandoned it, saying he just wants a solution, one state, two states, no matter. Just solve the problem.

This is progress. I am not a fan of Trump, but at least he sees that when a “solution” hasn’t solved a problem despite repeated attempts over a period of years, it is time to move on. What’s next?

Instead of more fruitless “peace” talks, the ball is now in Israel’s court. It must come up with a plan that it can live with. There are a number of such plans on the table already. Read about some of them in “A Settler’s View of Israel’s Future” in the New York Times. Copy and paste: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/opinion/a-settlers-view-of-israels-future.html

After Israel settles on a plan, what’s next? Israel could propose that plan to the Palestinians and wait for acceptance or a counteroffer. The problem is no one speaks for the Palestinians. Hamas and Fatah have been and still are at odds. Therefore, no one has the authority to accept or enforce any plan, much less one proposed by Israel.

What to do? Courts in this country issue show cause orders. For example, when the parties to a lawsuit have not moved it along, the court will issue an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed. If the parties do not respond, the court dismisses the case and wastes no more time and judicial resources on it. If the parties respond and provide a reasonable explanation of why the case should not be dismissed, the court will leave the case open for further development. No progress, no more case.

Similarly, once Israel settles on a plan, it should announce to the world that unless good cause is shown by a date certain, that it will unilaterally go forward with implementing its plan. That’s how to make progress and finally resolve this matter.