Don't Bet On Two-state Solution

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April 28, 2009|By Uri Dromi

President Barack Obama, speaking recently to the Turkish parliament (but actually targeting the new Israeli government), said, "The United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."

Unfortunately, and with all due respect to President Obama, achieving a two-state solution increasingly appears to be an uphill battle. When President Obama hails it as the flagship of his Mideast policy, we had better look again at this two-state solution and check to see if it still holds water.

I have been preaching for years that Israel should pull out of most of the West Bank, with minor modifications and maybe a land swap. Alas, it seems that not enough Israelis share my views. In today's Israel, which is leaning to the right (and for good reasons, I hate to admit), there doesn't seem to be a government with the power to uproot 250,000 Jewish settlers from the West Bank. If the settlements stay, the possibility of a viable Palestinian state becomes a farce.

I still think a two-state solution is the best possible solution, but every day it becomes more difficult to realize. Since this region doesn't tolerate a dead end, some solution will eventually emerge. I believe that Jordan will take responsibility for the West Bank and Egypt for Gaza. Why? Because of their fear that Hamas, the true force in these areas, will undermine their own regimes.

Is this the ideal solution? Definitely not, because it leaves the Palestinian national aspirations unfulfilled. But we don't live in an ideal world.

Uri Dromi is a columnist based in Jerusalem. His e-mail is dromi@

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