October 22, 2019

‘Two-states for two peoples will be the only outcome to our conflict‎’

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister and former ambassador to the US Danny Ayalon ‎discusses a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. ‎

Is a one-state solution a serious idea, or just propaganda by the Palestinians?‎

It is an idea that has no serious backing from any responsible nation or international ‎institution. The last time this idea was proposed was by Muammar Gadaffi, so we can see ‎how serious and credible the idea is. Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, ‎the US, the EU and Russia have all adopted the two states solution as the only way to ‎resolve our conflict.‎

What are the main reasons, if any, why a one-state solution would be a good idea?‎

It has no solid foundation in reality. If we look at the international climate of the late ‎twentieth and early twenty-first century it is moving in the opposite direction. The break-‎down of the Soviet Union, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the separation of the Czechs and ‎the Slovaks all demonstrate that the international community is moving towards breaking ‎down states into more homogenous entities based on national, ethnic or religious grounds ‎and not forcing bi or multi-national states. If one looks at our region in particular, it is hard ‎to find an example of a bi-national state that has not descended into bloodshed and ‎conflict.‎

Is there a risk that the international community will adopt the concept of a one-state ‎solution?‎

No, I don’t think so, we cannot turn back the clock. There are signed agreements and ‎multiple understandings between the parties and the international community, and the ‎two-states for two peoples solution will be the only outcome to our conflict. ‎

In fact, my party, Yisrael Beiteinu, has long advocated a political separation where the Jews ‎have the State of Israel and the Arabs a Palestinian state where the borders should be ‎drawn (note I don’t use the term redrawn, as the “Green Line” at the Arab insistence was ‎never a border) according to demographic realities, where no one is forced from their ‎homes, or to put it another way, where geography meets demography. This is completely ‎in keeping with international law and United Nations resolutions.‎

What should Israel do to thwart the adoption of a one-state solution by countries and ‎organizations around the world?

Even before it was reestablished, Israel has accepted the premise of a two-state solution ‎and for a few years now has agreed for two states for two people. Israel has always made ‎very generous offers and compromises to make this a reality. However, on every single ‎occasion, since 1937, the Arabs have unequivocally rejected this outcome.

Even now, the ‎Israeli side is waiting at the negotiating table with no preconditions for the Palestinians to ‎arrive, which for three years they have failed to do. If, as many Israelis suspect, the ‎Palestinian leadership is unwilling or unable to end our conflict, then we should turn to the ‎next best thing, and that is a long-term interim solution where Palestinians will enjoy ‎greater sovereignty in exchange for Israeli security.‎