Saving the 'Two-State' Solution

  • 19 December 2010

Robert H. Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process, sent a strong warning recently and asked for seriousness in respect to the future of the peace process. Serry affirmed that prospects of a ‘two-state’ solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict might disappear in 2011 if no progress is made on US-sponsored negotiations between the two sides. The ‘two-state’ solution has been at the core of the peace process since the beginning and any rollback of this target will mean that the matters will once again reach point zero and the long years of negotiations, efforts and initiatives will go in vain. As a result, the entire Middle East region will get embroiled in confrontation and an explosive situation will emerge that might lead to tension and conflict, discharging its negative impact on the security and stability of the whole world.

Fading hopes of a ‘two-state’ solution means that the peace process has hit a dead end and has failed to achieve its objective. Such a situation will open the Pandora’s Box and raise the voices of extremist elements that have been opposed to the peace process since the beginning. At the same time this will put those backing peaceful coexistence in a difficult situation. In the face of Israeli intransigence, international community and its major powers face a serious and a historic test. Robert Serry was right when he said that the credibility of the peace process will be tested during the next year.

Israel has strived to abort the ‘two-state’ solution in the past. The evidence of this can be found in its policy of building colonies on occupied Palestinian territories on which the Palestinian State is expected to be built. Moreover, it insists on moving forward with settlements regardless of international pressure. Israel has been following a policy of Judaizing Jerusalem in the past, which means that it is not only working to change the geography of the Palestinian territories but also intends to rob their cultural and religious identities.

Consequently, the ‘two-state’ solution will become a difficult issue with the passage of time so much so that it will liquidate the Palestinian cause and force Palestinians to accept a fait accompli or the formation of a distorted ‘State’ that does not hold the character of a state except for its name. This is what Israel wants and has worked to implement in recent years through the policy of buying time in negotiations without offering any substantive commitment. But what does the international community want? There is no doubt that it works to achieve a just and comprehensive peace till Israel’s obstacle comes in its way. The time has come to ask Israel to commit itself to international will and UN resolutions to avoid escalation of conflict in the Middle East region so that the hope for peace does not evaporate.