Ambassador Bolton Agrees With Me
Since the formation of this blog in May 2003, I have been arguing that (1) there is no two-state solution to the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and (2) in lieu of an independent Palestinian state, any solution would require Jordanian and Egyptian security control over Judea and Samaria, and Gaza, respectively.
I was therefore very pleased to read John Bolton's op-ed in today's Washington Post
. Bolton, our former ambassador to the UN, writes:
We should ask why we still advocate the "two-state solution," with Israel and "Palestine" living side by side in peace, as the mantra goes. We are obviously not progressing, and are probably going backward. We continue poring over the Middle East "road map" because that is all we have, faute de mieux, as they say in Foggy Bottom.
The logic to this position is long past its expiration date. Unfortunately, it is hard to imagine a new approach that the key players would receive enthusiastically. If the way out were obvious, after all, it would already have been suggested. So consider the following, unpopular and difficult to implement though it may be:
Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today's conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries. "International observers" or the like cannot come close to what is necessary; we need real states with real security forces.
This idea would be decidedly unpopular in Egypt and Jordan, which have long sought to wash their hands of the Palestinian problem. Accordingly, they should not have to reassume this responsibility alone. They should receive financial and political support from the Arab League and the West, as they both have for years from the United States. Israel should accept political and administrative roles by Jordan and Egypt, unless it intends to perform such roles itself (which it manifestly does not)...
For Palestinians, admitting the obvious failure of the PA, and the consequences of their selection of Hamas, means accepting reality, however unpleasant. But it is precisely Palestinians who would most benefit from stability. The PA -- weakened, corrupt and discredited -- is not a state by any realistic assessment, nor will it become one accepted by Israel as long as Hamas or terrorism generally remains a major political force among Palestinians.
If you will it, it is no dream...