Monday, July 18, 2011

Why is the two-state solution the best option for Arabs?

In the eyes of the Arab world, the obvious choice regarding a solution to the endless debate concerning the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a clear undivided bi-national state consisting of Jews and Arabs living side by side as one. Pure in its concept of multiculturalism and democracy, this unity of the two nationalities is a concept they have been familiar with for more than 1000 years. This sober thought plays the perfect tune in the name of humanity and it is probably the simplest choice when considering that Arabs in the region outnumber the Jews, so there isn't anything too complex about this solution.

However it still remains an Arab utopia and continues to be a distant reality.

So why shouldn’t this be the card they play regarding their policies towards Israel? Realistically, the Arabs are in no position to demand democracy or demand any kind of recognition.

It is obvious that the significant demographic imbalance in the region comes at a disadvantage for the Israelis. They have clearly shown they would rather not opt for a solution best suited for pure democracy; otherwise, as Netanyahu put it, it would "end Israel as we know it". Regardless of how politically incorrect this statement is and how it implies that the state of Israel and pure democracy cannot coincide, the reality is, Israel is here and will remain here for a while no matter how forceful it was created in the first place.

While generally humanity cries out for democracy in its purest form, human history shows that the strongest ultimately survives. Some may argue this case even from an evolutionary perspective. Even when we go back to the time when Hitler was defeated for trying to conquer Europe; simultaneously, Britain and France were conquering the Middle East and their dominance prevailed in deciding the future of the region. It was never a conscious choice of morals to defeat the aggressive nature of the Nazi regime, because these dominant forces sliced the Arab lands and created the borders we see today in much the same way Nazi Germany began with Austria and Poland.

Britain and France, being the victors of the Great Wars, established monarchies in the Middle East that would benefit their respective Empires for strategic and economic gains regardless of what the inhabitants of the land preferred.

The sooner the Arabs submit to the idea that democracy isn't what will decide the fate of the existence of one race over another in the region and realise that the two-state solution is realistically the only solution they can push for regarding the region that was once called Palestine, the sooner they can prevent their own leaders from making ill decisions that result in the loss of more Palestinian lives when trying to fight against this phenomenon.

They simply need to come to terms with the fact that they lost the war against Israel and land was conceded. This was the case in 1949 when the Arabs had no choice but to sign a truce. This truce must be honoured just as their prophetic leader did with the Meccans 1400 years ago because it is as much a viable solution for long term success.

Many decades from now the tides may turn and the balance of power may shift just as it did when Salahudin emerged to end the violent occupation of the Crusaders in Jerusalem that lasted for almost 100 years, but the Arabs are far from providing any kind of shift similar to that today despite what is right or wrong. Israel has only existed for 60 years, and Arabs are already impatient in trying to force their own will against the situation.

Power ultimately determines what is put on the negotiation table, and as is the case today, there isn't much that Palestinians can negotiate with. The more they try to ignore this reality, the more innocent lives will be taken by an overwhelmingly powerful and violent regime.

The only thing the Arabs are currently in a position to do is prevent Israeli war crimes from continuing against their own people because it may threaten the very existence of their legitimacy in the region. This is the reason why the bid for a sovereign state of Palestine within the borders that were agreed upon during the 1949 truce had only developed in recent history, especially when previously Palestinians were more inclined to inhabit a borderless land unsoiled by man-made lines drawn on a map.

Despite Israel’s inability to adhere to the Fourth Geneva Convention to ensure that the demographic situation sways in their favour at all costs, and despite being condemned by the International Community, Israel still stands unchallenged.

Yet international support against the heinous crimes against humanity is the only thing that the Arabs have. The stronger their policies are in gaining traction with international support for the Palestinian cause, the better equipped they would be in defeating the occupation and succeeding in having their own sovereignty for the millions of displaced refugees. Fighting violence with violence hasn't seemed to work out well for the Arabs who currently lack strength in unity.

Regarding long term outcomes, Arabs should learn from their own history because Mecca was given back to the displaced Arabs without a single drop of blood spilled from the truce they had with their Pagan enemies.
Salahudin also returned Jerusalem without having to push the Christian occupiers "out to sea"; in fact he provided a safe passage for them back to their places of origin and indeed offered a place of sanctuary for those who chose to stay in the Holy Land.
South Africa was also liberated with the power of the people prevailing over an oppressive force that could not maintain power against the natural demographic balance. That force also fell without violence with the use of pure democracy.

It is in the best interest of both civil Arabs and civil Jews to have a truce today simply because too many innocent lives are being taken in this conflict. This truce is the pre-67' two-state solution.


  1. Nice article.

    But I think the mistake you are making here is that most Arabs have reconciled to the fact that a Palestinian state will, at best, be on 1967 borders. Only the extremists groups are holding on the idea that all of mandatory Palestine with once again return to the Arabs. The regional Arab peace plan pushed since 2002 demonstrates that all the Arab states agree that 1967 borders are fine with them.

    The major obstacle to a 2 state solution is not Arab rejectionism (though the extremists would certainly pop their heads up should a deal be reached), but the power of Jewish extremists. A large part of the Israeli government sees the West Bank as part of Eretz Israel and has no intention of returning it to the Palestinians.

    In any event, the settlement of the West Bank is at such an advanced stage that a 2 state solution is more or less impossible now anyway. I dissected the numbers (including proposed land swaps) of settlers in the WB here ( Israel simply cannot undo its settlement project for peace.

    Anyway, thoughts?

  2. This article was written mainly to address the Arabs who still deny the two-state solution as an option. There are still many Arabs who refuse to accept Israel's legitimacy because of its establishment on stolen land. These Arabs whom I have had many debates with myself, would not be considered extremists as such, but rather those who are holding onto the pride of the land and are in self-denial that there is nothing that can be done about the fact that Israel exists today (regardless of whether it was stolen or not).

    The balance of power might change in the distant future, but this is not the case today.

    Your article is very well written and detailed, and you detail much of the unfortunate realities that exist with the situation, especially with the Oslo Accords. I appreciate you providing this link and would be interested in any more you have published about the issue.

  3. Is the two-state solution still viable?
    Regardless of the answer, the international law and principles of human rights cannot be disrespected. Occupation should end and walls should be dismantled. Citizens must have equal rights and refugees must be allowed to return to their homes.