23 September 2011--from the editor:
Today's posting comes on the day that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will be at the UN, formally requesting that the Security Council grant full recognition to the "Palestinian State."
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Requires Not a "Two-State" but a "Two-Stage" Solution
by Dr. Tawfik Hamid
--from "Just a View" on 20 September 2011; published by permission of the author
All attempts over several decades to create a two-state solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict have ended in failure.
On one hand, the Israelis ask themselves a basic question: Why should we accept the statehood of people who shamelessly promote in their media, educational systems, and public speeches our annihilation and destruction?
On the other hand, the Palestinians want to play a trick by gaining statehood without accepting the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish state in the region. This refusal lays the groundwork for a Palestinian state to continue its stated goal, since the time of Arafat, of taking over all the land of Israel. It is this reality that has and will continue to prevent the two-state solution.
High levels of Anti-Semitism in all the surrounding Arab countries further impede hope for any solution, as Israel's security concerns are totally realistic.
Further attempts to create a two-state solution in the current atmosphere of anti-Semitism from the Palestinian side and mistrust from the Israeli side are likely to be about as effective as banging our heads against the proverbial brick wall.
The only situation that has resulted in some resolution for an Arab-Israeli conflict occurred when President Sadat of Egypt accepted the existence of Israel and expressed a true desire to live in peace beside the Israelis. The offer of President Sadat was welcomed by the Israelis and resulted in the returning of Sinai back to Egypt.
The following "Two-Stage" solution may help resolving the conflict:
Stage 1: Palestinians would offer to accept the existence of Israel as Jewish state, criminalize anti-Semitic remarks in their societies, and teach educational curricula that promote living in peace with the Israelis. This stage would need to last for two-to-three years to prove that the Palestinians are genuinely interested in peace with their Israeli neighbors, not in deception.
Stage 2: After the Palestinians have demonstrated true ability to live peacefully beside and with acceptance of the state of Israel, border disputes could be addressed and resolved. The atmosphere of peace and relationships of trust must however be created first.
We have to accept the reality that Israel's peace treaty with Egypt and return of Sinai to Egypt has not yet achieved true normalization of their relationship. Israelis are therefore understandably suspicious about future peace deals with Arab nations. Palestinians would need to prove their commitment to peace and accept international monitoring to verify their actions.
In sum, a two-stage solution rather than the traditional two-state solution may offer more potential for solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Author notes--This is an edited version of information from the author's website: www.tawfikhamid.com
Tawfik Hamid is an Islamic thinker and reformer and one-time Islamic extremist from Egypt. He was a member of a terrorist Islamic organization, al-Jamaat al-Islamiya (JI), with Dr. Ayman Al-Zawaherri who later became the second in command of Al-Qaeda.
Some twenty-five years ago, Dr. Hamid recognized the threat of Radical Islam and the need for a reformation based upon modern peaceful interpretations of classical Islamic core texts. He provided a fresh and theologically valid interpretation for the Qur’an to counterbalance the radical teaching. As the Daily Express (UK) mentioned “Dr. Hamid has predicted the attacks on the twin towers, Madrid and London.” After September 11, Dr. Hamid boldly decided to speak out through western broadcast and print media. He has appeared on shows spanning the spectrum from CNN to Fox News, and his articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News, and the Jerusalem Post. Some of Dr. Hamid’s Op-Eds were also selected at Real Clear Politics. He has been a guest speaker both within the U.S. and internationally, before audiences such as the U.S. Congress, Director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon, the National Prayer breakfast, and the European Parliament. He is the author of the author of Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam (2008). Available from Amazon Books