May 18, 2017
- An editorial in Ha’aretz on May 10 declared that there is a Palestinian partner for a “two states for two peoples” solution.
- The truth is that Abbas supports a “two-state solution,” but firmly opposes “two states for two peoples.” His opposition stems from the fact that the heart of the Palestinian narrative asserts that the Jews are not a people or a nationality, but members of a religion, and therefore they have no right to self-determination or to their own nation-state, certainly not in Palestine, for which they have no basis to claim sovereignty.
- True, when Abbas is pushed into a corner, he is willing to use the phrase “two states for two peoples,” but Abbas means a state for the Palestinian people (on the 1967 lines with limited land swaps, including a capital in east Jerusalem), and a country without an ethnic identity – a state for the “Israeli people,” i.e., a state of all its citizens. In fact, he uses the expression “the Israeli people” quite often.
- For both Abbas and Hamas (according to Hamas’ new political document), a Palestinian state within the 1967 lines is a step towards realizing the Palestinian vision of establishing a Palestinian state over the entire territory of the British Mandate for Palestine. This is the “phased plan” of 1974, which the Palestinians never abandoned. Their commitment to this vision is uncompromising. It is part of the education that they give to their children.
- At his meeting with President Trump, Abbas presented the original map of partition proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937 (which allotted 85% of the country to the Arabs). The problem is that it was the Palestinians who rejected any partition proposal that meant the establishment of a Jewish nation-state on a single grain of soil of Palestine. They continue to reject it even today.
The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.