The Israel-Palestine problem has a simple solution
2012-11-26 0:00

By Matt Hill |

Only political stubbornness, not popular support or irreconcilable differences, prevents the two-state solution from working, argues Matt Hill.

The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza appears to be holding for now. But it simply marks the latest pause in an endless conflict between mortal enemies whose irreconcilable goals make compromise, let alone a solution, virtually unimaginable.

At least, that’s what many in politics and the media would have you believe. But the cliché that the Israel-Palestine conflict is some kind of fiendish puzzle with no workable solution is heard so often that we rarely stop to wonder if it’s true – and, crucially, whom it serves.

In fact there’s already a peace plan on offer that’s comprehensive and enjoys wide support, if only the two sides will accept it: the two-state solution. It would mean partitioning the land between the two nations living on it, resulting in countries called Israel and Palestine living side by side.

There’s already an internationally recognised boundary – the 1967 line, so-called because it divided Israel from Arab lands until that date – which, with some minor adjustments, would form a natural border between the two states.

Jerusalem would be partitioned, as it was until 1967, and serve as a shared capital. And Palestinians around the world who were displaced by previous Arab-Israeli wars would have the option of returning to their homeland as citizens of the new state of Palestine.

The two-state solution is supported by all the major international players, including the US, the UN, the EU, and the 22 countries of the Arab League. It’s also, officially at least, the stated policy of the current Israeli government and the internationally recognised Palestinian leadership.

What’s more, it’s repeatedly been backed in principle by majorities of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.

When the sides last sat down to try and reach a deal – at Annapolis in 2007 – their respective proposals turned out to be surprisingly close (take a look here and here). In fact on the issue of borders they were able to agree on how to divide all but around 250 square kilometres of land – or 1 per cent of the total area of Israel-Palestine.

These facts need pointing out because Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists the conflict is "insoluble", and that aiming for two states is unrealistic.

And he increasingly has unlikely allies amongst Palestinian leaders and their worldwide supporters. Due to the perception that the "peace process" has failed and that the Israeli settlement project cannot be reversed, many campaigners now argue that the only worthwhile outcome is the "one-state solution" – a single, binational state across all of historic Palestine based on the principle of one man, one vote.


Read the full article at:

For more analysis of the issues, see "Israel and Hamas: I have seen the enemy, and it is me." from

Also, tune into Red Ice Radio to hear much more about the history of the middle east, the current conflicts, and the role of Zionism in foreign policy:

Gilad Atzmon - Zionism & Multiculturalism

Adrian Salbuchi - Zionism & Multiculturalism

Henry Makow - Zionism & Multiculturalism

Israel Shamir - Zionism & Multiculturalism

Gilad Atzmon - The Wandering Who?

Mark Weber - Hour 1 - Historical Review of War & Conflict

Pierre Sabak - Priesthood of the Nazarenes, The Nazis & Zionists

Tony Malone - Zionism, The Bible and The Israel, Palestine Conflict

David Halpin - Israel, Palestine, The Dignity Incident & Dr David Kelly

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