Director Inbar Of Begin/Sadat Center: Two-State Solution Is “A Bad Idea That Is Gradually Losing Its Appeal”
February 7, 2006

New York – In a recent opinion piece, Professor Efraim Inbar, Professor of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and the Director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, analyzes developments within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and concludes that the paradigm of a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state neighboring the state of Israel, is “a bad idea that is gradually losing its appeal.” Inbar writes that the Islamist terrorist group Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections on January 25 as a result of the PA’s failure to build a law-abiding polity and in particular permitting armed terrorist gangs to rule in parts of the PA, losing the ability to act like a government in control of its territory.

Despite Hamas’ election win, Inbar doubts that it will succeed in centralizing power and governing efficiently. A complete Hamas takeover of the PA is improbable as long as Hamas lacks the military muscle needed to successfully take on the Fatah armed groups and that some tenuous power-sharing arrangement between the two will follow. Such an arrangement could be dangerous, allowing international donors to fund the PA while claiming that they are not funding Hamas. With Hamas largely in charge, there is likely to be more terrorism, as well as more incitement to hatred and murder and glorification of suicide bombing and terror acts in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Inbar concludes, “The Hamas ascendancy in Palestinian politics also further calls into question the wisdom of the two-state paradigm — a bad idea that is gradually losing its appeal” (Jerusalem Post, February 5).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Professor Inbar’s article is important because it highlights something many people and governments refuse to face — that under current conditions it is completely unrealistic to expect negotiations to resume, or to progress anywhere if they do, because the PA is completely in the grip of a vicious ideology of destroying Israel and killing Jews. It is an article of faith among many who follow the conflict that a two state solution — a Palestinian state living in peaceful and respectful co-existence alongside the Jewish state of Israel — will provide a solution and peace. A state will only strengthen the power of the Hamas/PA to promote its hateful agenda of harming and destroying the state of Israel. Remember, Iran Syria and Libya are sovereign states, yet they are not lovely and peaceful neighbors.

“Professor Inbar’s article underscores the truth also pointed out by former Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, in an interview last year: ‘the establishment of a Palestinian state would lead to war, and such a war could be dangerous for Israel. The idea that a Palestinian state can be established by 2008, and will then produce stability is divorced from reality and dangerous and will be a state that will try to undermine Israel … A two-state solution is simply not relevant. It is a story that the western world tells with western eyes. And that story does not comprehend the scale of the gap and the scale of the problem. We, in Israel, are also sweeping it under the rug’ (Haaretz, June 1, 2005). These are facts that must be understood if Israel is to deal successfully with threats to its existence and the security of its people.”

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