THE PALESTINIANS WANT A TWO-STATE SOLUTION

We are now facing a new situation, with Hamas in control of the Legislative Council and the government (cabinet) in the Palestinian Authority. And so, the answer is an unequivocal NO. Hamas is NOT for a two-state solution. Its first goal is the destruction of Israel via Jihad and the institution of Islamic law (sharia); to that end it seeks the Islamization and militarization of Palestinian society. Long-term it seeks a Caliphate -- world Islamic rule, and thus declares that "so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences" contradict its principles. Its covenant doesn't even mention a Palestinian state as a goal.

There are occasional murmurings from Hamas about negotiating with Israel (if Israel will first move back to the pre-'67 borders, release all prisoners and accept the "right of return"). From time to time there are suggestions from Hamas people that they seek "peace." All of this talk is merely a facade; their true intentions have been made quite clear. In early April 2006, Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar of Hamas said that he "dreamed of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home that does not show Israel on it...there is no place for the state of Israel on this land."

Any suggestion by Hamas that it is for a two-state solution is disingenuous; merely mimicking the position the Palestinian Authority under Fatah took from its inception in 1994 until January 2006.

The Fatah PA consistently conveyed the impression that its goal was a two-state solution, but that was a strategy: a position it presented for consumption in the West and as a step toward its true goal.

Taking this position at face value was the fatal error of Oslo:  the erroneous assumption was made that what the Palestinians sought was a state and that the issue was one of land and borders.  It remains the error of those who imagine now that while it is not possible to negotiate with Hamas, PA President Abbas, of Fatah, might still be a viable negotiating partner.

Were the Palestinians of the PA, under Fatah, sincere in wanting a state, they would have had it well before now. Multiple opportunities were presented to them, most notably in 2000, when Yasser Arafat met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Camp David, Maryland, and was offered a state that included all of Gaza, 95% of Judea-Samaria and part of Jerusalem; he turned it down and made no negotiating counter-offer.

The reality is that the Fatah goal, as well, has been the destruction of  Israel and the acquisition of all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea -- it takes precedence over establishment of a state on a part of the land. 

Palestine was for centuries in the hands of Muslim occupiers. Islam says that land that was under Islamic control belongs to Islam and can never be relinquished. Israel is a thorn in the side of Muslim Arabs.

However, as the Arab world perceived, after 1973, that destruction of Israel via war would not be possible, the PLO established the "strategy of stages," which said that acquiring part of the land as a foothold and a way to weaken Israel was a desirable interim goal. Thus was the fiction of Palestinian desire for a two-state solution floated.  

Fact: Although the PLO led the world to believe they amended their charter in 1996, it was not changed: they voted for a committee to make the amendments, but the committee never met. The PLO charter continues to call for the destruction of Israel.

Fact: The Fatah constitution calls for "Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence," (article 12) and "Establishing a...state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem [as] its capital city..." (article 13).

Fact: The Fatah PA continued to support the "right of return," which would destroy Israel from within. PA policy says that it is only a temporary host to Palestinian refugees, who would not be included in a state. Does it make sense -- if the goal is really a two-state solution -- to push for a state and then suggest that a good percentage of the Palestinians live not in that state but in Israel? It makes a lot of sense if the goal is control of all the land.

Fact: On February 4 2005, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris, a PA-employed preacher, delivered an impassioned sermon on PA television. In it he said:

"We tell you, we will return to you, Palestine...We might be able to use diplomacy to return to the 1967 borders, but we will not be able to return to [the whole land before Israel's existence]...but it does not mean we have given up on Jerusalem and Haifa, Jaffa, Lod, Ramla, Netanya and Tel Aviv. Never. We shall return to every village..." (Palestinian Media Watch)

Fact: Faisel Husseini, a member of Fatah and widely heralded as a Palestinian Arab moderate, shortly before he died in 2001, gave a speech in Arabic in which he referred to the Oslo accords as a Trojan Horse: "...if we agree to declare our state now [in the West Bank and Gaza], our ultimate goal is the liberation of all historical Palestine...we distinguish the strategic long-term goals from the political phased goals we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure..." (MEMRI)