Beware the Two-State Illusion

Late last week, the former ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, told the BBC`s ‘Political Thinking with Nick Robinson programme that:

“Any peace has to be based on reality. You can have a two-state illusion.
It might look nice on a piece of paper, but it will never be implemented.”

He went on to emphasise why that would be the case:

“First and foremost, you have to build peace on security
because we know that peace that can`t be defended won`t endure.”

Former ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev
Former ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev

In that statement, Mark Regev has surely gone straight to the crux of the matter.

Many leaders of the international community seem unable to grasp the real reason for the long-term Palestinian policy that was summed-up by Mahmoud Abbas in a speech to the United Nations last year:

“We salute our honourable martyrs, courageous prisoners and wounded heroes …
Even if I have only one penny left, I will give this penny to
the families of the martyrs , the prisoners and heroes …”

When he referred to ‘martyrs’ in that statement, he was actually talking about terrorists; and this Palestinian attitude is the reality that Israel has to face every day.

That is why Mark Regev and the Israeli government prioritise security.

He went on to explain that when people say a Palestinian state is the solution, it is important to ask a couple of key questions:

“Is [it] a Palestinian state that is peaceful, democratic and one that wants to live with Israel
side-by-side? Or is it going to be a superior platform to continue the struggle against Israel?”

By ‘superior platform’ he meant a state that would use its autonomy to pursue the armed struggle with Israel more vigorously.

There is much evidence that the latter of the two options is the one that the Palestinian leaders want. And that is why peace negotiations have made no progress.

The leaders of the international community need to grasp this reality.