A three-state solution?

A three-state solution?

There is much talk of the two-state solution in order to eventually, or finally, bring a real peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I suggest that a three-state solution is more realistic.

Hamas and Fatah have recently signed a cooperation pact to bring the rulers of Gaza and the west bank together. Hence, the basis for a two-state solution. I suggest that the leaders of Hamas and Fatah are so different in their goals, aspirations, and methods that their union will not last very long. I expect that this “cooperation pact” will go the way of other failed attempts at Arab unification under unrealistic conditions – e.g., the attempt by Nasser to join Syria and Egypt together into the United Arab Republic dissolved a few years after it was signed (1958 to 1961). Similarly, when England left the Indian sub-continent, one country was formed out of the two Muslim pieces, Pakistan and Bangladesh, which also collapsed after a few years (1947 to1971).

Trying to negotiate with both Palestinian entities at the same time, which is what a two-state solution will require, is probably a waste of time. Hamas must await the approval of Iran, which provides the money to keep it going. And Fatah must await the approval of the Saudis, who provide it with financial support. Both of those patrons have their own agendas, in which the fate of the Palestinians is not a high priority matter. Without strong, affirmative direction from these patrons, Hamas and Fatah will simply end up arguing and quibbling with each other, joining only when they want to bash Israel. This is not an optimistic setting for positive, meaningful results between them and the Israelis.

A three-state solution would recognize that the two Palestinian entities are physically separate and philosophically different. It would permit Israel to negotiate with Fatah and Hamas separately, whenever either one is ready for serious talks.