Two-state solution: clinging to an illusion?

In the run-up to a meeting of foreign ministers yesterday, the EU once again spoke out in favour of the two-state solution in the Middle East. US President Joe Biden had made it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu shortly before that the US remains committed to the two-state solution as the path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Commentators debate how realistic this goal is, now and in the future.

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Le Courrier (CH) /

Europe must get as involved as it was in South Africa

In a guest article in Le Courrier, Daniel Schmid, a local politician for the Swiss Social Democratic Party, calls for the West to intervene decisively in favour of a two-state solution:

“In the seventies and eighties, the European left was heavily involved in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. This consistent commitment was decisive in bringing about the fall of the South African regime. We must do the same for the Middle East. The two-state solution would give the Palestinians and Israelis a future. Without it, the two peoples will never be able to live in peace.”

ABC (ES) /

A placebo for us Europeans

The EU is building castles in the air, writes ABC:

“The two-state solution as proposed by Borrell on behalf of the EU is the most reasonable and just plan for resolving the ongoing conflict over Palestine. ... There's just one problem: it isn't viable. ... The Jews don't want it and the Muslims don't want it, even if neither of them dares admit it. At the very moment of its hypothetical creation, this Palestinian state would have as its top priority the destruction of Israel, which is the explicit goal of Hamas and Hezbollah, their sponsor Iran and its satellites in the region. ... The partition plan borders on magical thinking. ... A kind of placebo for our European conscience, deeply troubled by the irksome knowledge that this war will drag on for a long time.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

There can be no peace with Hamas

De Telegraaf shows understanding for Netanyahu's position:

“Israel's desire to retain control over security is not unjustified. It is now crystal clear what Hamas wants, and that is not a two-state solution. No, Israel must disappear completely, as Hamas leader Khaled Mashal recently made clear. In his opinion, the massacre on 7 October was just a foretaste: according to him, that day showed how realistic the 'dream' of a separate state 'from the river to the sea' is. Political leaders who want to impose things on Israel must realise that peace is very far away as long as Hamas still exists and the lust of these terrorists to kill is supported by Iran.”

Liberal (GR) /

The oppressive Islamist dimension

News website Liberal wonders what a Palestinian state would look like:

“Will it be a secular state or a theocratic Islamic regime? In the first case, how and by whom would the extreme Islamist and armed organisations be controlled? In the second case, how could Israel accept having another Iranian proxy on its borders? It is now common knowledge that the solution to the Palestinian problem is directly linked to the Iranian regime. The extreme Sunnis and Shiites are now factors in an equation that is almost impossible to solve, if not unsolvable. ... Since the Palestinian question has taken on a primarily Islamist dimension, those who see Israel as a fighter for the entire Western world are now completely in the right.”

Die Presse (AT) /

A respectable but unrealistic initiative

Peace, let alone a two-state solution, is still a long way off, says Die Presse:

“Nobody knows right now how and when the Gaza war can end. Despite all the destruction, Israel is still a long way from its goal of wiping out Hamas. And even if Hamas can be overthrown, it is unclear who will take over responsibility in Gaza afterwards. A multinational Arab-Western blue helmet force exists so far only in people's minds. ... The bitter lesson for the Israelis from the Gaza withdrawal in 2005 is that the reward was missiles and terror. ... The diplomatic commitment of the US deserves respect. And so far no one has come up with a better idea for peace than a two-state solution. But at the moment it is still a two-state illusion.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Palestinian leaders lack the will for peace

Netanyahu can't be blamed for ruling out this option, says The Daily Telegraph:

“A two-state solution remains the obvious and ultimate answer to the tragedy of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Yet for more than seventy years, every offer to make a deal of this kind has been rejected by the Palestinians' representatives. It is not Israel that is intransigent, but Palestinian elites and their misguided Western supporters. ... It is the fault of Hamas, and their Iranian paymasters, that peaceful coexistence is now further off than ever. The path to mutual peace cannot be reached without defeating Hamas. Blaming Israel is an outrageous inversion of reality.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Conditions for peace skilfully destroyed

For De Standaard, it's clear that there will be no peace under Netanyahu:

“There is a recipe for peace: recognition and security for Israel in exchange for land and a state for the Palestinians. ... But Netanyahu does not believe in the two-state solution. He never did, and he has skilfully destroyed the conditions for the peaceful co-existence of a Jewish and a Palestinian state. ... Even if it is questionable whether the two-state solution can be resuscitated, with Netanyahu's approach no peace can be found.”

France Inter (FR) /

Nothing is carved in stone

France Inter still holds out hope for a two-state solution, despite all the obstacles:

“Starting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's fierce hostility to any plans for a Palestinian state - and he undoubtedly has a large majority of Israelis behind him on this point. A second problem would be the attitude of Hamas, which has so far rejected the idea of recognising Israel and which has a great deal of support among the Palestinian population. As long as these two players remain dominant, the path is blocked. But nothing is set in stone. It would be enough if this plan were formalised and gathered enough international support to make it credible.”