But on Tuesday, we saw another nail hammered into the already pretty tightly nailed down coffin of the two-state solution. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had pushed the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that would’ve required the Israeli government to withdraw its forces from the West Bank by 2017. It also would’ve mandated that a comprehensive peace deal be concluded within a year.
This initiative had the support of all 22 members of the Arab League, which in and of itself is remarkable. However, the resolution only received the support of eight of the 15 members of the Security Council, one less than needed for passage. The United States, only one of two nations to vote no (along with Australia), explained via UN Ambassador Samantha Power that while our government doesn’t support the status quo, “peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table.”
But the question is, negotiate peace with whom? There are three parties to this conflict: the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas, Hamas led by Khaled Mashal, and the Israeli government led by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem is that two of these parties, Netanyahu and Hamas, publicly oppose the idea of Palestinian and Israeli states side by side.