Has Hamas ended the prospects for a two state solution?
Hamas's decision to fire rockets in the direction of Ben Gurion Airport may well have ended any real prospect of a two-state solution. Whether the regulators and airlines that have stopped flights to and from Israel are right or wrong, this stoppage cannot possibly be tolerated by a democratic country that relies so heavily on tourism and international travel. It is of course a war crime to target an international civilian airport, as Hamas has clearly done. Israel has every right to keep that airport open, employing all reasonable military means at its disposal. Since Hamas fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas, there will be more Palestinian civilian deaths.
Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This of course is part of Hamas' grand strategy: by targeting Israeli civilians and international air travel from its own civilian areas, Hamas leaves Israel no choice but to take military actions that risk the lives of innocent Palestinians. There will be even more innocent Palestinian deaths now, as Hamas has raised the stakes considerably for Israel. Every country in the world would do everything in its power to keep open the airports, which are the lifelines to its economic viability. Hamas knows this and welcomes Israeli military action that produces more dead Palestinian civilians and hence more international criticism of Israel.
Even more importantly, Hamas' actions in essentially closing down international air traffic into Israel, considerably reduces the prospect of any two-state solution. Israel will now be more reluctant than ever to give up military control over the West Bank, which is even closer to Ben Gurion Airport than is Gaza.
Were Israel to end its military occupation of the West Bank—as distinguished from its civilian settlements deep in the West Bank—it would risk the possibility of a Hamas takeover. That is precisely what happened when Israel removed both its civilian settlements and its military presence in Gaza. Hamas took control, fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets and have now succeeded in stopping international air traffic into and out of Israel.
Israel could not accept the risk of a Hamas takeover of the West Bank and the resulting Hamas rocket attacks at the nearby Ben Gurion Airport. It may still be possible to create a two-state solution whereby Israel withdraws its civilian settlers from most of the West Bank and agrees to land swaps for areas that now contain large settlement blocks. But Israel will have to retain military control over its security borders, which extend to the Jordan River. It will also have to maintain a sufficient military presence to assure that what happened in Gaza does not happen in the West Bank. These military realities do not have to exist forever. Israel's military presence could be reduced if the Palestinian Authority were to maintain effective control over the West Bank and prevent terrorists from using that area to send rockets and terrorists into Israel.
The new reality caused by Hamas' shutting down of international air travel to and from Israel would plainly justify an Israeli demand that it maintain military control over the West Bank in any two-state deal. The Israeli public would never accept a deal that did not include a continued Israeli military presence in the West Bank. They have learned the tragic lesson of Gaza and they will not allow it to be repeated in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority, however, is unlikely to accept such a condition, though it should. This will simply make it far more difficult for an agreement to be reached.
It was precisely one of the goals of the Hamas rocket and tunnel assaults to scuttle any two-state agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The Hamas Charter categorically rejects the two-state solution, as does the military wing of Hamas. In this tragic respect, Hamas has already succeeded. By aiming its rockets in the direction of Ben Gurion Airport, Hamas may well have scuttled any realistic prospects for a two-state solution. It cannot be allowed to succeed.
The international community, which has a significant stake in protecting international air traffic from terrorist rocket attacks, must support Israel's efforts to stop these attacks—permanently. If Hamas is allowed to shut down Israel's major airport, every terrorist group in the world will begin to target airports throughout the world. The shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine will be but one of many such tragedies, if Hamas is allowed to succeed. An attack on the safety on Israel's airport is an attack on the safety of all international aviation. Israel is the canary in the mine. What Hamas has done to Israeli aviation is a warning to the world. In its efforts to prevent Hamas from firing rockets at Ben Gurion Airport, Israel is fighting for the entire civilized world against those who would shoot down civilian airliners. The world should support Israel in this noble fight.
Reader comments on this item
|Additions to A. Dershowitz's article [189 words]||Menahem||Jul 27, 2014 04:26|
|there was never a possibility.... [96 words]||todd||Jul 25, 2014 16:21|
|Netanyahu government does not support creation of a Palestinian state [352 words]||Lawrence Gladsden||Jul 24, 2014 09:06|
|Of course, its... [76 words]||Ron B.||Jul 24, 2014 07:58|
|Incisive Dershowitz at his best [25 words]||Barbara Moses||Jul 24, 2014 00:23|
|peace just around the corner [40 words]||Dan||Jul 23, 2014 22:31|
|Jordan [34 words]||David Walker||Jul 23, 2014 17:33|
|Two State Solution [91 words]||Ralph W Thompson||Jul 23, 2014 16:07|
|I agree [83 words]||sharonsj||Jul 23, 2014 12:37|
|a two state solution is not needed; the two states already exist [98 words]||naad||Jul 23, 2014 12:32|
|FAA or Obama administration - who made the decision [20 words]||Evgeni Levin||Jul 23, 2014 12:05|
|Pressure on Israel to end its defensive war [21 words]||Batya Casper||Jul 23, 2014 09:55|
|The end game [135 words]||montlasky||Jul 23, 2014 08:07|
|No two-state solution until Hamas gives up "two-gods-dueling" theology [240 words]||will knutsen||Jul 23, 2014 07:51|
|The World is facing terror [126 words]||Lionel Thwaits||Jul 23, 2014 05:14|
|↔ The World is facing Terror [91 words]||hammar||Jul 30, 2014 09:21|
|Hamas attacks International aviation [31 words]||hammar||Jul 23, 2014 02:55|
|↔ When are the Palestinian People going to wake up? [103 words]||Larry Galina||Jul 27, 2014 13:27|
|Airport shutdown [49 words]||JohnB||Jul 23, 2014 00:59|
|Nice [75 words]||Ron Kean||Jul 23, 2014 00:21|
|Might be the best solution for Palestinians [142 words]||Liza||Jul 23, 2014 00:17|
|Tell Dershowitz [54 words]||Lawrence||Jul 22, 2014 23:48|
|Spot On [153 words]||S B Lewis||Jul 22, 2014 23:43|
|Yes it has, with help from the FAA and some European airlines [87 words]||Stephen Franklin||Jul 22, 2014 21:50|
|inconsistent and hypocritical stance [105 words]||gerry fershtman||Jul 22, 2014 21:10|
|Fanaticism [116 words]||Norma Wolens||Jul 22, 2014 21:01|
|Most of the world will blame Israel [50 words]||Carl||Jul 22, 2014 18:52|
|He can't let go [42 words]||mrzee||Jul 22, 2014 18:04|
|CNN [183 words]||Stephen||Jul 22, 2014 17:47|
|Hamas has now, already, shut down Ben Gurion Airport [40 words]||Arthur Cohn||Jul 22, 2014 17:30|
|Israel's Right to Live [51 words]||Mike Fundi||Jul 22, 2014 17:25|
|The One State Solution [73 words]||David W. Lincoln||Jul 22, 2014 17:23|
|↔ Still a Two State Solution? [466 words]||Lawrence||Jul 24, 2014 15:31|
|End Of Proportionality [32 words]||saul hyman||Jul 22, 2014 17:11|
|↔ What Price Peace? [126 words]||Beatrix139||Jul 27, 2014 22:03|
|It's ABOUT time! [263 words]||Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D.||Jul 22, 2014 17:07|
|One State Solution [40 words]||Jane Thomas||Jul 22, 2014 17:04|
|Totally! [105 words]||Sergey||Jul 22, 2014 16:47|
|The "Two State Solution" would be suicidal for Israel [99 words]||Charles Martel||Jul 22, 2014 16:44|
|The Death Knell of the TSS [82 words]||Sol3||Jul 22, 2014 16:42|
|Israel has a moral right to survive and flourish [75 words]||Doug Mayfield||Jul 22, 2014 16:41|
|Will the Israelis never learn! [266 words]||Alice Maxwell||Jul 22, 2014 16:39|
|Own worst enemy [62 words]||Max||Jul 22, 2014 16:32|
|That old "two state solution." [164 words]||DockyWocky||Jul 22, 2014 16:32|
|Gazans ... not Palestinians [43 words]||Harley||Jul 22, 2014 16:23|
|I support the Israeli government [68 words]||Dr. David England||Jul 22, 2014 16:01|
|canary in the mine [30 words]||J.I. Vorst||Jul 22, 2014 15:42|
|The first casualty of war [85 words]||Rob Nelson||Jul 22, 2014 15:41|
Comment on this item
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."
by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Soeren Kern
Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.
The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its "misinterpretation" by Islamic extremists.
Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.
Leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."
Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.