Despite the recent October 7 massacre of Israeli civilians and the overwhelming Palestinian support for it, the largely failed two-state solution for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — vehemently rejected by both sides — is still being pushed by U.S. President Joe Biden, who insists that it is the “only way” to ensure long-term security for both Israelis and Palestinians in a new post-Hamas Gaza.
The two-state solution, largely seen as a staple of foreign policy by U.S. administrations prior to President Donald Trump, has been lambasted by many critics as being a colossal failure that does not take into account facts on the ground.
Amidst renewed demands for Palestinian statehood emerging from Palestinian American groups, Muslim advocacy organizations, and some Democrats, President Biden posted a message declaring his continued determination, since the October 7 massacre, to implement a two-state solution despite the lack of a viable peace partner.
“A two-state solution is the only way to guarantee the long-term security of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people,” President Biden wrote on Sunday. “To make sure Israelis and Palestinians alike can live in equal measures of freedom and dignity.”
“We will not give up on working toward this goal,” he added.
A two-state solution is the only way to guarantee the long-term security of both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.
To make sure Israelis and Palestinians alike can live in equal measures of freedom and dignity.
We will not give up on working toward this goal.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 26, 2023
His proposition was met with immediate and significant criticism from Republicans.
“Hamas did not allow freedom and dignity as they slaughtered innocent civilians and took hostages on October 7,” wrote Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “The only way to guarantee the security of Israelis and Palestinians is to eliminate Hamas.”
Hamas did not allow freedom and dignity as they slaughtered innocent civilians and took hostages on October 7.
The only way to guarantee the security of Israelis and Palestinians is to eliminate Hamas. https://t.co/W9ZLVc5v76
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) November 27, 2023
“President Biden just plugged ‘a two state solution.’ Tone deaf,” wrote Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). “Gaza has had a ‘two state solution’ on the table since 2005, and defiantly refused to take it.”
“You can’t have a two-state solution where one party is unwilling to recognize the other’s right to exist,” he added.
President Biden just plugged “a two state solution.”
Gaza has had a “two state solution” on the table since 2005, and defiantly refused to take it.
You can’t have a two-state solution where one party is unwilling to recognize the other’s right to exist.
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) November 24, 2023
“You are delusional,” wrote syndicated columnist Josh Hammer.
The so-called two-state solution, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian state — ostensibly in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and some eastern sections of Jerusalem — in exchange for the Palestinian Authority (PA) ending its conflict with Israel and living at peace with the Jewish state, has long proved to be an abject failure.
Criticism of President Biden’s push for a two-state solution using PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his ruling Fatah party as peace partners centers around several key issues.
“Moderate” Palestinian Factions
The PA under Abbas and Fatah are nonviable partners for peace due to its actions and policies that stand in stark opposition to the objectives of a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Abbas holds leadership positions in three key Palestinian entities. He serves as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), leader of the Fatah political party, and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), whose militant wings have a history of perpetrating violent attacks against Israeli civilians, leading to its designation as a terrorist group by the United States.
Despite frequent media assertions, neither Abbas nor any of the groups he heads fall under the category of “moderate,” with Hamas’s October 7 massacre — the deadliest against Jewish people since the Nazi Holocaust, which saw the torture, rape, execution, and abduction of hundreds of Israeli civilians — having received broad support from Palestinian factions across the board.
Aside from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad perpetrating the attack, the “moderate” Fatah expressed support and even participated in it, and the official Palestinian Authority (PA) pledged to pay nearly $3 million to the families of slain Hamas terrorists who executed the attack.
The PA, which serves as the administrative organization established to govern the Palestinian territories, particularly in the West Bank, has long been deemed too radical for peace due to its refusal to fully recognize Israel and its support for terror activities against the Jewish state, coupled with promoting anti-Israeli sentiments through media and education.
Palestinian education, controlled by the PA, systematically indoctrinates children with hatred towards Israel and Jews. Textbooks and curricula across various subjects delegitimize Israel’s existence, demonize Jews, and incite violent struggle, with no emphasis on peace and coexistence.
We have to make war to prove that we are stronger than the Jews,
says a little Palestinian schoolgirl in a Gaza school. pic.twitter.com/5XAVpZqKMJ
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) October 12, 2023
Aside from its governance issues, including corruption and authoritarian practices, the PA, which would rule a future state, supports terrorism, incites against Israel, and celebrates the killers of Jews, as it continues naming public parks and monuments after terrorists.
Following the October 7 attacks, the PA falsely claimed the rave massacre was committed by the IDF, while PA Ambassador to Iraq Amad Rwaidy, who was appointed in September by Abbas, argued that Israeli civilians killed in Hamas’s unprecedented attack on Israel earlier this month were not innocent.
An official document recently published by the PA was shown to outline calling on imams to incite violence and murder against Jews in Friday sermons, citing a religious text for Muslims to “fight the Jews” and “kill” them all.
In April, a violence-themed musical was broadcast on Palestinian Authority television calling to fight Israelis “everywhere” with “blood and stones.”
1/2 Palestinian Authority TV Airs Gaza Musical Encouraging Palestinians to Fight the “Enemy” In All of Israel with Machine Guns, RPGs, Daggers, and Bomb pic.twitter.com/EbqFZJbkyP
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) April 10, 2023
The PA is also reported to have allocated roughly $2.8 million to families of deceased Hamas terrorists as part of a program compensating those involved in terrorist acts, with additional funds for the families and imprisoned members.
This payout is part of the “pay-for-slay” initiative, officially termed the “Martyrs’ Fund,” wherein financial rewards are granted for carrying out terrorist attacks, with higher compensation for more destructive acts.
Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled the PA can be held liable for terrorism and sued by the families of those killed in terror attacks as a result of its “pay-for-slay” policy.
The so-called “moderate” Fatah political organization that governs the PA — the largest faction within the PLO, articulated its unwavering dedication to liberating “Palestine” and Jerusalem while asserting its pivotal role in what Hamas has termed Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, in a recent statement.
Following Hamas’s October 7 massacre, Fatah called for an expansion of the war against Israel, with Fatah’s Central Committee lauding the terrorists it claimed were confronting “the occupation’s crimes and aggression” and “attacking the enemy.” Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, declared its alliance with Hamas and its commitment to the ongoing military campaign against Israel, calling armed struggle “the only and fastest way to liberate Palestine.”
6 Palestinian fighters from 6 different groups – among them nationalist, communist and islamist – united in struggle. pic.twitter.com/y2PL8GcXEj
— روني الدنماركي (@Aldanmarki) October 14, 2023
Last month, Fatah official Fathi Abu Al-Ardat noted that all Palestinian factions are united in the fight against Israel and that the military wings of Hamas (Al-Qassam Brigades), Fatah (Al-Aqsa Brigades), and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Al-Quds Brigades) all participated in the brutal attack, which he described as “exalted resistance.”
#ICYMI: Jamal Al-Huwail of the Fatah Revolutionary Council: Allah Willing, We Will See in the West Bank Similar Scenes Like We Did in the Gaza Envelope; PA Security Forces Should Join the Fighting – Viewer Discretion Advised #Hamas #Fatah pic.twitter.com/EC5NArI8oX
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 15, 2023
Meanwhile, Jamal Al-Huwail of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, expressed his hope that a similar attack will take place in the West Bank, claiming the “historical opportunity” should be seized.
The long-serving Abbas — who has remained president for 18 years despite a four-year term limit — leads these supposedly “moderate” Palestinian factions that endorse a perspective paralleling that of Hamas.
While his security forces have participated in scores of deadly terror attacks against Israelis, he himself has a history of conveying inciting antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric. Governments and leaders across the globe voiced outrage over “horrifying” remarks in a recent speech he delivered in which he claimed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was not an antisemite and that the Jews of Europe during his era were not killed due to their Jewish identity, but due to their “role in society,” including “usury.”
In addition, he is perceived as lacking a mandate from his people to negotiate a peace deal, diminishing his credibility, and like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, Abbas is unwilling to make concessions on critical issues such as refugees and Jerusalem, fearing being seen as a traitor for conceding to Israel.
Though the “two-state solution” has been central to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has consistently rejected all of Israel’s offers for a state. Despite the numerous proposals, every Israeli attempt to offer land concessions has been met with terror waves, beginning with attacks under late PLO leader Yasser Arafat in the 1990s following the failed Oslo accords, to the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, to Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that prompted 18 years of rocket attacks.
A recent poll by Birzeit University’s Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD) shows significant Palestinian support (75 percent) for the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas and its October 7 massacre, while nearly three-quarters favor the elimination of Israel, with the creation of a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” in its stead.
A Palestinian public opinion poll by Arab World for Research and Development, in Ramallah, shows:
➡️83% of West Bank Palestinians ‘extremely support’ or ‘support somewhat’ Hamas’s antisemitic massacre on Oct. 7.
➡️Only 7% oppose it.
Think about that. pic.twitter.com/pls6jI3HpG
— CAMERA UK (@CAMERAorgUK) November 18, 2023
Respondents also showed strong support for the military wings of various terrorist groups: Palestinian Islamic Jihad (84 percent), al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades (80 percent), and al-Qassam Brigades (89 percent), with Hamas overall receiving 76 percent.
Palestinian politician Major General Issam Abu Bakr, who served as governor of the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, expressed his belief in unanimous support for the attack, saying, “I do not think there is a single Palestinian who does not support what happened.” A previous poll conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) revealed that a whopping 93 percent of Palestinians hold antisemitic beliefs.
As Breitbart News reported, immediately after word of the October 7 attacks got out, Palestinians at home and abroad were seen celebrating jubilantly. Photos and videos uploaded to social media show Palestinian crowds greeting the returning executioners as heroes and burning seized Israeli cars in the streets of Gaza. Others show Palestinians rallying, handing out sweets, and firing guns in the air.
Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank Celebrate on October 7, Hand Out Sweets, Fire Guns in the Air, following Hamas’s Invasion and Massacre in the Gaza Envelope #Palestinians #Hamas #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/hox5P91DkM
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) October 29, 2023
Ordinary Palestinian civilians were also seen actively participating in the massacre, with full mobs captured on film pouring across the breached border to take part in the killing and raping of innocents, as well as the looting of their property.
“The Two-State Solution Is Dead.”
After years of failed negotiations and Israel’s disastrous evacuation of the Gaza Strip in 2005, which resulted in Hamas’s takeover of that territory and repeated rocket attacks from there, a growing share of Israelis have grown more skeptical of a two-state solution, largely rejecting any withdrawal from the West Bank, according to a Pew Research Center survey which took place prior to October 7. After the October 7 attack, even more so, Israelis overwhelmingly no longer desire a two-state solution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his opposition to Biden’s proposal to restore control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority (PA) once Hamas is removed from power and destroyed.
“In Gaza, after the destruction of Hamas, and for a long time thereafter, there will not be a regime that encourages terror, that teaches terror, that funds terror — that also indoctrinates about the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews — this will not be,” Netanyahu vowed at a press conference this month.
Previously, twenty-one Knesset members cosigned a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, warning that the endorsement of a two-state solution is “far more dangerous for Israel” than boycott efforts such as the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“We believe it contains a grave error because it expresses, among other things, support for a so-called ‘Two-State Solution,’ meaning the establishment of a ‘Palestinian state’ in the heart of tiny Israel,” the letter reads, noting that such a Palestinian state was at risk of becoming a “terrorist” and “jihadist” state that “would severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States.”
Already in 2016, former national security adviser John Bolton declared that “Just as a matter of empirical reality, the two-state solution is dead,” while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) declared that “the two-state solution is no solution at all” and that “if there is going to be a Palestinian state, it’s going to have to be somewhere outside the borders of Israel.”
Despite all of the above, President Biden seems unperturbed as he continues to push for the two-state solution he has long hailed.
Within three weeks of the largest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, Biden stated that Israel must not revert to its pre-war conditions following its battle against Hamas, emphasizing the necessity for Israel to pursue a two-state resolution with the Palestinians once the conflict concludes.
“There’s no going back to the status quo as it stood on October 6,” he said at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “That means ensuring that Hamas can no longer terrorize Israel and use Palestinian civilians as human shields. It also means that when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next, and in our view, it has to be a two-state solution.”
Last year, he described the proposed framework as the “best way” to achieve peace.
Boasting how he reversed the policies of Trump and resumed nearly $1 billion dollars in aid to the Palestinians — in effect rewarding the “pay-for-slay” policy, Biden told Abbas that “we can count ourselves among the earliest supporters of a two-state solution” and that his “commitment to that goal of a two-state solution has not changed in all these years.”
With U.S. officials reportedly exploring options for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to potentially govern Gaza again, following inquiries to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, implementing this plan faces challenges due to the PA’s historical struggles, including its 2007 ousting from Gaza by Hamas, issues of corruption, unpopularity, and declining international support.
In contrast with the Biden administration’s policies, Trump did not unequivocally endorse the two-state solution, saying he was also open to a one-state solution — presumably meaning Israeli annexation of the West Bank — and that he would accept whatever solution Israelis and Palestinians themselves chose. In addition, the Trump administration cut aid to the Palestinians over its boycott of the U.S., as well as its so-called pay-for-slay scheme, and closed the Palestinian mission in Washington, expelling the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.S., Hussam Zomlot.
On Saturday, Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders caused an uproar after declaring that the country of Jordan should be considered the true national homeland for the Palestinian people, given that Jordan has a majority Palestinian population and integrating Palestinians into Jordan could lead to a more stable regional situation, as Jordan has successfully integrated Palestinian refugees.