Trashing Trump’s two-state solution would be the height of folly

December 23, 2020 by David Singer
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A departing President’s ability to make decisions seeking to impact his successor’s future actions – even as he is vacating the White House in the last weeks of his Presidency – was dramatically illustrated on 23 December 2016 when America failed to veto Security Council Resolution 2334.

Then Secretary of State – John Kerry – explained why the Obama-Biden administration had taken that decision on the eve of handing over to the Trump-Pence administration:

 “In the end, we could not in good conscience protect the most extreme elements of the settler movement as it tries to destroy the two-state solution.  We could not in good conscience turn a blind eye to Palestinian actions that fan hatred and violence.  It is not in U.S. interest to help anyone on either side create a unitary state.  And we may not be able to stop them, but we cannot be expected to defend them.  And it is certainly not the role of any country to vote against its own policies. 

That is why we decided not to block the UN resolution that makes clear both sides have to take steps to save the two-state solution while there is still time.  And we did not take this decision lightly.” 

Kerry painstakingly pointed out that America had nothing to do with drafting Resolution 2334:

The United States did not draft or originate this resolution, nor did we put it forward.  It was drafted by Egypt – it was drafted and I think introduced by Egypt, which is one of Israel’s closest friends in the region, in coordination with the Palestinians and others… In the end, we did not agree with every word in this resolution.  There are important issues that are not sufficiently addressed or even addressed at all.  But we could not in good conscience veto a resolution that condemns violence and incitement and reiterates what has been for a long time the overwhelming consensus and international view on settlements and calls for the parties to start taking constructive steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground.

Abstaining on – rather than vetoing – Resolution 2334 – when it did not address or sufficiently address important issues – was irresponsible.

Kerry showed how out of touch the outgoing Obama-Biden administration was with President-elect Trump’s intentions:

“President Obama and I know that the incoming administration has signaled that they may take a different path, and even suggested breaking from the longstanding U.S. policies on settlements, Jerusalem, and the possibility of a two-state solution.  That is for them to decide.  That’s how we work.  But we cannot – in good conscience – do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away… This is a time to stand up for what is right.  We have long known what two states living side by side in peace and security looks like.  We should not be afraid to say so.”

Kerry specifically recounted Israel’s former Prime Minister Peres telling him:

“The original mandate gave the Palestinians 48 percent, now it’s down to 22 percent.  I think 78 percent is enough for us.”

Revisionist rubbish: The original mandate gave the Arabs 78% – now Jordan. The Jews were promised a national home in the remaining 22% – now down to 17% – now Israel. The remaining 5% comprises Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

Trump’s Peace Plan provides a detailed and comprehensive two-state solution:

  • Israel: with its current borders extended to include 30% of Judea and Samaria
  • A demilitarised Palestinian Arab State: comprising Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria.

Trashing Trump’s Plan going forward would be the height of folly.


Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog


8 Responses to “Trashing Trump’s two-state solution would be the height of folly”
  1. Brian Rom says:


    To spin this as a 78/22 (83/17) outcome in favour of Palestinians is very strange distortion.

    We had no right to anything east of the Jordan river. We dispossessed most of them of what they had west of the Green line. They’re stateless, can’t (and have never wanted to) be citizens of Jordan. Jordan isn’t obliged to (and won’t) absorb them. They have for at least a century self identified as Palestinians and seek rights, not in a foreign country, but where they live. The overwhelming international consensus is that they have that right.

    Falsely claiming we’re the magnanimous side, denying Palestinian’s their identity and then to still in 2020 be fantasising about reassigning them as foreigners is frankly immoral. It’s tantamount to ethnic cleansing, which as you know went out of fashion after Nuremberg Laws. Rather rich to accuse Kerry who was quoting Rabin of ‘revisionist rubbish’.

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      You state: “We had no right to anything east of the Jordan river.”
      Wrong: The area east of the Jordan River was originally designated as part of the area within which the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home was to occur – until this was changed in 1922 when the Mandate document was formalised and article 25 was inserted.

      You state: “They’re stateless, can’t (and have never wanted to) be citizens of Jordan”
      Wrong: They were Jordanian citizens between 1950 and 1988

      You state: “Jordan isn’t obliged to (and won’t) absorb them.”
      Correct: Jordan can grant them Jordanian citizenship as it did between 1950 and 1988 and they can – as they did then – keep living where they are right now and elect their representatives to Jordan’s parliament as they did between 1950 and 1967.

      You state: “They have for at least a century self identified as Palestinians and seek rights, not in a foreign country, but where they live.”
      Wrong: Between 1964 and 1968 they did not claim regional sovereignty over ” the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area”
      (Article 24 PLO Charter). Shows how serious one should treat their claim in the last 50 years. Jewish claims to the area go back 3000 years.

      You state: “Rather rich to accuse Kerry who was quoting Rabin of ‘revisionist rubbish’.
      Wrong: Kerry was quoting Shimon Peres – not Rabin.
      By the way – it was Peres who told the Jewish Telegraph on April 19, 1991:

      ”It is not obstinacy to regard the populations of Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza as having greater similarities than differences. The Jordan River is not deep enough to turn into a knife blade serving to cut one piece of territory into three slices. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians: the residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens and Jordan has distributed tens of thousands of passports to residents in the Gaza Strip. Jordan is therefore an existing State. It has an army. There is therefore no need to set up another State, another army.”

      Do I trust Kerry was telling the truth about his alleged conversation with Peres? I don’t – especially when you consider what Peres said above – which is the very opposite of what Kerry wants you to believe.

      After all it was also Kerry who said in 2016:”The Arab countries have made clear that they will not make peace with Israel without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That’s not where their loyalties lie. That’s not where their politics are.”

      Thanks to the efforts of President Trump – UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have proved Kerry totally wrong.

      Rethink your position Brian – because it is built on very shaky and easily rebuttable foundations. Regurgitating PLO propaganda will get you nowhere – except showing how successfully you have been brainwashed.

      We are the magnanimous side – having seen 78% of the territory originally proposed for the Jewish people closed to Jewish settlement and having now agreed to Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria being the site for a demilitarized second Arab state – in addition to Jordan – in the territory comprised in the Mandate.

      • Brian Rom says:


        I’m afraid it’s you who has been brainwashed. There’s little evidence Jewish claims over the land east of the Jordan were ever taken seriously. In 1922, Churchill thwarted those claims completely at a conference in Cairo. In any event, they had little moral standing. The land was not terra nullius. A presence 2000 years before was no basis on which to assign the area to us to the detriment of an indigenous Arab population. The 78% was never ours to give and, as they live west of the Jordan river, Palestinians were never its beneficiaries. They have long held a separate identity and to argue that they are retrospectively advantaged is logically absurd.

        Until his death, Peres (thanks for correction) supported the two state solution. It is very strange you would assume that based on one quote in 1991 (pre Oslo accords), he supported the unworkable, immoral and illegal Palestine Jordan idea.

        And so what if the Palestinians once briefly aligned themselves with Jordan? Throughout history, nationalists movements aligned and realigned as circumstances change. The right of self determination means that they, not you, get to chose their national identity.

        Your 78% argument is premised on a right wing/settler fantasy that Palestinians don’t exist or should now cease to exist by becoming Jordanian. The denial of the Jewish peoples’ right to exist is regarded as anti Semitism. I’m not sure what the word is to describe someone who denies the right of the Palestinians to exist but I doubt it’s flattering.

        • DAVID SINGER says:

          Here you go again Brian:
          You state: “In 1922, Churchill thwarted those claims completely at a conference in Cairo.”

          Wrong: The Cairo Conference was held between 12 March and 30 March 1921.
          Churchill gave effect to the Cairo Conference’s decisions in his June 1922 White Paper: “Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become “as Jewish as England is English.” His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded `in Palestine.”

          That was the reason article 25 was inserted in the Mandate document in July 1922 when Jews were denied the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in 78% of Palestine – set aside for the Arabs exclusively.

          You state: “A presence 2000 years before was no basis on which to assign the area to us to the detriment of an indigenous Arab population.”

          Wrong: Two and a half of the Twelve tribes of Israel lived there. Arabs never conquered “Palestine” until the 7th century AD. So who comprise the “indigenous Arab population” you are talking about that had a better claim than the Jews?

          You state: “The 78% was never ours to give”

          Correct: But in 1922 the 78% was denied to us by the British within which to reconstitute the Jewish National Home as I have explained above.

          You state: “as they live west of the Jordan river, Palestinians were never its beneficiaries. They have long held a separate identity and to argue that they are retrospectively advantaged is logically absurd”

          Wrong: The Arab residents of Palestine were regarded as part of the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” by the international community in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine. There was no identifiable group called “Palestinians” until 1964. Those Arabs living west of the Jordan River had agreed on 1 December 1948 to unify the West Bank and East Jerusalem with Transjordan and the merged entity was renamed Jordan in 1950. There was no separate identity claimed.

          Peres in his 1991 statement was supporting the two-state solution – Israel and Jordan – not the three-state solution: One Jewish and two Arab states in the territory of the Mandate for Palestine. That was always his mind set – as it was of all Israel’s political leaders.

          Rabin for example declared in the Knesset on 5 October 1995:
          ““We are striving for a permanent solution to the unending bloody conflict between us and the Palestinians and the Arab states.

          “In the framework of the permanent solution, we aspire to reach, first and foremost, the State of Israel as a Jewish state, at least 80% of whose citizens will be, and are, Jews.

          “At the same time, we also promise that the non-Jewish citizens of Israel — Muslim, Christian, Druze and others — will enjoy full personal, religious and civil rights, like those of any Israeli citizen. Judaism and racism are diametrically opposed.

          “We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

          “We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

          “And these are the main changes, not all of them, which we envision and want in the permanent solution:

          First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev — as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty, while preserving the rights of the members of the other faiths, Christianity and Islam, to freedom of access and freedom of worship in their holy places, according to the customs of their faiths.

          The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term.

          Changes which will include the addition of Gush Etzion, Efrat, Beitar and other communities, most of which are in the area east of what was the “Green Line,” prior to the Six Day War.

          The establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria, like the one in Gush Katif.”

          Brian – I should not really need to correct your endless errors if you were only prepared to recognize your own lack of knowledge on the Arab-Jewish conflict and took the time to check out the sources for your inaccurate and misleading statements before you rush into print.

          Relying on PLO propaganda is akin to committing suicide.

          • Brian Rom says:


            We have completely different political and philosophical outlooks. That doesn’t mean one of us has a ‘lack of knowledge’. I’ve tried to be respectful. If you can’t do the same, then I recommend Facebook or Twitter as an outlet.

            My last response:

            Quotes from 100 year old speeches and documents (Mandate): Of little relevance anymore. Churchill, an arch colonialist, had no right to speak for Arabs west of the Jordan (or any native population for that matter). Were they alive today, he and the drafters might have had a view on the “disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population” west of the Jordan.

            No Palestinians until 1964: Yawn. There were no peoples called Mozambicans, Kenyans, Zimbabweans or South Africans at the time of colonisation. Native populations were always there and mere nomenclature did not undermine their later entitlement to self determination.

            1 Dec 1948 Jericho meeting: irrelevant. Never universally endorsed by Palestinians. In any event, they repudiated soon thereafter as was their right.

            Who had priority to Jordan: the idea that the presence of “two and a half tribes” in Jordan 2000 years ago can trump a more recent presence over 1300 years is far fetched. Irredentist claims have no validity at international law, especially when they trample on the rights of others; see China’s claim over Taiwan and Germany’s over the Sudetenland.

            Rabin quote: irrelevant to the question of whether Palestinians benefited from the 78% (Jordan). However, biographies (Kurzman) indicate Rabin participated in the Oslo process knowing that a Palestinian state was to be the logical outcome. He paid the ultimate price for peace and it’s divisive of the extreme right to try hold him out as their man.

            The only suicide here is a moral one that you seem to think we should engage in.

            That’s all from me. Have enjoyed our discussion no matter how fruitless. Happy new year.

            • DAVID SINGER says:


              “Lack of knowledge” to me means basing your opinion on facts that cannot be substantiated.

              Quotes from old speeches are relevant – especially when you seek to raise them and get them wrong sequentially – eg date of Cairo Conference – which I corrected when referring to Churchill’s White Paper in 1922.

              Old speeches are basic to understanding the conflict and what it is about – which is the “Arab-Jewish conflict” which has raged unresolved for 100 years.

              You want to dismiss what happened between 1917 and 1948. That is the swifty that Arab propaganda has used to brainwash so many when describing this conflict as the “Israeli-Arab conflict” or “Israeli-Palestinian” conflict.

              Let me just correct you on some of your further comments:
              “Who had priority to Jordan: the idea that the presence of “two and a half tribes” in Jordan 2000 years ago can trump a more recent presence over 1300 years is far fetched”

              The League of Nations did not agree with you when it unanimously endorsed the inclusion in the Mandate of the following:
              “Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

              Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”

              Your one-line dismissal of historic events is best illustrated by this comment:
              “No Palestinians until 1964: Yawn”

              There were no “Palestinians” until 1964 – Fact.

              Please feel free to dispute my claim but do not dismiss it as a “yawn”

              Again your following comment: “1 Dec 1948 Jericho meeting: irrelevant.” Why is it irrelevant that the Arabs living in the areas conquered by Jordan in 1948 agreed to unify those conquered lands with Transjordan and form a new territorial entity called Jordan and that they became citizens of Jordan?

              I have not read Kurzman but would find it intriguing if you could point out what evidence he had to “indicate Rabin participated in the Oslo process knowing that a Palestinian state was to be the logical outcome.” That was certainly not Rabin’s expectation when he addressed the Knesset and persuaded the Knesset to narrowly approve the Oslo Accords.

              Again another one of your dismissive statements is unfounded and unsupported: “it’s divisive of the extreme right to try hold him (Rabin) out as their man”

              Sorry Brian – whilst you continue to post comments such as these – I feel compelled to answer them as they cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.

              I certainly don’t think our discussion was fruitless since your opinions were obviously sincerely held but unfortunately devoid of any facts to support them.

              Happy 2021.

  2. John B. McCormick says:

    The main difference between 242 and 2334 is that 2334 tries to tell Israel what to do.
    Sir Don McKinnon said to me in 1996 when I asked him about a peace deal. He said it was up to them to do a deal. That the UN or any country could not dictate what that agreement should be. but that we, NZ work support what ever deal they worked out. If Biden try’s to go back to UNSC 2334 then he will get no where.

  3. Eion Isaac says:

    But 92 % plus of the West Bank plus Land swaps and East Jerusalem as the Palestinian Capital was rejected by Arafat Inc in 2000 with thousands of Israelis killed in Suicide Murder Terrorism and Abbas in 2008 – I’ll get back to you he told Olmert .
    They rejected the right of return of 100,000 Holocaust Survivors to the Holy Land in 1945-1947 but want five million Palestinians to the fourth and fifth generation the right to return to the Holy Lsnd pre 1949
    Armistice Lines .
    Obama wrote a book Promised Land but he did not mention that or Palestinian Nazism aka Amin Husayni – for the sake of Balance

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