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Palestine: Another Approach

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010

The long war between Israel and the Palestinians is not the root cause of all conflicts between Islam and the West, but it exacerbates every such conflict. From Northern Europe through North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and down to Australia, there are violent opponents of "the West" motivated, in part, by indignation at the sufferings of the Palestinians. Various solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been proposed -- the "Jordanian option" (or "no state" solution), the "one state" solution (i.e., a single multicultural state), and so on. But for the present, at least, the "two state solution" still seems to most observers to be the best prospect (see here, here, and here).

Immediately upon taking office, U.S. President Barack Obama and members of his administration made it clear that they were committed to a two-state solution and were willing to quarrel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to achieve one. As an opening move, the administration demanded that Israel accept an absolute settlement freeze. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "We want to see a stop to settlement construction, additions, natural growth -- any kind of settlement activity." Vice President Joseph Biden, addressing AIPAC, said the Israelis would have to "not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts, and allow the Palestinians freedom of movement." Sen. John Kerry told AIPAC that the settlements "strengthen Hamas by convincing everyday Palestinians that there is no reward for moderation." ...

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