Readers write about whether there can be a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how our mixed heritages make the world a more interesting place, and why the media should focus on solutions as well as problems.
For Israeli-Palestinian peace, redefine two-state solution
Regarding the Feb. 4 Opinion piece, "George Mitchell and the end of the two-state solution": I agree with author Sandy Tolan that the two-state solution, as that option has been defined to date, is no longer possible. I also agree that the one-state solution is anathema to Israeli Jews, and to many Jews outside Israel, as that option could result in Jews becoming a minority in the world's only Jewish state.
Therefore, the only real option is to redefine the two-state solution, creating a Palestinian state in Gaza as early as possible, and then allowing Israel and the Palestinians remaining on the West Bank to reach an agreement on a joint state, excluding Gaza. For this option to be feasible, the United States and the European Union must guarantee that they will provide for Gaza's internal and external security for an extended period of years. They would also need to provide funding for development of the Palestinian state of Gaza.
In the past several weeks, many well-regarded pundits have written articles proclaiming the death of the two-state solution. The blame, they say, is Israel's, for its stubborn refusal to curb the expansion of settlers in the West Bank. Ridiculous.
If the two-state solution is indeed on its deathbed, it is certainly the fault of the mainstream Palestinian extremists. The reason a two-state solution seems inviable is because the Palestinians, through their election of a terrorist government sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state and through their unwillingness to embrace moderation, have made clear that they have no intention of living side by side with Jews. Without an overhaul in Palestinian society, they will never have an independent state because such a state would only be a hotbed of further terrorist activity against Israel. Expansion of Israeli settlements may indeed be a problem for the two-state solution, but it is hardly the death knell.