Analyst: UN head’s ‘one-state reality’ remark intended to ‘scare’ Palestinians

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised some eyebrows this week when he told a UN gathering on Palestinian rights that “negative trends” are creating an “irreversible one state reality.”

By: Steve Leibowitz, World Israel News

“Negative trends on the ground have the potential to create an irreversible one-state reality that is incompatible with realizing the legitimate national, historic and democratic aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

That was the message this week from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Speaking to a UN meeting on Palestinian rights, the UN chief warned that consensus on two-state solution “may be eroding, making effective concerted action more difficult to achieve,” thereby dooming the concept of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

“There is no Plan B,” Guterres told the meeting. “A two-state solution is the only way to achieve the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and secure a sustainable solution to the conflict.”

Dan Diker from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs told World Israel News (WIN), “This is inaccurate on several levels. The secretary general is reflecting a broad international misunderstanding that wrongly determined that the only solution is the so-called two state solution.”

“Even at the Oslo peace talks former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin called for an independent Palestinian ‘entity’ that was less than a state. The Palestinians have already achieved most of what Oslo called for. There are now two de-facto Palestinian entities in Gaza and the ‘West Bank.’ The words ‘two state’ are a misnomer. Oslo spoke of an independent Palestinian entity, and not a state. What was envisioned is more than autonomy and less than a state,” Diker said.

In Diker’s view, “Gutteres is trying to scare people so that they will rush to support the two-state solution. He neglects to say that there are many other diplomatic options. A ‘one-state solution’ is a non-starter and it’s just a Halloween scare to push back towards the unworkable peace process, made due to Palestinian intransigence.”

Dr. Martin Sherman, Director of the Israel Center for Strategic Studies has long opposed the notion of a “two-state solution.” Sherman told WIN, “One can only hope that the ‘two state’ concept is eroding, but ‘one state’ is not the only other option. One state would mean a small 60 – 65 percent Jewish majority that would have ethnic strife and could not be a coherent society.

“The only real solution is for Israel to initiate an incentivized movement of the Arab population that encourages them to leave the West Bank and Gaza and settle elsewhere. This is the most humane solution. Arabs remaining in Judea and Samaria will have rights living in the State of Israel. Living in a ‘Palestinian state’ subjects the population to a Muslim majority tyranny with gender discrimination and the persecution of dissidents. ‘One state’ with the entire Arab population will be a non-Jewish state, would be a much less attractive place and the country would be catapulted backwards.”

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Col. Miri Eisin, a former Communications Director in the Prime Minister’s Office told WIN that she totally disagrees with the Secretary General’s assumptions and conclusions. “There is no irreversible reality. Who decides what ‘states’ must look like. The ‘two-state solution’ is a concept. We are no closer and no further from this, and have faced the same challenges for the past 20 years. Facts of new ‘settlements’ on the ground do not irreversibly change things. For example the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria has doubled over the same period. That too is a fact on the ground. Conceptually, ‘separation’ is still the goal.”