The Two-State Solution (Image by Makaristos)
In the wake of Annapolis, we heard mostly skepticism and derision about the latest US-backed drive for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement. The naysayers would do well, however, to take note of the statements by President George Bush on his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week. This lame duck president does not have anything to lose on the domestic scene. In fact, he is better off immersing himself in the kinds of foreign policy ventures that will not entangle him with Congress. The announcement by national security adviser Stephen Hadley, following a speech by the president today, that Bush would be returning to the region before the end of his term is a definite signal that he means business.
The vision of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that Bush endorsed adheres to the historic American line, as well as that of most of the international community. It is the vision of two nation-states, living side-by-side, with monetary compensation for the Palestinian refugees and their descendants. It runs decidedly counter to the dreams of a "one-state solution," which seek to turn Israel-Palestine into a staging ground for utopian experiments.