Friday Rant: Muddle East edition

August 8, 2014

Fool’s errand today. Will wade in with thoughts about the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

Here’s the state of play as I think it is generally understood: The Israelis and Palestinians can’t agree on a solution to the problem. They couldn’t before, can’t now, and there is no prospect that they ever will.

Now here’s the problem. The Palestinians, however you choose to view them, can’t be left in a condition of statelessness forever. After close to 70 years and counting, it’s time to resolve that. Even if you’re defeated in war nobody expects you to live forever afterwards without a state.

Plan A, resolve it by negotiations. Plan B, take it to the dreaded UN and resolve it by international action. Plan C, Israel, together with its ally the United States, has such a huge advantage in arms and wealth over the Palestinians that they are in a position now to unilaterally decide a just two-state solution and impose it.

It’s time to give the Palestinians a state that most of the world would recognize as fair and viable, or annex the land into Israel and be done with it. Unending statelessness, after this length of time, is an intolerable status for any people to endure. And those Israeli settlements in the West Bank? They are either an inconsequential side issue, as some say, or an irreversible obstacle to a two-state solution. Time to decide which.

And how will you know if a unilateral imposition of a two-state solution is, in fact, a fair one? If it’s an unfair one, everyone will find out the hard way.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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