Monday, April 02, 2018
John Bolton's MidEast: Three State Solution
The Subdivision of the West Bank & Gaza - David Singer
President Trump’s appointment of John Bolton as National Security Adviser flags the possibility that the centrepiece of Trump’s eagerly-awaited "ultimate deal" could involve the subdivision of Judea and Samaria (“the West Bank”) and Gaza between Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
Such tripartite negotiations would replace the stale-mated Israeli-Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiations - suspended in 2014 following a PLO walk-out.
Now Abbas and the PLO have:
1. Rejected considering any future Trump proposals following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.
2. Declared the Oslo Accords “dead” in January.
Enter Trump-appointee John Bolton into this Israel-PLO standoff – as President Trump ponders how to fill this negotiating void.
Bolton has an answer - provided with amazing prescience on 5 January 2009 in his Washington Post article headlined “The Three-State Solution”:
“Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn. Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection. Instead, we should look to a "three-state" approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty. Among many anomalies, today's conflict lies within the boundaries of three states nominally at peace. Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability; we need real states with real security forces.”
Bolton still retains these views – telling Eric Shawn on 21 January 2018:
“I hope at some point the Administration recognizes and perhaps it is already quietly – that the two-state solution isn’t going anywhere. If anything I would say to King Abdullah of Jordan – “Be prepared to reassert Jordanian sovereignty over part of the West Bank – negotiate with Israel”. I think that’s a far better outcome than the continued pursuit of a mythical – I believe – unattainable viable Palestinian state”
Bolton’s appointment is shaping up as yet another Trump-inspired circuit breaker. Ambassador David Friedman has already said Abbas' behavior may make him irrelevant in negotiations.
Trump’s decision to accept Bolton’s advice would spell curtains for Abbas and the PLO and give Trump the momentum he needs to get meaningful Israel-Arab negotiations started.
[Israel National News]