The US administration and the British government have come out with statements that they are considering recognizing a Palestinian state. They are evidently no longer demanding that the Palestinians halt their homicidal incitement against Israel and Jews or stop paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews. Pictured: Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (R) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) are hosted by Qatar’s then Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani at a ceremony in Doha, Qatar on February 6, 2012. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

In the span of two days, both the US administration and the British government came out with similar statements that they are considering recognizing a Palestinian state. The statements send a message to the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group and other Palestinians that the Americans and British want to give them a prize for the October 7 attack on Israel in which 1,200 Israelis were murdered, decapitated, raped, tortured and burned alive.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked the State Department to conduct a review and present policy options on possible US and international recognition of a Palestinian state after the current Israel-Hamas war, the American Axios media outlet reported on January 31. According to the report:

«The Biden administration is linking possible normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia to the creation of a pathway for the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of its post-war strategy. This initiative is based on the administration’s efforts prior to Oct. 7 to negotiate a mega-deal with Saudi Arabia that included a peace agreement between the kingdom and Israel.»

Hours after the Axios report surfaced, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron regrettably announced that his country could officially recognize a Palestinian state after a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip without waiting for the outcome of talks between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution. «What we need is do is to give the Palestinian people a horizon towards a better future, the future of having a state of their own,» Cameron said.

The declared policy, however, of the US and Britain, ever since the painstakingly negotiated the 1993-95 Oslo Accords, has been that a two-state solution should come as part of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. If the Oslo Accords are so cavalierly abrogated, what do any international agreements mean, and why would any country sign one in the future?

To many, this appears to be yet another lawless decision by Biden to advance his chances for reelection without any thought to the outcome for the people on whom these decisions are being inflicted. The plan appears to many in the same vein as claiming that illegal migrants are ostensibly legal in order to flood the US with future voters for the Democratic Party and to create an extremely undemocratic, authoritarian one-party government in America – all in the name of «democracy.»

The Axios report also indicates a change in US government policy. The US government had previously stated that it remains committed to a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes that Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security and prosperity.

In 2021, the UK government also clarified that it is committed to the objective of a sovereign, prosperous and peaceful Palestinian state through a negotiated peace agreement. Cameron’s remarks suggest that Britain is now ready to recognize a Palestinian state without waiting for a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

This turnabout in US and British policy aims to create facts on the ground by establishing a terrorist genocidal Arab state on Israel’s doorstep, on either side of Israel, and encourage the Palestinians not to resume peace negotiations with Israel.

Can the Biden administration and the British government guarantee that Iran and its Palestinian proxies will not use this new Palestinian state as a launching pad to attack Israel and murder Jews? No. It is clear that we are looking at another Afghanistan: all promises from the Taliban, and no delivery.

There was a Hamas-led potential Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip before October 7. Instead of using the billions upon billions of dollars that were given it by the international community to build a «Singapore in the Mediterranean,» that «state» built hundreds of kilometers of terror tunnels, initiated war against Israel, and has continued to attack Israel for more than four months after its terrorists bulldozed over its border with Israel.

The Biden administration and the British government are now saying that they nevertheless want to copy-paste the Hamas-led state and import it to the West Bank and to the heart of Jerusalem. Do they see that this would mean bringing Iran and its terror proxies right to the hilltops overlooking Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities in a country smaller than New Jersey?

No country, including Saudi Arabia, would be able to prevent a Palestinian state at this time from turning into another terror state. Some Arab states, such as Qatar, have shown no interest in preventing the Gaza Strip from turning into a Hamas terror enclave.

The assumption that normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia in return for the establishment of another failed and corrupt Arab state would bring peace, security and stability to the Middle East is a deadly fantasy.

Why should any Palestinian leader return to the negotiating table with Israel when the Americans and British are already offering them a state on a platter, unilaterally and unconditionally? By making such statements, the US and Britain are sending a message to the Palestinians that they can continue to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel and do not need to renounce terrorism, dismantle the multiple armed groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people or do anything at all. The Americans and British are evidently no longer demanding that the Palestinians halt their homicidal incitement against Israel and Jews, or even stop paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews.

One month before the Hamas carnage, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas justified the Holocaust when he told leaders of his ruling Fatah faction:

«They say that Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews and that Europe hated the Jews because they were Jews. Not true. It was clearly explained that [the Europeans] fought [the Jews] because of their social role, and not their religion. The [Europeans] fought against these people because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money and so on and so forth. This was not about semitism and antisemitism.»

The Americans and the British are also ignoring the fact that most Palestinians are opposed to the idea of a two-state solution because they want a Palestinian state to replace Israel, not have a state next to it. A public opinion poll published by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in December 2023 showed that 64% of the Palestinians oppose the idea of a two-state solution. Another 69% of the Palestinians said they support a return to «confrontations and armed intifada» (terrorism) against Israel.

The US administration and the British government are also ignoring that the Palestinian leadership has refused to resume the peace negotiations with Israel and turned down every Israeli offer for a settlement that could have given them a state many years ago. Perhaps they have refused to negotiate precisely in the hope of receiving such a silver-platter resolution, in which they not be required to make any concessions whatsoever.

In 2014, Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations were suspended after the Palestinian Authority concluded yet another «unity agreement» with Hamas, a US and European Union-designated Iran-backed terrorist organization. The agreement called for the establishment of a «unity» Palestinian government. «Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction,» Israel’s security cabinet announced then. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated:

«Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen [Abbas] formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel. The agreement between Abu Mazen and Hamas was signed even as Israel is making efforts to advance the negotiations with the Palestinians. Abu Mazen has refused to even discuss recognizing Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace.»

Abbas’s PA continues to see Hamas as a legitimate player in the Palestinian arena. On January 27, Palestinian Authority presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh revealed that the PA was planning to «hold contacts with Hamas» to discuss ways of achieving Palestinian «unity.»

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on December 10, 2023 that «Hamas is part of the Palestinian political fabric, and when Israel says it is determined to eliminate it, it is impossible and unacceptable.»

Another senior PA official, Jibril Rajoub, said on December 14, 2023:

«Our contacts with the Hamas movement have not ceased, and we look forward to work with our brothers in Hamas to formulate a [joint] political and organizational policy to achieve the unity of the [Palestinian] cause, and the unity of leadership and decision-making.»

It is no wonder then that the PA has until now refused to condemn Hamas’s October 7 atrocities. It is not because the PA is afraid of Hamas. Instead, it is because Abbas and his cohorts consider Hamas an integral and indispensable part of Palestinian society, as well as a future partner in a Palestinian government.

Abbas has, over the past decade, repeatedly voiced opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Saying he withstood international pressure in the past to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said: «They [the international community] are pressing and saying, ‘No peace without the Jewish state.’ There is no way. We will not accept.»

Abbas has since turned down Israeli offers to resume the peace talks and insisted that Israel accept unconditionally, and without negotiations, the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

During the botched Camp David summit in 2000, PLO leader and PA President Yasser Arafat rejected an offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and US President Bill Clinton for the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state on some 92% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip, as well as the establishment of the Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem.

An enraged Clinton banged on the table and said to Arafat: «You are leading your people and the region to a catastrophe.»

Commenting on Arafat’s rejection of the offer, Barak said:

«He [Arafat] did not negotiate in good faith; indeed, he did not negotiate at all. He just kept saying no to every offer, never making any counterproposals of his own…»

«What they [Arafat and his colleagues] want is a Palestinian state in all of Palestine. What we see as self-evident, [the need for] two states for two peoples, they reject. Israel is too strong at the moment to defeat, so they formally recognise it [referring to Arafat’s 1993 letter to Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin, claiming that the PLO recognizes Israel]. But their game plan is to establish a Palestinian state while always leaving an opening for further ‘legitimate’ demands down the road. They will exploit the tolerance and democracy of Israel first to turn it into a ‘state for all its citizens’… Then they will push for a binational state and then demography and attrition will lead to a state with a Muslim majority and a Jewish minority. This would not necessarily involve kicking out all the Jews. But it would mean the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. This, I believe, is their vision….»

Clinton and Barak were right. The Palestinians are not interested in a two-state solution. As Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal explained on January 18, 2024:

«The West says that October 7 has opened up prospects for a political vision, so they have returned to talk about their old commodity, which is the two-state solution. The 1967 borders represent 21% of Palestine, which is practically one fifth of its land, so this cannot be accepted. Our Palestinian project, which has a quasi-Palestinian national consensus, is that our right in Palestine from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river cannot be waived.»

Those who are promoting the idea of creating a Palestinian terror state next to Israel — in addition to again capitulating to terrorists and rewarding terrorism — are paving the way for more October 7-like massacres. They are essentially asking Israel to commit suicide at a time when its soldiers are fighting to eradicate Hamas and ensure that the Gaza Strip will no longer serve Hamas, or its terror master Iran, as a base for murdering Jews, Americans or anyone else in the West.

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East.

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