The Palestinian two-state confusion

How can a peace deal be achieved if there are two groups representing one side? With Abbas weighed down by Hamas, and the Palestinians split down the middle, there can only be a three-state solution.

PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled  Mashaal 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
In one of CNN’s more recent broadcasts, the anchor asked a so-called expert for his opinion regarding the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal: “Do you believe it would help advance the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians,” the anchor asked.
The “expert” responded positively, concluding that indeed, the Schalit deal would help advance the process..
I almost screamed. “Are you totally oblivious to the fact that the Schalit deal was between Israel and Hamas while the so-called, non-existent “peace process” is between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has nothing to do with Hamas,” I nearly shouted at the television. Can’t they see that relating the Schalit deal to the peace process is like tying NASA shuttle program to the recent price of cottage cheese?” But then I realized that the rest of the world’s opinion-setters, including the leaders of the US and Europe, are just as confused.
While they may be cognizant that there are two separate Palestinian entities, their rhetoric does little to reflect that awareness. One of those entities is governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, while the other is ruled by Hamas in Gaza. Abbas pretends to have jurisdiction over Gaza, but it’s his personal fantasy; a fantasy that the civilized world is also happy to indulge in, simply because it's convenient.
So what do those opinion-setters mean when they refer to the two-state solution? Does this solution include Hamas in Gaza? In the world of make believe, yes, but not in the real world. Abbas does not represent Gaza and Hamas does not recognize Abbas’s authority, not even where he actually governs. If anyone wishes to allude to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they must become realistic and recognize that either a two-state solution does not include Gaza or, alternatively, that the only comprehensive solution is a three-state solution.
The informed public knows that Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The core of this terrorist organization is formed around the concept of wiping Israel and its citizens off the map. They have even refused to support the UN move for recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1949 borders, because it would have implied a de facto recognition of Israel’s existence.
Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel. In their eyes, the mere idea of it is blasphemous and undermines their own existence. Consequently, a two-state solution that does not include Gaza will not end the conflict between Israel and Hamas and its supporters in the West Bank. A peace agreement between Israel and Abbas will not constitute a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Furthermore, there is a strong probability that it will be an agreement that will not last any significant length of time, since Hamas is still too popular in major West Bank cities, such as Nablus, Jenin and Hebron. Once Abbas retires, peace, if it is ever arrived at, will also dissipate.
Unfortunately, this reality is not on the table when the two-state solution is pursued by the US, the EU or the media, who all operate under the delusion that Abbas is in charge of the two Palestinian entities. Any talk of a two-state solution must spell out the nature of the Palestinian state. . It must recognize that there are two different Palestinian entities, and must ensure that a Gaza under Hamas will be excluded from any agreements made Israel must make it clear to the rest of the world that a two-state solution is not a comprehensive solution, and that a three-state solution isn’t feasible as long as Hamas insists on wiping Israel off the map.
Enough with the fantasies. It’s time for a reality check.
The writer is currently a talk show host at Paltalk News Network (PNN). He served as an intelligence expert for the Israeli government and was a professor at Northwestern University. He is the author of Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks, and more recently, 72 Virgins. Both books can be purchased at