Posted on: June 10, 2020 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

While it is conceivable that there could be a two-state solution that treated Palestinians and Israelis equally, the one the Oslo peace process envisioned didn’t come close to being that.

Even though that vision is finally behind us, the approach of prioritizing Israeli needs–national, security, even political–over not only Palestinian ones, but over basic Palestinian rights continues to undergird diplomacy and politics around the Israel-Palestine question. That’s why it remains important to consider the many ways that attitude manifests itself.

One way that is rarely discussed is the presumption that a Palestinian state would be demilitarized. This presumption is shared by the Palestinian negotiators and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. While it is easy to understand why challenging this precondition would be uncomfortable for them, as the reaction from Israelis would surely be harshly negative, the notion of a state of Palestine depending on Israel for its external security is a compromise on its sovereignty, and, more important, is very much akin to putting the fox (occupier) in charge of the henhouse (the occupied).

Not surprisingly, 77% of Palestinians, at the last credible poll on the question I could find oppose this idea. Yet it goes on unchallenged. I explore the implications of this in my latest piece at Responsible Statecraft.