Former US. President Jimmy Carter went on a three hour tour of Gaza on Tuesday, in which Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told him that “Hamas will accept the two state solution if Israel is ready to return to the former, pre-1967 boundaries”. Haniyeh also spoke to Carter about the case of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and said he welcomed Carter’s offer to mediate in this affair, which Haniyeh referred to as a “human and political episode we would all like to come to an end”.
Carter was given a tour of areas where major damage had been inflicted during the January Operation Cast Lead military action, in which the former President said ” the severity of damage inflicted here has brought tears to my eyes”. Carter also said that the war had brought “death, destruction, pain and suffering to the people here”. He wasnâ€™t taken on a tour of either Sderot or other places in Israel where the same terms could also be applied, however.
In regards to Gaza’s present situation, where most of the damage has been left in tact as a “showplace” for VIP visitors such as the former President, Carter said: “tragically, the international community ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than like human beings”.
But it was the remarks made by Haniyeh that his organization would be willing to accept a Palestinian state providing Israel open up the borders with Gaza and “accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders” that suddenly brought something very rational to light. When Dr. Haniyeh spoke about the “pre-1967 borders” he forgot that When Israel pulled out of the Strip in 2005, that part of Palestine was reverted back to the 1967 borders. So here is where a possible “two state solution” would work out beautifully! Why not create two Palestinian states, one in the West Bank, called East Palestine and controlled by Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, and the other, West Palestine, controlled by Hamas. Haniyeh and his friends will get their wish in that their “little state” (as Israeli P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu referred to Palestine in his address on Sunday) will be 100% “within the pre-1967 borders”.
As for “East Palestine”, a territorial agreement will be worked out with Abbas and Co. taking the large Israeli settlement blocks into account. Israel will not have to pull out of the entire section of the West Bank and Jerusalem would remain united, with special consideration being given to the people of East Palestine for visiting, living in, and even having some governmental offices in the city’s eastern sectors. The Status of the Old City would remain as it is today, with Jews remaining in the Jewish Quarter and having full access to the Western Wall Plaza. The Wakf Islamic Trust would maintain control of Karim al Sharif , otherwise known as the Temple Mount.
This new “two state solution” should be acceptable to everyone, especially West Bank Palestinians (who really don’t like the Hamas people anyway â€“ and vice versa). And as for Gaza, maybe they can get to rebuilding all the damage incurred to “their little state” which will not only provide jobs for a lot of Palestinian workers but result in their not having to keep all those piles of rubble lying around to “impress” gullible people like Jimmy Carter.