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Peter Hain says it’s time to go beyond two-state solution while UK mulls ‘day after’ plans

Peter Hain says it’s time to go beyond two-state solution while UK mulls ‘day after’ plans
Illustrative image | Lord Peter Hain; Smoke rises after an Israeli bombardment in Gaza City. (Photos: Ahmad Hasaballah / Getty Images | Oli Scarff / Getty Images)

The UK government has hinted at UK participation in a proposed international peacekeeping force for the Middle East.

British Labour Lord Peter Hain has proposed in Parliament that it is time for the UK and the international community to go beyond the two-state solution to resolve the Middle East crisis.

One of the options could be a confederal state that offered security and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians, he told the House of Lords on Thursday, 29 February.

Hain asked Lord Tariq Ahmad, the minister for the Middle East, for his assessment of the viability of the two-state solution, given that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had recently rejected it.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Abir Sultan / ANP)

“Although many of us have backed a two-state solution for decades, how realistic is this when Prime Minister Netanyahu has firmly ruled it out, Gaza has been reduced to rubble, and Israel is expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to over three-quarters of a million settlers?” Hain asked.

“What alternative is Israel offering if not permanent siege and oppressed status for Palestinians? Shouldn’t we be considering other options, perhaps a negotiated confederal state, with security and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians?”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Middle East crisis news hub

In his reply, Ahmad reiterated the Conservative Party government’s support for a two-state solution and said there was an important opportunity to secure that through current negotiations.

Earlier Ahmad had hinted in the House of Lords that the UK could be part of a peacekeeping force that offered “the security guarantees that Israel needs” and which also had the “confidence of the Palestinians”.

According to Jewish News, Ahmad referred to discussions currently taking place between the UK and the US, after the Conservative peer Lord Clarke had suggested the only way of breaking down the barriers to a peace deal between Israel and Hamas could eventually be “by some sort of enforcement mechanism being applied from outside”.

lord ahmad

The UK’s Lord Tariq Ahmad. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Justin Lane)

The paper quoted Clarke as saying: “The difficulty is there seems to be not the slightest prospect of Hamas ever agreeing to accept the continued existence of Israel and not the slightest chance of a Netanyahu government agreeing to a two-state solution, which they would regard as giving Hamas a victory for its 7 October activities – and they probably have the majority of the Israeli population at this present time agreeing with them, at least on that.”

Clarke added there was a danger that if any deal was struck, “a peacekeeping mission would need to be established to try to ensure that it does not all collapse and go back into calamity in a very short time.”

Ahmad said “there are details that are currently under way with regard to securing what is necessary for Israel and providing it with security guarantees.”

He added: “That will constitute a presence beyond the Israeli army that is currently in Gaza that has the confidence of the Palestinians within Gaza, but, importantly, has the security guarantees that Israel needs. We are working on that.”

“On the specifics, of course, we are working hand-in-glove with the Americans.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Steve Du Plessis says:

    Well that is one of the least newsworthy articles in a while…..

  • Agf Agf says:

    As long as the Palestinians stated objective is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth a two state solution will never work.

  • Malcolm Dunkeld says:

    A good idea of Hain’s but I shudder at Lord Clarke’s woke wafflings. If an end to this strife is found it must be policed by other nations. Rubbish about a peace keeping mission is a recipe for failure. Both sides will deploy terrorists in a bid to wreck any peace and the only effective response will be a shoot-to-kill force which will brook no nonsense. If there is any example in history of a peace keeping mission managing to keep the peace, please let me know.

    • Mark Parker says:

      I agree with you Malcolm. I have read that the Israeli’s have suggested a multinational force (not Israeli) and a new government/administration overseen by neutral international bodies (def. not UNRWA nor ANC/EFF) with the Gazans to rebuild and re-educate the Gazans, especially the kids…once Hamas have been routed. There is 0% chance of a 2-state solution (that is 2024 election propaganda from the UK Conservatives & US Democrats) where Gazans are given the responsibility of governing Gaza. The Palestinian Authority has zero credibility and would lose an election in the West Bank to Hamas if they ever decided to embrace democratic principles. The fate of the Palestinians is in their own hands entirely, as it always has been, accept and recognise the State of Israel and its existence, put down the weapons, stop the Jewish hate and prove that you can live side-by-side with Israel peacefully. The Gazans wasted this opportunity in 2005 when they were given this responsibility to change the game, instead they chose violence and hatred which has led to their destruction. I am sorry to say it but Palestinians have always chosen this course of action and outcome since 1948, and have caused havoc wherever they have landed up (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria) and have wrecked their own “pilot” in Gaza (their corrupt leadership should be in the Hague and then shot!). History and facts are not in their favour not matter how much they cry foul of Israel.

      • John P says:

        You seem to forget, conveniently, that the Zionists chased the Palestinians out of their lands and homes in 1948 and continue to expand in the West Bank to this day.
        Try reading all the history not just the Zionist view. Neither side is an angel in this tragic and ongoing catastrophe.

        • Ivan van Heerden says:

          You forget that that Palestinians rose up despite having agreed to the state of Israel and did there best to wipe out the fledgling state when 3 Arab armies attacked. Those chased out of their homes were those that had essentially committed a treason most foul.
          There is in fact no such thing as a Palestinian people. It is a name given to the area by the Romans as punishment for the Jews resisting occupation. Remember Masada anyone? The Jews were there long before any Arabs and certainly before any Muslims or have you forgotten that the sun crazed pedophile only staggered out of the desert with his sacred texts about 600 years after Christ was crucified.

          • John P says:

            What a lot of nonsense, your bias and Islamophobia are clearly on display. The Palestinians did not agree to “the state of Israel”. It was forced upon them by the UN and the Zionist movement. The Arab League rejected the plan in 1947. Biblical and Roman history should have absolutely nothing to do with peace in Palestine and Israel today.

        • Ben Harper says:

          What utter nonsense! Talk about ignoring the truth to fit your agenda!!!

  • Geoff Coles says:

    So what is beyond a two- state solution, three, four or what?. Meaningless drivel from Hain yet again.

  • Paddy Ross says:

    Netanyahu does not have the power to veto a two state solution. He may detest the idea but surely it is up to other nations to decide whether they recognise a Palestinian State or not.

    • Alexis Kriel says:

      Other nations? I think that Peter Hain understands the limitations for Israel and for Gaza and is making some proposals that are non-biased (I didn’t expect that). Your attitude is “just force the issue”. Which is obviously not going to work.

  • andrew farrer says:

    Europe, the US and the Arab nations (excl Iran) that currently support both Israel and the Palestinians need to put their heads together and determine an area to be designated as a Palestinian state. Yes, without the involvement of Israel, Hamas and the PO, who will never come to any agreement as is evident from the last 75+ years. Give Gaza back to Israel. It can’t work as a stand alone state and will require aid until the arrival of the next big asteroid. Israel will have to make consessions as well as Jordan and Syria giving up some land to give enough area (to where all Palestinian “refugees” can be repatriated to) with some resourses, to enable the Palestinians to be self sufficiant. Europe, the US and the Arab nations must then commit to building infrastructure and industry. If Benji and Hamas don’t want to play along, stop ALL funding & aid and see how long the Israeli’s and Palestinians allow them to remain in power.

  • Citizen X says:

    Hoping their is a rationale way to resolve but the picking off sides wont help. There is a lack of trust on bith sides and then there is our international community on the other while people continue to die!!!

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