VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS: Two states now no solution

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

VOICE OF THE JEWISH NEWS: Two states now no solution

Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News
Voice of the Jewish News

Today, Almost a year on from the last war in Gaza, we declare the two-state solution dead. Not because we want to, but because there comes a point when you have to stop resuscitating and check your watch.

Need convincing? Look at the map: 430,000 Jews living in huge settlements in the West Bank. Look at the politics: a coalition openly against com­promise. Look at the Palest­inians: terrorists in the left corner, imbeciles in the right. And look at the terrain: jihadists knocking on the door in broken states surrounding Israel’s borders.

It pains us to say so, but there is now no way of achieving an independent and viable Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state reassured of its security. It simply won’t be granted. We hope this reality changes, but reality it nevertheless is.

Leaving aside the blame game, let’s deal with what’s in front of us and start with the bottom line – a defensible eastern border. In the West Bank this most likely means military control of the Jordan Valley. Israeli negotiators have long said so in talks with the Palestinians.

The debate is whether this security can be achieved through a foreign force [United Nations? United States? EU?], Israeli military control over a Palestinian state or Israeli sovereignty.

Hawks say only the latter will do. Foreign troops are too risky. Israelis see UN peacekeepers unable to stop fierce fighting in other parts of the world, so recoil at trusting them with their own border. They have a point. If you want to defend yourself, there’s no better alternative to a soldier fighting on his own land.

There is another problem with a one-state solution. Either Israel will make the 2.5 million Palestinians in the occupied territories Israeli citizens, leading to situation where Jews are the minority in a Jewish state. Or the Palestinians are denied full and equal rights, leading to an invidious situation for any democracy.

That leaves either Israeli military control over a Palestinian state, or Israeli military control over an Israeli state, within which there are Palestinians.

The latter leaves nothing to chance, but both options leave questions as to how Israelis and Palestinians live under one IDF roof.

In our report this week we explore some of the options, including controversial ideas from those branded “racist”. Explore them we must. Our magical default to-date has been to say that we want two states for two peoples, both of whom have legitimate claims on the land. It always worked. It was fair, familiar, safe. But it was always a distant, receding dream, a speck on the horizon.

And that solution has now finally vanished. Whether Israel lives with the status quo or proceeds down a different path (unilaterally or in agreement) remains to be seen, but one thing becomes ever clearer: what life looks like after the death of the two-state solution is now the Middle East’s most pertinent question.

This week, we started asking it.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: