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Is a two-state solution wrong-headed?

Discussing a two-state solution is premature.

Why the ceasefire?
Ezz Al-Zanoun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Fox News reports an AP story this evening that Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for “fresh Middle East” peace talks. Here is a list of odd things about this approach:

1. They are called the “Middle East” peace talks.

They should be talking about Israel and Gaza peace talks. Why bring in the West Bank? A fresh approach would be for Israel to deal with one community at a time. Israel can attend to the issues that Gaza people have expressed such as having a sustainable economy and a safe environment. Those two things are within reach between the parties.

2. Kerry wants a “bigger and broader” approach.

Taking events a step at a time with a focus on specific needs is likely to be better than a lofty and grand approach. Get something done in increments. If Kerry and the U.S. want to discuss the Middle East in total, that is a much larger event than settling the Israelis and Palestinian issue.

3. Kerry is still stuck on negotiating with Hamas, a terrorist organization that has taken over Gaza via its citizenry.

Because elections were employed to establish Hamas as a political entity, Jimmy Carter has it correct, they must be dealt with. First and foremost, if Hamas is to be treated as a political entity charged by the Gaza people to manage the territory, then there must be some requirements that differentiate them from being a terrorist organization.

The principal place to begin is for Israel, Gaza people, and Arab nation participants to determine what is the status of Hamas as a governing organization? Should it be armed, as in having an armed police department? Should it have military arms beyond that?

First things first. President Obama may want to consider changing out Kerry and putting Joe Biden on point.

“Kerry calls for fresh Middle East peace talks as Cairo mediation gets under way
Published August 06, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to use the ongoing 72-hour truce that halted fighting in the Gaza Strip as a stepping-stone to restart more far-reaching negotiations.

Speaking to the BBC, Kerry said that both sides needed to make a "bigger, broader approach to the underlying solution of two states," adding, "I believe that the situation now that has evolved will concentrate people's minds on the need to get back to the negotiations and try and resolve the issues."

Kerry spoke on the second day of the truce, which came into effect Tuesday morning and was precipitated by Israel's withdrawal of all ground forces from Gaza. Israeli troops had begun their ground offensive July 17, nine days after the commencement of airstrikes against Hamas rocket sites as part of Operation Protective Edge. Israel said it had destroyed 32 cross-border tunnels used by Hamas to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.

In the BBC interview, Kerry said that Israel had a right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, saying, "No country can live with that condition and the United States stands squarely behind Israel's right to defend itself in those circumstances. Period.""

(Read the rest at the link.)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.”

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