Tags: bolton | israel | two | states

Former Ambassador John Bolton: Give Gaza, West Bank to Egypt, Jordan

Monday, 05 Jan 2009 09:54 AM

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WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Monday that settling the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of a two-state solution no longer is workable and suggested giving the Palestinian territories to Egypt and Jordan.

"Let's start by recognizing that trying to create a Palestinian Authority from the old PLO has failed and that any two-state solution based on the PA is stillborn," Bolton wrote in The Washington Post.

"Hamas has killed the idea, and even the Holy Land is good for only one resurrection."

A two-state solution has been officially adopted as the basis for solving the Middle East conflict by all interested parties, including Israel and the administration of US President George W. Bush, in which Bolton has served.

But Bolton now argues that the Middle East peace process is "obviously not progressing . . . probably going backward" while the U.S.- and UN-backed "road map" for peace has still to show results.

"Instead, we should look to a 'three-state' approach, where Gaza is returned to Egyptian control and the West Bank in some configuration reverts to Jordanian sovereignty," wrote the former ambassador, who now works for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

"Having the two Arab states re-extend their prior political authority is an authentic way to extend the zone of peace and, more important, build on governments that are providing peace and stability in their own countries," he concluded.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that a nation like Israel "must maintain an aura of invincibility" if it is to have any chance at peaceful co-existence with its Arab neighbors.

"It was that aura after two wars that induced Egypt to agree to peace with Israel in the 1970s," The Journal argued.

"By contrast, the 2006 Lebanon campaign convinced radical Arabs and Persians that Israel had grown soft and could be beaten. Israel can't let Hamas maintain a similar mythology at the end of this operation, or the costs will be far higher down the road."

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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