‘Two-state solution’ is the only way out as humanitarian crisis in Gaza exacerbates
Published: Nov 05, 2023 09:20 PM
People gather around an ambulance after an Israeli warplane attacked ambulances at a gate of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Nov. 3, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

People gather around an ambulance after an Israeli warplane attacked ambulances at a gate of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Nov. 3, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is exacerbating. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has made four visits to Israel since October 7, but what he talked about was the US support for Israel instead of a ceasefire.

With each day that a ceasefire is delayed, Palestinians' animosity toward Israel deepens. It will definitely create a longer-term and more devastating disaster in the region already plagued by decades of war.

When the conflict between Palestine and Israel first broke out, China immediately expressed its stance, emphasizing that the top priority is to prevent a broader humanitarian disaster and that the fundamental way out is to implement the "two-state solution." On many occasions since then, China has repeatedly stressed the importance and urgency of returning to the "two-state solution."

However, the US and European countries have not actively responded to this call of conscience. Instead, they have been constrained by domestic politics and wavered, preventing major countries from  reaching an immediate consensus.

It was not until Israel's military operations in Gaza had caused tens of thousands of casualties, including scores of women and children, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people that leaders in the US and European countries seemed to realize the need to return to the two-state solution. US President Joe Biden and some European leaders have expressed their stance on this recently.

Although the current suffering in the Middle East is not directly caused by the US and Europe, as countries deeply involved in the geopolitical game there since World War II, they bear a heavy responsibility for the resumption of the war.

It is precisely because of the US' unlimited support for Israel and the cowardice of the US and Europe that led to the failure to take action to maintain peace. Israel marched into Gaza without any scruples, carrying US-made weapons and equipment. 

So far, the US has not called for shifting the focus to a ceasefire. Instead, it supported Israel's retaliatory strikes against Gaza and enhanced the deployment of force to restrain the involvement of other forces in the Middle East. 

What is shocking is that some senior US officials are still questioning the Palestinian death toll; some US media outlets said that China's proposal of the two-state solution is an "empty slogan"; some US scholars have even publicly declared that the two-state solution is dead.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the establishment of an Arab state and a Jewish state.

After the 1967 War, Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which was equivalent to taking all the land assigned to Palestine by the United Nations as its own.

Since the 1990s, the two-state solution has become the national policy of the US government in promoting Israel-Palestine peace talks. It has also become the official position of most countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel on the Israel-Palestine issue.

The reason why the two-state solution had its ups and downs and could not be truly implemented has a lot to do with the different interests of all parties involved. An article in the Foreign Policy magazine on October 19 stated that little more than lip service has been paid to this goal by the US, and with each passing crisis, Washington grows more and more aligned with Israel. 

Although the future arrangement of the two-state solution still requires arduous negotiations, establishing two countries and ensuring that each one can operate stably and live in peace is the only goal that can promote negotiations between the two parties. The international community cannot give up on this goal, especially at a time when the war is rekindling.

The challenge now is whether the international community can reach a consensus on this and form the basis for a ceasefire by prompting the two sides to restart negotiations. As for the modification and adjustment of the two-state solution, that is a matter for negotiation in the next step.

As it stands, there is no solution to the crisis in Gaza, except the two-state solution. Any attempt to oppose or delay this plan for whatever reason will delay peace, perpetuate hatred and add fuel to the fire.

If the Biden administration is still wavering on this issue and cannot make a decision, what awaits the US is likely a disaster.