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Robert Freedman

Two things are needed to move to a two state solution.

First, Hamas must be militarily defeated so it can no longer be an actor in the peace process. Up until now Hamas succeeded in sabotaging the OSLO Two agreement in 1996 by launching a series of terrorist attacks on Israel that undermined then Prime Minister Peres and led to his loss in the 1996 Israeli election to Netanyahu. Even if Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas wanted to move the peace process forward by accepting the peace plans offered to the Palestinian Authority in 2008 and 2014, he could not agree because Hamas, which had seized power in Gaza in 2007, would have undermined them. With Hamas out of the way, however, Mahmoud Abbas, or more likely his successor (Abbas is 87 and is concentrating on the succession process) would be freer to move forward toward peace.

However, a second development is also required. Netanyahu is dead set against a two-state solution and he will have to be replaced by a more flexible Israeli leader for there to be a serious chance for a two-state solution. Given Netanyahu’s failure in preventing the Hamas attack of October 7th and his rapidly dropping popularity in Israel because of this, his political departure may be coming in the near future.