One State, Two State

I busted out laughing while watching President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu giving a press briefing. President Trump says:

I’m looking at a two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I could live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and if the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.

This, of course, refers to the outcome in the Middle East—”two states” of Israel and Palestine, or a “one-state” solution where Israel incorporates the disputed areas into Israel itself.


The first thing I thought was, what a lovely negotiating move. My second thought was, man, this is gonna set the Palestinians’ hair on fire.

Of course, the media is all a-Twitter about how “in 12 seconds Trump changed decades of US foreign policy” … with the hidden implication that it was something he just thought up during that 12 seconds. The LA Times fatuously claims he “casually demolished” the US position … yeah, as if he didn’t give it a second’s thought, as though it was spur-of-the-moment.

It was nothing of the sort. It was the one of the oldest of negotiating ploys, the “walk-away”. See, the Palestinians have been gaming the negotiations for decades because they knew that the US and other players were insisting on a “two-state solution”. This gave them the upper hand, because the pressure was on Israel to give them a state. They could hold out forever for a better deal.

Now, however, Trump has said we’ll wisely sit this fight out, and whatever the two parties can work out, we’ll support it.

And as I’d guessed, the Palestinians recognized what the President had done. They knew that the 12-second statement meant the old game was over and a new game was on. The Palestinian boss showed up immediately, with his hair ablaze:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that he is still committed to the two-state solution and is prepared to work with the new US administration, according to a statement from the PA president’s office.

Oh, yeah, NOW he is “prepared to work” with the US, now that we’ve threatened to walk away … big surprise.

My own opinion is, we’ve tried the “two-state” solution for two decades, with exactly zero progress. And Israel tried it with the Gaza Strip, pulled out all settlements and gave it back. All they got for that was unending rockets and terrorism. At this point it’s time to try something new.

And just like the President, whatever deal the two parties come up with, I’m 100% in favor of it.

What a world …


PLEASE include in your comments the EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING, so we can all understand your subject.

42 thoughts on “One State, Two State

      • How right you are about the Russians being the bogey man. A run down nation of 142 million facing 400 plus million Europeans, 300 plus million Americans and 110 million Japanese never mind South Korea and others constitutes a threat to the partially free world. Such a load of baloney.


      • Kolnai, thanks for the comments. I couldn’t disagree more with Janet Daley. Instead of being convincing, her remarks showed that she has never done any big-stakes negotiation. She says, for example:

        … he threw out his reflections with the know-nothing insouciance of a man who is not even aware of the extent to which he is out of his depth

        I watched the interchange. It was immediately obvious that this was a carefully planned move by an expert negotiator, called the “walk-away”. In order for it to work, it has to be believable.

        Further, a good negotiator knows that you don’t make an offer believable by pounding on it and bringing it to the fore and highlighting it as Janet advocates. That’s a newbie move. A good negotiator does it precisely through the insouciance that she so misinterprets.

        Consider—you want the opposition to believe that you are not agonizing over this decision, that it’s so obvious that you can just toss it out. You want them to believe that not only are you NOT going to reconsider the statement, you think it’s so clear you hardly considered it in the first place.

        You don’t get there going Ms. Daley’s way. You get there by insouciance, by acting like it’s one-and-done.

        And oh my, did it work. Within a few hours, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas came out of the woodwork to proclaim to the media that a) he really, really wants a two-state solution and b) he’s very willing to work with the US to achieve it. Funny how suddenly he now wants to work with Trump …

        Abbas totally understood what President Trump had done. He’d called the Palestinians bluff. Before, they could turn down any deal because the US and Europeans insisted on a two-state solution. Abbas knew that he held the upper hand, because the Israelis would have to return to the bargaining table.

        But in a short “insouciant” statement, Trump put Abbas on notice—make a deal or you may end up with no state at all. And I strongly support that position. It offers the possibility of a two-state solution, where before the Palestinians could delay a two-state solution forever.

        The fact that Janet Daley doesn’t notice the grave danger that Mahmoud Abbas saw in the speech and moved to forestall should give you pause. Think about her claim, that Trump is some kind of innocent noob who doesn’t have a clue what he is doing …

        Then think about the fact that Daley’s foolish belief in Trump’s ignorance and ineptitude was shared by 16 Republicans, and the overwhelming majority of the media, and the Democratic party. They all strongly held Daley’s crazy claim that Trump was some clueless fool who was playing way out of his depth … how did that work for them?

        You guys don’t get it. Trump inherited a million and turned it into a billion. He built Trump Tower. Went bankrupt several times and came back and rebuilt and got richer than before. Then he went to Hollywood and put together and starred in a reality TV show that was a huge hit for seventeen freakin’ years, an amazing run.

        Then he took on first the Republican establishment, and then went up against the Democratic party and the media and the Clinton machine all working in concert, and ground them all into the ground.

        The man has been a mega-star as a builder, as a businessman cutting multi-million dollar deals, as a best-selling author, as a big-name Hollywood executive, as a reality TV star, and as a politician. Not only that, but since his inauguration, less than a month, he’s already gotten rid of TPP, imposed a rule for killing two regulations every time you impose one, stopped government officials for lobbying for five years after government employment, started the process to build the southern Wall, gotten all but one of his nominees approved in the face of fanatical Democratic opposition, started removing criminal aliens, met personally with half a dozen world leaders, brought back thousands of jobs and millions of dollars from moving overseas, instilled widespread consumer and investor confidence, and generally delivered and continues to deliver on all his campaign promises … and you and Janet Daley STILL CLAIM HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING???

        Dear heavens, I warned people from day one that they were underestimating Trump … but I never guessed that after all that has happened, it would still be going on.

        As to hagiography, I recently wrote that the President was “100% wrong” about civil asset forfeiture … I call them like I see them. I’m a pretty good negotiator myself, I’ve done multi-million dollar deals. And being a negotiator, the fact that I consider the man who wrote “The Art Of The Deal” to be an expert negotiator is simple honesty. It pains me to admit it, but he’s better at negotiation than I’ll ever be, and I don’t say that about many people … but that doesn’t mean I agree with all of his policies. In “Legalize It All“, for another example, I argued in total opposition to the President’s position.




  1. Bibi and I were colleagues (together with Mitt) a long time ago and far away at Boston Consulting Group. He was smart then, and remains so. The new Trump idea that you guys solve it, I will support the whatever, is brilliant. Game on. Palestine, your move. More brilliant chess play.


  2. Doing the same thing over and over, without a successful end result, could be considered a psychological condition, no? Maladaptive behavior comes to mind quickly…..


  3. Mr. Trump comes along and upsets everyone’s apple carts by doing things in an unorthodox manner and the established politicos go about wailing and gnashing of teeth, lamenting the fact that things just aren’t done this way … it hasn’t been done like this for several decades … so, how’s it been working out so far??

    It’s like the media freaking out when Mr. Trump ignores them … well gee, you think it might have something to do with the way they keep making out like Mr. Trump is the devil incarnate??

    And while the establishment is crowing about their alleged victory over Gen Flynn, Mr. Trump keeps on moving forward, disregarding the standard playbook, getting set to upset more apple carts …


  4. This calls to mind the (American) Civil War, when General Grant first came into the field. He lost a battle, which wasn’t uncommon for Union generals in that war. However, for the first time ever, his army advanced on the South.

    This is something like what trump has just done. Yes, he lost a skirmish with Gen Flynn, but he is still advancing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The press (including Fox) keeps talking about how these issues take attention away from other issues.

    They don’t seem to understand the concept that a CEO can start many different projects and let them progress in parallel. If one has problems (and even if that one requires that the CEO get involved personally), that doesn’t mean that the lower-level people who have been given their marching orders aren’t progressing with the other projects.

    Sec Mattis, Sec Kelly, Sec Tillerson and Sec Price hardly need to be micromanaged.

    Sec price needs a few days to get his feet under him. Trump promised that he would present his replacement to Obamacare about a week after he got his Sec HHS in place, that should be out any day now (assuming they don’t just go with what the Republicans in the house are pushing)

    Kelly and Mattis sure don’t need any micromanagement, I’ll bet the majority of the conversations Trump is having with them are “here’s what we’re doing” with Trump asking “what do you need me to do?”

    AG Sessions is probably having more conversations, because he’s dropped into a bigger mess.

    The others may need a little more direction, but right now they are busy mapping out what they have inherited and picking their subordinates.

    The idea that the Flynn issue is preventing any other work from getting done, or that the Trump administration is doing so many different things that they can’t keep anything straight is pure hogwash (to put it mildly). There’s no doubt that it distracts some people, but the idea that everything stops just shows that they don’t understand how major companies are run.

    At some point the Press is going to wake up and wonder how in the world there was possibly time to get so much done. They may recognize tat there is more than one mind directing issues and so while Trump is running them ragged jumping from one issue to another, his people are digging in as getting started without much notice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • +1
      Trump reminds me a bit of another POTUS who pushed big changes and delegated the details to staff, Ronald Reagan. Make America Great Again is not far removed from Morning in America. Optimism about the US’s prospects plays well with the electorate but HRC could not sell it.

      Hopefully, Trump can develop Reagan’s touch in dealing with Congress. Might be especially helpful after the mid-terms. Then again, maybe there will be no mid-term reversal as the Democrats have some structural problems:

      Come to think of it, Obama’s resigning himself to governing via pen and phone because he held no sway with Congress reminds of the malaise of Jimmy Carter.


  6. about the press conference, the moment where Trump said that he would support whatever the parties involved agreed to is one that should be recorded and presented to people sent to ‘solve’ problems in different areas for the next 50 years.

    If the people who have to live under the results of the negotiation don’t agree with the deal, the deal will break down pretty quickly. It’s only when both sides are able t live with the results that there is ANY chance of them sticking.


    • Unfortunately, there is an obvious solution, already in place: the parties won’t agree to anything.

      But it removes the U.S. from the firing line.


  7. “What a world” needs to be repeated, thus,

    “You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness? Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!”

    The clip has come to mind at odd moments in recent years as Climategate, Adjustmentgate and the latest Trump-is-evil-gate shenanigans unfold…


  8. I once attended a motivational rally for sales people in Tampa FL. The main speaker was Netanyahu. He was motivating and inspirational. The one subject that has stood with me since then was his expression of gratitude to the U.S. for our support. He talked of the unrelenting pressure each and every day on the leader of Israel who, with one mistake, could cause the annihilation of that Country and it’s people. He stated that what most people do not understand is that whomever this leader is they must err on the side of protective action when it comes to dealing with Israel’s enemies. For them it is better to be wrong and alive than to be wrong and be gone forever.


  9. I think it is interesting that when I was a fairly “progressive” youth in the 50s & 60s, all my friends and contacts wished Israel well. I remember wishing I could afford to go and work on a kibbutz for the summer. Several of my friends did. And that positive view was reflected by the media who were broadly supportive every time the hostile Arab states attacked and invaded.

    The early and regular atrocities of the PLO, Black September, Al-Quds Brigade and many more (see:- and the heroic counter measures (the Entebbe raid, the heroic defence in the Yom Kippur war and the rest) were broadly supported by media, politicians and the public.

    Now? Well the BBC has been blatantly pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli for years. I’ve lost count of the left-leaning idiots who express shock at the thought that I occasionally holiday in Israel, saying, “I would like to visit Gaza, but Israel? No thank you!). Supposedly intelligent people endlessly drone on about Israeli aggression and those ‘poor Palestinians’. Words fail me.

    Few people would suggest that successive Israeli governments have never made mistakes. After all, they are human. But there is a very simple test:-
    If (for some strange reason) you HAD to live in any country between Turkey & Morocco, where would you choose? I suggest that there is only one possibility for anyone whose IQ score is bigger than their hat size, and that’s Israel.

    So, I know all about the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot agreement and all the rest of it. Very interesing stuff but almost completely irrelevant today. There are myriad other facts that all the bien pensant left never knew or purport to have forgotten, such as the links between the Mandate’s Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Nazi Germany. And sorry, if you back the wrong horse, you have to live with the consequences.

    So I’m fully in favour of a one state solution. And one that only involves those few Palestinians that are GENUINELY interested in working together with the people and government of Israel. The rest can piss off to Iran or Saudi or whoever’s paying them to act stupid at present.

    Yes, I can understand that some tough things happened to their fathers and grandfathers in 1948. But equally tough, or even tougher things happened to hundreds of millions of people after 1945. (Not even to mention before 1945!). How many Poles lost their homes (and all their possessions and often their lives) after Stalin marched into what is now Belarus in 1939? Just one example from dozens.

    I really hope The Donald can help draw a line under all this nonsense, absolutely starting with the wicked and shameful anti-Israeli UN vote in December 2016, with Obama’s hypocritical abstention, Kerry’s bullying of New Zealand to co-propose the vote and the disgraceful support of the UK and other supposedly free & democratic countries (not to mention the usual thuggish tin-pot dictatorships).

    I agree this opening move by Trump sounds like a clever first step. But even the POTUS has a mountain to climb to even persuade a big chunk of US public opinion, thanks to the Democrats and their tame media!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do left-wingers know ‘whereof they speak’?

      The IDF raid on Entebbe succeeded in neutralising a straightforwardly NAZI attempt at the annihilation of Jews. When accused of being a ‘fascist’ by one of the Jewish hostages, the Red Army Fraction’s leader, Wilfrid Bose claimed he was ‘against international capitalism’. This is a direct quote from the 1933 NSDAP election manifesto. Bose’s surname means ‘evil’.

      If Bose did not know this, it shows his frightening ignorance of his country’s history.. If he did, it is a tacit admittance that Communism and Fascism are at base the same things. By extension, these strictures also apply to Bose’s ‘progressive’ heirs.


  10. One state or two states? In 1948, when the UN made the decision to “create” Israel, they created 2 states, not one state. The walk away from the fact that Palestinians WERE given their own country, one that has been shattered and overrun by Israel, gives the apartheid state a “do whatever you want” signal.

    I don’t care if they control the world’s finances, as a people, they don’t deserve the support they are given by all western nations, and the biggest reason that the nation was created in the first place was to give them a place to go and get out of western nations – which they still control.

    This is one of Trump’s worst decisions, and it probably radically changes my opinion of his administration as much as the sabre rattling with Iran and China has about his wanting peace with Russia. It looks like the 28 years of perpetual wars will continue on its march to WW3 with yet another damn war president. He has yet to make a single move to abate that rush, and it was that “hope for peace,” not the “make America great” or “building the wall” that was my primary reason for voting for him and NOT for Killary Clinton.

    Oh well, wasn’t that all that was left in Pandora’s box? Hope? Might as well let that one go as well.


    • when you attack and invade an adjacent country and they fight back, any territory that you loose as a result is your own fault. you don’t get to both attack and claim that the person you attacked is unfair for fighting back.

      Until they agree that Israel has the right to exist, there isn’t going to be peace.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Is is okay to specify the 2nd state created was called Jordan?

      It bothers me immensely that negotiations about disputed territories and underprivileged peoples don’t include Jordan. (Largely the fault of Jordan’s government.) Israel includes citizens, even some members of their legislature, who are Arabs, or Muslims, or both. I can’t think of anytime since 1948 where the government of Jordan recognized citizens of Jewish ethnicity or faith, and certainly no time when such people held office in the Jordanian government.

      If the various peoples and distributed fly-speck acreage so-called collectively “Palestinian” were to be set up as a new independent nation, the pre-1948 region would then be divided among THREE states, not two.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tom O February 16, 2017 at 5:33 am

      I don’t care if they [Jews] control the world’s finances, as a people, they don’t deserve the support they are given by all western nations, and the biggest reason that the nation was created in the first place was to give them a place to go and get out of western nations – which they still control.

      Dear heavens, Tom, you are an anti-semite? And not only that but one who believes in the fabled “International Jewish Conspiracy”. Dang, in my world that’s like finding an actual dinosaur walking down the street. Not many walking fossils left these days.

      Who knew?

      Gotta say … my respect for you just disappeared. Vanished.

      You see, for me such mindless blind hatred deserves nothing but contempt. It is right up there with racism in the list of the dumbest sh&t that humans have ever invented. It is your brand of particular viciousness and blindness that led to the Holocaust.

      So I’ll pass on your drooling idiocy. Here’s the news from the 21st century. By and large Jews are just like the rest of the planet. They come in the usual three varieties—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Among these terrifyingly evil Jewish folks are Jared and Ivanka Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and daughter, and his grandchildren.

      And you blindly hate them … medico, cura te ipsum!


      Liked by 4 people

      • “Dang, in my world that’s like finding an actual dinosaur walking down the street. Not many walking fossils left these days.”

        No, there are a lot more of them than one might suppose, scurrying around in the dark alleys of society and the sewers of the Internet, more like blind rats than dinosaurs.

        /Mr Lynn


    • Dang man what have you been smoking/ingesting? Reading the Protocols of Zion too? Next you’ll tell us that no Jews ever lived there.

      The Israelis were attacked by the neighboring Arab states even before the British mandate was to terminate. They didn’t start the damn war the Arabs did.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I was pleased to hear the President’s instant resetting of the US position. I think he should go further and suggest bringing the Kingdom of Jordan into the picture. He could offer to finance a resettling of the Palestinians in Jordan (they are ethnically the same), both by paying them handsomely to move, and by paying Jordan as well. This would be a ‘two-state solution’ with Jordan becoming the Palestinian State, and Israel extending to the Jordan River. And it would cost everyone a lot less than more terrorism and war.

    I know there are a hundred objections to such an outrageous plan, but you never know until you try.

    /Mr Lynn


    • Jordan would never agree to it. They had to expel the PLO militarily in 1970 (“Black September”) to avoid being taken over. Unfortunately the PLO went to Lebanon which did not have the political and military will to do the same.


      • Alan Watt: “Jordan would never agree to it. . . ”

        Well, that’s the first of the hundred objections. I can easily see it turned into “Jordan would never have agreed to it, but. . .” Circumstances change. Black September was almost four decades ago. The PLO still exists, but Hamas is even nastier, not to mention the other Islamists. The Russians are playing some kind of game in Syria, cozying up to Iran. I don’t think it would be too hard to convince Jordan to team up with Israel to resettle the Palestinians and create a two-state united front against the wildlands of Syria and Iraq. It would doubtless take a lot of encouragement (i.e. dollars, but not just dollars—maybe a defense treaty?) from the United States.

        Is there anyone in the Trump administration with the imagination to propose such an idea?

        /Mr Lynn


        • “Black September was almost four decades ago”. True, but over that entire time the Palestinians, under whatever organization they claim represents them, have a perfect record of either refusing to negotiate or violating whatever agreement they do make. There were multiple agreements reached with the Jordanian government prior to the military actions and the PLO broke every one of them. I expect there are plenty of Jordanians who remember that.


          • Alan, no doubt you’re right. Objection no. 2. Hey, naysaying is the greatest obstacle to progress, and what’s the greatest source of naysaying? The past: “We can’t do X because we’ve always been against X.” The answer to that is, “Hmm. . . What’s in it for us?” Time to think ‘outside the box’.

            /Mr Lynn


          • Mr Lynn:

            I agree we need some out of the box thinking, and I have a suggestion. “Gee, maybe Israel has a right to exist”. If the Palestinians would start thinking outside that particular box and insist their leaders do likewise, I predict a Middle East peace agreement will be a done deal.

            Liked by 1 person

  12. How long until someone pens a Dr. Seuss parody: “One State, Two State… Red State, Blue State.”

    Thanks for all of your thought provoking insights, Willis… love the new blog!


  13. Brilliant, force the battling parties to work it out on their own. Anything is better than the current status quo, doing the same thing and expecting different results, a sure sign of mental illness…

    And never forget, back when the state of Israel was created, they begged the Palestinians to stay and help them build a nation together. Instead they scampered off to live like animals in caves and camps, listening to the siren song that we “will push the Jews into the sea!” 70 odd years later and the Jews are still there with no intention of leaving.



    • Sorry, amigo. I’m the only poor fool doing the moderation on my site, and although it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, I do have a life. In fact, I’ve been postponing doing the vacuuming, and just stopped by to moderate …

      Onwards, ever onwards,



  14. I was interested to see the two conditions that PM Netanyahu listed for whatever the outcome might be. Note that these were not described as preconditions for talks, they were referring to the outcome of such talks.

    1. The Palestinians have to accept the Jewish state, and agree to stop indoctrinating the Palestinian population (particularly children) into hatred of Israel. I mean, they pay a monthly stipend to the families of suicide murderers who have killed Israeli women and children, and they have six-year-old kids singing nursery rhymes about killing the Jews … that is bestial savagery that cannot be accepted.

    2. Israel will never give up a security presence in whatever the outcome might be. He basically said that they tried that (presumably in Gaza) and got unending terrorism. He said that they will never make that mistake again.

    Gaza for me is the saddest part of all of this. Israel removed all settlements and handed Gaza over to the Palestinians. You know, “Land For Peace”, the endless promise and foundation of the peace process … instead they got unending terrorism and rockets.

    They had it all! Israel didn’t have to do that, but the Israelis wanted peace, so they tried it. The Palestinians were GIVEN THEIR OWN FREAKIN’ COUNTRY by the Israelis, they could have made it paradise.

    Instead they not only made it hell on Earth … they viciously and endlessly have attacked the very people who gave them their own country. And not only attacked Israel, the country that gave them the land for peace.

    They’ve deliberately attacked the women and children and civilians of the country that gave them their land. Sorry, but on my planet that’s damned cowardice.

    Up until Gaza, I had some compassion for the Palestinians.

    After Gaza … not so much …

    Sigh …


    Liked by 1 person

  15. This analysis on the situation expands it even further to include Egypt, KSA and Jordan. Israel TV stated that Netanyahu says he’s forming an alliance with them to broker the peace. At least, this time, they won’t have John Kerry sticking his nose into the deal. If you check the timeline of DJT’s phone calls and visits, especially al-Sisi’s State Visit that’s coming up, then there is a lot more on this chess board than meets the eye. Abbas has also been ‘told’ it’s time the Palestinians spoke with one voice. Always takes more than one glance and time to get to know the wood rather than individual trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hard to have any legitimate outcome in a negotiation when the stated position of one party is the complete destruction of the other party. Every time the Jews give concessions in this they get kicked in the teeth, every time they reach out to make any peaceful accommodation with Palestinians they get their hand cut off. They pulled out of Gaza and the Palestinians promptly destroyed everything of use or value. Why? Because it was “tainted” by Jews. You can not reason with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: One State, Two State | Skating Under The Ice | Cranky Old Crow

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