Two-state solution mooted for Arab-Israeli conflict
THERE is a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict: There must be two states, one for Israel and another for Palestine, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. But he maintained that it must be a viable Palestinian state, one that Israel would find worth making peace for.
“I believe, despite Hamas and Hizbollah, the US should urge Israel to encourage such a Palestinian state to emerge and help it prosper,” MM Lee said. “The Palestinians will have reason to avoid wars if wars will destroy the future they are building for themselves.”
Significantly, a solution to the Israel-Palestine issue could alter the balance between the Sunnis and Shi’ites in the Middle East.
MM Lee said that it would release Sunni Arabs from the discomfort of being shown up by Shi’ite Iran as being weak or unwilling to stand up to Israel or the United States for the Palestinian cause.
He said: “If the US were seen to actively support the peace process for a two-state solution, it can free Sunni Arab governments from their predicament and allow them to openly support US policies for peace in the greater Middle East.”
MM Lee noted that Iran, which is publicly committed to destroying Israel, would set out to sabotage any peace settlement. Continuing the conflict was necessary for Iran’s fight against the Sunni Arab states for leadership of the Muslim world.
With Sunni control of Iraq now removed, Iran would no longer be checked from extending its influence westwards towards Shias who are significant minorities in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.
The Minister Mentor said that US leadership could make a difference in helping the Sunni bloc which might no longer be able to counter an Iran that supports Muslim militias against Israel – the Shi’ite Hizbollah in Lebanon and Sunni Hamas in Palestine.