Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)

ACPR Research – Summary


Two States for Two Nations
on Two Sides of the Jordan River

Arieh Eldad

Policy Paper No. 152,  2004

The Road Map plan, which emerged from the Quartet’s (the United States, Russia, Europe and the United Nations) strategic cooperation was presented to the Israelis and the Palestinians in early May 2003. The plan delineates stages leading to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, when at the first stage the Palestinians are required to demonstrate governmental reform and a struggle against terrorism and Israel is required to make an unequivocal declaration that it agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The plan is based on UN Resolutions 242 and 338 (which Israel had already accepted in the past) and also on the “Saudi Peace Initiative”, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders and the “right of return” for the 1948 refugees. The plan also establishes an international apparatus to be deployed on the ground and to supervise the plan’s progress. A freeze on Jewish settlement, dismantling of the settlements, deliberations over the “right of return” and the “Jerusalem problem” await Israel with the continued implementation of the plan.

The Road Map threatens the very existence of the State of Israel and all Israeli leaders since the Six Day War have opposed the principles upon which it is based. The plan, for all intents and purposes, calls for the transfer of the almost half a million Jews living today in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

Withdrawal to the 1967 borders, internationalization of the dispute, establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan and the “right of return” for refugees were always considered existential threats to Israel. Agreement to dismantle settlements undermines the moral basis for our very residence in the Land of Israel, as it acknowledges the right of another people over part of it.

On one hand, it is incumbent upon the State of Israel to fight the plan and prevent its implementation and on the other hand, we must present an alternative plan which takes into consideration the Palestinian need for self-determination, the need to resolve the problem of the refugees – who are the real foundation of terrorism since the State’s inception, in the geopolitical, economic and historical common sense. The Land of Israel belongs to the People of Israel by virtue of every conceivable right: Divine promise, the course of history and international law. The plan learns the lessons from the failure of all of the plans calling for partition west of the Jordan ever since the days of the British Mandate, and demarcates two states for the two nations on the two banks of the Jordan.

Jordan is Palestine ever since it was established and allocated to that nation in the partition of the Land of Israel during the British Mandate. Seventy-five percent of its residents are Palestinian and the entire refugee population residing today in the camps in Judea, Samaria and Gaza as well as Syria and Lebanon could be settled there. Large investments in infrastructure and desalination devices will facilitate that settlement and a solution to the refugees’ severe humanitarian problem.

Self-rule with municipal authority will be granted in the framework of seven cantons to all of those Arabs who are not refugees and who wish to remain in their homes. These cantons will not be territorially contiguous and will not have any political authority; they will have a police capability in order to maintain local order. The residents of the cantons will have Jordanian-Palestinian citizenship and will vote for the parliament in Amman.

According to this plan, total sovereignty over the western Land of Israel, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean will remain in Israeli hands.

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