Thursday, April 21, 2005
Guess who said it?
This is a sensitive question, especially since the idea of a "two-state solution" has now become widely accepted as the pathway for resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But given demographic trends, is it actually realistic to believe that there is adequate space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for two, independent, viable states? For example, the area of the Gaza Strip is 365 square kilometers; it contains today a population of about 1.3 million Palestinians. That figure will double in one generation. Is it possible to imagine that, when 2.5 million Palestinians live in Gaza in the year 2025, they will be able and willing to focus their national energies -- economically, culturally, and so on -- within this limited space? Perhaps it is neither wise nor just to premise the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on this assumption.
Answer: Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Giora Eiland.
On May 7, 2004, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland of the Israel Defense Forces addressed The Washington Institute's Nineteenth Annual Soref Symposium. General Eiland is Israel's national security advisor.