Towards a two-state solution

In 2005, fed up with terrorist attacks, Israelis decided to build a wall between Israel and Palestine. Israeli left wingers called Sharon mendacious for unilaterally building a wall between Israel and the Palestinians.  Meanwhile, the PLO was against the wall because "bad fences make bad neighbors".

In 2011, fed up with Israeli intransigence on negotiations and continued settlements, the Palestinians decide to go to the UN and ask for recognition of statehood.  Israeli right wingers warn ominously that this means that all previous agreements with the PLO will be null and void. The US threatens a veto.

Here is the thing. Both the wall and statehood are two sides of the same coin. By asking for statehood, but only on part of the land, the Palestinians are recognizing Israel's right to exist and essentially giving up on their pipe dreams of a right to return to captured lands. By building a wall (even with the settlements), Israelis were giving up their claims to the part of the land beyond the wall. This is the two-state solution that everyone claims to want, albeit with the boundary issues remaining unresolved.

So why the acrimony? Is it because everybody wants to be able to claim that they "forced" the other side to accede? Rather than negotiated solution where each side admits that it gave up something, Israelis and Palestinians are going for bragging rights. For saving face.

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