Iran Leads the Charge Against a ‘Two-State Solution’

By Patrick Goodenough | October 3, 2011 | 4:30 AM EDT

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meets with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelins of the conference on Palestine in Tehran, Iran on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

( – A “two-state solution” has become the focal point of international efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, but Iran is leading a counter campaign, galvanizing support from lawmakers around the world for the view that “all of Palestine” belongs to the “Palestinians.”

Iran hosted a conference at the weekend bringing together senior parliamentarians from several dozen countries in support of the event’s motto, “Palestine – a land only for Palestinians.”

The two-day event ended with delegates issuing a statement calling on all Islamic governments and others to work towards the establishment of a Palestinian state “on all the Palestinian territory, with the holy Qods [Jerusalem] as its capital.”

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the gathering Sunday that the conflict would be resolved if all Jews who had immigrated to Israel “went home.”

Earlier, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a lengthy speech, condemning the “two-state solution” and the Palestinians’ bid for U.N. recognition on the grounds they would leave the “cancerous tumor” of Israel intact.

“Our demand is the liberation of Palestine, not the liberation of a part of Palestine,” he told the conference. “Any plan to divide Palestine is completely unacceptable.”

Iran hosts a conference in support of the Palestinian uprising, in Tehran on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Spelling out what he meant, Khamenei added, “Palestine spans from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea – nothing less.”

The “river to the sea” formulation encompasses all of present-day Israel, together with West Bank and Gaza.

Palestinian Authority and PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas has formally asked the U.N. Security Council to recognize an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital. The logo of his Fatah faction of the PLO still features a map of the entire territory – “from the river to the sea.”

Khamenei said the solution to the conflict was a referendum among “the original people of Palestine” – presumably all those who were living in the area prior to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 as well as their descendants – “and not immigrants.”

“The government that is established after the referendum will determine the destiny of non-Palestinian immigrants who migrated to Palestine in the past,” he said, adding that the “usurping Zionists” would naturally never accept that proposal.

The West was today at a crossroads, the supreme leader said. They could either “refuse to follow the plan of the bullying and anti-human Zionists, or they should wait for stronger blows in the not so distant future.”

Khamenei concluded his address by saying the threat to Israel was not missiles wielded by Iran and “resistance groups” – although he added that “of course those missiles will fulfill their duty whenever the enemy poses a threat.”

“The real and inescapable threat is the firm determination of men, women and youth in Islamic countries who do not want America, Europe and their puppet rulers, to dominate and humiliate them any longer.”

The Fars news agency listed the countries whose parliaments were represented at the conference – in some cases by their legislative speakers. They were Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Maldives, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Paraguay, Mexico, Bolivia and Colombia.

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow