1 state / 2 states?
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As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict faces hunger strikes and the threat of renewed conflict, the question being tirelessly reiterated is whether a two-state solution is beyond us. The answer is "Yes" and "No." But counting the number of states required for bringing about a final status solution is entirely misguided. It is past time to take a fresh approach to resolving the conflict. Instead we should focus on two clear milestones. First, there should be an end to Israel's 45-year military occupation of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Is the two-state solution for Israel-Palestine still viable? Perhaps it is time to admit, in the spirit of Voltaire, that the two-state solution was never about two states, nor was it a solution, nor could it ever be viable. It was not about a Palestinian state, because a state’s fundamental purpose is to provide security and a sense of security to its citizens. But even the most far-reaching of the two-state proposals did not allow the Palestinians to have a strong army. After a century of Zionism, security and the sense of security are what the Palestinians crave most. That is why in poll after poll, what Palestinians on the West Bank oppose most is “an independent Palestinian state that would have no army, but would have a strong security force and would have a multinational force deployed in it to ensure its security and safety.”
For years, Israeli politicians used to say their actions were intended to “expose the true face of the Palestinians”; this used to be a specialty of Ehud Barak. Senior pundits spent lakes of ink on the proposition that Israel should agree to peace proposals, or even present some of its own, even though they thought there was no point in them: Doing so would expose the “true face” of the Palestinians/Arabs as peace refuseniks. This game is over. The two days following Obama’s Middle East speech made it clear who is the real peace refusnenik, exposing the true face of the Israeli center-right. Unlike the howl from the Fox Complex, combining the right wing of Israel and the US, there was nothing particularly new about Obama’s speech: He was speaking of a Palestinian state, based on the 1949 borders, with some corrections.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address US legislators on Tuesday. He will, no doubt, tell members of Congress that he supports a two-state solution, but his support will be predicated on four negative principles: no to Israel's full withdrawal to the 1967 borders; no to the division of Jerusalem; no to the right of return for Palestinian refugees; and no to a Palestinian military presence in the new state. The problem with Netanyahu's approach is not so much that it is informed by a rejectionist worldview. The problem is not even Netanyahu's distorted conception of Palestine's future sovereignty, which Meron Benvenisti aptly described as "scattered, lacking any cohesive physical infrastructure, with no direct connection to the outside world, and limited to the height of its residential buildings and the depth of its graves. The airspace and the water resources will remain under Israeli control..."
We are all going to be invited to the funeral of the two-state solution if and when the UN General Assembly announces the acceptance of Palestine as a member state . The support of the vast majority of the organization’s members would complete a cycle that began in 1967 and which granted the ill-advised two-state solution the backing of every powerful and less powerful actor on the international and regional stages. Even inside Israel, the support engulfed eventually the right as well as the left and center of Zionist politics. And yet despite the previous and future support, everybody inside and outside Palestine seems to concede that the occupation will continue and that even in the best of all scenarios, there will be a greater and racist Israel next to a fragmented and useless bantustan . The charade will end in September or October — when the Palestinian Authority plans to submit its request for UN membership as a full member — in one of two ways.
Lots of smart people have been focusing on the Israeli elections and trying to make sense of their immediate implications for the peace process.
For the last ten plus years, advocates of a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine have been warning that the “window of opportunity” for a two-state solution is closing fast. Here’s Jordan’s King Abdullah II using the image in a 2005 speech : Israelis and Palestinians must take advantage of a “small window of opportunity” for peacemaking, he warned.
Zionism - perspectives...
368 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 Cloth 2005 | ISBN 978-0-8122-3874-7 | $55.00s | £36.00 | Add to cart Paper 2008 | ISBN 978-0-8122-2052-0 | $26.50s | £17.50 | Add to cart View table of contents and excerpt "A rich resource both for scholars of migration and for anyone interested in the 'predicaments of Palestinians and Jews' because of the way it self-consciously draws parallels between the two peoples' destinies and relation to the same land."— Israel Studies Forum Exile and Return: Predicaments of Palestinians and Jews is a bold attempt to understand constructively and build upon the terrible irony of two peoples, each with a searing memory of displacement and exile, struggling for a return to a land each remembers, each claims, and from which each has sought to exclude the other.
The Harvard Kennedy School is hosting a “ One State Conference ” this weekend and already the usual suspects are crying foul. Since I’m going to be speaking on a panel at the conference on Sunday, I thought it might be a good idea to weigh in with some thoughts. I’ll begin with the stated vision/goals of the conference, according to student organizers: To date, the only Israel/Palestine solution that has received a fair rehearsal in mainstream forums has been the two-state solution.
Something you won't see on American television: Al Jazeera ran a long piece on the peace talks (linked here at Pulse .). "Empire" host Marwan Bishara is incisive; he speaks of the "Zionist lobby" and the emergence of a state in Kosovo with far less rigmarole than the endless peace process. His guests, on barstools in a rooftop interview in view of the White House, are Nabil Shaath of the P.A., former negotiator Rob Malley, and John Mearsheimer. Mearsheimer is unbound.
Palestinians in line for a Qalandiya checkpoint during Ramadan, 2011. (Photo: Reuters) I attended the One State Conference at Harvard University on March 3-4, 2012, and was encouraged to continue working to bring peace and prosperity to all the people who live between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River. Nevertheless, I left the conference unsettled by several issues. Regime Change
John J. Mearsheimer This is the transcript of the Hisham B. Sharabi Memorial Lecture delivered by John J. Mearsheimer at the The Palestine Center today.
This weekend, the Harvard University community will host its conference, " One-State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution ". The conference promises to be an invigorating discussion on the likelihood of the two-state solution, the benefits of the one-state solution, and the challenges to achieving either. In light of that discussion, I thought it useful to share the legal dimensions that demonstrate Israel’s discriminatory system both within its putative borders and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as a singular Apartheid regime.
Debating the end of the 2-state solution...