Palestinians may have to abandon the goal of an independent state if Israel continues to expand Jewish settlements and the United States does not stop it, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday. It may be time for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to “tell his people the truth, that with the continuation of settlement activities, the two-state solution is no longer an option”, Erekat told a news conference.
Israel has rejected the idea of a de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank, incorporating the Palestinians as citizens, as “demographic timebomb” that would make Jews the minority. [continued…]
Editor’s Comment — The problem with the expression “one-state solution” is that it treats “one-state” as a proposition about something that might or might not exist in the future and then considers who would or would not consent to its creation.
The question is, can Israel dismantle what it has already created?
Gaza would seem to prove that the answer is no, since even when Israel showed it could withdraw its troops and a few thousand settlers, it couldn’t relinquish military and economic control over the territory. Gaza also serves as the most compelling reason why most Israelis won’t seriously entertain the idea of ending the occupation of the West Bank.
More than anything else, the two-state solution has functioned as a mirage that distracts attention away from the present one-state reality.
The task at hand seems to have more to do with destroying an illusion and unmasking a reality than it does with constructing a vision of a better future.
Once it dawns on the majority of Israelis that without having a consensus about what they were doing, they have indeed created a single state in which half the population is Palestinian, a decades-long process of political reform can begin.
Rioting settlers forced a Palestinian family out of their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah yesterday, after the district court denied the residents’ appeal to remain on the premises.
Shortly after the verdict was passed dozens of settlers stormed into the house with hired security guards, demanding that the family vacate immediately. A violent riot erupted between the Jewish settlers and the neighborhood’s Palestinian residents. Police were called in to disperse the protesters.
A legal battle has raged for some 30 years over the ownership of 28 houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The specific house in question, built 10 years ago by the al-Kurd family, was unoccupied and locked up for eight years by court order pending the settlement of a land-ownership dispute. [continued…]
Irael has expropriated some 35 per cent of East Jerusalem’s territory, over 24,000 dunums of land, from its Palestinian owners despite the fact that in 20 years the majority of Jerusalem’s population will be Palestinians, a study said.
According to the study, compiled by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Palestinians currently make up 35 per cent of the city’s population compared with 25.5 per cent in 1967, adding that “in the absence of a political agreement on the borders of the city and the status of its Palestinian residents, Jerusalem is approaching a bi-national urban reality”.
The study by the Germany-based organisation examined the building policies in Jerusalem intended to change the facts on the ground and ensure a solid Jewish majority in the city, said a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times yesterday. [continued…]