The two-state illusion

Mya Guarnieri writes:

A drive east of the Green Line suggests the two-state solution is moot. Jewish-only roads slice through the hills. The separation barrier winds through the West Bank, choking Palestinian villages. Settlements are lodged in the land’s throat.

Dr. Neve Gordon, author of the book Israel’s Occupation comments, “The one-state solution is already on the ground, in the sense that close to half a million Israeli Jews currently live in the area occupied by the [Israeli] army. They’re enmeshed within the Palestinian population.”

While the body of one state is here, the spirit isn’t. The current system, according to Dr. Gordon, is a democracy for Jews and an apartheid regime for Palestinians–different from that of South Africa, but functioning in a similar way.

“The question is whether there can be a separation,” Dr. Gordon says, pointing to the argument made by former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti, who called the West Bank an egg that can’t be unscrambled.

And even if Israel could undo some of the mess, the proverbial finger Netanyahu recently gave the Americans suggests that the government has another agenda.

“I think what’s clear is that there is no intention on the part of the Israeli government to support a two-state solution,” Dr. Gordon says. “The borders, the airspace, all remain under Israeli control. What Netanyahu means when he says two states is not a state–it’s a municipality [for Palestinians] to collect their own garbage… What Netanyahu is supporting is a deepening of [settlements and the occupation] while talking about two states.”

To continue to advocate for a two-state solution, Dr. Gordon explains, is to support Netanyahu and his map for an unacknowledged, de facto single state that oppresses Palestinian residents.

Meanwhile, The Media Line reports:

Palestinian support for a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel is declining, a joint Palestinian-Israeli study has found.

The latest public opinion survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the while the majority of Palestinians and Israelis support a two-state solution to the conflict, Palestinian support for such a resolution has declined in recent months.

“The results show a decline in the Palestinians support for the two-state solution,” Waleed Ladadweh, a researcher with the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research told The Media Line. “From 64 percent in December 2009 to 57 percent in this poll.”

Dr Nabil Kukali, Director of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, agreed that Palestinian public opinion is trending towards a bi-national state.

“On the whole Palestinians support the peace process, but there are some changes in attitudes towards the two-state solution,” he told The Media Line. “The Palestinians feel hopeless and they don’t think the Israelis will give the Palestinians one meter of their land.”

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2 thoughts on “The two-state illusion

  1. pabelmont

    The current apartheid-style one-state “solution” could well be permanent (apart from growing steadily worse, that is) if the US and EU remain paralyzed into helpless inaction by whatever paralyzes them (AIPAC in US, Holocaust-guilt in EU, perhaps).

    It is, of course, true that Israel seems unable (that is, Israel seems “anti-paralyzed” into frenetic change) to stop its rush into excess. And its excess might just persuade US and EU to remember the fine statesmanlike statements about human rights and peace and justice and law, those fine statements made once upon a time by some accidental orator because the words sounded so fine and made the speakers sound so resplendent! What if US and EU politicians remembered such fine words. Once again with feeling!

    If the US ever decided to use its muscle to achieve peace, it is likely that it would do so at a time (and, indeed, today is already such a time) when a two-state “solution:” would require a removal of all or much of the WALL and all or most of the 500,000 settlers. if the US ever develops the bravery or energy or desperation to do anything of this kind, why not do it 100%?

    Why not require Israel to rectify the occupation by making it legal? Out with the settlers, begone the wall! After all, that is the law. Would half-measures really be better? for whom? And how explain half-measures when the 100% solution is easily explained (it is the law !!!! dum-di-dum-dum).

    OK, pabelmont, dream on.

  2. David Wearing

    Again, the case for the one state solution is made by saying that achieving a viable two state solution will be very difficult, given the “facts on ground” that Israel has created, and its obvious reluctance to relinquish them. But this is not an argument. It is an observation, and a banal one at that. Yes, getting up the presssure on Israel to remove its colonies from East of the Green Line will be very difficult indeed. But in what sense does this mean that getting Israel to give up on the very idea of Israel itself (which is what one state means) will be somehow easier than getting it to give up its illegal settlements.

    The case against the two-state solution on grounds of practicality does not automatically constitute the case for the one state solution on the same grounds. Those who favour one state need to explain the circumstances under which Israel will voluntarily commit suicide before they adopt the pose of sage realists on this issue.

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