Yousef Munayyer says it’s time for the Palestinians to give the Israelis an ultimatum: the Palestinian Authority should set a date for the Israeli occupation to end and settlements be dismantled. “If this deadline is not met, the PA should dissolve the authority and convert the disjointed national movement into a broad civil rights movement seeking equal rights in a bi-national state.”
Among those involved in the Middle East peace process industry there is much talk about “time running out” for a two-state solution.
Recently, the same sentiments were echoed by the US state department, reflecting a shift in the way the Obama administration is publicly talking about the conflict.
On more than one occasion, the state department and other Obama administration figures have said that “the status quo is unsustainable”. Notice again the element of time.
Time has been running out for a two-state solution since the beginning of Israel’s colonial enterprise in occupied Palestinian territory in 1967. Yet despite this reality, analyses of the situation continue to repeat this now-meaningless cliche year after year, decade after decade. It seems that, to many, time in the Middle East can be magically be suspended. Gravity, in this war-torn region, ceases to affect the inverted hourglass.
The idea that time is running out presupposes some actual threshold beyond which time will actually have run out – a midnight hour when the Cinderella-style fantasy of a two-state solution wakes up to the embarrassing reality of facts on the ground.
However, we never hear analysts specify where the threshold lies – at what point Israeli actions of settlement construction and expansion are considered to have finally tipped it over the edge. Without this, the two-state solution becomes the consummate zombie, very much alive in the policy discussion despite being long dead in reality.
Meanwhile, AFP reports:
A growing number of Palestinians support the establishment of a single state for Jews and Arabs including Israel and the occupied territories, according to a poll released on Wednesday.
The survey by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) found that support for a bi-national state in which Israelis and Palestinians would have equal rights had grown to 33.8 percent from 20.6 percent in June 2009.
During the same period, support for a negotiated two-state solution dropped from 55.2 percent to 43.9 percent, while 32.1 percent of respondents said the “peace process is dead” in response to a separate question.
Most Palestinians, 43.7 percent, support peaceful negotiations, while 29.8 percent support armed struggle and 21.9 percent support peaceful resistance as the best strategy for ending the Israeli occupation, the poll found.