Joseph Dana writes: Twenty years after the Oslo Accords were signed on a sun-drenched White House lawn, the two-state solution has become the butt of jokes, in both Israel and Palestine.
Among Palestinians, the phrase “Oslo Accords” has become a concise way to refer to land theft, economic domination and the failure of the international community to pressure Israel into moving towards a two-state solution.
Meanwhile Israel, despite a superior army, a tendency for violence and the backing of the United States, finds itself stymied by internal indecision and infighting about a sustainable solution.
Israeli settlers and their supporters in the government have taken advantage of society’s uncertainty. And the more deeply the occupation entrenches itself, the more valuable control over the West Bank becomes for Israel.
To put it simply, Israel is in the throes of creating its own worst nightmare: a binational state.
Walk around any West Bank city these days and you will find people who are quick to say that Israel wants a “South African” solution to the conflict. That is, they want to control the land and administer it through an unequal system of governance which affords privileges and rights on the basis of religion.
Many Palestinians have come to understand that Israel could not disengage from them, even if it wanted to. They see that the land of the West Bank is simply too valuable, that holding the Palestinian economy captive is too lucrative and that the appeasement of radical Jewish settlers is too convenient; for these reasons Israel is unwilling to end its control and really begin to move towards a two state solution.
All but the most starry-eyed and emotional supporters of the two- state solution can now clearly see the reality of the current situation: Israel has built its system of domination into the very fabric of life for all between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, but at the same time had been timidly reticent to take responsibility for the results of its actions. [Continue reading…]