PALESTINIANS RECONSIDER TWO-STATE STRATEGY

By Khalid Amayreh

RAMALLAH — While the west-backed Palestinian Authority is still clinging to the two-state solution as the only feasible strategy for ending the 40-year Israeli occupation, a growing number of Palestinian intellectuals and lay people are coming to the conclusion that the creation of a viable Palestinian state is no longer possible in light of the ubiquitous proliferation of Jewish settlements.

“There is no doubt that the two-state solution is dead. In fact it has been dead for quite a long time,” Laila el-Haddad, a Gaza-based writer, told IslamOnline.net.

“The metastasizing of Jewish settlements, along with the overriding deliberate policies of ‘politicide’ have rendered the two-state solution impossible,” she believes.

With their horizons constantly narrowed and lingering peace talks with Israel reaching a virtual dead-end, mainly over Israel’s refusal to give up the spoils of the 1967 war, Palestinians are increasingly advocating the one-state solution.

“The only feasible, sustainable, and just solution is One state, with equal rights for all,” says el-Haddad.

According to public opinion surveys, faith in the two-state solution has been steadily dwindling among Palestinians as they watch unmitigated Jewish settlement expansion swallows up more and more of their land.

Since 1967, Israel has built more than 150 Jewish-only settlements on the occupied West Bank, inhabited by as many as half a million settlers.

Most of the settlers are classified as “ideological settlers,” who believe that the West Bank is the “Biblical Land of Israel” which must never be given up even in return for a lasting peace with the Palestinians.

Hence, many observers have come to believe that no Israeli government will be able, even if willing, to dismantle these large settlements which have become well-established demographic realities in the occupied territories.

At the same time, there is a near unanimity among Palestinians and Arabs that without the elimination of at least the bulk of settlements and removal of most settlers, the goal of Palestinian statehood will be utterly unachievable.

During the last few months, Ahmed Qurei’, chief negotiator and Fatah leader, warned that the PA would decide to abandon the peace process with Israel if “it becomes clear that the creation of a viable Palestinian state is no longer possible.”

“We certainly will resort to the one-state solution. We will not allow Israel to impose apartheid on us for ever.”

Tough Choices

Hazem al-Qawasmi, an economist and prominent proponent of the one-state solution, argues that there is no viable alternative to it.

“We must not be made to pay the price for Jewish settlement expansion. Israel has effectively killed the two-state solution for the purpose of liquidating the Palestinian cause,” he told IOL.

“Hence, the Palestinians ought to struggle for a unitary and democratic state which would preserve our national existence and continued survival,” he believes.

“The alternative would be national demise, especially in the long run.”

Palestinians in general are fully aware that the one-state strategy is fraught with problems and having no guaranteed consequences.

The firm Israeli rejection of the idea makes many Palestinians refrain from wholly embracing the quest for the one-state solution.

They also think that decades of violence and bloodshed would make the implementation of this vision very unlikely.

“The world is under no more of a moral or legal obligation to maintain Zionism in Israel than it was to maintain apartheid in South Africa,” Qawasmi insists.

“The Palestinian people’s right to freedom and human rights override whatever rights Israel thinks it has to remain Jewish.”

Palestinians opposed to the idea argue that Palestinian weakness vis-à-vis Israel doesn’t allow the Palestinian people and their leadership to handle the one-state idea successfully.

Ziad abu Ziad, a former Palestinian negotiator, believes that most Israelis are not ready for peace and that the Israeli political leadership is unable to effect a real transformation in the public mood.

“We can’t escape the fact that the expanding settlements leave no room for a prospective Palestinian state,” he told IOL.

“I think that we should work on three levels. First, to guarantee the steadfastness of our people. Second, to try on the short term to mobilize international pressure on Israel to force it to stop its settlement activities as a step toward removing Jewish colonies from the occupied territories,” maintains abu Ziad.

“Third, in the long term, we should prepare ourselves for a long , durable struggle to recover our rights.”

6 Comments

  1. Made Brani said,

    February 25, 2009 at 18:41

    There is only one thing that the ZioNAZIs fear more than the two-state solution and that is the one-state solution.

    It is clever of the Palestinians to conclude that the two-state solution is not viable any longer because of the illegal settlements and to demand instead democratic one state solution. That should be possible for “the only democracy in the Middle East”!

    That will once and for all make it clear that the ZioNAZIs are racists and it will make it difficult even for Israel owned USA to argue for the racist solution which Israel is working so har for and which logically entails that the Palestinian population will be expelled in order to maintain “racial” supremacy.

    It will be more difficult to argue than to provide support for the South African apartheid regime which in its cruelty did not go as far as to evict the indigenous population.

  2. skulz fontaine said,

    February 25, 2009 at 19:35

    The West Bank and Gaza should just declare themselves a free and sovereign nation and be done with it. What is Israel or the U.S. going to do, invade again?

  3. Robert said,

    February 25, 2009 at 22:29

    I believe there will be a one state solution

    When the Palestinians get elected to Government in Israel, they can send all the IDF War Criminals to prison for life.

    And change the countries name back to Palestine!

  4. February 26, 2009 at 00:56

    […] PALESTINIANS RECONSIDER TWO-STATE STRATEGY Tags: […]

  5. hank said,

    February 26, 2009 at 06:03

    Obama: “in which the soulcontracted son of the secret cell groped through through life at the expence of the taxpayers, dejected into day and night with jesuit bark and bitter bite.”

  6. hank said,

    February 26, 2009 at 06:13

    Israel is a failed State. It is no more a United Nation than the Equator.
    The breeze @ dawn has secrets too tell you. Don’t go back to sleep….


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