September 25, 2008

EXACVTLY THE EVENTUALITY ARIEL SHARON WAS TRYING TO AVOIDD:

The One-State Solution: A two-state solution was a compromise. But talks have gone nowhere, so many Palestinians are giving up. (Sari Nusseibeh, 9/20/08, NEWSWEEK)

Israelis have long described their West Bank settlements—long fingers of territory that stretch along the north-south and east-west axes, serviced by highways, electrical networks, etc.—as organic extensions of the Israeli community. But Israeli construction has (again according to Peace Now) increased by 550 percent in the past year. This building, combined with that of the nearly complete separation wall or barrier, and reports that Israel wishes to maintain security control along the eastern edge of the Jordan Valley, sends another message: that Israel plans to hold onto the land for good. Combine this with the still unaddressed refugee problem, and it's no wonder many former two-staters are giving up hope.

It is important to remember that the Palestinian national movement only began to endorse the idea of a two-state solution 20 or 30 years ago, as a practical compromise. Realizing that Israel wasn't going anywhere, moderates decided that their best hope for a state was one alongside Israel, not one that sought to replace it. Yet the 15 years of negotiations that have followed have produced little, and thus it's no surprise that faith in this supposedly pragmatic option is waning. The lack of progress, as well as the unmistakably expansionist reality on the ground and the growth in popularity of Hamas, have left little room for anyone seeking a positive future for Palestine. Except, that is, to rejuvenate the old idea of one binational, secular and democratic state where Jewish and Arab citizens live side by side in equality.


Lord, pity a people who don't understand demographics.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 25, 2008 12:45 PM
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