Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns: Viability or Demise of the “Two-state Solution”

Posted on Mar 7, 2017

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Commentary: The articles and links of this issue of the Middle East Notes focus on the viability or demise of the “two-state solution.” The majority of the Palestinian leaders and people would accept such a solution, even though they believe current the “fact of the ground” that settlers, settlements, the wall, access roads, and blockade have already made this solution impossible.

The majority of Israeli leaders and people prefer either the status quo or annexation of the occupied territories. It seems the Israeli people are choosing a “one-state” solution and are now facing the question of what kind of state that will be with almost numerically equal Israeli and Palestinian populations.

There seem to be three choices: to continue the untenable and ultimately unsustainable status quo of military domination of Palestinians; to foster full political rights and responsibilities for all Palestinians and Israelis alike in this one state which will slowly end the Zionist dream of a nation for and of Jews; or to deny political rights and responsibilities to Palestinians within the borders of this one apartheid state. In light of Israeli domination of the Palestinians, it is only Israel that has the power, challenge, and responsibility to make such a choice. 

The seven featured articles and the related links in this issue of the Middle East Notes focus on the occupation; Israel’s “formalization law;” an accusation that Israel never had any intention of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state; the similarity between the illiberal policies of President Trump and the developments in and emanating from another increasingly illiberal democracy: Israel; Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s ten-point Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Peace negotiations;  the need for a partnership between the Zionist and Palestinian Arab Left to push back after 50 years of occupation; information about the Israeli/Palestinian peace film, “Disturbing the Peace;” and links to other articles of interest.

  • Rogel Alpher writes in Haaretz that the occupation has defeated sanity, even that of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. The president is calling for the country’s annihilation.
  • Haggai Matar states in +972 that anyone who condemns Israel’s new law authorizing the theft of private Palestinian land, while forgetting the mass theft engendered by the settlement enterprise as a whole, is doing an injustice to the fight for equality in this land. 
  • Nadia Hijab writes in Al-Shabaka that the death of the two-state solution has been foretold for nearly 20 years, after it became clear that Israel had signed on to the Oslo peace process in 1993 with no intention of allowing a sovereign Palestinian state. 
  • Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now notes in the Huffington Post that as Americans come out in huge numbers to challenge the illiberal policies of President Donald J. Trump, they should be mindful of developments in and emanating from another increasingly illiberal democracy: Israel. 
  • Isaac Herzog Israeli opposition leader details his 10-point Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Peace negotiations in Haaretz during which both sides will agree on decade of calm, during which time West Bank will be a violence and incitement-free zone and settlement construction outside blocs will be frozen. 
  • Yaniv Sagee writes in Haaretz that the only way to create an alternative to push back against 50 years of occupation and mounting inequalities is for the Zionist and Palestinian-Arab left to form a real partnership. 
  • CMEP is sponsoring a viewing of the film “Disturbing the Peace” in Washington, D.C. The film follows former enemy combatants, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters, who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.”  

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
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