Two State Solution: Last Chance Saloon?
Interesting post here by Jewbonics (minor edits and some emphasis by me):
Left-wing opinion on whether or not a two-state solution is still feasible bifurcates into two camps. One says Yes. The other says No. Norman Finkelstein, for example, argues that the rational strategy is,
OK, not to try to defy the international community with your own or someone else’s more radical slogans, but rather to bring to bare the weight of international public opinion: bring to bare the weight of the United Nations resolutions, the world court — the International Court of Justice — decision and so on and so forth in trying to resolve the conflict. For some of you in this room, and maybe for the majority of you in this room, that’s not going to be a satisfying answer. You’re going to tell me you want to go out and advocate a one state solution, or you want to go out and advocate a democratic secular or whatever Palestine. And my answer is going to be to you, in my opinion, that’s a dead-end strategy. It may be very satisfying for you in your little group; it may be satisfying for you in your living room, and maybe satisfying for you in your little club or grouplet. But if you’re seriously committed — as I assume was my mandate from Sumayyah — if you’re seriously committed to trying to lessen the suffering of the Palestinian people, to bring a little bit of sunshine into an otherwise very gray life of forty years and more, then that’s not in my view the strategy. Because there’s exactly zero support in the international community for a one state, democratic state, of whatever you want to call
Ali Abunimah, founder of the invaluable ezine, Electronic Intifada, suggests that a two-state solution is impossible, that its advocates are ignoring the “facts on the ground,” in the lingo of Zionist apparatchiks, build up over the past 40 years–a network of entrenched settlements, segmenting the West Bank into dribs and drabs of land, territorially separated, economically unviable. This much is well-known.
Here’s the news: the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP), whose president is Henry Siegman, just released a report, entitled, “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement.” The Executive Summary observes that “In short, the next six to twelve months may well represent the last chance for a fair, viable and lasting solution.” What is the USMEP? Hardly a radical institution. It spun off from the Council on Foreign Relations, establishmentarian think-tank par excellence. The authors of the report, most of the project’s Senior Advisors and board members, include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, Lee H. Hamilton,
It does not couch its recommendations in such idealist naivete like concerns regarding “social justice” or national self-determination. It speaks directly to security issues, noting that
“Although a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would not erase Al Qaeda, it would help drain the swamp in which it and other violent and terrorist movements thrive, and eliminate a major source of global Muslim anti-Americanism,” seven years ago a radical argument, today, conservative wisdom.
It fends off the argument of political infeasibility, or the lack of sufficient political will, noting that “According to polls, most Israeli and Palestinian public opinions back a fair settlement, and Arab countries now offer unprecedented support for the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002,” suggesting that the problem is turning inchoate opinion into political action.
And it presents the brief for acting with dispatch:
“Failure to act would prove extremely costly. It would not only undermine current efforts to weaken extremist groups, bolster our moderate allies and rally regional support to stabilize Iraq and contain Iran, but would also risk permanent loss of the two-state solution as settlements expand and become entrenched and extremists on both sides consolidate their hold.” The report’s authors recognize that if the two state settlement is not emplaced now, it will be emplaced never.
It does not kowtow to the “Israel Lobby,” nor to Zionist sentiment that demands complete Palestinian capitulation, noting that the plan, which must be “fair, viable, and sustainable,” must also be based on UNSCR 242 and 338, the principles agreed to in the 2003 Road Map and the 2007 Annapolis proceedings, and must demand a return to the Green Lines, land swaps on a 1:1 basis, a fair resolution to the refugee problem (although it explicitly prohibits a “general right of return”), dual-and-divided sovereignty over Jerusalem, and a de-militarized Palestinian state.
It suggests Israeli engagement with
Its suggestion for dealing with the refugee problem are welcome, if imperfect:
For Israelis the “right of return” issue is the ultimate “third rail.” For Palestinians, the entitlement of four million refugees to justice and dignity is an absolute. A formula must be found to protect
The document also outlines fairly reasonable solutions to the issues of borders, water, peace with