Settling towards one state?
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was one of the first to warn against '
Now President Jimmy Carter, always a staunch supporter of the two state solution ('Peace, not Apartheid'), seems to have undergone a bit of a change of heart:
We saw considerable interest in a call by Javier Solana, secretary general of the Council of the European Union, for the United Nations to endorse the two-state solution, which already has the firm commitment of the
U.S.government and the other members of the "Quartet" ( and the United Nations). Solana proposes that the United Nations recognize the pre-1967 border between Russia Israel Palestine, and deal with the fate of Palestinian refugees and how Jerusalem would become a full U.N. member and enjoy diplomatic relations with other nations, many of which would be eager to respond. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad described to us his unilateral plan for Palestine to become an independent state. and would be shared. Palestine
A more likely alternative to the present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank and
East Jerusalem. A majority of the Palestinian leaders with whom we met are seriously considering acceptance of one state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. By renouncing the dream of an independent , they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy. In this nonviolent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Palestine
Recently, the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had indicated that Jewish settlements in the
In the mean time,
The Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, is scheduled to announce that he will allow the expansion of Israeli settlements in the
West Bankby several hundred units before implementing a temporary six-month hold on further expansion. But Israeli settlers, who live on Palestinian territory in contravention of international law, have called the plan a 'mockery', arguing that they should have a right to expand without restrictions.
Israeli police approved a ceremony by settlers inaugurating a new settlement, Mevaseret Adumim, which will consist of 3 -5,000 new housing units constructed on Palestinian land in
East Jerusalem. The settlement was initially approved by the Israeli government in 1999 as part of the 'E1 Plan' to encircle East Jerusalem with Israeli settlements in order to displace the indigenous Palestinian population of East Jerusalem and create 'facts on the ground' that will supercede any negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
In a move that transformed the undeveloped Maskiot settlement into a new
community, heavy-equipment crews have broken ground in the past few weeks on infrastructure work for 20 single-family homes. Jordan Valley
The Civil Administration in Judea and
confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the work was legal. Samaria
The new construction comes at a time when the
USis pressuring to freeze all settlement activity. Israel
The government recognized Maskiot - located 15 km. over the pre-1967 armistice line - as a settlement in the mid-1980s. But a new community never formed there.
Meanwhile doubts about
Almost seven years after he was introduced to Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, initiated the establishment of the Sela disengagement administration to aid evacuees from Gaza and northern Samaria, and became one of the central figures behind the scenes in carrying out the plan - the head of the National Security Council at the time of the 2005 disengagement, Maj. Gen (res.) Giora Eiland, is convinced that Israel is incapable of evacuating settlements on the West Bank.
In his testimony before the state commission of inquiry on the handling of the Gush Katif evacuees, Eiland said: "On the level of the state, is the state capable, yes or no, of taking steps which are certainly politically controversial - the answer is certainly not. We are a neutralized country. What, that isn't clear?"
Combined with what appears to be a newfound realism on the Palestinian side, including Hamas (with their near-complete Qassam freeze for instance), the question more than ever remains whether, no matter how 'messy', the one state solution isn't rapidly becoming the only solution in town...