Friday October 22, 2021

A viable solution?

September 23, 2021

In August, the influential US magazine Foreign Affairs carried out a survey on the two-state solution in Palestine among “authorities with specialized expertise together with leading generalists in the field”. It asked the question “is the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no longer viable?” to which the 64 experts were supposed to indicate their agreement or disagreement and explain their stance with a brief comment.

Half disagreed that the two-state solution is dead, seven were neutral and 25 agreed with the premise.

Some of those who disagreed are currently or previously involved with Zionist-leaning think-tanks, such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Among them is former US ambassador to apartheid Israel, Martin Indyk, who before starting his diplomatic career, served as a deputy research director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

The list also includes Dennis Ross and others who were heavily involved in the so-called ‘peace process’, an unending affair with the aim of securing the Israeli apartheid state and liquidating basic Palestinian rights altogether. Obviously, those who were part of the ‘peace process’ are still clinging to the illusion that it is possible to establish a Palestinian Bantustan.

Those who defended the two-state solution acknowledged that there are ‘barriers’ to its fulfilment; among those, the most frequently cited one was the ‘lack of political will’ on ‘both sides’. There were even suggestions that the Palestinian leadership is solely to blame, as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority lack support from the Palestinian people to make the necessary sacrifices and accept Israel’s apartheid and settler-colonial policies.

Interestingly, some of those who adopted the ‘neutral’ position preferred to take a postmodern, relativist stand on an issue that is one of freedom, equality and justice – no more, no less. Others adopted a human rights approach to the Palestinian question, refusing to take a political stance.

What being ‘neutral’ on a clear-cut question of justice means can be anyone’s guess. Just a few decades ago, who would have dared to be ‘neutral’ about the end of apartheid in South Africa?

In general, most of the supporters of the two-state solution in academia, foreign policy circles and beyond are Israeli, American or European who do not see anything wrong with a settler-colonial project. The few Palestinians who are in favour of this racist approach to the Palestinian question fail to acknowledge facts on the ground: the system between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is a one-state reality, an apartheid state where one community has all the privileges of citizenship, while the other community is deprived of its fundamental human rights.

It is rather hard not to notice the racism and injustice involved in the apartheid reality in Palestine.

Excerpted: ‘It is time Israel, the West admit the two-state solution is dead’