Monday 30 May 2011

Netanyahu Kills off the Two State Option

Well, the cat is well and trully out of the bag now.  After Netanyahu’s little tantrum there can be no doubt about it.  The two state solution to the Israeli/Palestine conflict is dead as a dodo.  And all because the Israelis refuse to even contemplate any kind of negotiations.  Just why Netanyahu decided to come clean so vociferously and so explicitly is a bit of a mystery.  After all President Obama merely reiterated the long standing US position that a Palestinian state has to be based on the 1967 borders.  This leaves plenty of wriggle room for the Israelis to claim many, if not all, the illegal settlements.  However it is clear that even this is not enough for Israel.  Note that it is not just Netanyahu and his right wing bloc that opposes any kind of deal that leaves any settlement out of Israel.  As the leaked Palestinian Papers show even the so-called moderates like Tzipi Livni refused to accept a deal from Fatah which would have left most of the settlement blocs inside Israel.

The reason for this obduracy can only be that Israel does not feel itself to be under any pressure to reach a negotiated settlement.  Israel wants all the settlements and the right to build new ones.  Israel wants to control the Jordan river.  Israel wants all of Jerusalem.  Clearly Israel does not give a XXXX about the Palestinians.  For even the most reactionary Zionist knows that there will never be a majority of Palestinians who could agree to this kind of offer.  At least Netanyahu has done us the favour of clearing away any remaining doubts.  There is no Israeli partner for a peace deal and once again Israel has shown its unfailing instinct for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Though in the short run Israel will manage to get away with this defiance of international law, thanks to its blank cheque from the USA, it is still amazing that Israel and all its Zionist supporters have conspicuously failed to come up with a plan that would secure Israel’s future not just for the next decade or so, but forever.  To place all your eggs in the one, US basket is a bit short-sighted, to say the least.  For how long will the USA remain the world’s sole superpower?  Perhaps more pertinently for how long will the USA, even its elites, remain so much in thrall to Israel and Zionism?  Given that the Zionist project is based on memories of a past that goes back thousands of years, you would think that Zionists would want some kind of assurance that their project has a chance of surving for more than a few decades.

If Israel is to survive permanently as a enclave in an Arab and Muslim world, it can only do so by reaching a long term agreement with the people who live on the land Israel wants, and an agreement with its neighbours.  And to date there has been no sign that Israel wants to know anything about this.  It has repeatedly dismissed out of hand any and every proposal from the Palestinians and from the wider Arab world.  Not only that, Israel has already lost any support it had in Latin America, Africa and most of Asia.  Even in Europe, the tide has turned against Israel.  It is only a matter of time before European governments adopt a much more forceful stand against Israeli intransigence.

With luck Netanyahu’s recent outburst will hasten the day when more governments accept the reality that Israel does not and never has wanted a Palestinian state, no matter how restricted this state was.  Israel has always and usually violently, said no to the Palestinians.  It is time for the rest of the world to say no to Israel.

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