Former Palestinian prime minister: 2-state solution may be dropped

ABU DIS, West Bank: With gloom deepening over prospects for peace, a leading Palestinian is suggesting they might drop the “two-state solution” that has underpinned two decades of negotiations, aiming for Israel and a Palestinian state next to each other.

Instead, Palestinians might seek a multi-ethnic state covering all of historic Palestine – including today’s Israel, said former Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia in an interview at his office in this West Bank town.

Deriding what remains of the peace process as “no more than a waste of time,” Qureia condemned the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for settling the occupied West Bank with Jews and blocking Palestinian access to their hoped-for capital in Jerusalem.

“If this is the policy, I think it is a big lie to talk about the two-state solution,” said Qureia. “They are killing the opportunity of two-state solution. If it dies … there are other choices.

“One state is one of the choices.”

Qureia is subtly aligning himself with a narrative that turns the standard Israeli-Palestinian discourse, with its focus on Palestinian victimization, on its head: Israel may need an end to its occupation of Palestinian lands more urgently than the Palestinians do, to avoid being overwhelmed by sheer numbers of Arabs.

He is the highest ranking Palestinian to articulate a view that is increasingly heard behind closed Palestinian doors: Despite the privations of the occupation, time is oddly on their side, and Israel is shooting itself in the foot with its settlements and stalling.

Qureia said Netanyahu has a rapidly closing window to strike a two-state deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who “can deliver.” But Abbas might not long retain that credibility, and less amenable leaders could succeed him, Qureia warned.

“I don’t think that they will accept what we accept,” he said, referring to the Palestinian state limited to the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

“If Israel will not choose this opportunity I think they will be the loser,” Qureia said. “The most important element in the stability of Israel is to create [relations] with the region. … There are changes in the Arab world. Islamic politics now is prevailing in most of the Arab countries. … It will not be in favor of Israel.”

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia looks on during an interview with the Associated Press in his office in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

3 replies

  1. Personally I think it is more realistic (and better for the Palestinians) to aim for the one state solution. Naturally all citizens need equal rights. A Palestinian can be President of Israel and a ‘Israeli’ can be Prime Minister – and after four years they can switch …

  2. Well, they would simply have to learn to think like every other citizen of a democratic state. Forget that ‘we are the Masters and they are the slaves’. Muslims, Christians, Jews of any race (Arab, Palestinian, European Jew, African Jew – all are equal). Sounds simple? Well, it seems to be difficult for the Zionists. Still, it can still be a ‘homeland’ for Jews PLUS a homeland for the previous residents, the Palestinians.

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