Deferred notice of ‘two-state’ demise

Feb 21,2017 – JORDAN TIMES – Hasan Abu Nimah

There was loud overreaction recently to the Knesset legislation sanctioning the Israeli theft of Palestinian land for building Jewish settlement.

The pattern repeated itself last week, with US President Donald Trump’s remark with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next to him at a Washington news conference, announcing that the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should not necessarily be based on the two-states formula.

The president’s statement caused much alarm, stirred protests, generated debate and raised fears in both Jewish and Arab circles, as if the two-state formula was about to be fulfilled, but Trump’s capricious statement suddenly blocked it.

I say capricious — I did not say careless — because one day after the presidential bombshell was dropped, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, appeared before the press at the UN to announce that the US still supports the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On February 16, Newsweek quoted Haley as having said on Reuters: “First of all the two-state solution is what we support. Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support the two-state solution — that would be an error.”

Obviously anybody who may have committed such an error was simply repeating what the US president himself had announced.

I am not rushing to quote Haley’s correction to allay the fears of those who lamented the death of the two-state formula, but rather to expose how confused the performance of the new administration in Washington with regard to one of the most significant issues of international, and indeed, US concern is.

Otherwise neither the abolition, nor the quick reinstating, of the two-state formula has any bearing on the reality of the situation in the Middle East or, specifically, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Countless times I argued in this space that the so-called “peace process”, in circulation for many years, and the “two-state” formula it incorporates are, as a result of Israel’s continued occupation and measures, no more than convenient, indeed worthless, international community slogans which provide cover for inaction, perpetual procrastination and outright failure to address one of the most potentially dangerous conflicts in our time.

The number of those who realise, but barely dare admit, that the injustice that befell Palestinians, as a result of the continued  Israeli aggression and violation of international law is primarily responsible for destabilising the entire Middle East, as well as for the rise of extremism, radicalisation and terrorism that is steadily increasing.

And yet, neither the UN nor its influential member states have been able to confront the problem with adequate political will to enforce a settlement on the basis of international law; a settlement that could redress, at least partly, the injustice and put an end to compounded Palestinian tragedy.

The claim that the “peace process” is on course, when it actually is sure deceased, and that the two-state formula is a desirable end to the conflict pending execution, helps provide cover for the indolence of those required to face their responsibilities with courage and resolve, but do not.

That same claim has also been the perfect context for Israel to use the time to colonise the land while shovelling more earth on the grave of the two-state solution.

This is the reality that many see but opt to pretend otherwise.

This is why the noisy commotion about the demise of the two states.

Israel makes no secret about its role in killing the two-state option by moving 600,000 settlers to the land of a Palestinian state to be and by filling the same land with settlements, creating irreversible facts on the ground.

How foolhardy it is to continue to propagate the two-state slogan while the reality, slapping everyone on the face, is that the land for a Palestinian state has been stolen almost entirely.

The Israeli complete takeover is under way with the tacit complicity of many of those who lament the death of the two states.

Israeli leaders are very open about it.


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