Thursday, November 05, 2009

No more chance for two-state solution in Israel-Palestine?

Juan Cole reports that Saeb Erekat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Steering Committee and a key figure in the negotiation process with Israel, is saying that given the Israeli colonization of the West Bank, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palesinitian conflict will not be possible. While Erekat's statement doesn't seem to be a flat-out rejection of the two-state solution as a goal, Cole's conclusion is:

I think the whole thing is over with. I can't see a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank as it is now configured, and I can't imagine the Netanyahu government halting settlements.
The "one-state solution" would mean basically having the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza as citizens of Israel. Such an outcome would mean that Israel could remain a democracy but not a majority-Jewish state for very long.

The Israeli Right's goal has always been to take over the West Bank. But the Israeli Labor Party has also supported the colonization movement. It may well be that the two-state solution really is no longer a viable solution because the West Bank settlement has now proceeded so far that for an Israeli government to force their evacuation is completely politically infeasible, even if there were the will to do so among Israeli political leaders.

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