Middle East peace: Is two-state solution kaput?
If a two-state deal isn't reached by 2011, then Palestinians should push for a one-state solution.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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Palestinian hopes that the Obama administration would remain resolute in insisting that Israel halt further expansion of its settlements on Palestinian land have been dashed. An especially low moment came when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently used the word "unprecedented" to praise Israel's minimalist promise of restraint in its settlement expansion program. In rapid reaction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he did not wish to seek reelection because it was now clear that the US would not stand up to Israel.
Washington's capitulation raises the possibility that "the two-state solution is no longer an option and maybe the Palestinian people should refocus their attention on the one-state solution, where Muslims, Christians, and Jews live as equals," Mr. Erakat told the press.
His verbal bombshell just might signal a turning point in the long, frustrating search for peace with some measure of justice in Israel/Palestine.
Throughout the long years of the so-called peace process, deadlines have been consistently and predictably missed. Such failures have been facilitated by the practical reality that, for Israel, "failure" has had no consequences other than a continuation of the status quo, which for all Israeli governments has been not only tolerable but preferable to any realistically realizable alternative. For Israel, "failure" has always constituted "success," permitting it to continue confiscating Palestinian land, expanding its West Bank colonies, building bypass roads for Jews only, and generally making the occupation even more permanent and irreversible.
In everyone's interests, this must change. For there to be any chance of success in any new round of negotiations, failure must have clear and compelling consequences that Israelis would find unappealing – indeed, at least initially, nightmarish, since democratic demographics would inevitably spell the end of Jewish supremacy in the "Jewish State."