Obama and Israel are walking away from two-state solution with Palestinians (+video)
By refusing to support the Palestinian bid at the UN, President Obama has essentially endorsed a No State Solution between Israel and Palestine. Changing course is possible. A good place to start would be threatening to remove US aid to Israel, given its plans for more settlement building.
The Obama administration’s refusal to support the successful Palestinian bid for symbolic “observer state” in the United Nations sends a strong signal that all will be business as usual during its second term. Worse, ever too mindful of the pro-Israel lobby in America, the United States has essentially endorsed a No State Solution between Israel and Palestine.Skip to next paragraph
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Official US policy has long been in support of a negotiated settlement that would produce two states, Israel and Palestine, existing side by side in peace. But during the “peace process” of the last 20 years, Israel’s actions have undermined that goal. Since the famous Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn in 1993, which marked the beginning of the Oslo process, the Israeli settler population in the West Bank has rocketed from 109,000 to more than 350,000. One of the largest settlements, Ariel (almost 20,000) has been absorbed into “greater Israel” by a separation wall that veers deep inside the West Bank; plans are in place to thus incorporate a second settlement, Maale Adumim (39,000).
A ring of Jewish settlements all but surrounds East Jerusalem, crippling the dream of making it the future capital of Palestine. The settlements, checkpoints, roadblocks, “sterile” zones, “closed military areas,” settlers- and VIP-only roads, and Israel’s full military occupation of 60 percent of the West Bank have all combined to carve a would-be Palestine into disjointed cantons, not the “viable and contiguous” land that the US officially seeks for Palestine.
Without a doubt, rockets from Gaza or, in past years, suicide bombers from the West Bank have clearly undermined the Palestinians’ own case. But the Israeli seizure of Palestinian land has continued apace, regardless of the level of violence.
These facts on the ground send clear signals that the Palestinians don’t have a partner for peace. With each new Jewish housing project, with each clearly-stated intent not to dismantle major settlements or allow Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem or the crucial Jordan Valley, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, like Ariel Sharon before him, has essentially shown unambiguous contempt for two sovereign states. Rather, Israeli leaders are turning the Holy Land into a single entity, with land, borders, airspace and underground aquifers controlled by Israel, and with citizenship rights granted only to some.