Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has released his latest delusional fantasy plan for peace between the Palestinians and Israel. Abbas has rejected it.
The talks between Olmert and Abbas have been a complete and utter waste of time that has catered only to Olmert’s ego and to Abbas’s quest for power. The most ridiculous aspect of Olmert’s latest offer was that it was contingent on Abbas taking control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas. How Abbas was expected to achieve this was not explained unless embedded within any such an agreement was a clause that, if Abbas accepted the offer, the Israelis would wrest control from Hamas by invading the Gaza and then handing power over to Abbas.
The offer was rejected by Abbas because he knew that there would be no way that Palestinians generally would accept the other terms offered particularly with regard to Jerusalem as capital not being part of the deal; the ridiculous land swap offer whereby Israel gets to keep prime land in the West Bank in exchange for a bit of Israeli desert adjoining the Gaza, and the Israeli rejection of the return of refugees to their original homelands saying that they should go to the new Palestine instead.
One can only conclude that Olmert is simply out to try and big note himself before leaving office so that he can say that he ‘at least tried’. But everyone knows that it has all been for show. It has all been part of what Olmert has always been – a shallow and transparent fraudster! There never was any chance that the arrangements that Olmert and Abbas, together with Condoleezza Rice, had discussed were ever going to come into fruition. The offer was never going to be acceptable to the rightwing Zionists of Israel who are never likely to concede anything to the Palestinians, especially a free and independent state; and Hamas, still well supported by the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and the Gaza, would never accept any Israeli settlements on any part of Palestine and certainly will not accept anything less than a full return of refugees to their original homelands.
It may seem, then, that everything is as it has always been ever since 1948 – hopelessly deadlocked.
But all is not lost. The notion of a binational single state has once again been put forward by the Palestinian chief negotiator, Ahmed Qurie, who has been reported as saying: "If Israel continues to oppose making this a reality, then the Palestinian demand for the Palestinian people and its leadership (would be) one state, a binational state.”
Of course, the idea of a binational single state is completely abhorrent to rightwing Israelis because the reality is that, in the event of a binational single state coming into existence, the Palestinian people would soon come to dominate the new state just by virtue of the demographics – the very same demographics that exist today that are driving the rightwing Zionists to insist that Palestinians never have their own state.
While the notion of a binational single state may still be some way from becoming a reality, there are a growing number of Palestinians and Israelis who see such a state as the only alternative to the delusional fantasies of the likes of Olmert on the one hand and the rightwing Israeli Zionists who want all of the lands of Palestine and more for themselves, on the other.