There may have been a time when the two-state solution would have been useful if only as a stepping stone toward the inevitable single-state bi-national solution. However, what with the occupation of most of the West Bank by Israel, the building of the separation wall, Israeli road blocks everywhere throughout all of the West Bank, Israeli settlements springing up weekly, Israelis-only roads traversing and criss-crossing much of the West Bank to connect Israeli settlements, the gradual pushing out of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, the destruction of Palestinian farmlands, the ghettoising, systematic destruction of utilities and general terrorising of the Gaza Strip and its peoples, that time when a two-state solution might just have worked as part of a program where the lands could have become one again for all the peoples to live in has long, long past.
President Barack Obama is just the latest in a very long line of US Presidents that have tried their hand at creating peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. All before him have failed, and, especially in the light of the situation that prevails today in the region, there is absolutely no reason at all to believe that Obama has any more hope of succeeding than any of his predecessors had. In fact, in the prevailing circumstances, Obama is the least likely of all the Presidents to succeed.
Obama, it seems, has now all but given up talking about a ‘two-state solution’ though hasn’t yet given up the idea. The talk now has morphed from a ‘two-state solution’ to a ‘peace plan’ with virtually no mention at all of a Palestinian sovereign state, only demands for ‘the Muslim world to recognise Israel’.
While there seems to be plenty of talk about a peace plan, there seems to be very little substance; certainly no one has yet been able to describe exactly what this ‘peace plan’ is likely to entail.
It’s early days into both Obama’s administration and Netanyahu’s Israeli government and, while Obama initially pushed the idea of yet another plan for the two-state solution, he quickly gave up when it became obvious that Netanyahu is not in the slightest bit interested in the Palestinians having their own state under any circumstances. And from the Palestinians standpoint there can be no Palestinian state without, at the very least, the Israelis pulling out all of the settlements, withdrawing entirely from the West Bank and East Jerusalem back to the pre-1967 lines, and allowing the right of return of the refugees. As far as Netanyahu is concerned, none of this is ever going to happen. Obama knows it.; Netanyahu certainly knows it; and just about the entire world knows it – so, one has to ask, what’s left to talk ‘peace’ about?
Netanyahu is biding his time waiting and manoeuvring behind the scenes for an opportunity to strike Zionism’s enemies: Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. At the moment Netanyahu is simply nodding and shaking his head appropriately as Obama says his stuff. Netanyahu knows that he can’t upset Obama too much; Netanyahu will need Obama’s support when the time does come to confront Iran. But, on the other hand, Netanyahu can’t give in to Obama’s demands for a pulling out of the settlements but, rather, to say simply that ‘he’d talk about it’. This is just more time wasting.
Obama and Netanyahu are set to meet in a few days time in Washington. High on Obama’s agenda will be, once again, to get Netanyahu to talk about a two-state solution, and, once again, Netanyahu will say he will consider the possibility of thinking about talking about it but that’s about as far as it will go.
If, per chance, Netanyahu does start to get all positive about the idea of a Palestinian sovereign state, you can then bet your bottom dollar that something terrible is about to happen that will put an end to any such notions.
The two-state solution is even more of a myth today than it has ever been. The world should demand a one-state bi-national solution. It is the ONLY logical solution.