Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, is hinting that the goal of a Palestinian state may now have to be ‘abandoned’ unless something positive is done about the settlements in the West Bank. Since it is now quite clear that, despite the rhetoric, the US has no intention whatsoever of enforcing their demands that Israel stop building more settlements – let alone remove those settlements that are already there – any ideas that Palestinians may have had about having a state that consisted entirely of the West Bank can be forgotten; it simply is not going to happen.
The extent of settlement building over the years has now reached a point of no return. What were enclaves of Israeli settlers living in the West Bank has now grown to such an extent that the situation has been reversed and there are now only large, overcrowded and under-serviced enclaves of Palestinians struggling to survive in the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud-dominated coalition government exist specifically to build a Greater Israel; a Greater Israel that includes what they call Judea and Samaria, which most people know as the West Bank.
For decades successive Israeli governments and US administrations have paid lip service to the idea of creating a Palestinian state. They have signed treaties and accords, they have drawn road maps and received Nobel Peace prizes, but all of this has come to absolutely nothing. And all the while, the Palestinian’s lot has deteriorated to a point where there is now almost a sense of utter hopelessness as they see Palestinians being thrown out of their homes in Jerusalem which Jewish settlers then move into.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians live in a virtual prison from which there is no hope of release and within which life daily deteriorates. There is no future for them while the current situation prevails. There can only be one endgame as far as the Zionists are concerned with regard to the Gaza; life will become so miserable for them that they will have no alternative eventually but ask the Israelis to allow them to leave and migrate to another Arab country. Eventually, so the Zionists hope, the same will happen to the Palestinians of the West Bank.
The Palestinian people – and the entire world – must now face the reality that there will never be a free and sovereign Palestinian state existing alongside Israel and that the ONLY solution now for both the Israeli and Palestinian people is to create a single state within which Jews and Arabs live as equals in a free and democratic secular state.
The two-state solution is dead; it was a myth designed to buy Zionists more time to create the Greater Israel they have always dreamed of. They grabbed as much land as they could in 1948 and then again in 1967 while they distracted the world with claims of being the victim when in fact they were the aggressor. They have over the years adopted a policy of taking three steps forward and then two steps back in an effort to convince the world that it was always they that made the concessions. They have done this in Lebanon, the Gaza and in the Golan Heights. They say that they gave the Gaza back to the Palestinians in September 2005 but in reality it was never theirs to give back in the first place and their hope is that one day they’ll have it again to settle in once they’ve squeezed the Palestinians out. In the process they murdered, bombed, executed and imprisoned without trial tens of thousands of Palestinians and impoverished millions more.
The Zionists never have had any intention of allowing any kind of Palestinian state to exist. Slowly, at last, the world is coming to grips with this reality. The next step is for the world to support the demand for a single state in which Jews and Arabs can live in peace. Only then can Jews truly have a place to call home – a home they can share as equals with others who also know the place as their home. Only then can the Middle East become a place of peace.