The U.S. and Israel want to limit Palestinian sovereignty, to demilitarize their state, to prevent a Palestinian return and to implement any agreement in stages. But in order for the two-state solution to have a chance at working, they need to do the exact opposite. The deadlock in the peace talks has generated another American diplomatic push, one that seems like the first stage in the administration’s proposal for a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (or, more accurately, the Ramallah-based half of the Palestinian Authority). According to reports, the American team led by Secretary of State John Kerry…Read More... | 16 Comments
two states solution
More and more reports are suggesting that the U.S. is planning to put forward an offer that would end the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Martin Indyk, the American envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, gave an hour-long address at the end of the J Street Conference in Washington last month. Indyk said nothing about the talks themselves but some commentators noticed a couple of references to them: first, the American envoy said the talks' goal was to reach a final status agreement and nothing else; second, that by next year’s conference, he said, “the leaders will have had to make their…Read More... | 48 Comments
Your favorite pastime is a part of the occupation. Arguably the most popular political debate on Israel/Palestine is the one taking place between supporters of the two-state solution and those who support a one-state idea. A piece by Professor Ian Lustick in the New York Times won a lot of attention recently, and it’s not surprising: from our own modest experience here at +972 Magazine, I can state that we have noticed long ago that pieces based on the idea that “the two-state solution is dead/not dead” or “the one-state solution is possible/impossible” win a lot of attention and get…Read More... | 34 Comments
Settlers are celebrating 'the first official settlement in 20 years.' Housing Minister: 'There are no two states, and there won't be two states.' The regional council for Jewish settlements in the northern part of the West Bank (Samaria) celebrated on Sunday the construction of a new settlement called Leshem, located in the western part of the occupied Palestinian territories. According to a report in Maariv, 72 families have moved into their homes in Leshem, and 70 more are expected to do so in the coming year. The plan is to build around 400 more housing units. Israel has committed –…Read More... | 12 Comments
While a third of the Knesset joins the pro-settlement caucus, one member of the coalition warns of a 'South African' future. The Israeli political conversation has a strange sense of déjà vu these days: on Wednesday, during a panel organized by the think-tank Molad, Knesset Member Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid warned that if Israel fails to disengage from the West Bank, it will face a similar fate to that of Apartheid South Africa. “The occupation,” said Shelah, “corrupts Israeli society. It corrupts the army, corrupts Israeli justice, Israeli media, Israeli psyche and Israeli language." Facing Shelah at the panel…Read More... | 4 Comments
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry estimates that the two-state solution will be "over" in a year and a half. Kerry spoke at the House Foreign Affair Committee hearing on U.S. interests abroad. While many analysts have been discussing the closing of a window of opportunity for the two-state solution for several years, setting such a short time frame by the secretary of state is unprecedented. Hannah Allam of the McClatchy Newspapers tweeted: The window for a 2-state solution is shutting, we have a year, year and a half before it's over [...] For Israel, for us, for world, not to strengthen the Palestinian Authority amounts…Read More... | 8 Comments
Veteran Israeli negotiator Shaul Arieli discusses the failure of the Oslo Accords, various Israeli prime ministers' commitment (or lack thereof) to ending the occupation, and the only solution he believes both sides could live with, however unsatisfied they might be with it. Shaul Arieli is a man on a dual mission: educating Israelis about the conflict and diplomatic process with the Palestinians, and making the point that the two-state solution is both possible and necessary. His latest publication in Hebrew, A Border between Us and You (Yeditoth Ahronoth Books 2013), is a 500-page handbook to the history of the conflict, with an emphasis on…Read More... | 32 Comments
With Tzipi Livni joining Netanyahu’s government and President Obama heading to the region, we might be in for another round of a pseudo-'peace process,' which has become a code name for an attempt to impose 'a deal' on a Palestinian pseudo-leadership. Hatnuah – Tzipi Livni’s new party that won six seats in the last Israeli elections – was the first Knesset party to sign a coalition agreement with Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu needs another 24 Knesset members to have the minimum majority for a ruling coalition. It is very unlikely that he will fail to get them. Livni was appointed as…Read More... | 23 Comments
The U.S. president’s decision to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in the spring is an unexpected political gift to the Israeli prime minister. Yet without confronting Netanyahu on the issues of the settlements and the '67 borders, we could end up with another diplomatic failure and even a renewal of violence in the region. The White House’s confirmation regarding the planned visit by President Barack Obama to Israel and the Palestinian Authority came just at the right time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been facing some difficulties in putting together his next coalition. As was the case…Read More... | 40 Comments
While Peter Beinart's latest book is well worth reading, his solutions come far too late and are likely to achieve little. I've recently finished reading Peter Beinart's controversial book, The Crisis of Zionism; admittedly I read it mostly to understand what the noise was all about. The book took heavy criticism, if by "criticism" you mean "ad hominem attacks," even before it was published. It was basically attacked by the entire Jewish establishment in the United States. Why? Because Beinart insists, as he did two years ago, on stopping to treat Israel as a special-needs child whose tantrums must be…Read More... | 17 Comments
Knesset member joins other rightwing leaders in call for annexing West Bank, one state solution. One of the well known figures in the settler movement, Knesset Member Uri Ariel from the radical rightwing National Union Party, is publicly calling for a one-state solution as an alternative to the construction of a Palestinian state, the independent news site Srugim reported. Ariel is calling on Israel to annex the West Bank immediately and give all Palestinians living there the status of residents in Israel, similar to those of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which was annexed to Israel in 1967. According to the…Read More... | 20 Comments
The Palestinian Authority's statehood bid is portrayed as a crucial step on the way to the two state solution, yet an independent Palestinian state appears to as distant as ever. Watch below as Gershom Gorenberg and I engage in a Bloggingheads diavlog to discuss whether it's time to begin considering other options. One sneaky note - you'll notice I'm having considerable issue with Gershom's portrayal of the one-state approach: He argues that this is akin to being on a sinking ship (the status quo) with the shore (the two state solution) too far to swim to, and suggesting we flap…Read More... | 182 Comments
According to a recent survey, most Israelis simply don't know that the Jordan Valley, the future Palestinians state's only non-Israeli border, is part of the occupied West Bank. This trend confirms that retaining an Israeli presence in the valley is not likely to become a wedge issue in Israel any time soon. A poll conducted by our esteemed Dahlia Scheindlin (for ACRI's Action a Day campaign) indicates a sweeping majority of Israelis - 63.5%, to be exact - think the Jordan valley is part of Israel; in other words, not part of the West Bank; or, in plain words, don't…Read More... | 39 Comments
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