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Wild Card - last chapter: Bibi and Obama pave the way for one-state solution

SAVE THE DATE: September 23, 2011. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give his “truth” speech at the UN General Assembly. The “truth” will actually be the annihilation of a two-state solution, and thus with it, the end of Zionism

In October 2010 I started writing the “Wild card” campaign. To make a long story short, it was an effort to convince people of the need for  the U.S. to support a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN. The reasoning behind the campaign was that a unilateral declaration would not immediately bring about a Palestinian state, but that American support of this move would level the playing field of the conflict.

A lot of people thought it was premature. They thought it would either never reach the UN to begin with, or that it was not a significant event anyway – it would just be like the declaration in 1988. A lackluster event.

I’m glad I trusted my instincts and stuck with it. It reached the UN, all right. And it’s certainly not going to be lackluster – despite not knowing for sure yet what the repercussions might be.

But more importantly, I have to accept my defeat. The campaign failed. In the upcoming days, America and Israel will shame themselves in ways that will send shivers down the spines of many. It’s going to be hard to watch.

President Barack Obama, together with his angry-little-chihuahua-who-for-some-reason-thinks-he’s-a-great-dane, Benjamin Netanyahu, will in fact bring the two-state-solution to an end this week.

Obama, despite the fact that he supports a Palestinian state, and despite the fact that his country believes settlements are illegal, will veto the Palestinian bid if he already doesn’t have enough UNSC members on his side to oppose the vote and spare him some extra embarrassment (as if his whole Mideast policy isn’t an embarrassment to begin with).

And what cracks me up is that AIPAC, the people who hold U.S. presidents in a vice term after term, actually think they’re saving Israel when they’re doing exactly the opposite.

And Bibi? Ah, Bibi will do what he does best: Nothing. Nothing but talk.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m happy Bibi decided to speak at the UN on Friday. I’m glad that he will be there, probably just as Shabbat is entering in Israel, to take responsibility for the end of Zionism. This Friday, during that speech, without even knowing the exact words he’ll use, Bibi will give the final push that forces Israelis and Palestinians into a one-state solution – whether they like it or not.

We’ll have to give up on a lot of stuff. The flag, the Tikva, probably the supremacy (darn, I was so used to being favored for decades) and maybe just a few more “things”.

But at least we’ll know who to blame, and when. Bibi, September 23, 2011. Erev Shabbat.

Many homes in Israel will be saying Kiddush at that time. But I just might take out my prayer book and say Kaddish. On Zionism.

Oh well. I gave it a shot, right?

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    1. Noa

      Kaddish is said on a Jew, and by that logic, no one should say Kadish over Zionism as it was anti-Jewish and in fact undermined the long histories of Judaisms (yes, plural) and their myriad heritages. Not to mention Zionism is a super racist and colonialist theory and practice that should have been extinguished a long time ago.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Noone knows how this will play out.

      My optimistic sequence is that the GA petition prevails, as is likely, with strong European support (everyone else is in the bag). The US will nearly certainly veto the petition, and have to cover its position by strong statements urging resumption of negotiations, and moratorium on settlement construction, further than previously.

      Also, that demonstrations in Palestine and the rest of the world, will remain moderate, not devolve to violence.

      Then, assuming that Turkey, Egypt, Jordan continue to distance themselves from Israel, leaving Israel isolated in the world, that Israel will elect a willing negotiator with the PA, and will then complete the negotiation, and the US will sponsor a security council petition for Palestinian recognition.

      Israel holds the cards. MANY parties can disrupt.

      The single state requires MORE negotiation in good faith than the two-state.

      And, per the Maan poll a couple days ago, Palestinians support the PA petition by a super-majority, and only a small minority support a fully integrated single state.

      Reply to Comment
    3. RichardNYC

      I don’t see why a US veto, or even the dissolution of the PA means the end of Zionism – what is going to compel Jewish Israeli to accept Palestinians into their country? Geographically, each group is still very separated, and it doesn’t seem like anyone considers one-state a recipe for stability or peace. If you’re trying to scare ppl straight ok I applaud the effort. But Israel looks a lot more resilient than the Hashemites, don’t you think? If Israel and Jordan and trying to push the WB into each other’s arms, you think Jordan would win?

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    4. @Richardnyc I’m not trying to scare anyone. Are you trying to calm us down and say everything is fine?
      I don’t believe the one state is a recipe for stability and peace either. But unfortunately, that’s where we’re heading.

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    5. Ben Israel

      Didn’t the original partition plan call for porous borders and a customs union? This would allow people to live on both sides of the border to maintain citizenship in either state with free access across the line for business or other purposes. Why wouldn’t that work today? Solves the problems of Palestinian self-determination and the Jews across the Green Line at one and the same time.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Rika Chaval

      Ami, as they say, hope dies last. Don’t give up, it isn’t too late yet. In times like these things can move very fast. We’ve seen it in other countries, we’ve seen it in Israel too.

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    7. Mitchell Cohen

      How exactly are we headed for a “one state solution”? I am not being facetious with this question. This is not something that would happen by default.

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    8. RichardNYC

      Why is Israel headed towards one-state? Isn’t Arab population growth beyond the wall out-stripping Jewish growth? I don’t think you or Yossi have made serious argument on this point. It seems to boil down to “there are too many settlers” – but are there really? It seems like the only way to know whether there are “too many” is to have some sense of how their presence is going to lead to the end of the Jewish state – and there hasn’t even been rational speculation about this on 972. I don’t pretend to know how Israel will cope with the settlers, but I don’t see how you and Yossi can blandly assert that Israeli Jews are just going to have to forfeit their hegemony and physical control of Israel. The situation seems too unstable and complex for anything approaching certainty.

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    9. @RicharcNYC – You lost me when you said there hasn’t been rational speculation about this on +972. I used to have respect for your reading skills, but no more.

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    10. ARTH

      What’s wrong with a one-state solution? Why is that “Two state” always on a pedistal?

      Reply to Comment
    11. RichardNYC

      Try again: there hasn’t been any rational speculation on 972 about HOW (i.e. what would ACTUALLY TAKE PLACE) in order to Israel to become a bi-national state.
      You write – “Bibi will give the final push that forces Israelis and Palestinians into a one-state solution – whether they like it or not.”
      Why, dude? You’re not explain how this is going to happen. How are the Palestinians going to force themselves on Israel? What means do they have to achieve this? No one on 972 has speculated about what might ACTUALLY HAPPEN to lead to this – just that the PA might disappear – ok that’s a good first step…but SO WHAT?

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    12. @RichardNYC – first of all, again, there have been discussions on this on +972.
      As for your question what would actually take place? I don’t know. That’s for the parties involved to decide, on which route they take. There are dozens of types of one-state solutions around the world – Is/Pal would have to see what works best for them.
      I could just as easily ask you what would take place in a two state solution. For each solution there are different paths, that trillions of words have been written on them for decades now. I recommend you start reading them – since I sure as hell will not use this comment thread to explain them to you.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Dr.Bill

      KUDOS NOA! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bosko

      My problem with this piece starts with the following statement ..
      “Obama, despite the fact that he supports a Palestinian state, and despite the fact that his country believes settlements are illegal”
      Not true. No American administration ever used the word “illegal” with regards to the settlements. Although it IS true that all American administrations opposed the expansion of the settlements.
      Why am I highlighting this? Because it is one thing to question the wisdom of the settlements and an entirely different thing to pretend that somehow Jews choosing to return to the old Jewish quarter of East Jerusalem or to Gush Etzion or even to Hebron was somehow illegal. Pretending that it is so, is dishonest. Questioning the wisdom of it is legitimate debate …
      Just my two cents worth ..

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    15. RichardNYC

      “As for your question what would actually take place? I don’t know. That’s for the parties involved to decide, on which route they take.”

      No, that’s not what I meant – I’m asking you why you’re claiming, in this piece, that what Bibi does now is going to lead to any kind of one state solution – not what kind of one state solution it leads to. See the difference?

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    16. Ben Israel

      Jimmy Carter tried to say they were “illegal”, but the international law section of the State Department found that that was not the case, so the settlements became “unhelpful” to subsequent Presidents, or as Obama says “illegitmate” (whatever that means).

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    17. Hostage


      Fatah has been advised for years now (e.g. Diana Bhutto) that, given the facts on the ground, they should abandon the 2SS and pursue the South African model of BDS and demand equal rights in a single state.

      *During a recent appearance at the weekly Bilin demonstration, Maan and Al-Ahram reported that PA Prime Minister Fayyad said “either we achieve freedom from the Israeli occupation or we will demand instant Israeli citizenship, including the right to vote.” There is a reprint of the Al Ahram article here and the Maan article is here.

      *PLO Executive Committee Member Saeb Erekat recently stated “If the United States wants the Palestinian Authority to continue to exist, then the price is the establishment of a Palestinian state in keeping with the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital . . . But if the United States vetoes accepting Palestine to the United Nations in the Security Council, uses its financial aid to the PA as political blackmail and leaves Israel as the source of authority, then in my opinion, the PA must cease to exist. . . .The Palestinian Authority has a mission called independence. If the PA cannot achieve independence, it’s better that it didn’t exist at all.” link to haaretz.com

      *PA President Abbas has talked about dismantling the PA in the event negotiations fail and the UN does not recognize a Palestinian state: “Abbas has said that if peace negotiations collapse, the Palestinians might seek unilateral U.N. recognition of a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War.

      If all efforts fail, Abbas said, “I will tell the Americans and the Israelis, come and put an end to all this. I can’t continue like this. We have an occupation and [at the same time] we don’t. No, keep it all and release me (from my responsibility).”

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    18. Bosko

      @Ben Israel …
      “as Obama says “illegitmate” (whatever that means)”
      His use of the term “illegitimate” very appropriately describes the prevailing mood of humanity. As history unfolds, this mood too will change in the same way that there used to be prejudice against children born out of wedlock. They too used to be called illegitimate and worse …
      In the same way, after humanity will move on from their dependence on the oil sheiks, they will put the settlements into real perspective. They will accept the fact that places like East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion had a Jewish population before the 1948 war of aggression that the Arabs initiated against the Jews. In that war, the Arabs managed to gain the upper hand in those places and consequently ethnically cleansed the Jewish populatins of those places. But in 1967, after another war of aggression, the Jews regained places like East Jerusalem and Gush Etzion. Having done that, it wasn’t illogical for Jews to want to return to live in dwellings where they previously lived. And in the case of East Jerusalem, Jews lived there, continuously for millenia.
      So people like Obama want to call the return of Jews to East Jerusalem illegitimate? So be it … Let them … History will treat that label in the same way that they treat the label of ‘illegitimate children’ today. They won’t care about it. People are funny that way. They can have prejudices, they can deceive themselves and others for a while. But eventually they come to their senses and common sense prevails.

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    19. @Bosko – you’re right, the correct term they use is “illegitimate”.

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    20. Rico

      @Ami @RichardNYC. I have to side with Richard here. Yossi’s article was a convincing indictment of the last few decades of israeli policy, and your article here is a convincing indictment of the current policy of both the US and Israeli governments. But neither one attempts in earnest to make the case that this vote and US/Israeli opposition to it will lead to a one-state solution. @Hostage brought up some good points on the Palestinian side. Is that the argument? That once they’ve tried statehood, and it hasnt worked, that they’ll stop demanding a state and instead demand equal rights? I mean, that could be plausible, but at least TELL US what you’re thinking is rather than just repeating that they’re making the one-state solution inevitable.

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    21. @Rico – I think my earlier comments speak for themselves.

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    22. Bosko

      “@Bosko – you’re right, the correct term they use is “illegitimate”
      And the implication behind what they say, whether they intend it or not, is that they condoned the ethnic cleansing of Jews by Arabs from places like East Jerusalem in 1948. Otherwise, why do they call the return of Jews to East Jerusalem after 1967 illegitemate?

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    23. Simon Belmondo


      Because the road to 1947 is paved with 1967. The two-state solution, as envisioned by Arafat at least, was designed to fail from the state. The simple fact is that Israel will never allow a real independent neighboring state of Palestine West of the Jordan River. Never. Even if they did they would find a way to occupy it again.

      The ultra orthodox will never allow their ‘mortal enemies’ to have ‘Judea and Samaria’ lest it be the destruction of Israel and that is how they view a two-state solution. The destruction of Israel. The two-state solution dies this week.

      Expect Bibi to mention the holocaust, not being occupiers in their ceremonial homeland, Palestinians as terrorists, they face a daily existence threat (mention the recent Egypt thing), rockets, Hezbollah, rejected ‘generous offers’, Hamas and their charter, Iran and nukes, Ahmadinejad is Hitler, Assad is Hitler, Erdogan is Hitler, suitcase nukes, they are real democracy (LOL), Palestinian economy is better under occupation than some ME nations, why is everybody picking on Israel instead of Syria and Iran, ‘Islamofascism’, Neo-Ottoman Turkey, the Egyptian embassy thing, the Arab Spring as a farce, Jerusalem is theirs, they must recognize Israel as the Jewish state, cherry tomatoes, Kibbutz, Intel Core cpus, etc. Usual deal.

      Expect people to walk out on him

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    24. Anyone have any demonstrated evidence that the PEOPLE prefer to govern as a single-state, rather than overwhelming majorities of Israelis preferring that they self-govern as Israel, and overwhelming majorities of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians preferring that they self-govern as Palestinians?

      Any evidence at all?

      There are grave dangers to a democratic single-state, beyond the oft-repeated fear of terror (by zealots on both sides).

      The largest consequence that I can imagine (not a good one for Palestinians that desire a state of Palestinian character), is that much larger portions of the West Bank will be Judaicized and commercialized. (The commercialization and gentrification is likely with any stabilizing solution.)

      The obstacles noted of pincer settlements in East Jerusalem, are real, but they are obstacles.

      The threat that there will be no longer a viable Palestine is a real one, but one that can still be undone, if intended.

      And, that will remain for a very long time.

      The legal tension between a recognized Palestine and the Israeli imagined facts on the ground, will remain, and require resolution.

      There is the possibility that an otherwise viable Palestinian state would not feasibly have East Jerusalem as capital.

      That would be a difficult decision to accept. Or, if a peace were a real prospect, Israel should be able to accommodate a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

      Or, the literal green line could be border, even if settlement apartments even cut across it. The identification of streets in Israel vs streets in Palestine could be sum total of adjustments to borders.

      The two-state remains the only rational approach for those that desire that self-governance be the political norm.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Bosko

      Simon says …
      “Because the road to 1947 is paved with 1967”
      No doubt, no doubt at all … By some weird quantum effect of course 🙂

      Reply to Comment
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