Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should unite, unequivocally renounce violence and jettison the U.S.-led peace process which is “a corpse that has had formaldehyde pumped into its veins for over a decade” – this is the diagnosis and prescription of Professor Rashid Khalidi, one of the leading Palestinian intellectuals in the world.
“Nobody believes that firing rockets and getting 1,400 people killed in response is ‘resistance’ that is going to liberate Palestine, and nobody believes that talking with the U.S., with Dennis Ross putting his thumb on the scales in favor of Israel, which is already overwhelmingly superior, is going to produce an equitable and just and lasting solution of the Palestine question. If you still believe that - you have to have your head examined,” the U.S.-born Khalidi said.
Khalidi, a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid peace process in the early 1990s, and one of the first proponents of a two-state solution expressed grave doubts about the chances for its implementation, because of what he describes as the “inexorable work of the bulldozers” and Israel’s “settlement-industrial complex”. In any case, he added, the two-state solution was but a “way station” that would not mean end-of-conflict and would still necessitate agreement on Palestinian refugees and on Israel’s “Palestinian minority” before a comprehensive settlement could be achieved.
A “one-state solution already exists,” he added, because “there is only one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, in which there are two or three levels of citizenship or non-citizenship within the borders of that one state that exerts total control.”
Laying much of the blame for their situation on the Palestinians themselves, he called on them to “re-imagine” the way a Palestinian state would work. “Why not have a Palestinian state in which Jews live? What’s wrong with that?” And in what might sound as an echo of Israeli complaints about the “Tel Aviv state”, Khalidi said that Palestinian leaders need to mobilize their people and “get them out their expensive Audis and Mercedes and out of their bubble in Ramallah where everyone is prosperous and there is no unemployment.”
Khalidi refused to discuss any aspect of his personal relations with U.S. President Obama, which featured so prominently in the 2008 presidential campaign and was used to criticize Obama’s attitude toward Israel. But Khalidi’s criticism of the President’s Middle East policies is withering: “I had low expectations and my low expectations were more than fulfilled. He’s done considerably worse than I would have expected.”
For more, go to Haaretz.com