I’m a longtime supporter of a two-state solution for Israel/Palestine. Paradoxically, however, I’ve become convinced over the last few years that the best way to get there is to push for a one state solution.
As any parent knows, there are times when giving a child what he/she wants is the best way to convince them they really don’t want it. After fifty years of occupation, and given Bibi’s declaration that he’d never agree to a two-state solution, the lip service given to that solution by the Israeli administration is simply a way to keep the status quo while expanding settlements. It is time for the international community to declare that Israel has in fact annexed the West Bank and call for full rights for the Palestinians. That presents several unpalatable or outright impossible choices ranging from ethnic cleansing to apartheid to the loss of a Jewish voting majority.
As liberals, we should be calling for this recognition of de facto annexation. That doesn’t mean acceptance, but it would force the issue and forestall the continued slow motion annexation and ethnic cleansing which are the reality of the expanded settlement project.
I believe this is what Mahmoud Abbas has had in mind when he has “threatened” to let Israel administer the Palestinian territories. A negotiated settlement is simply not going to happen, and the type of economic sanctions that have been deployed against Russia and that succeeded in South Africa are not in the cards. It is time to quit playing an enabling, and losing, game.
Richard Frenkel Swampscott, MA