Study group calls for new form of
resistance to Israeli occupation with goal of single, bi-national
by Rory McCarthy
A group of prominent Palestinian figures has proposed a radical change in
strategy to demand a single, bi-national state if the current round of
Middle East peace talks fails.
The Palestinian Strategy Study Group, an EU-funded project written by 27
leading Palestinian figures from across the political spectrum, argued that
the current two-state framework for peace talks is failing to bring the
promised independent state. Instead, it suggested ending the negotiation
process that has gone on now for nearly 20 years, reconstituting the
Palestinian Authority into what might become a "Palestinian Resistance
Authority", and developing a form of "smart" resistance.
"The central aim will be to maximise the cost of continuing occupation for
Israel, and to make the whole prospect of unilateral separation unworkable,"
it said. The final, and most striking proposal, is to shift to a "single
state outcome" as the Palestinians' preferred goal. This, it said, would
regain the strategic initiative for the Palestinians.
"Although many Palestinians may still prefer a genuine negotiated two-state
solution, a failure of the present Annapolis initiative will greatly
strengthen those who argue against this," the report said. "Most
Palestinians are then likely to be convinced that a negotiated agreement is
no longer possible."
It is not the first time a bi-national state has been proposed as a
Palestinian goal, but the new report signals a marked shift in Palestinian
thinking at a time when the latest peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinians are yet again struggling to make any headway. Questions are now
being asked on both sides about the future of the two-state solution that
for so long has been the framework of Middle East peacemaking.
The greatest disquiet is on the Palestinian side, where even moderates are
now beginning to sense the two-state formula is moving out of reach. . . .
[For some, such as the intellectuals and activists who make up the
Palestinian Strategy Group (which recently made this case in Arabic
newspapers), talk of a one-state scenario is meant to warn Israel of the
dangers posed by its expansionist policies. This group would still prefer a
two-state solution to emerge. Others, however, are returning to the
one-state vision first espoused by Fatah (the mainstream Palestinian
nationalist movement) back in the late '60s. The first group believes that
one-state talk might help knock some sense into the heads of Israeli
decision-makers. The second prefers a one-state solution because it would
create a government they would eventually control as a demographic
majority.--Sari Nusseibeh, "The One-State Solution,"
Newsweek, September 29, 2008]
["We have to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, the meaning of which
is that in practice we will withdraw from almost all the territories, if not
all the territories," Olmert said. . . .
[In April 1975, Israel expropriated 11 square miles east of Jerusalem "for
public use." In 1977, another square mile was taken. . . .
Most of the built-up area of Maale Adumim lies inside the land that was confiscated.
This is a prima facie violation of international law. Under the 1907 Hague
Convention, an occupying power may expropriate land only for the public use
of the occupied population. Taking private West Bank land for Israeli use is
therefore barred.--Gershom Gorenberg, "Failure Written in West Bank Stone,"
Washington Post, September 29, 2008]
[Shlomo Sand . . . argues that the Jews were never exiled from the Holy
Land, that most of today's Jews have no historical connection to the land
called Israel and that the only political solution to the country's conflict
with the Palestinians is to abolish the Jewish state..--Jonathan Cook, "Israel's
surprising best seller contradicts founding ideology,"
electronicintifada.net, October 8, 2008]
[Saudi Arabia first proposed the peace initiative in 2002, offering pan-Arab
recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from Arab lands
captured in 1967 - the West Bank, Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and the Golan
Heights.--Aron Heller, "Israel reopens Saudi peace plan,"
Independent, October 20, 2008]
[Resolution 242 . . . passed in November 1967, after Israel had occupied
Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai and Golan, and it emphasises
"the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and calls for
"withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent
Readers who know the problem here will be joined by those who will
immediately pick it up. The Israelis say that they are not required to
withdraw from all the territories - because the word "all" is missing and
since the definite article "the" is missing before the word "territories",
its up to Israel to decide which bits of the occupied territories it gives
up and which bits it keeps.--Robert Fisk, "One
missing word sowed the seeds of catastrophe," Independent, December
[Israeli and international corporations are directly involved in the
occupation: in the construction of Israeli colonies and infrastructure in
the occupied territories, in the settlements' economy, in building walls and
checkpoints, in the supply of specific equipment used in the control and
repression of the civilian population under occupation.--"Exposing the Israeli Occupation
Industry," whoprofits.org, January 12, 2009]
[What if the Palestinian Arabs who have lived for decades under the heel of
the modern Israeli state are in fact descended from the very same "children
of Israel" described in the Old Testament? . . .
And what if most modern Israelis aren't descended from the ancient
Israelites at all, but are actually a mix of Europeans, North Africans and
others who didn't "return" to the scrap of land we now call Israel and
establish a new state following the attempt to exterminate them during World
War II, but came in and forcefully displaced people whose ancestors had
lived there for millennia?
What if the entire tale of the Jewish Diaspora - the story recounted at
Passover tables by Jews around the world every year detailing the ancient
Jews' exile from Judea, the years spent wandering through the desert, their
escape from the Pharaoh's clutches - is all wrong?
That's the explosive thesis of When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?,
a book by Tel Aviv University scholar Shlomo Zand (or Sand) that sent
shockwaves across Israeli society when it was published last year. After 19
weeks on the Israeli best-seller list, the book is being translated into a
dozen languages and will be published in the United States this year by
Verso.--Joshua Holland, "Controversial Bestseller
Shakes the Foundation of the Israeli State," Alternet, January 28,
VIDEO: Mirza Yawar Baig, "The Gaza Song,"
youtube.com, January 30, 2009
[It is very clear to me, as well as to anyone else who declines to see the
conflict through an Israeli prism, that only when an American President
flatly tells the Israelis that they must move the settlers out of the West
Bank, there will be no peace, only more occupation, more brutality, more
violations of international law, and more bloody slaughters of civilians
such as the one we only recently witnessed in Gaza. Anything short of that
leaves the Israelis in complete control, and it will leave America with more
and more enemies not only in the Middle East, but around the world.--James
More Charades, Please! Obama, Mitchell and the Palestinians,"
counterpunch.org, February 6, 2009]
[In a direct challenge to President Barack Obama's commitment to rejuvenate
moribund Mideast peace talks, Israel on Thursday dismissed American-led
efforts to establish a Palestinian state and laid out new conditions for
renewed negotiations.--Dion Nissenbaum, "Plan for
Palestinian state is 'dead end,' Israel tells U.S.," McClatchy
Newspapers, April 16, 2009]
[Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no interest in a two-state
solution, much less ending settlement expansion. He and his government want
a "greater Israel," which means maintaining effective control of the West
Bank and Gaza.--Stephen M. Walt, "Settling for Failure in the Middle East,"
Washington Post, September 20, 2009]
[In an innovative strategy which would not depend on the success of
currently stalled negotiations with Israel, the leaders are preparing a push
to secure formal UN Security Council support for a Palestinian state based
on 1967 borders as a crucial first step towards the formation of a
state.--Donald Macintyre, "Palestinian
push for an independent state causes Israeli alarm," Independent,
November 16, 2009]
VIDEO: Mark Braverman, "Fatal
Embrace," youtube.com, January 11, 2010
[ . . . Israel's defence minister said what Mr Carter had. "If, and as long
as between the Jordan (River) and the (Mediterranean) Sea there is only one
political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or
non-democratic," warned Ehud Barak, speaking at Israel's annual Herzliya
security conference. "If the Palestinians vote in elections it is a
binational state and if they don't vote it is an apartheid state." --Tony
Karon, "The apartheid will end when Israelis have to face its
cost," National (UAE), February 7, 2010]