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Would the creation of a Palestinian State next to Israel as a Jewish State really be the only possible alternative?

By François Lazar, 25-09-2010

Is the official orientation that demands the creation of a Palestinian State within the 1967 boundaries realistic? What is it based on? On the occasion of the new peace talks, opened under the Barack Obama presidency, but taken up by Hillary Clinton, the prospect of the two States is once again being presented as the ultimate goal. During the recent United Nations Assembly (September 23rd), Obama, bombastically declared: (…) we can come back here next year, as we have for the last 60 years, and make long speeches about it (...) Or, we can say that this time will be different -- that this time we will not let terror, (...) stand in the way. This time, we will think not of ourselves, but of the young girl in Gaza who wants to have no ceiling on her dreams, or the young boy in Sderot who wants to sleep without the nightmare of rocket fire

Making use of the children's sufferings, drawing a parallel between two entirely disproportionate situations barely conceals the American president's contempt for the children he mentions, especially the Palestinian children of Gaza who are regularly assailed by fright, hunger and bombings. But Obama considers that terrorism is the hallmark of the Palestinians, that the problem is Palestinian.

The two-state solution would therefore be the lesser evil, the only realistic one, the only one in conformity with the partition of Palestine ordered by the United Nations in 1947. The two-state solution is advocated by the proponents of the road map (the Quartet) as well as by do-gooders. It essentially and desperately aims at enabling the State of Israel to survive and, above all to be incorporated into the region.

What are the problems?

The Palestinian State will never be created on the whole extent of the West Bank. Everyone knows that Israel will never forsake the West Bank where 500 000 Israelis now live (including East Jerusalem) and where, also, 25% of the fresh water resources are located. Can we imagine that the withdrawal of any Israeli presence from the territories is possible? Colonisation is part and parcel of the Zionist project. It even is the prerequisite. What would be the cost of such separation? What Israeli government, what American government wishes to have a civil war in Israel? And if, with much imagination, such a move could take place, what would be the fate of the hundreds of thousand Arab Palestinians who are living inside Israel? Would this make it possible to realise the right to return of Palestinians to their lands, the villages they originated from? If however, an agreement, an international force, or even a popular movement bringing about a political upheaval could possibly make the disengagement of Israel from the West Bank possible, it would also have the capacity to implement equal rights and political democracy for all the components living on the historic territory of Palestine. Separation or equal right: they are indeed two different political orientations.

The State of Palestine — which will be a State in name only —, will be created where the State of Israel and the United States decide for it to be created. It is for this reason that we are told about the involvement of the United States and of the European Union, of the Israeli accommodating spirit and of the Palestinian intractability. The State of Israel, founded on Zionist ideology, will not give up its objectives of conquering the totality of historic Palestine. Who can say the opposite? What can only be called American imperialism will never give up its objective of controlling the region's oil reserves, which implies that all the peoples be enslaved, all the national and democratic demands be quelled. The Palestinian people as a whole, whether living inside the Hebrew State, in the territories that have been occupied since 1967, in the refugee camps or elsewhere, in the diaspora, will never give up the rights that institute their identity, with the right to return for a start.

So, to quote, Netanyahu's profoundly cynical declaration, each party should make painful concessions and everything will turn out right. We will have two protagonists sitting at the negotiation table, capable of making concessions.

Mahmoud Abbas, who speaks on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, is the one who negotiates in the name of the Palestinian people. The leading team of the Palestinian Authority, a genuinely servile guard for the American sponsor, who commands the wages of its 160 000 civil servants, took control of the PLO in a move that smacked more of a putsch than of democratic debate. The move was a necessary phase in the resumption of the peace process. The Palestinian Authority, set up by the Oslo Accords in 1993 in order to sow discord within the Palestinian national movement and to corrupt any independent expression, is today headed by Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidential mandate expired more than a year and a half ago. His Prime Minister, Salam Fayad, a former top administrator of the IMF, who never was a member of a PLO organisation, counts only on repression for reaching his objectives (as the United States of America does in all the countries they wish to control). The Israeli government was able to push its policy of appropriation and of repression against any form of resistance only with the active participation of the PA police forces, under the leadership of American general Dayton who retains in his jails more Palestinian prisoners than in the Israeli jails. As for Hamas, whose major purpose is to head the Palestinian Authority in the place of Fatah, it pays the cost of its closeness with Iran and essentially serves as official icon of Palestinian intractability.

On the Israeli side, Binyamin Netanyahu accepted to take part in the so-called direct negotiation game only to get the PA-PLO to recognise the Hebrew state as a Jewish State. This need to affirm the Jewish character of the Hebrew State expresses the uncertainties of the Jewish populations on the one hand and of their leaders on the other hand for their future fate as they are integrated into the region by force and through land theft. More serious still, this demand announces renewed sufferings, renewed expulsions for the Palestinians, especially those who live inside the 1948 borders which would not match the ethnic or religious criteria of a State defined and especially recognised as Jewish. Like every State, Israel is first and foremost the state of the ruling class. It is the State of those who invest in it, whether they are Jews, Christians or Muslims – or more simply weapon-mongerers. Will the fact that the PA-PLO recognizes a Jewish character improve the living conditions of the (Jewish) quarter of the population of Israel living below poverty level? It’s dubious. Such acknowledgement would give legitimacy to the Israeli oppressors in their ethnic cleansing project.

Therefore, the formation of an entity which will mockingly go under the name of Palestinian State is central to the mechanism aiming at the preservation of the Zionist State. That is why leaders such as Shimon Peres or Ehud Barak are the major proponents of this scheme. But the Zionist State collides head-on with the resistance of an entire people and, beyond, more or less consciously, of all the peoples who fight to have their rights respected. Once again, how can one think just for one moment that the Palestinian people will give up their land and their right to return?

The fate of the Palestinian people — just as the fate of the Iraqi or Afghan people to mention only those —, is unimportant for the United States. Its main goal is to advance the normalisation of the relations between Israel and the so-called moderate Arab States (i.e. those whose autocratic rulers are pro-American, like Egypt or Jordan) in order to embed their influence in this oil-producing region crucial for their economy and to counter the influence of Iran.

The partition of Palestine, the organised, planned, structured division of the populations is an essential element of control and order-maintaining: the colonialist order whose basic goal is looting and swindling.

The two-state prospect is an absolute impasse. It is the impasse of the US agenda in the region banning the right of the peoples to self-determination and which maintains hated regimes by force. The State of Israel is a penal colony for the Palestinians while it plunges the Jewish populations into uncertainty. It is a regional expression of the American policies. Their fates are inextricably linked.

If there are several solutions, one only is democratic.

We are more and more frequently told that if the peace process fails, a single State — which in fact already does exist — will control the entire territory, which will plunge the Palestinian populations into apartheid — which also does exist, in fact. Just one word on the problem of apartheid in Palestine, where many democratic activists refer to the disappearance of that regime in South Africa as the model: today, in South Africa, over 40% of the population (mostly Black people) continue living in slums, with no access to clean tap water. Some 50% of the people survive on less than one dollar a day, i.e. below the official poverty level. 40% of the working age people are jobless. In their overwhelming majority (about 90%), the homeless and jobless are Blacks. Since the collapse of apartheid, they have the right to vote, to vote for Black leaders that implement the whites' economic agenda. Is that the desirable model for a Palestine released from the colonial yoke? In South Africa, social apartheid is still with us and has even worsened and it is its dismantling which is on the agenda for the masses of disenfranchised Black peoples.

Demanding the two-state solution is either sheer indecency or outright deceit, the more so when the right to return is associated to the demand. If the outcome of the longest peace process in history is not the tiniest prospect of peace, it is because peace requires that political democracy and equal rights become reality, starting with the rights of the oppressed populations. These are demands that will only be able to be made in a democratic and secular State. These are demands that are not compatible with American imperialism's policy of pillage and domination.

From DIALOGUE REVIEW ( www.dialogue-review.com )