by David Solway
The current eruption of violence in
Unfortunately, the road map will prove to be nothing more than a roadblock. To begin with, many Palestinians are not interested in a two-state solution to their predicament. Palestinian political behaviour and a myriad of polls and studies strongly indicate that the majority of Palestinians do not want a state of their own alongside a Jewish state. They want
The only difference between Hamas and Fatah is that the latter is more flexible in its strategy, pursuing not the thunderbolt policy of Hamas but the road map to serialized conquest. Hamas, like
This is precisely the goal that would be attained by implementing a second proposal that has been gathering momentum of late, namely the creation of a "single bilateral state." Indeed, many prominent figures have abandoned the two-state policy. Leila Farsakh, a professor at the University of Massuchesetts, has published an article in the Palestinian advocacy site The Electronic Intifada, reprinted in Le monde diplomatique for March 7, 2007, blaming stalled negotiations on "Israeli apartheid" and opting for a "one-state solution." Her position is by no means anomalous; it is widely shared by many of her peers and colleagues, both in the
In an article in The New York Review of Books for October 23, 2003, entitled "Israel: The Alternative," historian Tony Judt, by now a leading figure in the ideological constituency of the anti-Israeli Left, had already called for the dissolution of Israel, arguing for "a single, integrated, binational state of Jews and Arabs." The recently retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, has also picked up the cudgels, objecting to
This, of course, is pure nonsense. The Palestinian Authority's Basic Law declares that "Islam is the official religion in
Naturally, in such a single-state scenario with its Palestinian majority, the very real likelihood that those Jews who had not been purged would be marked as dhimmis does not ruffle the single-stater's serenity. "How anyone in their right mind," marvels Menachem Keller in the essay collection The Jewish Divide over Israel, "could believe that…this mooted 'state of all its citizens' would respect the rights of minorities (or of majorities for that matter) is beyond comprehension. People who hold this view are either cynical in the extreme or naïve in the extreme. In the former case they knowingly condemn my family and me to persecution and probable death; in the latter case, they insouciantly and casually condemn us to the same fate."
In the event, the Palestinians would then get their state ready-made, without having to endure the labour of building it for themselves. The Israelis will have done all the work, developing a nonpareil scientific and academic establishment, forging a strong industrial base, devising irrigation techniques to reclaim the desert, draining the malarial marshlands and making world-class discoveries in cybernetics, medical technology and research paradigms. The Palestinians would then inherit what they do not deserve and what they have, up to now, done everything in their power to thwart—and, if their performance in Gaza is any indication, would more than likely run into the ground in no time flat. Israeli society may be far from perfect, but Palestinian society is not even close to being far. We might put it this way:
In the present context, a return to the status quo ante may be the only way to keep the lid on the boiling cauldron. The counterproductive peace sham must be put out of its misery and new and different initiatives undertaken. With regard to the "peace process," we might reverse the old maxim: if it's not fixable, break it—and try something more "creative." The prolonged and anticlimactic "peace" negotiations are like a mumblecore film, improvised, scriptless, heavy on verbiage, camera-reliant, second-rate actors like Olmert, Livny, Abbas and Mashaal pretending to be stars.
Thus it may be politically expedient to apply a clause of prudential revocation to a peace process that is all process and no peace, and engage rather in a "mediatorial process" that envisages the return of the Gaza Strip to
Threatened by a zymotic Palestinian enclave,
The only viable way of dealing with so explosive a situation is to opt for what we might call a "three-state solution":
David Solway is the award-winning author of over twenty-five books of poetry, criticism, educational theory, and travel. He is a contributor to magazines as varied as the Atlantic, the Sewanee Review, Books in
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