Forget the peace process. It’s time for a civil rights movement

Posted: September 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Left, The Right, the US and us | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

You have to give it to Netanyahu: he has managed to sail through this week magnificently. He got to meet Obama and Abu Mazen on his own terms, without publicly agreeing to a settlements freeze that would have put his right wing coalition in danger; he made no new commitments or promises to the American administration or to the Palestinian President; he enjoys the full support of Ehud Barak on his left and Liberman on his Right, and his speech on Iran and the Holocaust won many praises here. It was, I believe, a cynical use of the Holocaust, but the Israeli public was certainly impressed. To Israelis, the whole world, and especially the UN, has become a sort of a threat – full of boycott supporters, Halocaust deniers, pro-Arab media and anti-Israeli propaganda. So the feeling was that Netanyahu “taught them a lesson”.

Netanyahu’s picture – waving Auschwitz’s blueprint, which was given to him a month ago in Germany – is on the front page of the weekend papers. As Barak Ravid reported in Haaretz at the time, Netanyahu was a bit arrogant, even rude, towards Israel’s friends in Germany who handed him the blueprint, but who remembers this now? The PM is coming back to Israel as a winner, his approval ratings are high, and he made the American president – who is considered by Netanyahu as the biggest political threat he is facing – look like an amateur.

But what’s the purpose of all this impressive maneuvering, except for political survival, which is not a goal by itself? Where does the Prime Minister want to go? Does he have some sort of vision regarding our relations with the Palestinians? What’s his plan? Except for accepting the general notion of a Palestinian state, without explaining how exactly he will get there, Netanyahu never told anyone what is it exactly that he wants to do. I still think that he doesn’t really know.

This issue does not hurt Netanyahu on the Israeli public. On the contrary. Strange as it may seem to none-Israelis, who keep hearing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all the time, Israelis don’t feel any urgency to solve the Palestinian problem. In fact, many of them don’t see “the problem” at all. For them, things can stay the way they are. Unlike in the 90′s, all the “carrots” that are offered in order to convince the Israelis that they will benefit from the process, are completely worthless. Twenty years ago, when Israel didn’t have diplomatic relations even with India or Chine, and many international companies gave in to the Arab boycott and refrained from doing business here (even Pepsi wasn’t sold in Israel), every change was exiting. Now, when Israelis are exporting High-Tech products to the US and are traveling by the millions on cheap flights to London, Berlin and Bangkok, who care if we have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia? What difference would it make in our life? As for security, Israelis believe that they will take care of it themselves, and that an agreement would actually make them less safe. The whole way of thinking about the peace process that the American administration is using went out of date a decade ago. Even the term “peace process” itself feels outdated.

This can all be very frustrating, and I admit I hoped Obama would be able to turn the wheel ten years backwards – in a way, I still do – but I’m becoming convinced that a new strategy is needed.


I’ve been thinking about this lately a lot, and I believe we should change the whole way we treat the situation. We should even change the terms we use to describe it. I referred in the past to the idea of leaving the two-state plan behind, and moving to a one-state solution – something more and more people on the left do lately – but even this does not seem right. For start, most Palestinians still prefer the two states idea and want nothing to do with Israel, and second, the path to both solutions seems extremely unclear now, especially with the Palestinians themselves divided.

What we should do, I think, is go back to looking at the situation as a human and civil rights problem. we should look at what makes the situation in the West Bank so unique. By that I mean that the Palestinians are not the only people on earth under occupation – take Tibet, for example, or Chechnya – but they are the only people without equal citizenship in the occupying country. It seems very trivial, but it’s not. Israelis say that the world is unfair to them: there are many nations who never received their own state: from the Kurds to the Basks. So why pick on us? There is occupied land everywhere. What makes the West Bank so special?

The answer is simple: the occupation does not refer to the land. It refers to the people. Israel doesn’t want to give the Palestinians even the little that Chine gives the Tibetans: the right to be a citizen.

We need to go back to all the things that Palestinians can’t have, and discuss them: freedom of speech and movement. The right for political representation. The right to have a passport. The right for a fair trial. The right to be judged by your peers, and so on. If we re-politicize those very specific demands, they will ultimately lead to the greater political solution – be that one or two or even three states. Whatever political structure which will be able to give the Palestinians those rights.


There are other advantages for going back to discussing rights rather than solutions, or even peace: first, we don’t have to subscribe to Palestinian nationalism – something that as a lefty I always found very hard to do. Second, we don’t have to defend the Palestinians Autonomy when people say it is just too corrupt to become a fully functional state. What corruption has to do with Israel imposing limitations on the freedom of speech?

And the most important thing is that we don’t have to answer to the very serious demand the right has brought up again and again: that the Palestinians prove that their state won’t pose a threat to Israel’s security. And this is one test they can never pass, since even if there is not one incident throughout the negotiations – no rockets, no suicide attacks, not even a stabbing – what promises that there won’t be one in a year, in five years, in ten? One can always claim – as most Israelis do – that “the Palestinians can’t be trusted”, especially after the way the withdrawal from Gaza ended.

Instead of trying to prove to Israelis that a Palestinian state is in their interest, or just harmless – something which will be very difficult to do, and might not even be true – the dilemma should be returned to the Israeli side. The world, through whatever means, should put forth the following message, just as it did with South Africa:

The Palestinians have no rights. This is unacceptable. What solution does Israel have to offer?

And then to take it from there.

24 Comments on “Forget the peace process. It’s time for a civil rights movement”

  1. 1 Mo-ha-med said at 1:01 am on September 26th, 2009:

    “The Palestinians have no rights. This is unacceptable. What solution does Israel have to offer?”

    Well, there’s both the “have to offer” and “is willing to offer”, which goes into the issue of the political feasibility of theoretically sound solutions.
    But the real issue is -
    If the answer you get to your question is “none” – what do you do then?

  2. 2 noam said at 3:20 am on September 26th, 2009:

    Mohamed – I’m not that naïve to think that Israel will “offer” a solution, but I do think that it will be easier to apply political (and even economical) pressure regarding the issue of rights – like it was done in South Africa – and that Israel might no be able to argue against granting the Palestinians their rights, as it did with regards to the Palestinian state.

    I also think that it will be a good tactical move – once Israelis understand the new demand from the world, I do think there will be a rush to present a solution, and you might even see most of the Israeli right adopt and promote the two state plan. I also think that a civil right struggle will help Palestinian to regain some of the support in the world that the suicide attacks and rockets lost them.

    And finally, I think this way of thinking is more consistent morally with my own personal values.

  3. 3 tamar said at 5:04 am on September 26th, 2009:

    Noam, kol hakavod (again). An original suggestion that I suggest you submit as an Op-Ed, say, to the New York Times.

  4. 4 Mo-ha-med said at 7:00 am on September 26th, 2009:

    Noam – I would second Tamar’s suggestion. Your writing, now and before, is thought-provoking and debate inspiring, and this is probably what is most needed now.

    Now – I must disagree with your argument. (well, I did say ‘debate inspiring’, right? :) )

    There will be no political, nor economical pressure applied on Israel. The reaction to Netanyahu’s speech, who used every old argument in the book – as you noted, all the Holocaust references – is a good reminder that attitudes are not going to change, nor within, nor outside Israel. As for the “new demands of the world” you refer to – I’m not holding my breath. We’re at the point where the Israeli administration is comfortable enough to demand that Arab countries normalise relationships with it in exchange for a 9-month settlement freeze. Am I the only one seeing the ridicule is that?

    There will be no sizable external pressure. There will be no pressure from within Israel either.
    The only pressure that has the potential to change things – for better or worse – will come from the Palestinians.
    And it won’t be by boycotting Ahava’s beauty products.

    I fear for Israel the day the Palestinians realise that.

  5. 5 noam said at 10:00 am on September 26th, 2009:

    Tamar, Mohamed – thanks for your comments and your kind words.

    Mohamed – what can I say, you might be right. So far, no effective pressure has been applied on Israel with regards to the Palestinian problem. Yes, as you say, the Palestinians are mostly on their own, and their political achievements so far were the result of their own struggle – sometimes violent struggle – against the occupation. As an Israeli, I will not praise this line of action for the obvious reasons, but I can understand why so many people don’t believe in diplomacy anymore.

    On the other hand, we have to keep an open mind, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do with my writing here. History has taught us that nothing is inevitable,
    and that changes do occur. Personally, I still have high hopes from what’s going on in the US. The administration might had some bad moves, but I think that among many people, including Israel’s so called supporters, there is real thinking as to where the Cart Blanch the US has given Israel led us.

  6. 6 Judy said at 11:36 am on September 26th, 2009:

    Excuse me, isn’t there such a body as the Palestinian Authority that the Palestinians of the West Bank vote for?

    And don’t the Palestinians of East Jerusalem have the right to vote in the Israeli elections but for the most part decline to do so?

    And don’t both these amount to far greater rights than these Palestinians had during all the time the West Bank was ruled by the Jordanians? And that the Palestinians had in Lebanon and other Arab countries where they were denied voting rights?

    Yes, I’m sure the NY Times will be only too delighted to publish your brilliant ideas, with accompanying sycophantic gush. You’ll find the Guardian here in London will be just as enthusiastic and praise you to the skies for your clear-sightedness and bravery in standing against the elected government of Israel with just the entire liberal press of the western world with you in your lonely stand for justice.

    I particularly like your closing hopes in your comment to Tamar and Mohamed that the US will wade in and make Israel do what you think is good for it. Because that sentiment shows exactly where you stand in relation to democracy.

  7. 7 Ami Kaufman said at 12:52 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    First of all, it may be just me, but more than anything, in this post I felt that you’re frustrated. I hope I’m wrong, because if that’s the case, the good ideas don’t come from that state of mind.
    What I’d like to know is, who are you pitching this idea to? The Israelis? The Palestinians? And is it a call to drop arms? Or is it to keep fighting (but just for a different cause)? A call to wage Jihad for fair trials and passports instead of land?
    I ask who you’re pitching to, because you use the word “we”. Is this “us”, the left? The peaceniks on both sides? Or “us” two nations as a whole? If you’re pitching this to Israelis, well, that could be problematic. First of all, when I think “civil rights movements”, the first thing that pops to my mind is Martin Luther King jr, or Gandhi – the obvious, right? They were leaders from inside the opressed group. An Israeli leading that kind of movement would be a bit bizarre, no? And even if he tried, he would be easily delegtimized as another crazy lefty, leading some stupid Geneva Initiative kind of prank.
    But if you were asking the Palestinians, who would be their leader? Certainly not Abbas. Barghouti could be the classic “Mandela-calling-for-freedom-for-his-people-from-inside-his-cell” – but, he hasn’t lived up to that yet.
    But even more to the point, when you say “go back to look at it as a civil rights problem” – haven’t we always looked at it that way? Haven’t us lefties always been concerned about Palestinian rights? Or the fact that they have none to begin with? Isn’t a peace process actually a step forward, meaning, a recogniton that the situation is bad, a recognition of some sorts that the Palestinians are deprived of so many things, so let’s do something about it and give them a state. Aren’t you kind of suggesting, in a way, to go back to square one?
    I do agree with you that outside pressure might do the trick. I think it did in South Africa. Political pressure might be able to finally bring things around, if Obama actually had the guts to do it. I think he actually might, by the way, and that he has the conditions at home to do something.
    As for economic sanctions, I hope it doesn’t come to that. But if it did, they would probably be extremely effective. Like you said, twenty years ago Israel was a much different country. We’re a lot more spoiled now, we’re bigger consumers. It’ll be hard to live without things and comforts we take for granted.

    Mohamed – I gotta ask you, dude: Do you honestly think the only way for Palestinians to achieve anything is through warfare? (You sound just as frustrated as Noam :) )
    (By the way, I think the Palestinians have already realized that for a while now…)

  8. 8 Amitai Sandy said at 2:07 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    Maybe a leftist campaign for a one state solution will scare Israelis enough to want a two state solution?

    I had an idea of creating an online competition for designing the one state flag.

  9. 9 Lisa Goldman said at 2:20 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    Amitai, I would love to publicize an online competition for designing the one state flag. That’s a brilliant idea.

  10. 10 Branko said at 2:31 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    I vote that before we start the civil rights movement, we start the “Educate the Crackers what Democracy Is” movement. I am personally sick and tired of people that think that democracy starts and ends with the count of hands.

    For the democratically challenged, democracy = equality and freedom. Two principles of both the political system and the system of values dubbed Democracy. So if you undermine either one of those two principles even by a getting a 99% majority support on it, you are as democratic as Nicolae Ceausescu. And we all know how he ended.

    @Ami, when comparing this (not yet existent) civil rights movement with those civil right movements, you are focusing on the differences between the two, not on the similarities. I have heard the same arguments against the economic boycott, claiming that it worked for South Africa but it will never work for Israel due to all the differences between the two countries (black majority oppressed by the white minority as opposed to Israeli majority opressing Palestinian minority, race vs. nationality issue, etc.). not sure how those differences apply rendering the CR movement ineffective.

    Yes, there is a serious problem with the Palestinian leadership (or the lack of thereof), problem which was, if not created, then perpetuated by Israel. However, this is not only about the Palestinians, it is also about the Israelis. It is about providing the world with the right leverage to stop the occupation and thaw the dismantling of settlements. Right now, we are talking about the right to a state. A lot of countries in the world have their own minorities that ask for self definition and those countries fear setting a precedent anywhere else in the world (see what happened when Kosovo declared independence). Yet none of those countries deny civil rights to its minorities and therefore it will be much easier to stand behind that demand. You think Obama will hesitate to stand up against a situation where a minority is not allowed to drive on the same roads as the majority or not allowed to vote ? Not if he gets reminded of Rosa Parks.
    If we get the world to support the civil rights demands, I belive that Israel will dismantle the occupation much sooner than if we continue as we did till now, without the so much needed paradigm change.

    And @judy, i do not understand why do Israelis complain about the rockets from Gaza. Doesn’t their present security situation amount to much safer life than what they had under the Romans, Babylonians or the British Mandate ? (trying to avoid mentioning Nazis, but you know i could :) )

  11. 11 Mo-ha-med said at 4:23 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    Are we talking about civil rights for Israeli Palestinians — or for WB/GS/EJ Palestinians?
    Because, naive Q here – doesn’t the second option entail actually granting them citizenship?
    Because I, too, have been flirting with the idea of supporting a one-state solution…

    Ami – I don’t know if warfare is the only way the Palestinians are going to achieve anything. But given that it was the first intifada that forced Israel and the world to recognise their plight, and given that nothing but regression has taken place since the establishment of the Israel-friendly government in Ramallah, then we the precedent that the only thing that changed things was blood.

    Because, let’s face it, when left alone, most Israelis can’t be bothered about the occupation. Heck, if I were Israeli, I wouldn’t care about Palestinian rights either.

  12. 12 Ami Kaufman said at 10:27 pm on September 26th, 2009:

    Amitai, Lisa – The flag idea is great! Go for it…

    Mohamed – You’re right, most achievments have been through warfare.
    Your response kind of got me thinking, though, about how we’re all so desperate to get *something* moving already. Just look at how bizarre this conflict is, when in the beginning of your reply you can “flirt” with everyone living together in one state, and the next sentence you prove that most gains are achieved thru armed resistance. Talk about 180 degrees… :)
    Can’t blame ya, though

  13. 13 Aviv said at 2:02 am on September 27th, 2009:

    I join Judy’s question. That the Palestinian’s internal national institutions are less than democratic is not Israel’s problem – civil rights have to be earned in hard work of Palestinian nationbuilding. (In this case it would have to be the first Arab civil society, which is even harder.) That you choose to mostly ignore Judy is telling.

    Also, I cannot fathom why you insist that the Palestinians’ predicament is so uniquely bad. Like your protests on the state of Israeli Arabs, this is plain ignorance. Syrians under Syrian rule have a worse time than Palestinians under Israeli rule. You will never find Iranian interrogation and incarceration standards in Israeli facilities. What do you make of the Uighurs’ right of protest in China – on par with your standards? They do have Chinese citizenship, you know. And I don’t think a Belorussian judge is any more sympathetic to a local political prisoner than to a suspected spy from the West.

    Peoples have been occupied throughout history, none of them have been afforded such political freedoms and economic opportunities as the Palestinians have under Israeli rule, until they decided to squander it all for their stupid honor issues. That the left refuses to recognize the Palestinians’ agency is a huge factor in prolonging their misery. Tell me, Noam, when is it time for tough love for the Palestinians?

  14. 14 Judy said at 2:19 am on September 27th, 2009:

    Mohamed – You’re right, most achievments have been through warfare.

    Your response kind of got me thinking, though, about how we’re all so desperate to get *something* moving already. Just look at how bizarre this conflict is, when in the beginning of your reply you can “flirt” with everyone living together in one state, and the next sentence you prove that most gains are achieved thru armed resistance. Talk about 180 degrees

    Lots of highly selective memory going on here.

    Egyptian-Syrian attack on Israel 1973- result-no land recovered, eventual bloody defeat plus large Israeli casualities.
    Intifadas 2001 and ongoing-result huge numbers of Palestinian & Israeli casualities. Result –no land recovered, continuing huge restrictions on Palestinian movement.

    Egyptian out-of-blue approach to Begin by Sadat 1979. No armed struggle, war, just open approach to negotiate with Israel. Result: return of Sinai & accompanying demolition of Yamit settlement to Egypt. Cold peace holds to this day. Main casualty: Sadat, assassinated by MoslemBrotherhood. Forgot that one, did you folks?

    1987-1994 Secret negotiations between Peres and Hussein of Jordan culminated in peace treaty between Jordan & Israel including ceding/swap of territory by Israel.
    Result: cold peace to this day instead of the previous $18billion wasted on conflict.
    All done without the need for a US rock star to come and force them into it.

    Forgot that one too?

    So much more fun to posture as either (i) street fighting guys mouthing on about the joys of the armed struggle (the slogans and the wall posters are so much more attractively macho. Pity about the results) or (ii) to believe in Obama equating the entirely peace-loving Palestinians of the West Bank and their entirely moderate demands with Rosa Parks and then on the basis of that succeeding in forcing the democratic govt of Israel to do what the hard left of Israel wants them to do.


  15. 15 noam said at 2:32 am on September 27th, 2009:

    Aviv – I never claimed that the situation of the Palestinians is the worst in the world, or the worst in history. If I remember right, I even wrote specifically that this is not true. I was making a point regarding the unique legal position of the Palestinians with regards to the question of citizenship. And another thing: if your example for relations with minorities is Chine or Sudan, it might help making this point, but don’t call yourself the only democracy in the Middle East. I base my criticism on the liberal and democratic values, and I believe that should be the framework for the discussion.

    As for yours and Judy’s claim that the Palestinians should enjoy citizen (and human) rights under the PA (and therefore any complaints violations of these rights should be directed at Abu-Mazen) – it is clear for anyone who has spent five minutes on the ground that Israel is the real sovereign in the WB. I will try to answer this point, which is a very important one, in a separate post.

    Ami – I don’t speak out of frustration but rather out of the need to constantly re-think our political positions and tactics (as oppose to values). It is clear that there is a problem with the state building process, and not just the problem that it is going nowhere. In a sense, I do think that a “back to square one” approach can help here, and as for the leadership problem, I’m not too concerned about this right now. As an Israeli – and part of the occupying nation – I try not to pick up leaders for the Palestinians or give them grades. It’s their job, and their problem.

  16. 16 Ami Kaufman said at 2:34 am on September 27th, 2009:

    “Lost of selective memory going on here”.
    I second that Judy. (And may I add, “Lots of unnecesary patronizing tone going on here).

    6 day war – Israel doubles its size thru war.
    Forgot that one, too? (and please don’t give me the whole “we had to go to war” gig).
    I could go on, there are more examples, of course (both ways, by the way – gains for Israel, and gains for Arabs).
    But what I was trying to say, before you gave my words your own spin (thanks! :) ) was that although you’re right the Palestinians haven’t gotten their land back yet – but the wheels are in motion. It’ll take 5, 10, 15 more years – but deep down you know it, they’ll get it back. And it’s due to their armed struggle. So, deal with it.

  17. 17 James said at 11:32 am on September 27th, 2009:

    Again, ignoring what Palestinians actually want. Applying your academicized American discourse with a touch of post-national European flair, and voila — you’ve got your own patronizing solution, once again ignoring Palestinians.

    You might not like Fateh/PLO, you might have an aversion to Hamas, even most Palestinians are suspicious of them to a certain degree, but nevertheless these two (and a half) parties share both a broad membership and are representative of the people that go out and vote for them. And they want the right for self-declaration. Like in Israel, but not within Israel.

    Your role, as an Israeli, is to make that and only that possible. If the Palestinians change their mind — and they have the capacity to do so, as represented by such minority groups (which I deeply respect) such as the D/PFLP, then we can talk again about this.

  18. 18 Lisa Goldman said at 11:15 pm on September 27th, 2009:

    James, how do you know what the Palestinians want?

  19. 19 Judy said at 9:40 am on September 29th, 2009:

    although you’re right the Palestinians haven’t gotten their land back yet – but the wheels are in motion. It’ll take 5, 10, 15 more years – but deep down you know it, they’ll get it back. And it’s due to their armed struggle. So, deal with it.

    Reads like you’re a believer in historical inevitability. I remember reading the same things in earlier years about the inevitability of union with Greece re Cyprus and a united Ireland in response to the IRA armed struggle. Neither armed struggle campaign succeeded–and in situations where there was a competing non-colonial ethnic group with claims and deeply rooted historic settlement…

    And as for the gains of Israel in the Six-Day war–no, Israel wasn’t forced to act. They could have waited for the total defeat and holocaust Nasser promised them.

    There’s also the history of the Arab world’s previous attempts to use armed attacks on Israel to “regain” land, instead of agreeing to what was on offer at the time. Each bout led to the loss of more and more land.

    Never mind. To those who believe in the glorious goal of “getting their land back” (I seem to remember a history of previous Turkish Ottoman suzerainity and a motley range of local landlords), nothing will shift a belief in teleology.

  20. 20 Ami Kaufman said at 1:30 pm on September 29th, 2009:

    I wasn’t adressing the issue of whether Israel had to act or not. Only the issue of whether force\warfare can bring results. It did for Israel in the 6 day war. But go ahead, ignore it. It’s not like you brought it up in the first place, or anything.
    Reads like, um… like you don’t read yourself. :)

  21. 21 Ami Kaufman said at 1:53 pm on September 29th, 2009:

    oh, and about Ireland. I kind of thought things were going quite well, so far. Sure, there have been a few bumps on the road. But you’ve got the St. Andrews agreement from 2006, a SinnFein-DUP gov’t in 2007, and the British army ending Operation Banner.
    Dunno, maybe armed struggle works. Sometimes…. Can you give me that, Judy? A “sometimes”?
    Wait, I get it now. You weren’t saying that force achieves nothing – you were saying it only achieves nothing when used by Arabs against Jews… Oh OK, I get it now.

  22. 22 Judy said at 3:10 pm on September 29th, 2009:

    The present situation in Northern Ireland could have been achieved decades ago had the IRA not chosen to engage in armed struggle, and kept right on going through thousands of dead until they admitted defeat. Force kept back for decades what could have been achieved without the bloodshed. The same is true in my view for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict where the Palestinians played and continue to play maximalist demands at various levels, in contrast to the readiness of Egypt and Jordan to come to an accommodation through negotiations instead of terrorism and wars of attrition. And, in case you didn’t notice, both Egypt and Jordan are Arab countries, so don’t try to lay your exceptionalism on me.

  23. 23 Ami Kaufman said at 9:42 pm on September 29th, 2009:

    I would never lay anything on you, trust me.
    The only thing I do lay on you is the arrogance to say what “could have been achieved decades ago” in such a decisive manner, as if you’re some kind of conflict specialist. What allows you to say that with such certainty? What academic study, what clairvoyant powers do you have that tell you what could have been achieved? If that’s not “exceptionalism”, I don’t know what it is. And I didn’t lay it on you, you put it there. Get off that high horse, cuz it’ll hurt when you fall.
    (Oh, I forgot that Egypt and Jordan were Arab, thanks for pointing that out. Oh, and may I point out the struggle of the Palmach and the Hagganah and Lechi? Maybe you didn’t notice, but some people say they had some kind of part in our country coming to be. But I guess that’s an exception, right?)
    You point out that Egypt and Jordan were ready to deal thru negotiations. But you forgot that wars preceded them. Same things with the Palestinians: an armed struggle, with negotiations that will follow.
    Your “rule” has so many holes Judy, it tastes more like Swiss cheese than Oslo ever will.

  24. 24 Michael said at 5:56 am on September 30th, 2009:

    I agree. As the peace process was / is demanded as the prerequisite for establishing Palestinian Sovereignty (State) … whereas such peace cannot be realized (and easily circumvented) by whatever provocation du jour, outrage of justice, that Israel cares to implement on any given day … and (to James) whereas a Palestinian State has been the hoped for, best desired, mechanism to guarantee Palestinian Rights … the ‘facts on the ground’ preclude that possibility of true Sovereignty ever being granted, at least not in the present climate wherein Israel controls all the mechanisms of State to subvert, deny, and oppress, even the most basic of human and civil rights to the Palestinians.

    The facts must be faced, Zionism has won the battle of securing the land for Greater Israel, but has ultimately lost the war of being the Jewish State, unless they are content to uphold supremacist Jewish rule and be considered as a country founded upon the calculus of apartheid; and if so, then international isolation, boycott and divestment, and an international sanctions regime must be applied to compel Israel to come to its senses, and organize its governance to reflect international standards of common justice, or be recognized as a belligerent pariah State.

    So it is incumbent now to focus on securing basic human rights for the Palestinians, and if along that path Palestinians continue in hopes for complete Sovereignty (or decide to abandon it), they will be in a better position (to decide), working from an equal legal parity, to achieve such ends.

    Personally, I hope they don’t, because the 2 State solution is ultimately a trap, that will not lead to any peace, not for Palestinians, nor Israelis.