Is the binational state becoming a realist argument?

Israel/Palestine
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Meron Benvenisti in the New York Times– oh wait, sorry, in the Guardian. The Times won’t cover this! Note that on the same day as this sympathetic coverage of Benvenisti’s ideas, Steve Walt challenges American leadership: if the peace process is dead, as it seems to be, what have liberal policymakers come up with to answer that fact? The neocons have a clue, of course. They want apartheid, or amalgamating what’s left of Palestine in the West Bank to Jordan thru Churchillian hocus-pocus.

Here is Benvenisti:

"The entire discourse is wrong. By continuing that discourse you perpetuate the status quo. The struggle for the two-state solution is obsolete…

"For the last 20 years I have questioned the feasibility of the partition of Palestine and now I am absolutely sure it is impossible," he says. "Or, it is possible if it is imposed on the Palestinians but that will mean the legitimisation of the status quo, of Bantustans, of a system of political and economic inequality which is hailed as a solution by the entire world – unlike in South Africa.

"The entire paradigm is wrong. We are doing this because it is self-serving. It is convenient for us to stick to the old slogan of two states as if nothing has happened since we began advocating it in the 1980s."

…"Israel’s domination of the West Bank does not rely on the numbers of settlers or settlements," he argues. "The settlements are totally integrated into Israeli society. They’ve taken all the land they could. The rest is controlled by the Israeli army."

…He avoids speculating about future scenarios and makes do with the concept "bi-nationalism" – "not as a political or ideological programme so much as a de facto reality masquerading as a temporary state of affairs … a description of the current condition, not a prescription." And he sees signs that the Palestinians are beginning to adjust to the "total victory of the Jews" and use the power of the weak: demanding votes and human rights may prove more effective than violence, he suggests.

"The peace process," Benvenisti concludes, "is more than a waste of time. It is an illusion and it perpetuates an illusion. You can engage in a peace process and have negotiations and conferences – which have no connection whatsoever to reality on the ground."

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