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After 22 years it’s time to stop pretending about the peace process

on 81 Comments

When Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu stated during his election campaign that there would be no two-state solution during his tenure, the US administration and world leaders were infuriated. The reason for the outrage is that Netanyahu finally exposed the Peace Process for what it is – a cover used by world statesmen to allow Israel to maintain its occupation of Palestine.

Everyone has been acting over the last twenty years as though there is a genuine peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis. Successive Israeli governments and the Palestinian Authority (PA) held myriad rounds of talks. Media outlets used to trumpet to each round of negotiations. Scores of meetings between civil society organizations, on of both sides of the 1949 armistice line, were held under the umbrella of this process. Innumerable organizations and projects were established and funded  to enhance relations between the two communities as they moved towards peace. All and sundry pretended that peace was on its way.

The PA President and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat from 1991 to 2004, followed by Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president since 2004, have both behaved as though there has been a peace process. For them, and for their circle of patronage, without the PA and all its different bodies there would be no international aid to sustain the pretence and no high sounding titles for those involved.  The PA, which is a self-administration, has been a fundamental element in providing the facade that is the ‘peace process’. PA and its patronages made the preservation of the crystallized peace process the raison d’être of its continuality.

Even Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel (2001–2006), pretended that he was for the process. He accepted the Road Map for Peace plan although only after making scores of changes. The plan was proposed by the Quartet on the Middle East –  the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

Tony Blair, the Quartet’s Special Envoy, went along with all this and behaved as though the process was somehow real. But throughout the period of his ‘peacemaker’ role he has been able to carry on his own business as usual – adding to his considerable fortune.

Successive US administrations have brokered, mediated and funded projects to nurture an environment in which the so-called peace process could prosper. The Clinton Administration in 1999 for example requested $1.2 billion in additional U.S. aid to fund the deployment of Israel forces out of areas of the West Bank according the Wye River memorandum. This took place despite the fact that the Wye memorandum’s was not enforced at all.

Furthermore, in the midst of the Second Palestinian Intifada when Israel deployed its forces to Palestinian cities in 2002, George Tenet, the head of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Department of State feigned that the peace process was still alive by continuing the PA-Israel security coordination and drafting the Road Map.

Even when Netanyahu assumed premier office, everybody acted like there was a peace process. Though Netanyahu accelerated the settlement projects, and returned the negotiation process to its first square. Ironically, in 2012 after a long hiatus in negotiation, Netanyahu sent his representative, Yitzhak Molcho, to negotiate with Palestinian champion negotiator, Saeb Erekat, a framework for a peace process. As the peace process did not establish a negotiation framework 18 years ago! Same talks took place in late July 2015 in Amman Jordan between the Israeli Interior Minister, Silvan Shalom, and Palestinian senior negotiator, Erekat, to no avail.

When Hamas won the PA Legislative Council election in 2006 the international community led by U.S. and EU did not accept the election results. Endangering the peace process was cited as the reason for boycotting and any more of Hamas ruled territory.

In a 101-negotiation course, students learn that a negotiation should have a clear and defined framework. It should have a timetable marked with milestones. Its advancement is measured against clear previously-agreed parameters. And it goes almost without saying that the mediator should have leverage on both sides to induce them into making progress. The Middle East peace process did not fully meet these basic points so in reality there has been no process at all.

Paradoxically, after each round of talks, Israel furthered its interests by continuing to expand its colonial settlements and to deepen its security ties with PA security apparatuses to meet its own security needs. Meanwhile for ordinary Palestinians the quality of life deteriorates, their security worsens and land is rolled from beneath their feet.  Moreover, the US which played a key role in brokering the process was clearly tilting toward Israel, and deceiving the Palestinians.

The last forward step of the interim agreement was in 1998 through the implementation of the Hebron Protocol with the partial redeployment of Israeli forces in the city. This agreement really ended in 2000 with the inception of the Palestinian Second Intifada when many of its clauses which had been implemented were rolled back. It had in effect become a permanent framework for maintaining Israel’s occupation

The interim peace agreement was a partial transfer of civil administration duties to PA. Partial because for example; PA cannot issue a driving license without coordinating it with Israel Civil Administration (ICA) which is a branch of the Israeli army. Even the president of PA and senior officials need a travel permit from ICA. Israel uses the permit system as a tool to reward/ discipline those officials when they use high rhetoric against Israeli policies. Many times a PA premier convoy was stopped by the Israeli forces in areas consider by international law occupied territories, though the convoy usually coordinates its movement with Shabak, the Israel Security Agency.

All of them pretended that the Palestinian Authority rules the Palestinians when it is in actuality not very different from Vichy France. Meanwhile as Israel carried out scores of military operations in the West Bank and Gaza  thousands of Palestinians were killed, the peace process continued.

The only people who do not pretend are ordinary people from both communities, Palestinians and Israelis. Israelis who enjoy the fruits of the occupation tend not care about the existence or otherwise of the peace process. Over the last 20 years those living in Tel Aviv have been more interested in improving their living conditions. Israeli settlers in the West Bank are interested in ensuring greater government subsidies so they can live as though in Tel Aviv itself. Ordinary Palestinians who live in refugee camps, cities, towns and villages did not pretend, as for them the peace process has meant further entrenchment of the occupation. They did not pretend because pretense means that some of their numbers are killed in silence and those who stay alive must adapt to a life in limbo under occupation.

It is now time to declare the two-state solution well and truly dead.

I believe in a joint struggle led by the progressive Palestinian national forces, and other progressives in the world that will lead to dismantling the Israeli settler political polity over British Mandate Palestine in order to establish one democratic state for all of its citizens that integrates itself in the Arab region. This means for Palestinians a long-term struggle inside Palestine coupled with international support using BDS as the main instrument. In this process the Palestinian struggle is anchored to social and national justice and not only to international human rights standards.

About Samer Jaber

Samer Jaber is a political activist and researcher. He is the managing director for Dar el-Karma Inc. for Media, Researches and Publication. Jaber holds a master's degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, and studied at the Kennedy School at Harvard University and MIT. He served six years' political internment in Israeli jails during the first Palestinian intifada.

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81 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    October 2, 2015, 4:51 pm

    It is now time to declare the two-state solution well and truly dead. (?)

    Well, maybe, but take things a step at a time. It is time for everyone, for President Obama first of all, to declare the “peace process” dead. That will open the way for other mechanisms to spring forth, such as coercion by UNSC or UNGA or EU.

    Today, of course, there is a “one-state solution”, apartheid in nature and undemocratic, discriminatory, etc., etc. It must end. There are two principal ways it might end, both requiring great coercion exerted upon Israel. One is to let the 1SS become democratic and non-discriminatory. The other is some kind of 2SS. Israel would hate both of these.

    Any acceptable 2SS will require Israel to give up territory it has long pretended belonged to it permanently. It will have to give up much or all of the OPTs. It will have to abandon (if not, indeed, dismantle) much or all of the settlements, including great cities and at least one university. And since the pretence of ownership of OPTs has gone on for 48 years, and the pretence of ownership of the pre-1967 Israeli territory is only 17 years longer (67 years), perhaps Israel should be required to give up so me of that territory as well.

    Impossible? No. Unlikely? Yes, at present. But Israel is infuriating much of the world as hard as it can. It is running off any decent railroad tracks. It is repeating 1933 in some ways. so the world could, and I hope it will, become energized to coerce Israel.

    And since the UNGA should not be deciding the question of 1SS v. 2SS, I respectfully suggest, as so often, that it coerce Israel by enforcing the laws of occupation — forcing a removal of all settlers and dismantling of wall and settlements. I think such a move would bring about a lot of peace-making on Israel’s part. But only after the coercion was seen to be “in earnest” and sufficiently strong in its enforcement-sanctions.

    • HarryLaw
      October 3, 2015, 4:51 am

      Thanks for that pabelmont, may I suggest that I don’t think the political option at the UNSC will work [the veto] in my opinion it is inconceivable that the US will advocate punishing Israel for its intransigence, politics is such in the US that any suggestion of such pressure is detrimental to the electoral chances of both parties, [what is more important than winning an election?] so will not happen. The recent application by the Palestinians to the ICC is a different matter, the breaching of the ICC statute, especially the rule on transferring citizens of the occupier into occupied territory is so fundamental, and has been shown to have been breached in the opinion of the International Court of Justice [the World Court] the Wall case 2004, by unanimous decision [15 judges to 0]. I would find it incredible that a prosecutor would not pursue an investigation, and find for the Palestinians. In my opinion only a political decision under pressure from the US could save the Israelis.
      Its happened before of course with the last prosecutor. If it happens again Israel/Palestine will descend into Apartheid /civil war, expulsions, might is right etc all beyond what a rational mind could contemplate. Am I too naive to hope that we live in a world where the rule of law is paramount?

      • Sibiriak
        October 3, 2015, 6:18 am

        HarryLaw: … the rule on transferring citizens of the occupier into occupied territory is so fundamental, and has been shown to have been breached in the opinion of the International Court of Justice [the World Court] the Wall case 2004…

        Regarding the ICJ and the rule of law:

        In the UN’s request for an advisory opinion that led to the “Wall” decision of 2004, the long-held and deeply-rooted international consensus for a two-state solution was made perfectly clear:

        ” [UN] Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two- State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949 , in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions…[emphasis added]

        And from the Court’s opinion itself:

        The Court notes furthermore that the request of the General Assembly concerns the legal consequences of the wall being built “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem”. As also explained below (see paragraphs 79-84 below), some parts of the complex are being built, or are planned to be built, on the territory of Israel itself ; the Court does not (consider that it is called upon to examine the legal consequences arising from the construction of those parts of the wall. [emphasis added]

        In that and numerous other passages, the ICJ makes it clear that under international law, the “Green Line” (not Israel’s original UN-mandated border) is the dividing line between Israeli territory and Occupied Palestinian Territory.

        Even more crucially, the ICJ states:

        The Court has reached the conclusion that the construction of the wall by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is contrary to international law and has stated the legal consequences that are to be drawn from that illegality. The Court considers itself bound to add that this construction must be placed in a more general context.

        Since 1947, the year when General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was adopted and the Mandate for Palestine was terminated, there has been a succession of armed conflicts, acts of indiscriminate violence and repressive measures on the former mandated territory. The Court would emphasize that both Israel and Palestine are under an obligation scrupulously to observe the rules of international humanitarian law, one of the paramount purposes of which is to protect civilian life.

        Illegal actions and unilateral decisions have been taken on all sides, whereas, in the Court’s view, this tragic situation can be brought to an end only through implementation in good faith of all relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The “Roadmap” approved by Security Council resolution 1515 (2003) represents the most recent of efforts to initiate negotiations to this end.

        The Court considers that it has a duty to draw the attention of the General Assembly, to which the present Opinion is addressed, to the need for these efforts to be encouraged with a view to achieving as soon as possible, on the basis of international law, a negotiated solution to the outstanding problems and the establishment of a Palestinian State, existing side by side with Israel and its other neighbours, with peace and security for all in the region. [emphasis added]

        Clearly the UNSC, UNGA, the ICJ et al. see international law mandating a two state solution.

      • David Gerald Fincham
        October 3, 2015, 10:33 am


        “In that and numerous other passages, the ICJ makes it clear that under international law, the “Green Line” (not Israel’s original UN-mandated border) is the dividing line between Israeli territory and Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

        Yes, but we must be careful not to read into that the notion that the Green Line is recognized as Israel’s ‘permanent’ border, or even as the basis for discussion of the permanent border. No court or international body or UN Resolution has said that. Territory within the Green Line is de facto Israeli territory, not de jure.

      • just
        October 3, 2015, 7:08 am

        “Am I too naive to hope that we live in a world where the rule of law is paramount?”

        I used to think that I was too naive, Harry. I still hold out hope, but it has been largely replaced by horror at the lack of honesty and will. The only thing that still astonishes me is the resilience of Palestinians. Sumud. It’s a miracle and a wonder and a sure sign that their cause is JUST and right and good.

        Nobody who purports to uphold the rule of law seems to want to tackle the elephant in the room. This travesty of justice began long ago when some people put their signature on a piece of paper and gave a voice vote that declared that the Palestinian peoples’ land somehow became the land of others. Not one of those people nor the states that they represented had the right to appropriate the land of the rightful owners. iirc, nobody that did that has ever stood up for the rightful owners of the land. Israel has stomped on every rule of law on the books. Israel has stomped on every Palestinian since before Day 1.

        Fatou Bensouda (the Prosecutor) is as devoted to the rule of law as her mentor (Ocampo) was. Not at all, in other words~ she’s PEP, and then some. Do you honestly think that the US or Israel will be moved by some weak mutterings from her court or its legendary delays? I do not. She needs to be removed and replaced by someone who values justice. Besides, neither the US nor Israel have ratified their membership in the ICC. It’s not difficult to see why, imho. They’re both guilty of crimes, and in the matter of Palestine, they are co- conspirators. They want no part of it.

        My only real hope is that an increasingly educated and exposed American public will force the issue. When that happens, then things will change for the brutalized Palestinians.

        Yep, it’s up to voters and activists.

      • a4tech
        October 3, 2015, 8:21 am

        Really good points Just. I’m actually in awe of the level of awareness these days about the reality of the I-P conflict within the general population, more so within the educated ones. Interestingly enough, the level of violence and casualties in the conflict have also somewhat reduced within the same time frame. People are becoming more and more optimistic too.

        All these happening while 99% of the mainstream media are working non-stop in misinforming the public is a testament to the work done by the numerous faceless, thankless activists in this cause, both in America and Israel. These people risked so much, for a cause that for many would deem as pointless or worse, seditious because they truly understood the essence of justice in their hearts. I say the day these people go on to lead society is the day any meaningful peace can be achieved anywhere in the world.

      • just
        October 3, 2015, 9:14 am

        “Interestingly enough, the level of violence and casualties in the conflict have also somewhat reduced within the same time frame”

        A most interesting reply, a4tech. The murders, maiming, imprisonment, casualties, and terrorizing of Palestinians continues~ unchecked, unpunished, and unabated. To me it seems that only Jewish Israeli lives matter in the general scheme of things. I’m not sure that you and I mean the same thing when we write of “educated” Americans. Yes, the media are terribly to blame for the lack of coverage of the Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity 24/7/365 X decades. There’s no truth that’s readily available to the masses of people that simply swallow the poison without reading the label. Many folks are incurious and remain bereft of historical and geopolitical knowledge. Hell, millions willingly succumb to the Hasbara brigade and CUFI.

    • pabelmont
      October 3, 2015, 8:54 am

      HarryLaw and just,

      I am desirous that there will ultimately be coercive action. But not hopeful. Not holding my breath. But the only mechanism to achieve such coercion, after so many years of politics (neoliberal politics — oligarchic politics) is clearly people-power, and that is being felt in EU at least a bit. and people in USA are getting sick of the AIPAC stranglehold and such shenanigans as Netanyahu’s visit and Salaita’s firing and the UC-Berkeley crack-down on SJP et al.

      Perhaps, as well as people-power, Israel will be shown a paper tiger in face of ISIS and Russia and Iran in Syria, and the USA’s fig-leaf (“We need Israel as a valued military ally”) will be blown away.

      So, step 1 is people-power. revolution, if you will. Step 2 is coercion on someone else by nations, and I am imagining coercion of Israel. But of course, over many years, all the coercion has been on Palestinians. Step 3 is the goal or direction of that coercion and its strength and endurance. since I think the easiest agreement at UNGA would be law-enforcement (not easy !! merely easiest) I always suggest coercion to roll-back the settlement project, remove the wall, lift the siege on Gaza. By contrast a UNGA agreement for imposing a I/P peace seems dangerous and difficult of agreement. How will UNGA decide boundaries, refugees, disposition of settlements, water rights, and all the rest? I;’d rather they just severely twist Israel’s arm (my proposal above) and let I/P folks take it from there. Israel would, IMO, make peace in return for keeping some settlements and for avoiding the next round of sanctions (whatever they might be) not to mention avoiding loss of even more land, not a possibility today but a distinct possibility if the UNGA nations get their bit in their teeth after seeing sanctions work.

      • just
        October 3, 2015, 9:17 am

        I hope your hope, pabelmont.

    • David Gerald Fincham
      October 3, 2015, 3:14 pm

      pabelmont: “And since the pretence of ownership of OPTs has gone on for 48 years, and the pretence of ownership of the pre-1967 Israeli territory is only 17 years longer (67 years), perhaps Israel should be required to give up some of that territory as well.”

      Yes, Israel should certainly give up some of the territory captured in 1948-49 and illegally incorporated into the state.

      Given that Israel within its present de facto borders has a population of some 8 million, and that the number of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip plus refugees with a right to return amounts to some 9 million, it is hard to see how squeezing those 9 million into 22% of historic Palestine could possibly lead to a viable Palestine or a just and lasting peace.

  2. michelle
    October 2, 2015, 11:30 pm

    seems like trying to settle the details of the divorce while one spouse is beating the other spouse to death
    at this time safety should come first
    being the side with the power Israel is and has been safe for quite some time

    Palestine needs to be made safe
    under Israeli occ./rule Palestine has been in grave danger 24/7
    plainly the safety efforts thus far have not been up to task
    the P.A. and the IDF should be exchanged with international forces
    maybe from the U.N. or made up of the P5+1 …. anyway something better than what is
    we who claim to be trying to help can do better
    it’s well past time to help Palestine with safety health and a hopeful future
    1s 2s can wait
    quality of life health and safety can not
    get Israel away from/off of Palestine
    for both ‘their’ sakes
    G-d Bless

    • pabelmont
      October 3, 2015, 9:00 am

      michelle, agreed, replacement of army of occupation with internationals (get Isreal out of OPTs and Golan) is a wonderful interim idea.

      But it requires the same sort of international agreement and coercion that my idea does. International agreement might, however, be easier and faster to achieve.

      When IDF is out, as you imagine, what about the settlers? evict them, or disarm them, or leave them as-is. Who runs the electrical power system in this case? Food delivery? etc? Who manages the border with Israel-48? What part of the wall remains? Which check-points?

      • italian ex-pat
        October 3, 2015, 9:33 pm

        @ pabelmont

        Funny you should bring up the Golan. Just yesterday there was an article in the NYT – by . . who else? Jodi Rudoren – about a sudden frenzy of building activity in a little known kibbutz named Merom Golan, just a mile from the Syrian border, built right after the ’67 war on land taken from Syria and (illegally) annexed by Israel in 1981.
        In Rudoren’own narrative, the building of the kibbutz on occupied land went largely uncontested, “unlike the hubbub raised every time a new building bloc is announced in East Jerusalem or the WB” (in re-reading the article today I see the word ‘hubbub’ replaced by ‘uproar, less inflammatory, I guess).
        Anyway, if anybody thinks the Golan is eventually going back to Syria, know that Israel has other plans. Namely, bringing additional thousands of Israeli families to Merom Golan in the next 5 years. And oh yeah, have the world – or at least the US – recognize as legal the 1981 annexation. Just one of the ways being considered by Israel as sweetener after the bitter pill of the Iran deal.

      • yonah fredman
        October 4, 2015, 1:55 am

        Italian ex-pat- Tell me, who should Israel give the Golan back to? Which Syria? Maybe to Vladimir Putin?

      • talknic
        October 4, 2015, 7:36 am

        @ italian ex-pat Golan …… just a mile from the Syrian border, built right after the ’67 war on land taken from Syria and (illegally) annexed by Israel in 1981″

        It was never actually annexed illegally or legally by Israel. U.S. State Department declared, with reference to the Golan bill, “Our view has been and remains that the annexation of the Golan Heights or in fact any of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war would be contrary to United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 on which the Comp David accords and all Middle East peace negotiations since 1967 have been based.” The statement added that “a move to annex would be profoundly disruptive to our joint efforts with others in the area to achieve a comprehensive Middle East peace.”

        After the UNSC condemnation of Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, , the Knesset decided to illegally institute Israeli civil law without any pretense of annexation what so ever.

        There is no annexation mentioned in the Golan Heights Law of December 14, 1981

      • italian ex-pat
        October 4, 2015, 2:22 pm

        @ talknik

        FYI, in my comment I was quoting Rudoren’s words in the referenced article, which clearly stated the Golan was ‘illegally’ annexed by Israel in 1981. In doing a littlle research, I find conflicting ‘truths’ on this issue. The consensus however is that Israel did indeed unilaterally annex the territory captured from Syria in the ’67 war ( December 15, 1981 ), act that was strongly condemned by the UNSC and the US State Department. Subsequently, Israel instituted Israeli civil law in the Golan and issued Israeli ID cards to the few thousands settlers living there. Whether it annulled the annexation is not clear, but the facts on the ground and the recent building activity in the area clearly indicate Israel’s intentions.

        @ yonah fredman

        “Who should Israel give the Golan back to?”
        Good question. And good timing for you to be asking that question now, when Syria is “disitegrating and it’s hard to imagine a stable state to which the territory could be returned to” (and here Rudoren is quoting, I believe, the mayor of Merom Golan, who also goes on to say “We no longer have to feel guilty living on this land – after 50 years, it is now Israel”) . So there you have it, as the very title of the article points out: “As Syria reels Israel looks to expand settlements in the Golan Heights”. In other words, taking advantage of the Syrian crisis to establish some more facts on the ground.

        My question to you is, what was the excuse to NOT give back the land in all those 50 years, when Syria WAS a stable country?

      • talknic
        October 4, 2015, 10:11 pm

        @ italian ex-pat

        My argument isn’t with you, it’s with the information being disseminated

        According to the Knesset record, the consensus is incorrect.

      • yonah fredman
        October 5, 2015, 6:16 am

        Israel under Barak came close to returning the Golan to Hafez Assad, Basher’s father, in 2000 before the father died. It is unclear to me how close Barak and Assad came or why the deal was not consummated, I have never studied the details nor a scholarly assessment of the validity or reasonableness of the Israeli versus the Syrian position. In a world of “not one inch” I suppose 500 meters is a lot of inches, but it is my understanding that the distance between the Israeli position and the Syrian position was less than a kilometer, but again one would have to check the details.

        The Syrian Israeli cease fire line of 1974 has been quite stable and without a large indigenous population (after whatever expulsions took place in 67) the Israeli motivation to reach a peace with Syria has not been that great.

      • James Canning
        October 5, 2015, 1:39 pm

        yonah – – Turkey came close to closing a deal between Syria and Israel in 2008. Golan would have been “returned” to Syria.

    • David Gerald Fincham
      October 3, 2015, 9:38 am

      michelle, your are right, replacing Israeli occupation forces with UN peace-keepers is a good idea, and is in fact part of the Arab peace plan.

    • michelle
      October 4, 2015, 3:47 am

      seems like once security is property defined and Palestine is reconnected with the world there will be no limit to their future well being
      the borders can be decided one by one some being simple some less so and if no agreement can be made the land in question can be ‘forever’ a no man land to every and all in every and all ways or ….
      G-d Bless

  3. Sibiriak
    October 3, 2015, 5:22 am

    Samer Jaber: …Netanyahu has finally exposed the Peace Process for what it is – a cover used by world statesmen to allow Israel to maintain its occupation of Palestine.

    […]It is now time to declare the two-state solution well and truly dead


    That’s a complete non sequitur. It conflates process with goal . If a process is fraudulent, it doesn’t necessarily mean the goal is as well.

    The BDS movement, by the way, does not declare the two-state goal to be dead. What it does it initiate a new process with that goal as an enduring possibility.

    Both Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah have stated that the overwhelming majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS support the goal of two states .

    See Abunimah’s article, “Why do Zionists falsely claim BDS movement opposes two-state solution?”

    […] any informed person would know that the vast majority of organizations represented on the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) – the movement’s steering group and collective leadership – explicitly support a two-state solution. You can see a list of organizations that currently make up the BNC.

    Omar Barghouti makes this point in his book BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights:

    While individual BDS activists and advocates may support diverse political solutions, the BDS movement as such does not adopt any specific formula and steers away from the one-state-versus-two-states debate , focusing instead on universal rights and international law, which constitute the solid foundation of the Palestinian consensus around the campaign.

    Incidentally, most networks, unions, and political parties in the BNC still advocate a two-state solution outside the realm of the BDS movement. (pages 51-52) [emphasis added]

  4. David Gerald Fincham
    October 3, 2015, 9:26 am

    Samer Jaber is absolutely right to declare the so-called peace process a sham. The process started in Oslo in 1993 was invalid from the start, because Palestine recognized the right of Israel to exist in peace and security, whereas Israel did not even recognize that there was a place called Palestine. Twenty two years have been wasted.

    But I do not conclude from this that “it is now time to declare the two-state solution well and truly dead”. There has been one real achievement of the last 22 years, and that is the increasing recognition given internationally to the State of Palestine. Both Israel and Palestine are formally recognized by a majority of the world’s states, and both are included in the United Nations system. The world as a whole (excluding the US and a few other, mainly English-speaking, states) clearly understands the situation: the two states exist, but Palestine is occupied by Israel.

    A two-state solution could be achieved if the Security Council were willing to recommend Palestine for full Membership, enforce international law, put a stop to settlement building, and demand an end to the Israeli occupation and blockade of Palestinian territory.

    The American people have the power to prevent a US veto of such a resolution. Wake up, organize, educate, campaign, make clear to your politicians that your votes cannot be bought, and that you will never vote for any politician who accepts Zionist money.

    • michelle
      October 4, 2015, 4:05 am

      one wonders is there a list of the politicians who don’t accept zionist money lol
      might want to start a fund to support future non zion leaders
      G-d Bless

  5. mcohen.
    October 3, 2015, 5:22 pm

    The only way forward is to annexe and secure the area below highway 1 also known as Judah…hebron and Bethlehem must not be allowed to fall into Islamist hands,in response Israel can expect a full scale attack coming from this area by Islamist forces in the coming weeks.
    These attacks will be spearheaded by foreign jihadi,s and local parties such as Hamas.a humanitarian corridor must be established to allow arab populations to relocate to the northern west the same time settlement populations must relocate to judah

    • just
      October 3, 2015, 6:18 pm

      There’s no such place as “Judah”.

      • Mooser
        October 3, 2015, 6:22 pm

        Is he making any sense at all?

    • eljay
      October 3, 2015, 6:22 pm

      || mcohen.: The only way forward is to annexe and secure the area below highway 1 … ||

      That is a Zio-supremacist way forward, but it’s not the only way forward.

    • oldgeezer
      October 3, 2015, 6:59 pm


      Yes!! The only answer to yor crimes is to commit more crimes. You’re a sick little puppy. A major part of the problem and not a tiny part of the solution.

  6. mcohen.
    October 3, 2015, 8:32 pm

    Abbas declared Oslo over,hoisted the flag….
    That is a declaration of war not peace.

    In fact the peace process along with the 2 state solution as backed by America is a failure much like the “Syrian quagmire”

    Under no circumstances must a repeat performance take place in Israel.israel must enforce a one state solution and annexe the west bank.the leadership in ramallah died with Arafat and no matter how hard the parties try to resuscitate Fatah it is a expired entity.

    It is gone

    1.remove Fatah and annexe the west bank
    2.declare martial law and stop the violence from both sides

    • talknic
      October 3, 2015, 9:54 pm

      @ mcohen “Abbas declared Oslo over,hoisted the flag….

      That is a declaration of war not peace.”

      Nonsense. Israel has never held up its end of the Oslo bargain. It has increased its illegally acquired non-Israeli territory, increased settlements, slaughtered and dispossessed more non Israelis from non-Israeli territories

      “In fact the peace process along with the 2 state solution as backed by America is a failure much like the “Syrian quagmire””

      Indeed. Having veto power at the UNSC has allowed Israel to commit crimes with impunity

      ” israel must enforce a one state solution and annexe the west bank”

      Legal annexation requires the approval of the legitimate and legal citizens of the territory to be annexed, per the annexation of Texas, Hawaii, Alaska

      “declare martial law and stop the violence from both sides”

      Only when the underlying issues are resolved will there be peace. Israel is in breach of the UN Charter, International Law and relative Geneva and human rights conventions in territories outside the State of Israel.

      End the occupation as required by law, withdraw from all non-Israeli territories as required by law, pay compensation as required by law. This will of course lead to a failed Jewish state, but that’s the price you pay for breaking the law for 67 . Successive Israeli leaders have stupidly led the Jewish state up a dead end street

    • diasp0ra
      October 10, 2015, 1:38 pm

      “Abbas declared Oslo over,hoisted the flag….
      That is a declaration of war not peace.”

      Lol! We’re already at war, or do you not remember that we’re under occupation?

  7. James Canning
    October 4, 2015, 1:27 pm

    I continue to think a resolution of Israel/Palestine problem must be imposed by world powers. Give Palestine full UN recognition with “1967” borders, and work from there.

    • talknic
      October 5, 2015, 12:00 am

      @ James Canning “I continue to think a resolution of Israel/Palestine problem must be imposed by world powers. Give Palestine full UN recognition with “1967” borders, and work from there”

      Be careful.

      The UN gave Israel full recognition within the 1948 borders. It was not enough for Israel then or since. Israeli representatives have lied, stalled and continued to colonize un-abated for 67 years.

      Whatever you offer it will never be enough while the Zionist Federation exists and while Zionist biased Governments rule Israel. They’re a scourge on humanity and Judaism

      • James Canning
        October 5, 2015, 1:43 pm

        talcnic – – I do not think the analogy to 1948 is apt.

      • Kris
        October 5, 2015, 2:58 pm

        @James Canning: “talcnic (sic) – – I do not think the analogy to 1948 is apt. ”

        I can’t find an “analogy” in anything talknic wrote. What “analogy” are you referring to?

      • talknic
        October 5, 2015, 2:59 pm

        Analogy? Has there ever been a time where Israel has not been claiming territory beyond it’s borders?

      • Sibiriak
        October 5, 2015, 3:15 pm

        talknic: Whatever you offer it will never be enough while the Zionist Federation exists and while Zionist biased Governments rule Israel.

        James Canning didn’t say “offer.” He said “impose.”

      • talknic
        October 5, 2015, 8:09 pm

        Sibiriak “James Canning didn’t say “offer.” He said “impose.””

        I said ‘offer’ as a general comment re Israel’s lust for land. Give, impose, offer, it will never be enough.

    • echinococcus
      October 5, 2015, 1:19 am

      “Work from” where? Once you’ve given away the whole shop, there isn’t much to work. Also, the Zionists don’t want it. The Zionists declared, never pulled back and are successfully implementing their program, i.e. all of mandate Palestine +South Lebanon, + South Syria + the Sinai + part of Transjordan, with a less than 15% quota of non-Jewish slaves over the entire territory. What have you got to force them? And if you could force them (only for a little while) why in *&^% name would you give them what even their alter ego the US is not conceding them? Why go on never giving up trying to give away other people’s land and life even when there are no takers?

      More seriously now, if in your dream things can be finally enforced on the Zionists, a strict respect of the 1967 ceasefire can be enforced as well as the giveaway but without further guarantees and subject to have an armed Palestine and waiting for a Palestinian general referendum approval for any terms of peace.

      • James Canning
        October 5, 2015, 1:37 pm

        echinococcus- – Chances of an “armed Palestine” in my view are nil. Once “1967” border is confirmed, opportunities for swaps of territory could be entertained.

      • echinococcus
        October 5, 2015, 7:34 pm


        Chances are never “nil” for anything. In this case, it’s “unless the ongoing genocide is entirely successful.” Major violent upheavals are happening in the region and US power is slipping. Anyway, it won’t make any difference if the Zionists agree or not, if you are talking about imposing a just solution. It won’t be valid unless recognized by a pan-Palestinian referendum in the absence of all occupation and duress.

        Proposals to just give away all rights won’t be believable at all –because they’ve seen a lot already and no such plan is believable.
        If the Zionists feel a bit weak at a given moment, they’ll give in temporarily, because a proposal as you outlined costs nothing and is revocable the very moment the Zionists feel full of beans again.

      • James Canning
        October 6, 2015, 1:10 pm

        echinococcus – – If you are suggesting Palestine could have an effective army and air force, in a deal imposed by world powers, I think you are badly mistaken.

      • echinococcus
        October 7, 2015, 12:17 am


        There goes your two-“states”, already.

      • James Canning
        October 10, 2015, 1:12 pm

        echinococcus – – Your apparent assumption Palestine cannot be a state unless it has an army and air force, is simply incorrect. In my view.

      • echinococcus
        October 10, 2015, 4:57 pm

        Canning, that statement would indeed be incorrect. After all, many countries don’t need armies except against their own populations. In the case of Palestine, though, there already is such a theoretical “state” with an enslaved population and a treasonous puppet administration, so nothing would change. Which is, of course, the aim of the whole comedy.

      • James Canning
        October 10, 2015, 5:52 pm

        echinoccus- – Idea would be to get all Israeli troops, police etc etc out of Palestine. This would be a very big change.

      • echinococcus
        October 10, 2015, 9:11 pm

        But there is no “Palestine” anywhere. Wherever you want to establish a line of armistice, either both bottled-together entities are disarmed, or both are armed –at least the weaker is armed enough to make it extremely painful. Where is any other guarantee? Western behavior in the last 70 years?

      • Sibiriak
        October 10, 2015, 9:22 pm

        echinococcus: Canning, that statement would indeed be incorrect. After all, many countries don’t need armies except against their own populations.

        Another consideration: whatever limitations are put on Palestinian militarization, there is no guarantee they will be able to be enforced effectively and indefinitely.

        Historical development doesn’t end with the end of the Occupation. As an independent, unoccupied, sovereign state, Palestine can, over time, discard various limitations that were imposed on it in a final status agreement.

        As a sovereign state, under international law, Palestine will have exactly the same rights as any other state to pursue its “national interests” and rights to “self-determination”, and will be able to make legal arguments for amending, revising, ignoring or even repudiating certain commitments made in the past.

        Under various legal justifications, and without an occupying army to prevent it , Palestine can begin at some point to amass a large amount of defensive weapons and organize an effective defensive force (ala Hezbollah, for example) that would provide sufficient deterence against future Israeli military incursions or intimidation.

        Beyond those defensive capabilities, what kind of military does Palestine need?

      • echinococcus
        October 10, 2015, 10:55 pm

        Exactly right, Sibiriak.

    • MHughes976
      October 5, 2015, 5:20 am

      However, no world power has any even remotely visible intention of doing anything of the kind, so what do we face but a blind alley?

      • James Canning
        October 5, 2015, 1:41 pm

        MHughes – – I think the EU has concluded a deal must be imposed from above.

  8. Kay24
    October 5, 2015, 4:11 pm

    There is a lot of pretending going on. Israel has in no uncertain terms, and by so many acts, shown, it does not want peace, and that the status quo suits them fine. By now you have got to be naive to think they want to end the occupation, and the shameful illegal settlements, which the entire world, including their sugar daddy, the US, condemns. They keep blaming the victims for their own suffering. It is in their hands to stop decades of oppression, blockades, checkpoints, and collective punishment, and they could have given the Palestinians their freedom, and demanded both sides agree to peace. However, they keep saying one thing, and keeping doing the opposite, and the US still keeps pretending they believe them.

    • James Canning
      October 10, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Kay24- – Many Israelis want to end the occupation. Foolish American politicians have made that object more difficult to achieve.

      • just
        October 10, 2015, 1:47 pm

        Who are these “Many Israelis” that “want to end the occupation”, James?

        I know that I’m not blind, but other than a handful… I can’t see, hear, or feel them. Americans have certainly enabled and financed this criminal Occupation, but Israelis conduct it and revel in it and derive a sick satisfaction from it!

        They want the Palestinians gone and Palestine erased and replaced by Disraelyand.

      • James Canning
        October 10, 2015, 5:57 pm

        just- – Do most adult Jews in Israel think the Palestinians can be driven out of Palestine? I tend to doubt it.

      • Sibiriak
        October 10, 2015, 2:23 pm

        just: Who are these “Many Israelis” that “want to end the occupation”

        There have been quite a few polls of Israeli opinion, but of course results vary depending on who conducts them and what questions are asked.

        For example:,7340,L-4582162,00.html

      • echinococcus
        October 10, 2015, 9:20 pm

        Canning “Do most adult Jews in Israel think the Palestinians can be driven out of Palestine? I tend to doubt it.”

        You doubt. They don’t, they’ve been doing it for a hundred years, and they see it’s working thanks to our unfailing support.

      • James Canning
        October 11, 2015, 12:49 pm

        echinoccus – – The number of Muslims in occupied Palestine actually is increasing.

  9. echinococcus
    October 11, 2015, 1:05 pm

    Canning: “The number of Muslims in occupied Palestine actually is increasing.”

    So is this a surprise? People persecuted and powerless beyond any limits of course will be swayed by the only ideology that does not need power. Palestine used to be legendary as the home of secular, democratic people and organizations. This religious wave is also one of the major criminal results of Zionism, a long-term and voluntary second enslavement of people already reduced to slave status.

    Just why did you address this to me?

    • diasp0ra
      October 11, 2015, 1:28 pm


      Why does everything boil down to religion?

      Palestine was (and still largely is) an agricultural society. Agricultural societies have higher birthrates for many reasons. You can notice this all over agricultural societies all over the world, it is also embedded in our culture, especially as a form of resistance. It has nothing to do with religion.

      Socio-economic context is the culprit for anything in the vast majority of situations.

      I’m also not too crazy about you contrasting secular democratic with religion on the opposite side.

      • echinococcus
        October 11, 2015, 2:36 pm

        What has the birth rate got to do with it, diasp0ra? Your remark is entirely appropriate but I don’t see a connection to my post. Or to Canning’s, which only says that the number of Muslims is on the increase. Or did he? Did you interpret his post as implying that Muslims are more fertile –than whom?

        As for my “contrasting secular democratic with religion”, that’s because I’m an enemy of any religion anytime, and I have seen Palestine go from what you could call, relatively to the geographical setting, a country of freethinkers, to devout obscurantism within a small number of years. I believe that the main cause is Zionist colonization and occupation. Not because of their different religion, mind you; the Turkish military dictatorship caused the same, as also the invasion of Iraq. Of course religious people can resist at least as well as the others, and I never push my bias on people I am working with.

      • James Canning
        October 11, 2015, 5:51 pm

        In occupied Palestine, the number of Christians has steadily declined. However, the number of Muslims has steadily increased. Fanatical supporters of Israeli annexation of the West Bank cannot expect the Muslims to leave the country.

      • diasp0ra
        October 11, 2015, 2:55 pm


        I misunderstood, my apologies.

        I thought this was a discussion of the increase in numbers due to birth rate.

        Though I disagree with you on the latter part, to each their own.

      • echinococcus
        October 11, 2015, 3:11 pm

        Don’t apologize yet; we won’t know who of us two misunderstood Canning if he doesn’t explain what he meant exactly.

      • echinococcus
        October 11, 2015, 6:16 pm

        “…the number of Christians has steadily declined. However, the number of Muslims…”

        Is that what you meant?

        “Fanatical supporters of Israeli annexation of the West Bank cannot expect the Muslims to leave the country.”

        That’s supposed to stop them? If they can’t expel them because the Muslims don’t enjoy the same connections as the Christians, the Zionists will simply accelerate the genocide that you are witnessing and make people leave vertically. Who is gonna stop them, in your mind?

        PS. Zionist don’t have to be “fanatical” to stick to the Zionist program and all of Palestine is occupied.

      • James Canning
        October 12, 2015, 12:48 pm

        echinococcus – – There is a significant difference between a country’s occupying another country, or part of that country, and annexation of that country, or part of that country. Annexation would make the Muslims of the occupied West Bank citizens of Israel. And they would continue to grow in numbers.

  10. echinococcus
    October 12, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Canning – That difference, in this case, is only interesting to paper pushers. It’s de facto annexed, as there is only one power, period.
    I resent very much your religious characterization of the Palestinians as “Muslims”. Did you stand and bend in prayer with each and every one of them? Even nominally, how come you made part of the Palestinians disappear? Since when does emigrating, as many did, with more facility for the Xian Palestinian, cancel their rights to their land and share in the sovereignty? Are you ready to stipulate that all those Zionist American crazies moving from Brooklyn to Palestine lose US citizenship?

    And what the hell of an advantage do Palestinians get with citizenship of “Israel” as second-rate, non-human slaves, there to be shot at will? Don’t you think that those who are Zionist entity citizens want to get rid of their masters?

    Apart from that, you’re the one complaining that it’s not realistic to ask for the restoration of legality and undo “Israel” because that same Israel won’t agree of its own will, and now you propose a total utopia of Zionists accepting equal citizenship of the inferior people their main objective it is to get out of the land coveted by their very program? Very realistic.

    • James Canning
      October 13, 2015, 1:25 pm

      Echin – – I very much doubt Israel is willing to annex the entire West Bank. And I have no expectations Israel would treat newly-acquired Muslim citizens of Israel in the identical way it treats Jews who are citizens of Israel.

      Most Christian Palestinians in effect have been driven out of Palestine, by Israel.

      Your conflating “occupation” with “annexation” is simply incorrect.

      • echinococcus
        October 13, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Canning – Simply repeating yourself is no answer.

      • James Canning
        October 13, 2015, 5:26 pm

        Echin – – You suggested I thought Israel is willing to annex the entire West Bank. I made clear this is incorrect.

      • echinococcus
        October 13, 2015, 7:40 pm

        How can you make it clear when the Zionist program still is occupation of the entire area of Palestine, with only minimal presence of the owners of the land? Last I know it was 10% or less. Nothing in documents or any gesture suggests that there is any change to this program. Also, you avoid responding about your preposterous stamp of approval on the exclusion of nominally Christian Palestinians from the Palestinian population.
        The point is still that the entire area is occupied by a single power who can annex, or avoid annexation as it wishes, according to propaganda needs, without changing anything in reality.

      • James Canning
        October 14, 2015, 1:00 pm

        Echin – – If your point is that Israel wants to continue to occupy the West Bank for generations to come, I agree with you.
        Israel, however, almost certainly will not annex areas of the West Bank with too many non-Jews,
        In what way do I “approve” the “exclusion of nominally Christian Palestinians from the Palestinian population”?

      • echinococcus
        October 14, 2015, 3:15 pm

        Canning – “Israel, however, almost certainly will not annex areas of the West Bank with too many non-Jews”
        First, the legal characterization remains irrelevant in this case
        Second, who said they’ll “annex” with too many non-Jews” or who said specifically “West Bank”?
        The Zionists want it cleared as much as possible from the owners of the land. Not only on post-67 occupation areas. They also show that committing genocide at a faster clip is not a major problem for them. So they will get rid of Palestinians living in Palestine no matter how much we play with words –by military hand.

        “In what way do I “approve” the “exclusion of nominally Christian Palestinians from the Palestinian population”? ”
        Not only them, but anyone either of another religion, or who is not a religious believer. By insisting in calling the Palestinians “Moslem” as if all remaining ones were somehow outside the planet or if the emigrating ones had lost their rights in your mind. They should better be designated “Palestinians”.

      • James Canning
        October 14, 2015, 5:12 pm

        Echin – – Surely we agree that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has been catastrophic for the Christian communities there.
        “Occupation” and “annexation” are very much NOT the same thing.
        Chances Israel will annex the Gaza Strip are near zero. Chances Israel will try to annex choice parts of the West Bank are quite high.
        Concept of “annexation” does not apply to Israel within its pre-1967 borders..

      • lysias
        October 14, 2015, 5:19 pm

        Speaking of catastrophe for Christians, the BBC last night had an interview on the radio of a Christian bishop from Aleppo, Syria. He said that, out of a Christian population in Syria of 1.25 million before the civil war started, only 1/2 million are left there now. He also said that the Russian intervention has finally given the Christians of Syria hope.

      • James Canning
        October 14, 2015, 5:42 pm

        Utter catastrophe. And foolish US sanctions against the Syrian government helped create the civil war there.

      • lysias
        October 14, 2015, 6:29 pm

        The best explanation I have seen of our mysterious policy to bring down Assad was that it was meant to block the route by which Iran supplied Hezbollah.

        So everything connects.

      • echinococcus
        October 14, 2015, 6:35 pm

        Canning – The only thing I agree to is that it is totally useless to try to have a conversation with a stuck guy who only knows how to repeat some formal assertions as if they were the alpha and omega –without ever listening to whom he pretends to be talking to. I am very sorry for having tried to have some kind of conversation with you. Enjoy your monologue.

      • James Canning
        October 15, 2015, 1:11 pm

        Echin – – British newspapers have carried a number if reports over recent years, regarding the disastrous effect on Christian communities in the occupied West Bank, caused by the Israeli occupation. And you don’t agree this has taken place?

  11. James Canning
    October 14, 2015, 7:44 pm

    I think a bigger factor may have been hopes overthrow of Assad would make it easier for Israel to keep the Golan Heights.

    In any event, the US badly blundered. And helped bring yet more disaster down on the heads of Christians in the Middle East.

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