Category Archives:
One state/Two states

Remembering Bassem Abu Rahme

Allison Deger on
Palestinians sit outside of a mosque in Bil'in, the West Bank, during a memorial service for Bassem Abu Rahme and Palestinian Prisoners Day, Friday April 17, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Subhiya Abu Rahme, 60, propped up on her elbows and recounted her son’s last morning before the Israeli army killed him. Six years ago on April 17, 2009 Bassem Abu Rahme, 30, was shot in the chest with a tear gas canister in his West Bank hometown of Bil’in outside of Ramallah. The morning was a scorcher. Bassem went into the bathroom to cool off, musing, “I will shower or I will die.” Once clean and dressed, he walked to the garden behind the house. “I was working. He told me don’t tire yourself. It’s not good for you,” Subhiya said, relaying Bassem’s final words to her.

In Israel, the mask is finally off

David Glick on
A runner wears a mask depicting Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after an Election Race organised by a local gym at the Yarkon park in Tel Aviv March 16, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Boldly defying the U.S., the international community, and the Palestinian people, Netanyahu said in the clearest terms possible, “If I am elected there will be no Palestinian state.” What Netanyahu stated publicly is what has been true of all of Israel’s prime ministers, whether from the left, the center, or the right. For the past 22 years, all have been lying and misleading the world, pretending to seek peace with the Palestinians while pursuing policies to ensure there will never be peace and never be a Palestinian state. The irony is that the greatest of all these liars is the one who finally told the truth and we should thank him for it.

One state in historic Palestine, but — what kind of state?

Ellen Isaacs on
A Palestinian looks at the Israeli settlement Har Homa in the West Bank.

What is absent from much of the discussion of one state in Israel/Palestine is how this just state is to be structured economically and politically. Ellen Isaacs says that any movement which is going to enlist a mass movement in the call for a single just state must address the needs of the non-owning majority of Arabs and Jews on both sides of the wall.

Despite punitive Israeli tax freeze, Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges with Arab League financial help

Allison Deger on
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas attends the 25th Arab League summit, held for the first time in Kuwait City, on March 25, 2014. (Photo: Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Daily News Egypt)

Within days of Palestinians announcing they would join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his country would stop transferring customs revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The punitive move was expected to lead to a crisis for the Palestinian leadership as government services would collapse across the West Bank. But the Palestinian Authority had an unexpected back up plan. The Arab League has agreed to provide emergency funds to cover the VAT-taxes frozen by Israel. This Arab League safety net will help the Palestinians avoid the expected temporary bankruptcy and allow them to move forward with pressing for war crimes at the ICC. In fact, financial support from the Arab League was a key component, along with joining the ICC, of long-term strategy to pressure Israel into negotiations.

Palestinian resolution fails at the Security Council, U.S. votes against ‘staged confrontation’ at the UN

Allison Deger on
Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour, left, and Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar talk to reporters after a meeting of Arab states at U.N. headquarters, Monday, December 29, 2014. (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)

The Palestinian leadership’s resolution to end Israel’s occupation through negotiations failed to pass the United Nations Security Council Tuesday evening. While Palestinian leaders had hoped to garner the nine votes needed to be approved by the 15-member council, only eight countries supported the measure. The United States and Australia voted against it while five others abstained. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said, “We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows, as well—peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at he negotiating table. Today’s staged confrontation in the UN Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving two-state solution.”

Updated Security Council resolution calls for East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital, Israel says UN creating ‘second Hamastan’

Allison Deger on
Security Council Meeting, 2011. (Photo: Iraqi News)

Late Monday evening Jordan submitted an updated version of a draft resolution seeking to end Israel’s occupation to the United Nations Security Council. The latest document maintains a 2017 deadline for an end to the Israeli occupation but contains a handful revisions, with substantive changes on the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s separation wall.

Jordanian-Palestinian resolution to the UN Security Council gives US and Israel wiggle room

Allison Deger on
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeals to all nations to vote in favor of the Palestinians "as an investment in peace," in a statement before the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday, November 29, 2012. (Photo: Richard Drew/AP)

Early this morning Jordan submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) a draft resolution on behalf of the Palestinians to end Israel’s occupation of territory occupied in June 1967 through a negotiations process. The resolution would be the first to call for a third-party security presence to “guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine,” but it puts no deadline on Israel’s withdrawal.

Palestinian UN effort seeks to set ‘terms of reference’ for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership

Allison Deger on
Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2014, NYC. (Photo: AFP/ Timothy A. Clary)

PLO official Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh says the current Palestinian push at the UN Security Council comes “a serious junction in the history of Palestine.” Allison Deger reports that the proposed UN resolution marks a change in Palestinian strategy for the PLO. According to Dr. Shtayyeh the resolution is “not simply as part of a routine diplomatic issue. We are going to the Security Council because this is part of a strategic shift in the way that we are dealing with the struggle with the Israelis.” Although details of the resolution are not yet public, it appears this shift includes taking a harder line on Israeli settlement construction and looking toward Europe for leadership over the peace process instead of the United States.

Recognizing Palestine—and political reality

Jamie Stern-Weiner on
Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Leon Neal)

After British MPs moved overwhelmingly to recognise the State of Palestine, the governments of Britain and Israel affected indifference in an attempt to undermine the vote’s significance. These dismissals mask a deep and growing anxiety about the direction of political traffic. “There is indeed reason to worry”, a senior Israeli diplomat acknowledged. “Not because it’s going to be translated into actual government policy, but because it’s a public opinion setter. It does create a trend”. But trends don’t set themselves, and fortunately for Israel, rather than mobilising to publicise and build on last week’s achievement, significant tendencies within the Palestine solidarity movement are working instead to undermine and contain it. Instead, we need to accept the victory and build on it.

As Kerry scrambles to prevent Palestinian action at UN, Israeli govt makes clear it will never accept Palestinian state

Allison Deger on
Israeli and Palestinians take part in a rally to voice support for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, in Jerusalem this week. The banners read in Hebrew and Arabic "Together we march for liberation," Jerusalem, 2011. (Photo: AP)

Palestinians leaders will likely table a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli deadline to set borders based on the pre-June 1967 line until after fall mid-term elections in the United States. Haartez’s Barak Ravid reports this week that while Palestinians have stalled, Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to prevent the initiative all together. As a last-ditch effort to stop the Palestinian plan, Kerry has sought to reprise his direct talks that collapsed earlier this year. Israeli officials abandoned that effort after the announcement of a Palestinian unity government and there are no signs they are interested in restarting talks.

British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday

Allison Deger on
PALESTINIAN-UN-STATE-DEMO

Today the United Kingdom will vote on recognizing the state of Palestine. The House of Commons’ symbolic motion is poised to pass the Parliament despite Britain’s history of refusing to approve previous and similar bids. When the UK government was faced with Palestine’s own plans to seek recognition from the United Nations in 2012, Britain abstained. The bill’s backers from the Labour party have shored up votes from Liberal Democrats and Conservatives alike, making Monday a likely Palestinian victory. But the vote is coming at a cost. The Independent is reporting inside of Britian’s Labour party, pro-Israel members of Parliament are “furious.” Still the measure more or less models what former Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed through the Quartet. And the House of Commons bill is also being pushed by heavyweights from within the government.

Abbas calls on UN Security Council to end the occupation

Allison Deger on
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas prepares to meet with Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, during the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2014. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution to end Israel’s occupation of the June 1967 territories, by ordering the immediate resumption of negotiations with a set time limit to demarcate the boundaries of a Palestinian state. He has put on hold the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear

Jeff Halper on
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: AP)

Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.

Chomsky and BDS

Tom Suarez on

Many people who have come to value the courageous and principled stands of Noam Chomsky regarding injustice and imperialism are surprised to learn of his opposition to most aspects of BDS. Precisely because of the stature and influence of this “father of modern linguistics”, it is especially important that his views be subject to the same […]

‘Haaretz’ conference trumpets tired word ‘Peace’ (when the only solution is ‘equality’)

Matthew Taylor on

The answer — the only answer — to Israel/Palestine is equality. But Haaretz, stuck in the old, now-meaningless paradigm of so-called ‘peace,’ is promoting an Israel Conference on Peace in Jerusalem on July 8. The biases are striking. Nowhere in the conference program is there a clear focus on equality, human rights, international law, or the rights of […]

What Comes Next: Five Palestine futures

Richard Falk on

This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” This series was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years […]

Interview with Haidar Eid: Resisting 66 years of Israeli Apartheid

Ayah Bashir on

In 2010, this interview was conducted with Dr. Haidar Eid as an activity by the Gaza BDS group and the One Democratic State Group (ODSG), but it has never been published before due to technical reasons. It was edited recently because this interview needs to be publicised since it tackles some of the most recent important and timely issues. Eid presents insightful […]

Beinart predicts J Streeters will tackle immigration before thinking critically about Israel

Matthew Taylor on

A day after Rebecca Steinfeld asked in Haaretz whether liberal Zionists will move left to support democracy or move right for permanent ethnocracy in the wake of the two state solution’s autopsy, Peter Beinart on cue considers — and then totally avoids — the question. Writing about J Street: Absent some crisis that forces Washington’s […]

Now that Israel has killed the two-state solution, will liberal Zionists support equality or ethnocracy?

Matthew Taylor on

Now that the Two State Solution has finally received belated, more-or-less official autopsy results, what will liberal Zionists do: move left to support a state of equality, or move right to support a state of permanent Apartheid ethnocracy? For a long list of self-identified liberal Zionists such as Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg, Thomas Friedman, Bradley Burston, Larry Derfner, and […]

Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last

Matthew Taylor on

For most of Obama’s time in office, Netanyahu and the Israel lobby tied him down like Gulliver. After initially confronting Netanyahu on settlements, Obama retreated in humiliating defeat. This time round, however, Obama outmaneuvered Bibi, apparently using anonymous proxies to pin the blame for the recent talks’ failure where it belongs: on Israel, for failing to end […]

In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft

Matthew Taylor on

U.S. officials blamed Israel’s “expropriating land on a large scale” to build colonies “on the territory meant for that [Palestinian] state” as the “primary” reason for the recent negotiations’ failure, in a must-read Ynet interview with historic implications. This rare moment of honesty from anonymous officials of the dishonest broker stands in sharp contrast to the […]