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One state/Two states

Remembering Bassem Abu Rahme

Allison Deger on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Palestinians leaders will likely table a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli deadline to set borders based on the June 1967 armistice 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.

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

Jeff Halper on

The Gaza onslaught represents the end of the Israeli rationale for violence. 110 years of ethnic cleansing and assassinations and Palestinian resistance will not disappear. Israel must come to terms with its indigenous population, or it will itself disappear, Jeff Halper writes at Mondo

Hope in the one state solution 

Leena El-Refaey on

As the current fighting in Gaza hopefully comes to an end there is hope that discussions will turn, seriously and earnestly, to the future of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Prime Minister David Cameron has done little to warrant much praise over his stance on the Gaza crisis over the past five-weeks. Yet, his words rang true on the 31st of July when he claimed that a two-state solution to the conflict is ‘beginning to look impossible’. Whilst they are not quite yet propagating one-state solution, what were originally voices of dissent are starting to become more popular in the general public consciousness.

Chomsky and BDS

Tom Suarez on

Parsing Noam Chomsky’s argument against portions of BDS in The Nation, Tom Suarez says Chomsky grants too much authority to what Israelis will accept, or maybe not, and fails to see the power of BDS in educating the world about Palestinian conditions in exactly the way the world was educated about South African apartheid

What Comes Next: Five Palestine futures

Richard Falk on

Richard Falk writes, “Peace through bilateral negotiations presided over by the United States has long seemed moribund to many close observers, but after the recent collapse of the talks this top down diplomatic approach seems discredited even among governments and at the UN, at least for now. Yet it is impossible for most of the world to accept the finality of such a stalemate that favors Israel, in effect, ratifying land grabs and apartheid structures, while consigning the Palestinians to regimes of misery of for the indefinite future, which translates into the rigors of permanent denial of rights, oppression, refugee camps, and involuntary exile. This bleak assessment raises the question ‘What Now?’” This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.”

Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last

Matthew Taylor on

It’s about time the Obama administration answered Israel’s many rebukes to the vaunted peace process. The anonymous officials who blames the Israelis for the failure of talks — and Haaretz is saying it’s Martin Indyk — were serving as the president’s proxies.