The death of the two-state solution is beginning to be a consensus position among American realists. The latest Gaza assault coupled with the failure of the peace process has had a big effect on these thinkers: it has convinced them that Israel has always had just one answer to Palestinian political demands– occupation and managed conflict.
Andrew Sullivan captures this new moment, stating that “a single political entity… is clearly the reality.”
The Obama administration was the last hope for some kind of agreement, and the Israelis have told the president to go fuck himself on so many occasions the very thought of accommodation is preposterous. With the acceleration of the settlements, and the ever-rising racism and religious fundamentalism in Israel itself, this is what Israel now is. And what it will always be. Anyone still assuming that a two-state solution is actually in the minds of the leaders of Israel is therefore whistling in the wind. One wonders simply how many Palestinians have to die and how much largess we must keep sending to Israel before that whistling eventually stops.
Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett take it a step further at the National Interest, saying that Israel can’t be Jewish and democratic; Hamas is as Palestinian as an olive tree, and the struggle for equal rights is upon us. The mainstream discourse should reflect this reality, but it won’t. So the bodies are going to pile up.
The two-state solution’s demise inevitably conditions long-term erosion in the perceived legitimacy of the current Israeli political order. The proposition that Israel cannot continue occupying Palestinians while claiming to be both Zionist and democratic is no longer predictive analysis.
The U.S. government’s own demographic data show that the number of Arabs living under Israeli control — in “Green Line” Israel, Gaza, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the rest of the West Bank — already exceeds the number of Israeli Jews. In other words, what we call the state of Israel is already a minority regime for the people it governs. In the context of the current Gaza campaign, Israeli officials’ descriptions of Hamas as a foreign threat that must be defended against are disingenuous. Hamas is a homegrown movement, born in 1988 in Gaza under Israeli occupation….
A one-state scenario has profound implications for America’s position in the Middle East. For the United States to “lose” Israel as a proxy for projecting hard power would severely circumscribe Washington’s capacity to keep its Middle East strategy oriented toward regional dominance. It would instead push Washington toward a strategy of stabilizing the regional balance through serious diplomatic engagement with all relevant players (Iran as well as Israel and Saudi Arabia)….
Given the deeply counterproductive results of America’s Middle East strategy over the last quarter century, one may hope that Washington will finally stop making policy in defiance of on-the-ground reality.
In the near-to-medium term, though, American politicians and policymakers are more likely to continue doubling down on the sorts of policies — including ever-increasing military assistance for Israel — that have put the United States on a trajectory of ever-declining influence in one of the world’s most strategically vital regions.
I can’t help but put in another plug for Ayman Mohyeldin of NBC. He is clearly influencing Brian Williams and many others in the American elite. Last night Williams introduced the Gaza story by stating that the “lopsided” conflict had caused 185 Palestinian deaths, most of them civilians, including “many dead children,” and that Palestinians in Gaza have “no way out.” Mohyeldin’s ensuing report wasn’t about Gazans being torn limb from limb (which of course is happening) but about the more typical case, Palestinian families being terrified of the bombing and fleeing. In Mohyeldin’s report, no one is screaming or grieving, they are just scared to death. He is humanizing these people to Americans.
You can see the same in Mohyeldin’s pictures on his Instagram account. Here is an incredible shot of an old man comforting a boy who was “traumatized” by seeing a relative killed by an airstrike. Also, moonlight over minarets in Gaza. And the sun over the Mediterranean:
Good night from Gaza. Sunset over Gaza Beach and harbor. Hoping for a better tomorrow.
And this tweet yesterday–
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) July 14, 2014
The death toll has now hit 193. And Sullivan says that public officials’ refusal to acknowledge the death of the two-state solution means more Palestinian bodies will pile up. So why not endorse Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions? How else can an American act to save lives?
Also, when are liberal Zionists going to begin to reflect this new reality, and throw in the towel on their beloved two-state solution?