Two recent data points show that the historical moment of a two-state solution as envisioned by the Oslo Accords has passed.
The first from Yossi Alpher in a commentary at Americans for Peace Now:
At the end of 2019, Tel Aviv University closed its Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, informing the Steinmetz family that its annual financial contribution to the Center’s budget would no longer be welcome. In parallel, two peace and security advocacy groups composed of retired senior members of Israel’s security establishment, the Council for Peace and Security and Commanders for Israel’s Security, were set adrift by the resignation of their leaders. (Full disclosure: I once belonged to the steering committee of the Council for Peace and Security; I resigned years ago.)
The primary motivation behind the apparent dismantling of these peace-minded organizations seems to reflect a number of interlocking perceptions. First, a two-state solution with the Palestinians is currently not high on the Israeli, Arab or international agenda. Second, peace with the Arab states is not likely without a Palestinian deal, while those few aspects of productive coexistence with the Arabs that are emerging are a by-product of the Iranian threat rather than of Israeli lobbying efforts for peace. And third, the Israeli public’s shrinking peace camp is not sufficiently robust to support so many peace-advocacy groups.
And the second was reported in the Lewiston Sun Journal in Maine, where the dialogue group “Seeds of Peace” has its camp.
The internationally known nonprofit’s camp director in Maine, Sarah Brajtbord, announced over the weekend that she has been removed from her position in a move she denounced as an “abuse of power” tied to the nonprofit’s funding.
She accused those who oversee the Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield [ME] with catering to the wealthy, blocking efforts to “disrupt the status quo of oppression” . . .
Brajtbord said Seeds of Peace needs “to move from an organization defining our work as conflict transformation and one that is content with coexistence into one that inspires co-resistance and collective action, building coalitions of leaders across lines of difference who are working together against oppression and toward building a better future for everyone.”…
Brajtford said the board of directors had voted to strip her from her role as camp director “after receiving an ultimatum to either remove me from my job or lose a significant amount of funding.” She further denounced the board: it is “predominantly wealthy and white, a disproportionate number would identify as Zionists, none of them live outside of the U.S. and U.K., and whoever has the most money in the room has the most power.”
Seeds of Peace and the Tami Steinmetz Center were both created to further the Oslo vision. The Steinmetz Center was founded in 1992; Seeds of Peace in 1993.
Today that vision is over. The constituency and funders for these institutions are both moving on, including the youth of today who knows that this is a struggle for equal rights.
But all is not lost for Oslo. The “vision” of two states is a talking point for all the Democratic presidential candidates. A resolution in favor of the two-state solution lately passed the House on a party line vote, with 226 of 232 Democrats voting for it. Liberal Zionists and centrist American Zionists are ardent about a two state solution: “Two states for two peoples… with mutually agreed upon land swaps, is the best option to achieve a Jewish, democratic, secure Israel living side-by-side with a democratic, de-militarized Palestinian state.”
Though the Democratic Party is sure to feel the same pressure that Steinmetz and Seeds of Peace experienced. And how long can the party hold out against a call for equal rights?