The collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the result of Israel’s 42-year refusal to implement a two-state solution, leaves the Palestinians no option but to unilaterally declare an independent state. Israel acted unilaterally when it announced independence in 1948. It is the Palestinians’ turn. It worked in Kosovo. It worked in Georgia. And it will work in Palestine. There are 192 member states in the United Nations and as many as 150 would recognize the state of Palestine, creating a diplomatic nightmare for Israel and its lonely ally the United States. Israel will face worldwide censure if it attempts to crush the independent state by force and very likely be subjected to the kind of divestment campaigns and boycotts that brought down the apartheid government of South Africa.
The two-state solution, long held up as the way out of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, flickered and died with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. No Israeli leader since, including Ehud Barack, has shown any interest in its implementation. Israeli governments have instead cynically used the promise of negotiations as a cover to steadily expand settlements, evict Palestinians from their homes, carry out egregious acts of violence and repression against Palestinians and steal huge swathes of the West Bank, including most of the aquifers.
The death of the two-state solution is not news to those of us who have spent years in the Middle East. What is news is the public acknowledgement by the Palestinian leadership. Mahmoud Abbas, the compliant and discredited president of the Palestinian Authority, who has announced he will not run for another term, has uncharacteristically blasted Israel for deceiving the Palestinians. The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who says that the effort to negotiate a solution to the conflict with Israel is dead, has called on Palestinians to declare statehood.
Copyright © 2009 Truthdig
Chris Hedges spent two decades as a foreign reporter covering wars in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He has written nine books, including Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (2009) and War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003).
[DS added the video report]
Palestinians to ask UN for statehood endorsement
November 16, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the Palestinians about what he called a unilateral U-N recognition of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu said the Palestinian move would only bring unilateral steps from the Israeli side. The Israeli P-M made the comments shortly after Palestinian officials said they were planning on taking their quest for independence to the U-N Security Council. Earlier in the day, Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said the decision is NOT unilateral and is already backed by Arab foreign ministers