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Destroying the two-state solution

A negotiated solution needs both sides to deliver on promises, which is not happening under Netanyahu

Gulf News

The flimsy integrity of the two-state solution is becoming untenable. The Palestinian government in Ramallah remains committed to a negotiated solution with an Israeli government that is destroying any chance that the two-state solution has.

Israeli forces continue to raid sites all over the West Bank, destroying Palestinian homes and farm land. They have also activated new plans to take large tracts of land within the expanded Israeli-controlled strategic territories. Israeli soldiers have raided the offices of three civil society organisations in Ramallah. Troops stormed the offices of the Women’s Union, Network (a Palestinian NGO) and Addameer (a lawyers’ group that supports Palestinians in Israeli jails).

Another indication of Israel’s determination to stay in the West Bank, come what may, is the decision by Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence minister, to build a university in the colony of Ariel, 11 miles inside the West Bank and in one of the illegal colonies that Israelis should be planning to evacuate to allow the two-state solution to happen.

This policy of determined absorption of Palestinian land will not go unchallenged and the present Palestinian commitment to a peaceful solution has to be questioned. Already, Palestinians are reacting to daily Israeli incursions by flinging stones or worse. In the long term, it is all too likely that the present restraint shown by the occupied Palestinians will erupt into a widespread violence. Influential Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, whom the Israelis have imprisoned, has already warned in Israeli newspaper Haaretz that if the occupation continues, there will be a third intifada.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist government has given up on making peace, but it cannot expect the Palestinians to quietly acquiesce in their own destruction. A negotiated solution requires both sides to negotiate and deliver on their promises, which is not happening under Netanyahu. It is obvious that he and his radical allies understand exactly what they are doing as they destroy years of hard-won progress by ripping up the two-state solution. They are forcing the Palestinians back to war.