Two-state solution is possibly dead

By Sumantra Maitra
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 15, 2015
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It is sad when you realize the greatest chance of peace that we had in our lifetime, in a land which is historically volatile, is possibly dead. Even from the perspective of Realpolitik, it is tiring to see the heavy handed rhetoric, and the slow path to certain continued conflict.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who visits the White House often, met with U.S. President Barack Obama and came out a happy man. Netanyahu said while speaking with Israeli journalists that it was "one of the best meetings I've had with Obama," describing it as tension free and saying that the conversation was in very good spirits and very honest. Obama said they had to move past their disagreement about Iran, and negotiate a multi-billion dollar arms deal for Israel.

Almost immediately, documents were out, claiming that Israel gave primary approval to development plans that could build more than 2,000 homes in West Bank settlements over the next 15 years. Records from planning committee meetings showed that officials gave preliminary approval to build about 2,200 homes in the Palestinian city of Ramallah by 2030. Haaretz Daily first got the scoop of the plans. In Israel, meanwhile, over 20 Israelis and over 60 Palestinians died in the last two weeks. Every day in the news we hear about a new stabbing attack or car ramming or shooting.

There are countering narratives on the causes of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and needless to say, each one of them is tilted and biased. Let us analyse each one of them. Firstly, the argument that claims the Israel-Palestinian conflict is over three thousand years old and it will never be resolved. Yes, historically it is true. The Israel-Palestinian conflict predates colonialism or the Cold War, as a conflict about the holy land revered by all the major monotheistic Abrahamic religions. But the "perpetual conflict" argument falls flat under further scrutiny, as there has never been in history any conflict without historical animosity. And most of these conflicts used the rhetoric of history to justify. By that logic, if all historical conflicts were unsolvable, then Britain and France would still be warring, as would the Cold War, and there would be no European Union.

When Netanyahu first won the elections, Israel was in a state of turmoil. With a conflict in Gaza, and the stagnating politics of Livni and Sharon, Netanyahu looked like a fresh face, with idealistic views. The Israeli left was in its death throes, and Netanyahu, even with contradictory messages, was still considered a statesman. All that changed with the American Iranian rapprochement.

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