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Two state, state minus, no state at all… February 15, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A fairly strongly worded editorial in the IT about the latest ‘Israeli attempts to consolidate its illegal West Bank settlements’. And it notes that:

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, on Wedbnesday echoed European concerns that what we are in effect seeing is an Israeli attempt finally to to bury the idea of a two-state solution.
“Ireland remains steadfast in its support for a comprehensive two-state solution,” he said, as Berlin also warned in an unusually blunt statement that its “trust in the Israeli government’s commitment to the two-state solution” had been “fundamentally shaken”.

I’m not sure that the editorial is correct re the US in the following:

The measure has also been condemned by the US, and UN, and faces a constitutional challenge. Attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit, an independent legal adviser to the government, has told prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it is both unconstitutional and in violation of international law and that he is not prepared to defend it in court.

But that’s surely telling about the Israeli government A-G.

What is so abysmal about this is that it is a self-inflicted wound as well as yet another grievous and gratuitous imposition on Palestine. Israel’s stock is as low as I’ve seen it in my lifetime. And what is the latest vision of the future out of Tel Aviv.

Behold – ‘state minus’.

What does it mean?

The Washington Post asked a half-dozen experts, including some who had served as peace negotiators in the past, what Netanyahu meant by a “state-minus.”
They answered that it could mean almost anything.
It could signal support for a small nation close to what the Palestinians seek: a demilitarized state that surrenders some sovereignty to allow for Israeli security, especially in the Jordan Valley, with a slice of East Jerusalem — maybe a village on the other side of today’s separation barrier — as its capital.
Or, from the Palestinian perspective, it could mean something far worse: abandoning Gaza to Egypt and allowing a few isolated pockets of stunted but self-governing cantons, with a flag and a postage stamp and a seat at the United Nations.

And how big would this ‘state-minus’ be?

Yoaz Hendel, who served Netanyahu as his director of communications and public diplomacy, said talking about “a state-minus” makes sense now because the two-state solution of the 1990s, of the Oslo Accords era, of Obama and Kerry, is over. 
“No Israeli prime minister, left or right, will accept it today,” he said.
Hendel said he imagined the state-minus means that Israeli troops would remain in the Jordan Valley, which borders Jordan and is of vital interest, he said. Israel would also retain control of almost all the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and the army to protect them, and so the state of Palestine would be reduced to about 50 percent or less of the West Bank today.

Albeit with some of the trappings of statehood.

“They would have status of a state at the United Nations, embassies, diplomats, a flag and a national anthem,” he said. He agreed that this is far less than the Palestinians would accept.

Or perhaps the Palestinians are correct:

Parliamentarian Hilik Bar, who chairs a Knesset lobby for the promotion of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said the idea of a Palestinian state-minus was “just another way for Netanyahu and his Likud party to maintain the defeatist attitude of simply managing the conflict.”
“There is no such thing as a state-minus,” he said. “At the end of the road there will either be a two-state solution or a one-state solution.”

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Comments»

1. FergusD - February 15, 2017

Israel MAY tolerate a Paestinian bantustan, or a few isolated bantustans, that’s all. How could any meaningful independent Palestinian state be created anyway, given the geography of settlement? I think the Israeli govt is right, a two state solution isn’t a runner. The alternative to Palestinian bantustans is either an apartheid state (they are going that way) or what the left and the PLO used to argue for as a far as I remember – a secular, non-sectarian state for Jews and Palestinians. After all isn’t that what we would argue for Ireland?

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2. An Sionnach Fionn - February 16, 2017

I think the “State-Minus” suggestion is simply the Israeli right’s response to the “Two-State-Minus” idea floated a while ago. In other words a Palestinian-Israeli federation with two sovereign governments administering a “country” for Jews and Arabs (though not necessarily “Palestinians” in any recognised sense).

Personally I think any hope of a sovereign nation-state of Palestine is almost gone. Annexation-by-stealth along the lines of a deniable Greater Israel with a handful of self-governing enclaves for Palestinians seems to be the future.

There may be a solution or settlement under Trump’s White House but it will be smoke and mirrors. Another stunt so Israeli apologists can blame the Arabs for walking away from a “deal” in some Oslo Accords Mark II.

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3. GW - February 16, 2017

Let me trump your pessimisms, if I may.

In the not distant future (a couple of centuries at most) that part of the world will probably be pretty much uninhabitable due to anthropogenic global warming.

Which means those of thus living nearer the poles must be prepared to accept all and any of those fleeing from the effects of 20th and 21st century northern hemisphere carbon capitalism.

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4. gendjinn - February 16, 2017

Fascinating. I wonder if anyone predicted this after the Brexit result?

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