Monday, March 23, 2015

Gideon Levy says Netanyahu told the truth about no two-state solution

Israeli peace advocate gives re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backhanded praise for his pre-election statement flatly rejecting a two-state solution (Netanyahu will be remembered for speaking Israel's truth Haaretz 03/22/2015):

I would like to say thank you to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thank you for telling the truth. Last week you were revealed as the first Israeli prime minister to tell the truth. For at least 25 years most Israeli statesmen have been lying, misleading the world, the Israelis and themselves, until Netanyahu arose – he of all statesmen – and told the truth. If only this truth had been told by an Israeli prime minister 25 years ago, maybe even 50 years ago, when the occupation was born. Still, better late than never. The public rewarded him for this truth, and Netanyahu was elected for a fourth term.

Netanyahu said last week that if he were to be reelected, a Palestinian state would not be established on his watch. Plain and simple, loud and clear. This simple, pure truth was the case for all his predecessors as well – all the prime ministers, peace lovers and justice seekers from the center and the left, who gave false promises. ...

After all, one had to deceive the Americans, bluff the Europeans and cheat the Palestinians, fudge things for the Mideast Quartet and lie to some Israelis. One also had to play for time, to build settlements and get rid of every possible Palestinian partner – Yasser Arafat, who was too strong; President Mahmoud Abbas, who is too weak; and Hamas, which is too extreme. One has to play for time, so the Palestinians become more extreme and everyone understands that there’s no one to talk to. [my emphasis]
This is why I'm leery of the strategy that the Obama Administration is sending up trial balloons on, of the US using the two-state solution to put diplomatic pressure on Israel.

Whatever its short-term advantages of highlighting the irresponsible warmongering of Netanyahu and his Republican allies, it also means that the Obama Administration is pretending the current reality is something other than the fact that Israel now faces the basic choice of being a democratic state that is no longer Jewish either officially or by majority, or being a Jewish apartheid state that is undemocratic.

At this point, it's hard to see how pursuing the phantom of a two-state solution that is no longer feasible actually advances the resolution of the long-standing failure to achieve a lasting peace settlement in Israel-Palestine.

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