UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

January 27, 2009

ISRAEL & PALESTINE

CBS - Mr. Obama wants to shore up the ceasefire in Gaza, but a lasting peace really depends on the West Bank where Palestinians had hoped to create their state. The problem is, even before Israel invaded Gaza, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians had concluded that peace between them was no longer possible, that history had passed it by. For peace to have a chance, Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, which would then become the Palestinian state. . .

Though settlers and Palestinians don't agree on anything, most do agree now that a peace deal has been overtaken by events.

"While my heart still wants to believe that the two-state solution is possible, my brain keeps telling me the opposite because of what I see in terms of the building of settlements. So, these settlers are destroying the potential peace for both people that would have been created if we had a two-state solution," Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, once a former candidate for Palestinian president, told 60 Minutes' Bob Simon

And he told 60 Minutes Israel's invasion of Gaza - all the death and destruction - convinces him that Israel does not want a two-state solution. "My heart is deeply broken, and I am very worried that what Israel has done has furthered us much further from the possibility of [a] two-state solution.". . .

Demographers predict that within ten years Arabs will outnumber Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Without a separate Palestinian state the Israelis would have three options, none of them good. They could try ethnic cleansing, drive the Palestinians out of the West Bank, or they could give the Palestinians the vote. That would be the democratic option but it would mean the end of the Jewish state. Or they could try apartheid - have the minority Israelis rule the majority Palestinians, but apartheid regimes don't have a very long life.

"Unfortunately, and I have to say to you that apartheid is already in place," Dr. Barghouti argued. . .

Moderate Israelis who deplore the occupation used to believe passionately in a two-state solution. That is no longer the case.

Meron Benvenisti used to be deputy mayor of Jerusalem. He told Simon the prospects of the two-state solution becoming a reality are "nil."

"The geopolitical condition that's been created in '67 is irreversible. Cannot be changed. You cannot unscramble that egg," he explained.

Asked if this means the settlers have won, Benvenisti told Simon, "Yes."

"And the settlers will remain forever and ever?" Simon asked.

"I don't know forever and ever, but they will remain and will flourish," Benvenisti said. . .

But one very important Israeli says she intends to move them out. She's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a candidate to become prime minister in elections next month. She's also Israel's chief negotiator with the Palestinians, and she told 60 Minutes peace is unthinkable with the settlers where they are.

"Can you really imagine evacuating the tens of thousands of settlers who say they will not leave?" Simon asked.

"It's not going to be easy. But this is the only solution," she replied.

"But you know that there are settlers who say, 'We will fight. We will not leave. We will fight,'" Simon asked.

"So this is the responsibility of the government and police to stop them. As simple as that. Israel is a state of law and order," Livni said.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a quote for you Sam. I'm sure you can find a use for it. "If Israel nuked Chicago, Congress would approve." Best of luck. wam

January 27, 2009 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. That was by Fred Reed. wam

January 27, 2009 8:56 PM  

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