Saturday, May 30

An Independent Palestinian State?

Over the years , there has been much discussion, official and unofficial of a Two-State Solution. Many think tanks were also involved in finding a way to achieve this. It seems logical, just and fair striving and supporting this solution. It is unjust to occupy another people who seek independence from an occupying country. The world supports a Two-State Solution. However, the problems involved in trying to achieve this seem insurmountable.

In order to begin the process of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, there must be a basic desire on both sides to reach an agreement. If there is a desire on the one side, but not on the other, no agreement will ever be reached.
Hamas has reaffirmed its "strategic position" regarding its refusal to recognize Israel, or hold direct talks with it, Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad said.

It is not enough expressing support for a Two-State Solution verbally, while in practice, both parties are not prepared to concede, apart from not having  leadership that has the courage and foresight to get the peace process moving.

On the Palestinian side, the Palestinian Authority (PA), under President Mahmoud Abbas, has no support from the Palestinian People. The PA negotiators are there but they are impotent. The chief negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat, has been representing the PA for over 20 years. The same polemics are uttered endlessly and no progress has been made. In the background of all these negotiations, keeping a watchful eye on the PA, is Hamas and its allies. Hamas, has no intention of recognizing Israel's right to exist and is against negotiations for peace of any kind. Hamas has more support from the Palestinian electorate than the PA. In aprevious article I had enlarged on this. If by remote chance there is an agreement on a Two-State Solution and President Mahmoud Abbas signs, he stands a good chance of his life being endangered by Palestinian extremists.

On the Israeli side, support for a Two-State Solution is receding. PM Netanyahu is determined  that it will not occur on his watch. Netanyahu has appointed veteran Cabinet Minister, Silvan Shalom, to be in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians. Both Hamas and the right wing Israeli coalition government paradoxically do not agree to a Two-State Solution, each for totally different reasons of course.

The present Israeli Government will never agree to dismantling settlements and withdrawing from areas occupied after the June 1967 War. This is one of the basics of a Two-State Solution. Apart from that even if they did dismantle settlements, it will have no impact on Hamas. Hamas will only agree to a One-State Solution - the replacement of Israel by a Palestinian State and all that it entails. In the unlikely event of Israel withdrawing from the West Bank, it would result in Hamas taking over as they did in Gaza, there would be slaughter of settlers and those Palestinians opposing Hamas.

On both sides of the deep divide, there are no serious partners, who can engage in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Apart from seriouslack of trust and hatred, there is nothing that can remotely link the two sidesin a common desire for peace. The PA, with its history of corruption and its fear of Hamas and the extremist Islamist elements, does not represent anybody but themselves.

Another factor in this conflict is that Hamas, which has more support than the PA, does not wish to come to terms with Israel's existence or negotiate a peace treaty. This is in contrast to the situation in South Africa when all peoples had a desire to end apartheid and the White and Black leadership negotiated in good faith an end to the apartheid regime. I "apologize" to the self-righteous, double standard, "humanists" and their NGO allies, who keep on comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa as well as supporting BDS. They view Hamas as an organization for liberation of the Palestinians from the Israeli Occupation and refuse to see this notorious organization of terrorist thugs who kill their own people that oppose them, as well as carrying out terrorist acts against innocent Israelis. The racist anti-Semitic slogans of Hamas resembles the diatribes against the black people of apartheid South Africa if one is searching for a comparison with the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict and apartheid South Africa.

The stalemate will continue until a new order on both sides arises that has the courage to negotiate a Two-State Solution, which is the only possibility for true and lasting peace. Painful concessions and compromises have to be made by both sides and neither side is prepared to do just the bare minimum towards achieving peace.

On the other hand, the PA and Hamas have signed an agreement and despite the tenuous nature of this agreement, it is obvious that Hamas will not allow the PA to sign a peace agreement with Israel. The Hamas Charter makes this perfectly clear:
Article 13 of the Hamas charter states unambiguously
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.. ” (The Avalon Project).

When the PA is handcuffed by Hamas, a Two-State Solution will never be feasible and the stalemate will continue. This stalemate will lead to further violence and terror. 

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