Jordan's reigning monarch Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Hashemite dynasty has shown rare insight in understanding how antiquated is the theory of two-state solution in resolving seemingly intractable Palestinian problem. He has recently told the world from Davos, the two-state solution will only be viable while Barack Obama is still in office. American author and columnist, Michael Cohen, has been equally explicit in his believe that Israel's election has left slim opportunity for the US President to push two-state solution.
Yet, in its efforts to run counter to the inevitable, Washington appears rather in pursuit of a mirage. White House spokesman Jay Carney looked wretchedly outmoded in laying forth America's conviction that it "remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press for the goal of a two-state solution. That has not changed and it will not change. We will continue to make clear that only through direct negotiations between the parties can the Palestinians and Israelis address all the permanent status issues that need to be addressed and achieve the peace that they both deserve: two states for two peoples with a sovereign, viable and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel."
American buffaloes suffered extinction primarily because of their inability to evolve with time and their inability to foresee the inevitable. In its pursuance of an antediluvian, two-state solution, Washington appears more like the American buffaloes running away from emerging reality with its eyes resolutely shut. Its fall to death from cliff in Middle East is foreseeable and imminent.
Of the several messages the Israeli voters sent to their political class in the latest Israeli Knesset elections one very important is that they also voted for one-state solution. In fact, the poll results incontrovertibly spelt descent of extreme right and with it the death of
Implications of the Knesset vote in Israel will still take a few more weeks, perhaps even months, to become fully comprehensible. Therefore, it will be trifle premature to conclude anything with conviction now. Still, however, the elections in Israel, perhaps for the first time in its history, were a mandate against the separation barriers and annexation of Palestinian land that successive Jewish governments have pursued since 1967. Israeli voters have been explicit in telling their leaders "to consider the plight of the Palestinians and the corrosive effects of occupation."
Therefore, for Washington the message sent by the Jewish electorate has been loud and clear. It is time for Obama and his administration to initiate appropriate measures to take Tel Aviv towards one-state solution. It will not be an easy task to perform neither will it be simple to persuade Tel Aviv to consider the option.
But the message of the Knesset vote must not be ignored. Consideration of the one-state solution in Israel will not come from within its political system but has to be hammerd on the Zionists from outside, especially the United States.
Israeli voters, we admit, have not been explicit in their opinion in favour of single-state solution. But the correct takeaway of the Knesset vote is the fact that they have been unequivocal against the role of the Haredi orthodox in Israeli affairs. Haredi orthodox have been the largest and primary supporter of the two-state solution.
The number of Palestinians as much as Israelis calling for one-state solution is now growing and at a pace more rapid than ever in history. To them, the possibility of two-state solution has already turned moot. "Transition to a struggle for equal rights within one state from the river to the sea seems to be emerging" as two-state solution has already become a fantasy — an unattainable chimera.
Since 1967 Israeli policy has been not to allow creation of sovereign Palestine chocking West Bank with settlements which soon turned into a state-sponsored enterprise. Dalia Hatuqa, a Ramallah-based specialist on Middle East, has recapped the backdrop and has painted context correctly.
Even governments headed by the so-called "dovish" Labour party entrenched this enterprise very soon after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, and especially during the years directly preceding the Oslo Accords, as they scrambled to grab land before a final settlement was reached.
The Allon Plan was also a creation of the Labour party. This initiative devised by Labour minister Yigal Allon included limited Palestinian autonomy while implementing permanent Israeli control of the Jordan Valley (today peppered with settlements) to act as a buffer between Israel and its eastern neighbours. It is this concept that has defined policy in the occupied territories ever since, no matter the political persuasion of the ruling
party in Israel.
Common Israelis are sick and tired of their sclerotic political parties and have expressed their craving for new orders to redeem them of the hackneyed approach to end Arab-Israeli conflict. The surprise winner of the Knesset vote, Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid party, may be paying "lip-service support to a two-state solution – as practically all Israeli politicians do these days" but has also indicated that as long as Israel refuses to make concessions on Jerusalem, Palestinians will continue to get wrong message which will encourage them to move on with their movement for sovereignty.
He is not expected to offer the hard right Zionists and Benjamin Netanyahu anything more than a fig leaf of protection for their pigheaded policy of further annexation of Palestinian land, division of West Bank and pushing two-state solution. The United States has to wake up to this changing Israeli polity, carve out its niche of influence afresh in West Asia or else risk being hurled into an abyss. The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman.