The Practical Three-State Solution (GateStone Institute) by Khaled Abu Toameh 03/26/12)
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Despite massive opposition on both sides to a "one state solution,"
the campaign for it, according to Palestinian sources, is being
organized by some EU-funded organizations. Large, expensive-looking
posters advocating the "one state solution" have been appearing on
billboards in major Palestinian cities, drawing sharp condemnation
from many Palestinians On instructions from the Palestinian
leadership, the posters were torn down and the organizers were
rebuked and told not to repeat the "provocation".
Ahmed Qurei [aka: Abu Ala], one of the major architects of the failed
Oslo Accords that were signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, is
now advocating a "one-state solution" for Jews and Arabs.
According to Qurei, the "two-state solution" is no longer realistic
and should therefore be abandoned in favor of a democratic and open
country where all Jews and Arabs live together under one government.
Of course Qurei blames Israel for the failure of the two-state
concept because of construction in West Bank settlements and Jewish
neighborhood in Jerusalem. He says that in light of the new facts on
the ground that Israel has created, especially over the past two
decades, the two-state solution, which he once strongly supported,
has become infeasible.
However, the idea of creating one state for Israelis and Palestinians
is also infeasible, not to mention unrealisitic.
A majority of both Palestinians and Israelis, according to public
opinion polls, are opposed to the idea.
The last thing Israel wants is to turn millions of Palestinians
living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps in the Arab
world into Israeli citizens. For Israelis, that would mean the end of
Israel as a homeland for Jews.
Most Palestinians are also opposed to the "one state solution": they
want to be separated from, and not integrated into, Israel. For
decades, the Palestinians have been struggling for independence,
The Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank has repeatedly
come out against the idea of "one state for two peoples." Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has emphasized again and again in
the last few years that the "two-state solution" remains the "number
one, two and three and only option" for the Palestinians.
Yet despite the massive opposition on both sides, a few Israelis and
Palestinians have launched a campaign to promote the the
establishment of one state. The campaign, according to Palestinian
sources, is organized by some EU-funded non-governmental
organizations in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
In the past few weeks, large, expensive-looking posters advocating
the "one-state solution" have been appearing on billboards in major
Palestinian cities in the West Bank, drawing sharp condemnations from
many Palestinians. On instructions from the Palestinian leadership,
the posters were torn down and the organizers were rebuked and warned
not to repeat the "provocation."
Qurei and those who are working to promote the "one-state solution"
are ignoring the facts on the ground: namely that the Palestinians
already have two separate "states" next to Israel - one in the West
Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip.
They are also ignoring the reality that the two Palestinian entities
have been at war with each other since 2007, when Hamas seized
control over the Gaza Strip and threw out the Palestinian Authority.
If the Palestinians cannot live together in peace in one country, how
can they be expected to live in peace with Jews in one state?
The three-state solution is, for now, the only, and best, option on
the table. The two-state solution should be put on hold until the
Palestinians reunite and start speaking in one voice. Meanwhile,
those who are trying to promote a one-state solution are just wasting
their time and the time of most Israelis and Palestinians.
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