Thursday, May 3, 2007
We in the peace camp must closely monitor the doings of Livni and Rice. There is nothing really secret; everything reported above has been said or reported upon in the Israeli press. It is simply a matter of connecting the dots, of picking up the hints and half-statements.
A Good Article
By Jeff Halper
"For years I have been one of the doomsayers, arguing that the two-state solution is dead and that apartheid has become the only realistic political outcome of the Israel-Palestine conflict– at least until a full-blown anti-apartheid struggle arises that fundamentally changes the equation. I based my assessment on several seemingly incontrovertible realities. Over the past 40 years, Israel has laid a thick and irreversible Matrix of Control over the Occupied Territories, including some 300 settlements, which effectively eliminates the possibility of a viable Palestinian state. No Israeli politician could conceivably be elected on the basis of withdrawing from the Occupied Territories to a point where a real Palestinian state could actually emerge, and even if s/he was, the prospect of cobbling together a coalition government with the requisite will and clout to carry out such a plan is highly unlikely, if at all. And given the unconditional bi-partisan support Israel enjoys in both houses of Congress and successive Adminstrations, reinforced by the Christian Right, the influential Jewish community and military lobbyists and a lack of will on the part of the international community to pressure Israel into making meaningful concessions, a genuine two-state solution seems virtually out of the question – even though it is the preferred option espoused by the international community in the moribund “Road Map” initiative.....
Which leads us back, then, to apartheid, a system in which one population separates itself from another and then proceeds to dominate it permanently and structurally. Since the dominant group seeks control of the entire country but wants to get the unwanted population off its hands, it rules them indirectly, by means of a bantustan, a kind of prison-state. This is precisely what Olmert laid out to a joint session of Congress last May when he presented his “convergence plan” (to 18 standing ovations). And this is precisely what Condoleezza Rice, together with Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, have been working on during Rice’s monthly visits to the region.
The plan embodies the worst nightmare of the Palestinians. Phase II of the Road Map presents the "option" of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders, "as a way station to a permanent status settlement." Livni is publicly pushing for Phase II to replace Phase I, raising Palestinian fears of being frozen indefinitely in limbo between occupation and a “provisional” state with no borders, no sovereignty, no viable economy, surrounded, fragmented and controlled by Israel and its ever-expanding settlements.....
In the meantime, the no-name, no-publicity, Livni-Rice non-plan proceeds on its course, concealed by seemingly larger events such as the Arab League initiative. But wait! What about the Arab League/Saudi initiative? Doesn’t that call for a two-state solution and a return of refugees? It does, of course, but few in the Arab world take it seriously. People there understand that justice for Palestinians means far less to the Arab governments than relations with the US and, yes, Israel, especially given the common Iranian threat. So the Arab League initiative is intended more to placate the Arab Street than as an actual political position that will adversely affect the Livni-Rice plan......"