Friday, May 22, 2009

King Abdullah's 57-State Solution

Muddying the Waters

A Very Good Piece


"......So it’s the work that needs to be done over the next couple of months that has a regional answer to this – that is not a two-state solution, it is a 57-state solution.

“That is a very strong statement when we are offering a third of the world to meet them with open arms. The future is not the Jordan River or the Golan Heights or Sinai, the future is Morocco in the Atlantic to Indonesia in the Pacific. I think that’s the prize.”

-- Jordan’s King Abdullah in an interview with the Times of London, 11 May 2009......

We must also not overlook the plight of Palestinians in Gaza. Subjected to a cruel war which saw the use of white phosphorus against civilians, destruction of United Nations schools and warehouses, deliberate targeting of civilians waving white flags, and an 18-month siege which left nearly half of Gaza’s children malnourished, they continue to suffer to this day.

Now, Abdullah says the future is not the Jordan River or the Golan Heights – and by extension not Gaza, the West Bank or Jerusalem? – but “Morocco in the Atlantic to Indonesia in the Pacific.”

Gazans and other Palestinians, with due respect to fellow Muslims between Morocco and Indonesia, have their own exigent circumstances. Palestine is being swallowed, bit by bit and piece by piece. The separation barrier snaking around Jerusalem and the West Bank is but one form of annexation complementing the expansion and building of settlements there. Gaza remains in rubble, with no construction materials being allowed in and continued difficulties in getting the sick and dying out.

Imagine them hearing him speak to Israel about the “prize” of Morocco and Indonesia while their land continues to shrink.

Abdullah’s plan is not an incentive to Israelis, but an insult to Palestinians.

Let us be clear: there is one track that must be solved before any other can even be entertained. It is the outstanding issue of the Middle East which cannot afford to be diluted or marginalized by linking it to agreements with countries on opposite ends of the world.

That issue is Palestine. And King Abdullah’s haughty “57-state solution” does it a great disservice."

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