Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When will time run out for a two-state solution?

The Palestinians must draw the line on settlements, or the facade of a two-state discussion will continue ad infinitum

Yousef Munayyer

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 April 2010

"Among those involved in the Middle East peace process industry there is much talk about "time running out" for a two-state solution.

Recently, the same sentiments were echoed by the US state department, reflecting a shift in the way the Obama administration is publicly talking about the conflict. On more than one occasion, the state department and other Obama administration figures have said that "the status quo is unsustainable". Notice again the element of time.

Time has been running out for a two-state solution since the beginning of Israel's colonial enterprise in occupied Palestinian territory in 1967. Yet despite this reality, analyses of the situation continue to repeat this now-meaningless cliche year after year, decade after decade. It seems that, to many, time in the Middle East can be magically be suspended. Gravity, in this war-torn region, ceases to affect the inverted hourglass......

However, the PA could declare a date by which the Israeli occupation had to end and settlements be dismantled. If this deadline is not met, the PA should dissolve the authority and convert the disjointed national movement into a broad civil rights movement seeking equal rights in a bi-national state. They would surely make many in Washington and Tel Aviv take notice.

Of course, the PA's entrenched interests and intuitions may make it incapable of doing this, but the Palestinian public is moving in this direction anyway."

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