Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dismantling the Israeli state is key

In failing to address the problem of Israel and its hegemonic designs, the two-state solution will never be a path to lasting peace

By Ghada Karmi
(professor at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter)
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Reports of Israel's death -- to paraphrase Mark Twain -- are much exaggerated, though in the current climate of opinion it might be tempting to think otherwise. There is no doubt that Israel's standing has taken a severe battering in the last 18 months, compounded by the events at the end of May. Israel's savage assault on Gaza between the end of 2008 and early 2009, with its devastating results for Gazans, who still suffer the consequences today, had a powerful impact on international public opinion. Israel's latest assault, on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on 31 May, killing at least nine Turkish humanitarian activists, has been a dramatic escalation. The international climate of opinion has never been so hostile towards Israel. If anyone doubts this, they need only observe the frantic propaganda effort that Israel mounted in the wake of the attack in order to undo the damage. Its announcement this week of a partial ease of the blockade on Gaza is an admission of its failure to stem the tide of criticism....

The flotilla assaults and the one-state solution conference were no mere coincidence. They are linked. For the key to ending Israel's recurrent transgressions is to alter its fundamental nature from an exclusivist, intolerant entity for Jews dedicated to maintaining its hegemony by violence, to a pluralist, inclusive society for all. This vision, derided by those too weary or unimaginative to change course, or who have vested interests in the status quo, is no pipedream. But it will not happen through the action of governments which have let the Palestinians down repeatedly, but when enough people of goodwill and conscience join together to build that new state. And it has already started. What's better: a hegemonic Israel, rampaging out of control in a volatile region, or a peaceful state built on cooperation and coexistence in one, un-partitioned land between former enemies?"

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