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Is The Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution Slipping Away?

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Is The Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution Slipping Away?

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An Israeli soldier stops a Palestinian woman and her son at the entrance of Yatta near the West Bank city of Hebron June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is slipping away, the U.N. special coordinator for Middle East peace warned on Sunday, after both sides shrugged off criticism by international mediators.

A report released on Friday by the so-called Quartet – United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia – called on Israel to stop its policy of building settlements on occupied land and restricting Palestinian development.

Israeli policy “is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution,” it said. It also urged the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, take steps to end incitement to violence against Israelis, condemn “all acts of terrorism” and do more to combat them.

“The Quartet report sounds an alarm bell that we are on a dangerous slope towards a one-state reality that is incompatible with the national aspirations of both peoples,” wrote Nickolay Mladenov, U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, in a commentary emailed to journalists on Sunday.

He also addressed Palestinian and Israeli criticism of the Quartet report. “Who will make the argument that more cannot be done to end incitement?” he asked. “Can anyone question that illegal settlements … are not undermining the prospect for a two-state solution?”

Israel welcomed parts of the Quartet report but signaled no change in settlement building, saying the document “perpetuates the myth that Israeli construction in the West Bank is an obstacle to peace”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is at the heart of the impasse.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed disappointment that the Quartet did not call for full Israeli withdrawal to lines that existed before the Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a 1967 war.

The Palestinians want an independent state in those areas and in the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave controlled since 2007 by the Islamist Hamas group. Peace talks collapsed in April 2014 and Israeli-Palestinian violence has surged in recent months.

Mladenov appealed to Israeli and Palestinian leaders to implement the report’s recommendations, offering the help of the international community to do so.

“I urge leaders on both sides not to miss this opportunity,” he wrote.

 

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

Photo: An Israeli soldier stops a Palestinian woman and her son at the entrance of Yatta near the West Bank city of Hebron June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

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4 Comments

  1. Elliot J. Stamler July 4, 2016

    The “2 state solution” has not slipped away-it was never there in the first place. It is an ideal and also an illusion. Therefore this article is both erroneous and ignorantly misleading of readers who aren’t well versed in the middle east.
    If Israel were to immediately discontinue all settlement expansion…and Israel is NOT and has NOT been constructing new settlements for many years…what occurs is expansion of existing settlements…it would do absolutely nothing to bring about a end of the Arab-Israeli War..which it is
    Because it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be a settlement of this war. The war didn’t even begin in 1948 with Israel’s establishment; it began in 1918 with the first Arab pogrom against Jews…not “Israelis” but Jews, in British Palestine and has continued ever since.
    The bottom-line positions of the parties are irreconcilable. It is all very well to give lip service to a 2-state solution…it can’t happen. At least any time in the foreseeable or even distant future. Why?
    Because the bottom line position of Israel is incompatible with the bottom line position of the Palestinians.
    The Palestinians first of all are emotionally and religiously fanatically committed to having one Muslim Palestinian state over every inch of all of Israel AND THEY SAY SO EVERY DAY ON THEIR OWN MEDIA. THEY CONSIDER ALL OF ISRAEL OCCUPIED TERRITORY RIGHT UP TO THE MEDITERRANEAN SHORE.
    The Palestinians refuse to ever acknowledge and accept a permanent Jewish state of Israel and they refuse to accept that the existing city of Jerusalem will never, ever be given up by Israel. They reject a settlement establishing the fully Arab towns immediately adjacent to East Jerusalem as Palestinian Jerusalem with both countries’ citizens able to travel and work in either city.
    They refuse the absolute Israeli security necessity of leasing a base in the Jordan valley to guard against a land invasion from Muslim countries across the Jordan and they refuse the additional necessity of possessing only a para-military police force, NOT a fully equipped army which they would never need EXCEPT to invade Israel with it at a future time.
    They refuse to compromise on borders even ‘tho they’ve been offered up to 92% of the West Bank because they KNOW Israel can and will never go back to the militarily indefensible and impossible 1957 borders and abandon the 500,000 Israelis in the “settlement” towns which are fully developed cities and towns.
    What the Palestinians want is NO ISRAEL period as a Jewish state and that is the ultimate fact ending any chance of a 2-state solution in the near or distant future.
    Lastly: Abbas who is an anti-semite to his toes knows full well if he were to offer a rational and reasonable accommodation he would be MURDERED by his own people. Every Arab leader who has sought peace with Israel has either been murdered or the subject of numerous attempted murders…Anwar el-Sadat; King Abdullah I of Jordan; Bashir Gemayel of Lebanon; King Hussein of Jordan. 80-year old Abbas wants to die peacefully in his bed…an understandable desire totally irreconcilable with his fanatical people whom he has helped whip up into unyielding Jew-hatred for over 60 years.
    I recommend anyone wanting to read an excellent book on the subject published about 10 years ago to read ”RIGHT TO EXIST” by Prof. Yaakov Lozowick which lays out the whole 100-yr old war.

    Reply
    1. FireBaron July 5, 2016

      Then, based on your theory, the pogroms held by the Zionists (note I said Zionists, not Israelis) against Arab Settlements are justified. You cannot call leveling a building because one person who lived in that house and committed an act of violence against an Israeli (and called “terrorism” by the Israeli government) can be considered anything other than a Pogrom.
      Also, every time another settlement in the West Bank is announced, if further removes the two-state option from the table.

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