The current wave of negotiations between the leaderships of Palestinian Authority and Israeli government that went on for nine months and is scheduled to end the 29th of April 2014 has achieved the big nothing that all parties knew from the first day. It seems that all observers agreed that the surprise would have been achieving something of substance to resolve the conflict; not the other way around. The path towards two states will take both parties to attempt to sustain hope within their respective constituencies through promises of further talks and negotiations to discuss more and more details in order to cover all imaginable possibilities in matters of security, borders, Jerusalem, economics, water, settlements, taxes, prisoners, refugees, jurisdictions, etc. in order to “perfect” the process leading to the illusive objective of establishing two states over the land of Palestine. The parties may indeed persist in continuing their aimless peace process that seemingly has become, in and of itself, the main objective. As long as the so-called “peace process” is going on, hope would continue to be claimed possible for a peaceful solution to the conflict on the basis of two states. In the meantime, facts on the ground continue to be substantially the same for Israelis and Palestinians. Sustaining the “peace process” appears to be the objective of the United States of America that has so far been able to impose its will on the international community regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
For those who are expecting serious outcome of the endless negotiations on establishing peace based on the concept of two states for two peoples, one might say: “Do not hold your breath; the best those negotiations can produce in terms of solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a huge nothing!” On one hand, the Israeli government’s leadership will continue to expand settlement activities and continue with its implementation of the Zionist experiment in Palestine, including – but not limited to – ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority’s leadership will receive sufficient funds to cover a few “economic development” projects and more importantly to pay salaries to its police force and bureaucracy. The dream for two states in Palestine has vanished under the persistent Israeli practice of building and expanding Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank.
The two-state concept has for a very long time been impossible to implement without massive Jewish and Palestinian pain and suffering. Unless Palestinians abandon their Right of Return and unless hundreds of thousands of Israelis abandon their Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank and unless the state of Israel reverses its judaization of Jerusalem, it is simply impossible to have a viable contiguous Palestinian state.
Until the majority of Palestinians and Israelis recognize the eternal truth that their destinies are in fact one and until they “rediscover” that the only possible peaceful solution to the conflict is to live together as equal citizens in one democratic state for all of its citizens, the charade of chasing the ghost of two states and with it the illusion of the parties’ mysterious ability to effectuate the impossible will go on.
Perhaps, after the conclusion of the current failing wave of negotiations, Israelis and Palestinians may open their eyes and determine that the time is right to change direction and start demanding serious negotiations between their respective leaderships on the terms and conditions of transforming the current political entities that exist over the whole area of historic Palestine (i.e. the state of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority) and merge them into one secular, democratic state for all Israelis and all Palestinians; a state whose constitution, laws, norms, values, and morals are rooted in the International Declaration of Human Rights.
Hope is the stuff from which life is made!