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News & analysis from Proletarian Internationalist Notes—news, reviews and analysis from a global perspective
Quartet report: one-state reality versus one-state fantasy
July 28, 2016
It looks like this writer spoke too soon.(1) Israel is reportedly interfering with its own, Palestinian citizens’ travel for the Palestine Cup(2) as if exercising and asserting Israeli sovereignty required disrupting Palestinian soccer. Israel and Palestine still have their own teams and programs, though. What Israel is doing with the Palestine Cup may not be clear-cut enough and enough additional motivation to get the world to boycott Israeli football. Why anyone should really want to play with the Americans, though, just not the I$raelis, is unclear to this writer. Even Mahmoud Abbas has acknowledged the United States impedes the two-state solution, including by acting as a bad-faith so-called mediator deceiving both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Over the years, the Amerikans have made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict their conflict.
Apartheid South Africa (Azania) was one state, unlike the situation of the United Mexican States (per-capita GDP a third of the U.S.) existing concurrently and contiguously with settler-imperialist united $nakes containing occupied Mexican territory. Azania was already one country with formal and official apartheid before Dennis Brutus famously used sports to oppose apartheid. So it is not that soccer has nothing to do with politics or that a boycott of Amerikan soccer wouldn’t be useful, but former British colony Azania wasn’t an imperialist country in its own right like Israel is, and Azania has remained in the Third World since the end of Apartheid despite differences with other African countries. The percentage of whites in Azania when apartheid ended is much smaller than the percentage of non-Arabs would be even if Israel annexed the Gaza Strip and the West Bank entirely. That is to say, Israelis, Palestinians and the world would be right to doubt the viability of a one-state solution in Palestine. There are some parallels with apartheid Azania, but not every comparison is appropriate or favors the one-state solution.
The Middle East Quartet report paints a dismal picture of two-state solution prospects.(3) Even if the two-state solution were already dead as some have been claiming like a broken record for years, that wouldn’t by itself make more likely a one-state outcome with peace and citizenship for Palestinians. Indeed, the Quartet’s document itself distinguishes between one-state actual solutions and regrettable de facto one-state outcomes by speaking of “a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict that is incompatible with realizing the national aspirations of both peoples.” To hear some people talk about the one-state solution, though, it is as if the demise of the two-state solution inexorably led to a just one-state outcome.
Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the Quartet report doesn’t mention the Amerikan role, in Middle East conflict, at all. It is just the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” as it is commonly called, whereas in many cases it would be more useful and accurate to think of it as an Amerikan-Palestinian conflict. As a result of self-serving statements like the Amerikan-dominated Quartet’s, you have stupid or lying reactionaries and the misguided influencing people to believe the issue is Jewish domination of everyone including Amerikans (a persistent lie like others told by Amerikans and their lackeys and delusional/idiotic flatterers), not Amerikan obstruction of the two-state solution.(4) Had the Quartet report discussed the Amerikan role, it would be more clear that there is no realistic and desirable one-state alternative to the two-state solution. Amerikans don’t support the two-state solution in practice, particularly where the specific outcome or process necessary to reach it threatens Amerikan interests, so failures in that area shouldn’t be construed to mean the two-state solution isn’t in the Palestinian future.
The Quartet report notes that majorities in both what’s called “Israel,” and the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, still support the two-state solution (apparently as of July or June 2016). Something the report doesn’t mention is the declining Amerikan support for the two-state solution. Already less than half of Amerikans favor Palestinians’ having their own state. As previously discussed,(5) that arguably puts Amerikans to the right of Jewish Amerikans, AIPAC, ADL, many Jewish Israelis, and Benjamin Netanyahu. It is not that Amerikans fail to support the two-state solution because they are becoming more radical or left-wing truly; they aren’t. They have other priorities as exploiters and oppressors. They are more worried about not getting a piece of Mark Zuckerberg’s billions, or picking a president with the wrong “tone,” than about violence and poverty in the Middle East, which they knowingly contribute to through invasions and bombings. There is no Amerikan uprising in support of non-recognition of Israel, transnational socialist revolution, or equalizing Israeli and Palestinian living standards to satisfy an economic aspect of Palestinians’ claims against Israeli colonialism. And, the pseudo-leftist Western movements contesting all borders and states in the Middle East reflect the viewpoint of imperialist power and its capacity to destroy and implement counterrevolution on a geopolitical level. In the united $tates, there is mostly fascist uprising in which the decadent parasites unite or hysterically identify with others in thinking they are more pure, superior or victimized than anyone else.
As this writer does, many Palestinians view the two-state solution as a step toward fuller liberation of Palestine in the future, but that doesn’t make those Palestinians less serious about the two-state solution than the many Amerikans who don’t even/really care. And the Amerikans who don’t know/aren’t sure about having a Palestinian state or not aren’t some kind of progressive force compared with Palestinians or European and Third World elites struggling for more recognition and support for Palestine.
Given the situation of Amerikan public opinion, there is less reason for Amerikan officials to make the sacrifices necessary to not do the things they believe are in the strategic interest of Amerikans, a majority of whom are exploiters and oppressors in the world’s #1 exploiter and aggressor country. Pursuing a two-state solution in which each of the two states would have better economic conditions and economic relations with other states, than would be the case with a continuation of the status quo, isn’t necessarily in Amerikans’ interests. Having a strong ally in the Middle East is more important than the Israeli economy per se or ending a particular conflict between two groups. In addition to a lack of pressure exerted for the two-state solution, the Amerikans actively oppose internationalization of peace efforts on the Palestinian side, multilateralization of talks, reconciliation with Hamas on a basis involving less Amerikan influence, and initiatives with less Amerikan say which might nonetheless lead to a two-state solution that the Israelis accept. The Quartet report mentions none of that, or the variety that exists between proposed political solutions. There is just the Amerikan way to the two-state solution, which the Amerikans claim to uphold against Israeli and Palestinian stubbornness. It seems there are no Amerikan provocations and obstacles, just Israeli and Palestinian provocations and intentions to consider. Arabs, Jews and Muslims are just so inferior to the noble, secular whites of Amerika, according to chauvinists and white-utopians including those working as liberal Democrats in the U.S. State Department.
The Quartet report discusses “one-state reality” in the context of “development” and “underdevelopment.” “Settlement expansion, land designations, and denial of Palestinian development,” are among the things the report discusses in the absence of any Amerikans hindering things. There is an unsurprising lack of substance. Some facts and figures are included (such as numbers of rocket and mortar attacks), but how much development and space are necessary for a sustainable Palestinian state, or the point at which developmental difference is too great and entails some one-state outcome rather than a two-state outcome, is anyone’s guess. GDP and other common measures or indicators aren’t mentioned at all in this document that had United Nations input, things that can and should be known prior to an on-the-ground investigation for political purposes. Specific values aren’t provided for some of the things mentioned, such as unemployment, much less ratios with other countries. There is no comparison or contrast drawn with a historical or contemporary situation. Obviously, if there is a de facto single, Israeli state with the Palestinian state being a puppet or lacking any power, that is compatible with whatever economic conditions and differences exist in Palestine, but that doesn’t say much about prospects for a one-state outcome that both Israelis and Palestinians would tolerate and in which Palestinians have equal citizenship.
One doesn’t need to know the “situation on the ground” to know there’s some point at which development is too little for an actual separate state to exist in the long term in today’s world. But there are dozens of countries with universally recognized states and a per-capita GDP less than, or comparable to, Palestinians’ in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Djibouti, Ghana, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen come to mind – countries that recognize the State of Palestine but not Israel or have had absent or unstable relations with Israel for an extended period of time. At the same time, the greater the GDP differences between the areas in which Israelis and Palestinians live, the less likely a one-state solution may actually be because of the necessity and political/technical difficulty of closing the development and living standard gaps of the non-empty land and people involved, respectively.
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak recently reiterated eir view that Israel – under the influence of extreme right-wing elements – is threatening the whole Zionist project by seeking a one-state conclusion that would actually end up being either apartheid, a non-Jewish state, or a binational state prone to civil war.(6) Despite and partly because of a perception of the “left-wing” one-state solution as utopian, there is a tendency to support the one-state solution in purely normative and speculative terms (the goodness of a greater Israel with future equality etc.) or negatively in terms of factors precluding the two-state solution. A fatalistic view seeing gradual inevitable replacement of the two-state solution by the one-state solution is found among both the Right and the so-called Left, with some delusional “leftists” openly suggesting Israel should annex the remainder of the land it occupies and formalize apartheid as a step toward some future post-apartheid Palestine or world socialism. That is regardless of compensation for Palestinians or what Palestinians want; evidently, Palestinians are just supposed to be submissive. Steady erosion of the two-state solution – discussed in the Quartet report – is something some have been talking about for decades now without specifying a threshold for action or reorientation to take place. The effect is perpetual pessimism about the two-state solution without taking decisive action.
The notion that the Israelis are bringing about an Arab-friendly one-state solution in spite of themselves has appeal because it then becomes easier to justify doing nothing or actively cooperating with Amerikan obstruction of peace efforts. Meanwhile, what actually happens is that Israeli settlements – subsidized by Amerikans directly and indirectly – are in effect used by the united $tates as a bargaining chip against international peace efforts unfavorable to Amerikan interests. The Gaza Strip remains under siege and continues having an internal geography very different from the spatial situation of settlements permeating the West Bank (complicating the notion that patterns of West Bank settlement are evidence of an emerging one-state solution). Settlements expand in the West Bank without Palestinians getting Israeli citizenship. Israel has been pushing for international recognition of its annexation of the Syrian Golan, but most of the Druze there haven’t accepted Israeli citizenship and the total population of the Syrian Golan is small compared even with many individual cities in post-1967 occupied Palestinian territory.
Some consider the wish for Israel to be a Jewish state to be the only obstacle between a horrific one-state reality and a sublime one-state utopia, but there are the economic impediments and no one vote would force Israel to annex all of the territory it occupied after the Six-Day War or force it to give the Palestinians there equal citizenship. Those who haven’t started asking questions about economic differences impacting the one-state solution should accept the opinion of the vast majority of Palestinians who don’t support Israeli annexation. ◊
• “Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s frustration with Obama,” 2011 April 24. http://www.newsweek.com/palestinian-leader-mahmoud-abbass-frustration-obama-66509
• “Majority of Palestinians now oppose two-state solution, new poll finds,” 2014 June 25. http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Majority-of-Palestinians-now-oppose-two-state-solution-new-poll-finds-360489 “Consequentially, those who say they support a two-state solution view such a move as “part of a ‘program of stages’ to liberate all of historic Palestine later.”“
• “Palestine: economic ignorance underpinning preference for the one-state solution,” 2016 July. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-07-23-news-Palestine-one-state-solution.md
1. “Two states on Palestinian turf: soccer games and economic-political realities,” 2016 July. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-07-27-news-two-state-solution-Iran.md
2. “How the Israeli army is deciding Palestine’s soccer championship,” 2016 July 26. http://972mag.com/how-the-israeli-army-is-deciding-palestines-soccer-championship/120931/
“Israeli collective punishment of Palestinians extends to soccer,” 2016 July 26. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Israeli-Collective-Punishment-of-Palestinians-Extends-to-Soccer-20160726-0042.html
3. “Report of the Middle East Quartet,” 2016 July 1. https://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/rpt/259262.htm
4. “Palestine: both Trump and Clinton would approve illegal annexations as demanded by the US-Israel lobby,” 2016 July 27. http://www.globalresearch.ca/palestine-both-trump-and-clinton-would-approve-illegal-annexations-as-demanded-by-the-us-israel-lobby/5538275
5. “Boycott the United Snakes: Amerika standing in the way of the two-state solution,” 2016 July. https://github.com/pinotes/pinotes.github.io/blob/master/_posts/2016-07-15-news-Boycott-United-States.md
6. “Barak: Israel’s true threat is one-state option,” 2016 July 28. http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Former-PM-Barak-Netanyahu-comparing-Iran-with-Nazis-cheapens-the-Holocaust-462601
“Netanyahu policies may turn Israel into apartheid state – former Israeli PM,” 2016 June 17. https://www.rt.com/news/347093-netanyahu-israel-apartheid-barak/