Israel’s latest landgrab in the West Bank has caused several more mainstream media outlets to offer eulogies to the two-state solution– and note that Israel has isolated the United States diplomatically. Here are a few of them:
Karl Vick, at Time Magazine, describes the new Israeli settlement as a “game ender” for the two-state solution and says it will only isolate Israel further:
“The impact,” says [Israeli attorney Daniel] Seidemann, whom foreign embassies routinely consult as an expert on settlements and the boundaries of the contentious city, “is basically the creation of facts on the ground that would make the two-state solution dead. It’s not only a game changer, it’s a game ender.”
The reaction to Netanyahu’s bold move, both in Israel and abroad, was swift and negative. Britain and France summoned Israel’s ambassadors to hear protests, and reportedly were considering ordering their own envoys home, a move without precedent.
LA Times has this statement:
As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, it would deal “an almost fatal blow” to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it would make it extremely difficult to configure a reasonably contiguous Palestinian state. (The Obama administration described the Israeli announcement as “counterproductive,” and a State Departmentspokesman said that construction in E-1 “would be damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.”)
Ian Black at the Guardian also says the two-state solution is finished, and calls on the EU to take charge.
[A]uthorising illegal settlements in the area known as E1 is plainly provocative. It is, as the UN’s Ban ki-Moon put it, a near-fatal blow to the fading hopes for a two-state solution. Britain’s foreign secretary, Wiliam Hague, made the same point starkly…
Swift and concerted diplomatic protests across Europe were certainly headline-grabbing. But what counts is whether they will be followed by more united and robust action. Even more important, what will be the response of the US, the only member of the security council to vote no to Palestine last week?
At Al Jazeera, Neve Gordon and Yinon Cohen post graphs demonstrating that the West Bank settlers have been demographically successful– that is to say, they will never leave:
[D]emographic changes within the West Bank obstruct the possibility of the two-state solution. The numbers suggest that Abbas’ bid to the United Nations was too little, too late.
The two scholars point out that immigration to the West Bank collapsed after the Second Intifada, but the settlers have more than made up for that by having lots of kids. Twenty years ago, there were 9,000 new settlers and 2600 births in a year. Today, the numbers are reversed: 3600 new settlers, but nearly 11,000 births.
And here’s a brilliant piece by Henry Siegman at Foreign Policy asking who doomed the two-state solution, Obama or Netanyahu? And answering: Obama.
This continuity of U.S. Middle East peace policy was promptly reinforced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she assured Israel [Friday] that despite her condemnation of its decision to proceed with new construction in the E1 corridor of the West Bank that will doom the two-state solution, this administration will continue to “have Israel’s back.”
The decision confirms America’s irrelevance not only to a possible resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict but to the emerging political architecture of the entire region, the shape and direction of which will increasingly be determined by popular Arab opinion, not autocratic regimes dependent on the United States for their survival.
The efforts promised by President Obama to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will be seen universally for the empty and purposeless exercise they will be. To be taken seriously, a new U.S. peace initiative would have to begin with an insistence that Israel’s government accept the pre-1967 border as the starting point of resumed negotiations. Without such a U.S. demand, backed by effective diplomatic pressure, the United States will have no right to ask Palestinians to return to negotiations that have no terms of reference, and therefore no prospect of producing anything other than cover for Israel’s continuing predatory colonial behavior in the West Bank….
A U.S. administration that since the third year of its first term has been pandering to the Israel lobby by withdrawing its insistence that Israel’s illegal settlements project must end, followed by a muting of its demand that resumed negotiations be framed by reasonable terms of reference, should exercise considerably greater restraint before presuming to preach to others on the subject of political courage.
Netanyahu’s decision to proceed with massive new construction in the Jerusalem area and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories is not what doomed the two-state solution. It was always clear this is what he intended doing. What doomed the two-state solution was Obama’s decision to give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the veto over Palestinian statehood.
Robert Wright in The Atlantic, seeking to resuscitate the two-state solution for the sake of the U.S., advises Obama to take Israel on: to inform Netanyahu that he’s planning to deliver a speech that calls the Israelis out over their latest plans and says that the U.S. will no longer support Israel at the U.N. Netanyahu will then cave, Wright predicts.
But he adds a big disclaimer:
I’m not saying Obama will take this approach; obviously, it would be out of character for him to be so bold. I’m just saying that if he did take this approach it would work. I’m also saying that if he doesn’t do something to rein Netanyahu in, he’s not doing his duty as president.
Glenn Greenwald, at the Guardian, says Israel is now a rogue state, with the U.S. at its side.
So essentially, it’s the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north, Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side.