My latest in Haaretz. The article is a futuristic speech by a futuristic Palestinian leader. And no, I am not advocating a one-state solution (not yet). The piece is simply a creative effort to remind people that the window of opportunity for the two-state solution is rapidly closing. If you like what you read please spread it around.
* Without a viable two-state solution to the Middle East conflict, this is what a speech by a Palestinian leader might look like in the year 2019.
Dear party members, honored guests, and fellow Palestinians (in the homeland and Diaspora). Thank you for gathering at this historic congress. Your presence here is proof against all those who believe that our divisions keep us from peacefully gathering, sharing ideas, disagreeing and uniting.
Ten years ago, standing here, we announced our commitment to the two-state solution. We stated loud and clear that we are dedicated to a peace process whose end goal was a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza strip, with a capital in Jerusalem, and a just resolution to the refugee problem. This was a great compromise of our historic rights, yet we understood that there was no realistic alternative to end the occupation without this concession.
Our position was backed by a determined American administration, a unified Arab League, a resolute European Union, and in general, a supportive international community. For the first time in history a comprehensive solution was possible. Everybody involved understood the urgency of the matter, and was willing to invest time, manpower, and money into ending our tragedy. Everybody, save one country: Israel.
The Israeli government remained intransigent in its attachment to our land. In the peace summit of 2011, former president Abbas offered Israel the most far-reaching compromise to date, yet Prime Minister Netanyahu would not hear of it.
“Jerusalem,” he said, “will forever remain the undivided capital of the Jewish people.”
“The major settlement blocs,” he said, “will remain in Israel’s control.”
“And the refugees,” he said, “will have a right of return into Palestine proper. Never to Israel.”
Hence at the peace summit of 2011, Israel articulated its own infamous three “no”s: no to Jerusalem, no to settlements, and no to refugees. And now another “no” is to be added to this ignominious list: No to the two-state solution.
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