Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Two States for [??] People

Salam Fayyad broke off a meeting yesterday in New York with Danny Ayalon when Ayalon insisted their joint communique mention "Two states for two people". Jonathan Tobin comments:
The point here is more than mere sophistry. If the peace talks do not result in recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, then the conflict will not be over. While some groups are putting pressure on Israel to concede its right to build in disputed territories prior to even the start of negotiations (such as the left-wing lobby J Street, which published a full page ad in the New York Times today demanding that Israel freeze settlements without mentioning any corresponding concessions from the Palestinians), the PA won’t even admit that a two-state solution will allow for one of the two to be Jewish. One needn’t be a peace-process cynic to understand that what is going on now is a charade, not a genuine negotiation.
I'll offer a different take: If Israel will not be recognized by the Palestinians as the Jewish State, then there's no need for the Temple Mount/Haram elShariff to be in Palestine. On the contrary. Since Palestine will be Judenrein, but Israel (defined as Jewish or not) will have a significant Palestinian minority, the holiest place for both sides should obviously be in the country which is home to citizens of both nations.

Come to think of it: This should be true of the entire city of Jerusalem. Rammallah, with Palestinians only, should be in Palestine. Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem, with mixed populations, should be in the country with the mixed population, the country that can't acceptably be defined as Jewish.


NormanF said...

We can have two homogeneous states. I'm in favor of transferring the Little Triangle with its hostile Arabs to Palestine in exchange for an equivalent area in Yesha. The population exchange would be nearly equal.

That said, the Arabs oppose it because its not really two states for two peoples they're really after. That's always been a propaganda talking point. Simply put, they would like a Palestinian state today with the option to take over the rest of Israel in the future.

And they're outraged Israel would like to deny them that option. Thus, the core of the conflict is existential and is by definition not amenable to any kind of real world compromise. That's why its lasted over a century.

I don't see a resolution to it in our lifetime.

Victor said...

I think, at this point, the Palestinians are trying to drag this out as long as possible. The incompatibility between the positions of both sides, whereby Netanyahu has come into office with a public prepared to make concessions for peace, while Abbas comes to the table with a public more radicalized than ever, necessitates drawing out the moment of reckoning. I think the Americans are starting to understand just how weak and unprepared for a deal the Palestinians are. Netanyahu's fallback positions are within the Israeli and American consensus. The Palestinian fallback positions are deeply outside this consensus. We might get a temporary agreement out of all these talks, but that's all.

In the meantime, with the coming end of the building freeze, I've been paying more attention to the settlements.

The Fog of Jewish Settlement

Enjoy your Sukkot everyone! This is probably my favorite holiday - sleep, eat, run around waving a palm branch, eat, nap, eat, sleep.