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An Alternative to the “Two-State Solution”
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
December 13, 2016

It is not secret that Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals are about to prepare for an improper project as a substitute for the “two-state solution”.

The events and developments are accelerating on the Palestinian arena , so that the fog is increasing and surrounding the project of the “two-state solution”, which was proposed by the United States and adopted by the International “Quartet” as an application for the program of Oslo and the roadmap plan.

We can read this acceleration in more than a sign, most notably:

• Netanyahu's insistence on rejecting the principle of the “two-state solution” and to be a "Palestinian state" alongside with Israel, even according to the Israeli American standards.

So Netanyahu is going more and more in the settlement expansion projects, inside and around Jerusalem, in the framework of the Judaization of the city, and the separation between it and between the Palestinian Arab surroundings, and the isolation of it from the Palestinian West Bank, and the enhancement of its connection with Israel as a unified city and an eternal capital of the state.

Netanyahu also is going more in the settlement expansion projects in the Palestinian West Bank, and perhaps the last step (which is not the last, of course) the approval of the Israeli Knesset, initially on the draft resolution to legislate the settlements and the settlement outposts that Israel recognizes that they are built illegally on confiscated Palestinian lands, which the Israeli court had confirmed the return of them to their Palestinian respective owners. A project which was described by the Palestinian Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, that it is the most dangerous decision taken by Tel Aviv because it can thus pave to the annexation of the settlements and the settlements outposts and the entire region C, which forms 60% of the Palestinian West Bank, to Israel, as well as the annexation of the occupied East Jerusalem.

Admittedly, by John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, this expansion would disrupt the project of the “two-state solution”, and that it threatens the future of Israel as a Jewish state, also he emphasized that half of the ministers of the Netanyahu government are against the “two-state solution”.

• In the same context, it became clear that , as Israel is planning to annex the region C from one side, but is preparing for it in the context that it wants to make it legal, and protects the settlement project from the global criticism, especially the European one.

So, Netanyahu government suggests what has become known as “the solution of Cyprus”, a solution that has been decided, after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, to divide the island into two areas, one Turkish and the other is Greek, and to exchange the populations between the two regions, and to pay financial compensations for those who were affected by the two parties.

Europe has recognized, for example, this solution, and the divided Cyprus is considered by the international community as a fait accompli. Netanyahu's ambition is to reach by this “model” in the West Bank to the stage that turns into a reality that is internationally recognized.

As well as he is working on the annexation of the region C, the settlements and Jerusalem, and he formed for this, legal and technical committees to develop the project from its various aspects, and he is getting the help from an international law experts to provide the legal basis to this solution, so the Palestinian West Bank to be transferred into “two” recognized parts, a part that is “an integral part of Israel” which is the settlements and the region C, and the other part, to be Palestinian, that its ceiling is a self-administrative ruling authority, that does not go out of the Israeli security system cover, through enhancing the “sacred” security cooperation (for Abbas) and that does not go out of the Israeli economic system through promoting the dependency of the Palestinian economy on Israel.

In the same context , it seems that the United States, in its eagerness to preserve Israel as a Jewish Zionist state with regional known function, and under the perception of the US administration that the settlement expansion disrupts the establishment of the “two states”, and for exceeding the formula of the “one state” with the Israeli facts that are based on the racial discrimination, Washington began searching for an alternative solution to the so-called the “two-state solution”, that ensures the survival of Israel as a Zionist state, and establishes in return a Palestinian entity, separate from Israel, that suggests as if the conflict has reached a peaceful solution, so that the Arab-Israeli relations could be normalized, and the doors could be opened to integrate Israel in the Arab region, from the position of the superior and the owner and of the influence and the agent for the United States in the region and the lawful protector of its interests, in the light of the developments and the implications of the situations in the Arab countries.

The project, which some sources said that the United States is working on elaborating it, is the Jordanian-Palestinian federal project in the context of reviving the United Arab Kingdom.

The sources confirm that some Arab capitals had been notified by the United States to re-examine this alternative project, and to develop an “Arab Initiative” and to launch it in the negotiations, to pave the way before the United States to intervene, and push for the application of this new initiative, which is supposed to be built on the ruins of Beirut Initiative (2002).

Some sources tell that some Arab capitals informed Mahmoud Abbas about this information, and requested from him to reshape his policy on that basis.

In this context, the observers noticed how Abbas, in his opening speech, before the seventh conference of Fatah, insisted that the existing entity now is no longer an “authority” but it becomes a state. He also insisted that this state is recognized by the international community and that from now on, he will correspond with the world on behalf of the State of Palestine and not on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

The political circles as we wonder whether this insistence on portraying the Palestinian Authority as a state, a form of escaping forward, or is it a first step toward the middle of the road to meet the American project to revive the idea of the confederation with Jordan.

The events and developments, in connection with the Palestinian cause are accelerating, including for example, the arrival of Trump to the presidency in the United States, the reluctance of the French president to run for a new term and the resignation of the Prime Minister of France and the coming of the interior minister instead of him, at the head of the government. All these developments are opening the door to ask about the features of the new US policy in the region, especially after it became possible that Dennis Ross to come back as an adviser for Trump for the Middle East and the Palestinian issue.

Also they are opening the door to ask about the fate of the Paris Conference, which was decided to reduce its level to become on the level of foreign ministers (or their representatives) after Hollande personal hesitation about its convention, and after an official at Abbas's office in Ramallah, told that there is a possibility to postpone the conference for next year, without appointing a specific date for it.

All these developments are exposing the Palestinian national interests to danger, while it seems that the official Palestinian leadership at the Fatah conference did not provide solutions to the suspended crises and issues, such as: the division, the settlement, the prisoners and the salvation of the occupation.

We believe that the continuation of the status quo is only a sign of the bankruptcy, that the resolutions of the Fatah 7th Conference did not get us out of it, but only the unified national program, which its headlines were formulated by the Palestinian national case in the national reconciliation document (2006), and in the Central Council resolutions (5-3-2015).

The door will stay open to the possibilities, especially when the opportunities will be available for the street to say its word again as it did in the first and in the second intifadas, and as the young people of Palestine are doing in their valiant uprising.

Notes: Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by: Ibrahim Motlaq

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