• Killing the Palestinians’ hopes for statehood , On: Sun, 19 Feb 2017

  • The migration issue after Malta , On: Sun, 12 Feb 2017

  • The Trump administration’s early record , On: Sun, 05 Feb 2017

  • Israeli settlement policies could endanger regional and global peace , On: Sun, 29 Jan 2017

  • The messages of Davos , On: Sun, 22 Jan 2017

  • Predicting MENA’s future, On: Sun, 15 Jan 2017

  • Welcoming 2017 , On: Sun, 08 Jan 2017

  • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, On: Sun, 25 Dec 2016

  • The Cairo bombing , On: Sun, 18 Dec 2016

  • The wages of war , On: Sun, 11 Dec 2016

  • The continuing flow of migrants across the Mediterranean, On: Sun, 04 Dec 2016

  • Risks of social media abuse in MENA region , On: Sun, 27 Nov 2016

  • Arab youth should be a source of hope, not concern, On: Sun, 20 Nov 2016

  • After the election of Donald Trump , On: Sun, 13 Nov 2016

  • Many hopes are pinned on Marrakech climate conference , On: Sun, 06 Nov 2016

  • Stability in the Maghreb, On: Sun, 30 Oct 2016

  • Syria’s bloody story , On: Sun, 23 Oct 2016

  • Stopping the tragedy of child brides, On: Sun, 16 Oct 2016

  • Welcoming the new UN chief , On: Sun, 09 Oct 2016

  • The refugee crisis is not going away , On: Sun, 02 Oct 2016

  • The Arab world’s water crisis is not going away , On: Sun, 18 Sep 2016

  • New reports underline the cost of Israeli occupation , On: Sun, 11 Sep 2016

  • Saving children from war and terror, On: Sun, 04 Sep 2016

  • The humanitarian tragedy in Libya , On: Sun, 28 Aug 2016

  • Worrisome trends but also welcome moves regarding smoking in MENA, On: Sun, 21 Aug 2016

  • The Arab world at the Rio Olympics, On: Sun, 14 Aug 2016

  • Progress in interfaith relations in Europe is a sign of hope, On: Sun, 07 Aug 2016

  • The role of the private sector in MENA , On: Sun, 31 Jul 2016

  • Tourism is resilient and Arab countries should prepare for its recovery , On: Sun, 24 Jul 2016

  • Attack in Nice is a crime against humanity but should not fuel intolerance , On: Sun, 17 Jul 2016

  • Concerns after Brexit, On: Sun, 03 Jul 2016

  • Moving Arab educational systems beyond diplomas , On: Sun, 26 Jun 2016

  • The threat of lone wolves , On: Sun, 19 Jun 2016

  • The heavy toll of war in MENA, On: Sun, 12 Jun 2016

  • The media and internet wars against ISIS , On: Sun, 05 Jun 2016

  • The need for tolerance in the Arab world , On: Sun, 29 May 2016

  • On the dangerous implications of illegal migration , On: Sun, 22 May 2016

  • The Sykes-Picot agreement, 100 years later , On: Sun, 15 May 2016

  • The gap between the Muslim minority and European societies needs to be bridged , On: Sun, 08 May 2016

  • Killing the Palestinians’ hopes for statehood

    Slow demise of two-state solution is increasingly obvious, with or without Trump.

    2017/02/19 Issue: 94 Page: 6

    Did Donald Trump declare a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict dead or did he merely state the obvious when he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the White House?

    Trump certainly dealt a big blow to the two-state solution as the pathway to peace. He ended decades of US bipartisan political support for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state alongside the Jewish one. In the process, he abandoned a principle adopted by the European Union and the United Nations.

    There are bound to be changes, too, in the international negotiating body known as the Quartet, of which the United States is a part. The Quartet is pledged to two states achieved through negotiations and the United States appears no longer to believe in that.

    Trump said he could “live with” either a two-state or a one-state solution. There are at least three problems with Trump’s de facto abandonment of the two-state formula.

    First, it gives Israel, the more powerful side in an agonizingly asymmetric conflict, carte blanche to decide what should hap­pen to the occupied territories.

    Second, it ends the stalwart US insistence that it is committed to a two-state process.

    Third — and most dismally — it extinguishes the little hope remaining to the Palestinians that their nearly 70-year fight for justice and self-determination would one day bear fruit.

    Trump said he could “live with” any solution but it is actually the Palestinians who will have to live with the consequences of his casual pronouncement. Millions of them will have to put up with an ignominious existence as second-class citizens. Rather than having dignity and rights, they will be continually stopped at checkpoints, hemmed in by encroaching Jewish settlements and denied the possibility of living as fully fledged citizens of a free nation.

    That said, the slow demise of the two-state solution was increasingly obvious, with or without Trump. Last April, a report from the office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process took a doleful view of the two-state solution. It pointed out the problems posed by the lack of Palestinian unity and the failure to have elections.

    The Oslo process was supposed to have reached a final-status agreement by 1998. What has been achieved instead is a total collapse of belief in a two-state solution, marked by a complete lack of trust on both sides, Israel’s unbridled settlements-build­ing policy and now the US president’s refusal to press for a balanced apportioning of land, rights and responsibilities.

    It is scarcely believable, however, that Israel thinks it can so easily claim for itself the right to be a “Jewish state” in which the Palestinians would be second-class citizens. Neither do right-thinking Israelis — and there are many — agree with the idea of cruelly denying Palestinians the right of self-determination.

    Millions of Palestinians have lived with the dehumanising reality of occupation for far too long. Now they have a new struggle — against the end of hope.

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