New US policy on West Bank settlements buries two-state solution || AW

The Israeli-Palestinian dispute is the Gordian knot of modern politics. The more levels you unravel, the more problems there seem to be.

The Middle East has perplexed and confounded the brightest minds with a complex knowledge and understanding of the region, its people, its culture and its problems. From the brightest politicians to the wisest scholars, everyone is a shekel less or a day behind.

So imagine how much more complex this conflict must seem to outsiders who don’t have in-depth knowledge of the terrain and who don’t understand what drives people in this conflict.

Lacking the experience to resolve such disputes, Trump administration negotiators will find themselves in that bottomless pit that has dragged down every politician who has tried to mediate the dispute since Gunnar’s first attempt. Jarring to broker peace between Arabs and Israelis in 1967.

What makes this more worrying is the arrogance of the current White House resident, who lacks experience in mediating a bar fight, let alone one of the longest conflicts and the most complex in the world.

US President Donald Trump mistakenly believes his decisions could advance the peace process. In reality, it adds to the problem.

Trump thought he could advance the dormant peace process, but his interposed edicts, such as when he ordered the transfer of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv or when he declared that Israel could annex the Golan Heights, rolled back the potential for a peaceful resolution.

Trump believes he and his close aides, primarily his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, can succeed where others have failed. So far they have only succeeded in alienating the Palestinians, who refuse to negotiate with Trump.

The United States had supported the idea of ​​a two-state solution but, given Pompeo’s statement regarding Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the United States is making a major reversal of the policy and legal opinion of long-standing view of settlements as incompatible with international law.

The two-state solution was based on a set of compromises: Palestinians claiming their land in exchange for Israeli security and peace, and Palestinians accepting a formula of no right of return to Israel in exchange for Jerusalem as their capital.

However, the Trump administration’s decision buries the idea of ​​two states existing side by side and leaves a one-state solution as the only alternative, one in which Arabs make up about 50% of Israel’s population. unfortunate for the two Israelis. and the Palestinians.

The Israelis, far more than the Palestinians, reject the one-state solution because if the Palestinians were absorbed into Israel, that would, in a very short time, leave the Israelis in a minority in their own country.

A few years ago, following another failed attempt to bridge the gap between Israelis and Palestinians, some young Palestinians floated the idea of ​​accepting the one-state solution.

“I’m tired of being treated like a second-class citizen. I am tired of the occupation and the way we are treated by the Israelis,” said a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization negotiating team. “Make us citizens of a one-state solution with equal rights and forget about having an independent state of Palestine.”

The first blow to a two-state solution came when Trump declared Jerusalem the legitimate capital of Israel without saying the same for the Palestinians.

The Trump administration then declared that the only right of return for Palestinians should be those who originally left Israel more than 70 years ago, not their offspring, completely ignoring international rights of return and property for Palestinians. family members.

Now comes the fatal blow – Pompeo declaring that Israel has the right to take Palestinian land in the West Bank to accommodate the expansion of its citizens. Pompeo ignored the fact that the settlements were deemed illegal.

“Now that the United States has declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, settlements in the West Bank are legal, and the United States has declared limited rights of return, there is no longer any reason for either the other side is negotiating a peaceful and final agreement on a two-state solution,” said Edward M. Gabriel, former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco and currently Chairman of the U.S. Task Force for Lebanon.

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