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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.

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Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


One state is formula for status quo

Negotiations for two states have made most progress recently under Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister 2006-09.

The One State Fantasy

By M.J. Rosenberg, blog
January 28, 2013

Let me state for the record that I am neither a two-stater nor a one-stater nor a no-stater.

The only long-term resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that I favor is that both peoples – Israelis and Palestinians – ultimately live in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River in peace, and with full democratic rights. I don’t much care how that is achieved so long as it is through negotiations and not violence.

However, in the real world and right now, I think the two-state solution is the only possible one and that it is the one that needs to be pursued.

I don’t believe that it is likely that it will be, with any seriousness anyway. And that is because the Israeli government, backed by the United States, won’t even consider (1) dismantling the settlements, (2) withdrawing from the West Bank, (3) ending the blockade of Gaza, and (4) sharing Jerusalem — and those are the prerequisites for a Palestinian state.

Given all that, even if Hamas which is, along with Netanyahu’s government the other obstacle to two states, announced tomorrow that it fully supports Israel’s right to security within the pre-’67 lines, nothing would happen.

So, while I support the two-state solution, I don’t believe it can be implemented unless and until the United States conditions our support for Israel – both aid and diplomatic support such as we provide both at the United Nations and on such matters as Iran — on Israel agreeing to negotiate toward fully ending the occupation.

So why don’t I favor pursuing the one-state option instead?

That is an easy one. Given that the Netanyahu government refuses to even consider withdrawing from the West Bank (or even freezing settlements there) in order to achieve the two-state solution, it is ridiculous to even contemplate that it would consider allowing all of Israel itself to be folded into one Israeli/Palestinian state.

The logic of those who say that Israel has destroyed the two-state option and that now only one state makes sense is analogous to this: a child asks his parents for a cookie before dinner. They say “no.” He responds: “Then how about three cookies.”

It makes no sense.

Some one-state supporters argue that one-state could be established if Palestinians simply sought Israeli citizenship rather than an end to the occupation. Soon there would be a Palestinian majority that would use its democratic rights to change the nature of Israel from a Jewish state to a state for all the people who live there. The United Nations would guarantee those rights.

Except it would never happen.

Israel might agree to annex all the territories but it would never agree to grant Palestinian citizens full rights. The Palestinians of Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin would simply revert to the position they were in before the Palestinian Authority was created in 1993.

They would be living under occupation without democratic rights. And, of course, the United Nations would not be able to do anything because the United States would use its veto. I already can hear the argument from the United States ambassador to the United Nation: “The United States has to veto the resolution granting Palestinians democratic rights inside Israel because ‘one size fits all’ democracy does not apply to Israel which is surrounded by enemies….” Etc. Etc.

In short, talking about one state is simply a formula for maintaining the status quo.

The only hope for now is working to achieve the two-state solution. The process would need to start with the United States demanding an Israeli settlement freeze and not backing down as in the past. Once the freeze is in effect, the Palestinians would return to negotiations. Hamas would have the option of joining once an agreement is reached.

Yes, it sounds far-fetched. But negotiations along these lines have actually made progress in the past, most recently under the Israeli government of Ehud Olmert.

The only progress toward one state (if that is what anyone wants to call it) is when Israel expands settlements which will lead inevitably to one state called Israel with stateless and rights-less Palestinians living inside it.

The United States should insist on negotiations toward a two-state solution now and that means applying pressure on Israel and the Palestinians to start talking. Once two states are achieved, and they actually have been living side by side in peace for a decade or two, one-state might look like a serious option. For now, it barely qualifies as a dream.

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