Once again, Europe’s top diplomats expressed their ‘deep concern’ regarding Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement expansion, again evoking the maxim that Israeli actions “threaten the viability of the two-state solution”.
This position was communicated by EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell, on November 19, during a video-conference with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and should be rejected in words and action, regardless of whether they pose a threat to the defunct two-state solution or not.
Aside from the fact that Europe’s ‘deep concern’ is almost never followed with any substantive action, articulating a legal and moral stance in the context of imaginary solutions is particularly meaningless.
The question, then, is: “Why does the West continue to use the two-state solution as its political parameter for a resolution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine while, at the same time, failing to take any meaningful measure to ensure its implementation?”
The answer lies, partly, in the fact that the two-state solution was never devised for implementation, to begin with. Like the “peace process” and other pretenses, it aimed to promote, among Palestinians and Arabs, the idea that there is a goal worth striving for, despite it being unattainable.
However, even that goal was, itself, conditioned on a set of demands that were unrealistic at the outset. Historically, Palestinians have had to renounce violence (their armed resistance to Israel’s military occupation), consent to various UN resolutions (even if Israel still rejects those resolutions), accept Israel’s “right” to exist as a Jewish state, and so on. That yet-to-be-established Palestinian State was also meant to be demilitarized, divided between the West Bank and Gaza, but excluding most of occupied East Jerusalem.
Yet, while warnings that a two-state solution possibility is disintegrating, few bothered to try to understand the reality from a Palestinian perspective. Fed up with the illusions of their own failed leadership, according to a recent poll, two-thirds of Palestinians now agree that a two-state solution is not possible.
Even the claim that a two-state solution is necessary, at least as a precursor to a permanent one-state solution, is absurd. This argument places yet more obstacles before the Palestinian quest for freedom and rights. If the two-state solution was ever feasible, it would have been achieved when all parties, at least publicly, championed it. Now, the Americans are no longer committed to it and the Israelis have moved past it into whole new territories, plotting the illegal annexation and permanent occupation of Palestine.