Comment Writer Jadzia Samuel argues that the Guild of Students goes unrecognised by many students, and suggests how this can changeWritten by Jadzia on 19th March 2018
What Next After Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration?
Comment Writer Zaid Salam argues there is not, and there never was, hopes or plans of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
On 6th December, President Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announced his intention to move the US embassy to the contested city. As all proposals for a two-state solution divide the city in some fashion between Israel and Palestine, pundits considered it dangerous for the US to unilaterally assert its status before negotiations had concluded.
But of course, the status of Jerusalem is not in question, and hasn’t been for 50 years. Since the 1967 war, the city in its entirety has been under Israeli control, and will be as firmly Israeli territory after the embassy move as it will have been before it. Trump’s announcement is merely a recognition of what is reality, and what has been the status quo for decades.
“President Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and announced his intention to move the US embassy to the contested city
The decades-long farce of a ‘peace process’ and a ‘two-state solution’ has allowed observers, regardless of whether they care about Palestinian rights, to avoid confronting the reality of the conflict today. This announcement did nothing else, other than making it impossible to cling on to the two-state fantasy any longer, and for this we should thank President Trump.
Indeed, the Israeli right may come to regret the collapse of the two-state facade. Control of all the land, while denying Palestinians their human and political rights, could be rationalised as long as there was a vague guarantee of future Palestinian statehood. Now it is clear that there is zero political motivation in the United States or Israel to withdraw the settlements, divide the land, or give a Palestinian state anything it needs for it to be truly sovereign and independent, the justification for the occupation, such as it is, collapses.
Good meaning people should stop entertaining the demonstrable myths that underpin the two-state solution. Israel will never withdraw hundreds of thousands of settlers, let alone concede a division of Jerusalem. President Trump isn’t some freak actor prejudicing the US’s role as a neutral peace-broker, the White House has never ever played a neutral peace-broking role in this conflict, no matter how suave or emollient its occupants have been. For decades Washington has funded and armed the state of Israel, and it continues to defend its occupation and military operations at the UN.
The endless charade of summits, negotiations and peace plans only stalls progress, and merely serves to cement Israeli occupation of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. From the farcical UN partition onwards, two-state solution advocacy has merely institutionalised Israeli domination, Palestinian dependency, and most crucially, divisions and recriminations between both populations, and its time to finally let it go.
“It is clear that there is zero political motivation in the United States or Israel to withdraw the settlements, divide the land, or give a Palestinian state anything it needs for it to be truly sovereign and independent
All the legal and political momentum is towards a single political entity in Israel-Palestine, the only question is the form this state takes. Leftists, liberals, moderates and anyone else who claims to support the rights and dignity of all people should wake up, and turn to the only logical and inevitable alternative. Now it is clear that there will be no partitioning of land, the only realistic solution, as it was in 1947, is a single, secular, binational state that guarantees the liberty of every individual and community in its borders. One person one vote, with one passport and one parliament.
If Palestinians and Israelis both claim the entire land, from the river to the sea, the only logical solution is for them to share the land in a state underpinned by democracy, freedom, and equality- concepts that shouldn’t be too alien to the so-called liberal observers, who currently preach inclusivity at home but sectarianism abroad.
The southern Levant is a land of many histories and cultures, which, even after decades of ethnic cleansing and mass population transfers, are not so easily boxed into neat Westphalian nation-state borders. Now the spectre of a Palestinian client state has been exposed as just that, it is only a matter of time until Palestinian political pressure shifts to full civil and human rights in a single democratic state which respects the rights of all of its inhabitants- a demand that no government can resist indefinitely.