Thursday, June 14, 2007

One-state solution "gaining ground" UN envoy admits

By Ali Abunimah

The Electronic Intifada
13 June 2007

The one-state solution for Palestine-Israel is "gaining
ground," a senior UN diplomat has admitted in a leaked
confidential report. Recently retired UN special envoy Alvaro
de Soto wrote "that the combination of [Palestinian Authority]
institutional decline and Israeli settlement expansion is
creating a growing conviction among Palestinians and Israeli
Arabs, as well as some Jews on the far left in Israel that the
two State solutiuon's best days are behind it."

De Soto's "end of mission" report delivered to his superiors
in May, but published in The Guardian on June 13 contains
stinging criticism of the anti-Hamas and pro-Israeli approach
taken by the UN, the European Union and the United States.
"The steps taken by the international community with the
presumed purpose of bringing about a Palestinian entity that
will live in peace with its neighbour, Israel, have had
precisely the opposite effect," de Soto wrote.

While his broadsides at the failed peace process have been
widely reported, his acknowledgment of the decline of the
two-state solution has drawn less notice.

De Soto, a Peruvian diplomat who has also served as a special
envoy to Cyprus, observed: "Given that a Palestinian state
requires both a territory and a government, and the basis for
both is being systematically undermined," an increasing number
of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs and some Israeli Jews "believe
the only long-term way to end the conflict will be to abandon
the idea of dividing the land and instead, simply insist on
respect for the civil, political and national rights of the
two peoples, Jews and Arabs, who populate the land, in one

Contradicting peace process industry conventional wisdom and
spin, which long held that Israel's 2005 settler pullout from
Gaza was part of an effort to implement the "Road Map" peace
plan, de Soto acknowledged that Israel was motivated entirely
by concerns about the fact that Palestinians are once again on
the verge of becoming the majority in Israeli-ruled territory
(as they were prior to 1948). Israel is in a conundrum because
further unilateral withdrawals are "off the table" while "the
demographic clock continues to tick." De Soto predicts that
"Should the PA pass into irrelevance or non-existence, and the
settlements keep expanding, the one State solution will come
out of the shadows and begin to enter the mainstream."

Signs that this is already happening include increased public
discussion of a single state in the Palestinian solidarity
community. This includes a seminar to be held this July at
Spain's Universidad Complutense de Madrid at which Palestinian
academics and activists from inside Israel, the occupied
territories and the Diaspora, along with counterparts from
Israel, Spain, South Africa and other countries will discuss
legal, practical and political opportunities and possibilites
for a single state. see

Drawing on his experience in Cyprus, de Soto speculates that a
peace plan developed originally for Cyprus based on a
binational confederation could be revived for Palestine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How is that going to work now with everything that is going on in gaza