President Barack Obama’s failure to secure another 90 day settlement “freeze” from Israel could prove to be a clarifying moment. It has immediately prompted media discussion of the disintegration of the two-state solution and the reality that Israel could become an apartheid state (leaving aside the fact that Israel is already one).
While obviously not supportive of any move towards a democratic, secular and equal state for all, Thomas Friedman warns of the coming future:
What this means, argues the Hebrew University philosopher Moshe Halbertal, is that the window for a two-state solution is rapidly closing. Israel will end up permanently occupying the West Bank with its 2.5 million Palestinians. We will have a one-state solution. Israel will have inside its belly 2.5 million Palestinians without the rights of citizenship, along with 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. “Then the only question will be what will be the nature of this one state — it will either be apartheid or Lebanon,” said Halbertal. “We will be confronted by two horrors.”
The Associated Press has a much better article up about how “the utter lack of progress in peace talks and continued Jewish settlement in the West Bank has many people warning that Israel might instead be headed toward a one-state reality”:
Israel is creating facts on the ground with the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank. Each additional settler, critics warn, deepens an already great intertwining of the two peoples and will make it more difficult to carve out a separate Palestine
Both Friedman and the AP’s framing of the issue put Israeli fears about a one-state solution as paramount, ignoring the potential benefits Israel/Palestine as one-state could have.
But it’s an important moment to catalog: the one-state solution, and the apartheid word, is slowly entering into the mainstream as a result of the Obama administration’s utter failure to produce anything substantive out of peace talks.