I'm struck by the fact that, under that headline, even the fairly conservative Economist
is conveying doubt
about a two-state solution in the Arab-Israeli conflict:
"Even if an Israeli government were determined to remove Jewish
settlements in the West Bank in order to make way for a Palestinian
state, it would now be exceptionally hard to remove Jews living in the
settlement of Kiryat Arba and in the nearby ancient city of Hebron,
which has sites that are holy both to Jews and Muslims...
"As our map shows, the Israelis have been steadily tightening a physical
link between the oldest downtown part of Hebron, where the holiest
places are situated, with the modern settlement of Kiryat Arba. The
tighter the link, mainly in terms of roads and the contiguity and
acquisition of Jewish houses in ancient Hebron, the harder it will be,
in the event of a two-state settlement, to remove a Jewish presence. 'They are strategically planning for the creation of a Jews-only area,
which would tie Kiryat Arba, the Cave of Machpela and the other downtown
settlements together,' says an expert from a multinational organisation
that monitors Hebron. 'Over time they want to push out any Palestinians
from this area with the help of house purchases and military orders
that prevent Palestinians from moving around'."
The article also begins one paragraph with "For optimists who still think a two-state solution is feasible..." I mention this because it shows how wide is the sense that the two-state solution, which for years has been the common goal of peacemakers in the region and around the world, is unlikely due mainly to the progression of Israeli colonization of the West Bank. This is a danger because there's no momentum for anything to take its place except my own suspicion that we could see an Israeli imposition of a series of disconnected theoretically autonomous Palestinian enclaves before the end of this decade.
Labels: Israel, Palestine