The two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict has suffered blow after blow over the years. Israel’s creation of facts on the ground, from settlements to walls and roads, has sought to divide and displace Palestinians.
Now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea and eventually all Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank renders the peace process clinically dead.
Just days before the Israeli elections rerun, a desperate Netanyahu has shown he will resort to any measure that could garner him more votes.
There has been tacit American approval for the move, with the U.S. saying it wouldn’t get in the way of an eventual peace settlement – a statement that means absolutely nothing.
In another telling development, the White House recently announced that Avi Berkowitz is one of two men who will “take on an increased role” next to Jared Kushner in supposedly working on Middle East peace. The 30-year-old’s elevation confirms the U.S. president sees Middle East policy as a family freefor-all, where experts are eschewed and pals are promoted.
But back to the Jordan Valley, which accounts for about a third of the occupied West Bank.
“This announcement is a declaration of war against the Palestinian people’s rights as well as the very foundations of the international rule-based order,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi has said. Netanyahu “is not only destroying the twostate solution, he is destroying all chances of peace.”
The U.N., the EU, the Arab League and various international organizations have issued condemnation after condemnation over the years as Israel has gone ahead with its campaign against the Palestinians.
Since Netanyahu’s announcement, they’ve started up again.
This approach hasn’t worked in the past and it certainly won’t work now. The Israelis won’t blink unless they get a serious international reaction.
If they mean what they say, Arab states in particular need to use all the clout they have – right now – to stop Netanyahu in his tracks. Otherwise, prepare for the hurricane.