Opinion

One Person, One Vote for Israel-Palestine

Gideon Levy
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U.S. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold up a Golan Heights proclamation outside the West Wing after a meeting in the White House in Washington, DC. March 25, 2019. Credit: AFP
Gideon Levy

The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan brings with it good news and bad news. It will put the final nail in the coffin of that walking corpse known as the two-state solution – that’s the good news. It will also create a new reality in which international law, the resolutions of the international community and especially international institutions are meaningless.

Filled with the hope that the U.S. president instills in us, in his great mercy, let’s begin with the good news. Once his proposal is made public, no one will ever be able to talk with any seriousness about the two-state solution. It was probably never born, but now it is clearly dead. There is no Palestinian state and there never will be.

The gall of America to support Israeli annexation now and the establishment of a Palestinian state only “in the future” – as if the burning issue were annexation, not the occupation – is only an ornament for the casket. The Palestinian Authority, the European Union, the United Nations, the Jewish establishment and the Zionist left will no longer be able to mention this option without making complete asses of themselves.

How would European countries dare mention the two-state solution without disgracing themselves? How would the Zionist left dare speak of the creation of a Palestinian state? Where exactly? Between Bethlehem and Beit Ummar, with the monstrosity of the annexed Gush Etzion bloc in the middle? Between East Jerusalem and Jericho, with greater Ma’aleh Adumim in between? A Palestinian Lilliput, Mini Palestine, a miniature park with tiny-scale models of buildings and people in a grotesque demonstration of a just solution.

With the Jordan Valley and most of the West Bank settlements under Israeli sovereignty, the Palestinians are guaranteed not to have a state, half-state, city government or neighborhood. Nothing but a penal colony. With the Jordan Valley and most of the settlements annexed, Donald Trump makes official the establishment of the apartheid state to be known as the State of Israel. What Herzl began in Basel, Trump finished in Washington.

From now on, it will be impossible to let the international community, especially the pretentious and self-described seeker of the good, keep paying lip service to the two-state solution. There is no such thing. There never was. There never will be. If the international community, and with it the PA, hope to ever solve the Palestinian problem, they have just one way forward: the establishment of a democracy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Nothing else is left.

Europe, which has turned into the muzzle of critics of the occupation, must adopt a new language, the language of equal rights. The world has two choices: It can recognize apartheid or it can support the one-democratic-state solution. Europe can’t continue to embrace Israel and talk about “shared values” with the official apartheid state. It will have to remember, finally, how it behaved with that state’s predecessor, South Africa, and how Europe and a version of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement led to the fall of that regime.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA will also have to say goodbye to the dream. It has been shelved. It has been replaced by a different dream, and they will have to take it on, speak its language and work to make it come true – that or give in to apartheid in exchange for the fistful of dollars promised by the Americans. It’s the same for Israel, of course. Their dream, a Jewish state, has also been shelved. Zionism is over. You remained silent, you supported, you ignored. Now deal with it.

Trump’s news and the world’s capitulation, however, is much more portentous. Trump is creating not only a new Israel, but a new world. A world without international law, without honoring international resolutions, without even the appearance of justice. A world in which the U.S. president’s son-in-law is more powerful than the UN General Assembly. If the settlements are permitted, everything is permitted.

What was won with brutal military force shall be liberated only with force. In the world of Trump and the Israeli right, there’s no room for the weak. They have no rights.

From now on, it’s one person, one vote – the single vote of Trump (and Benjamin Netanyahu), or the equal vote of every person living in Israel-Palestine. Europeans, Palestinians and Israelis: The time has come to choose between the two.

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