Like post-modernism followed modernism, like post-Zionism followed Zionism – welcome to the post-peace era. There is just one small difference: Peace never preceded it.
One by one, everybody is bidding goodbye to peace and the idea of a two-state solution. It’s getting hard to remember who started the trend. Uri Elitzur? Ilan Pappe? Moshe Arens? Reuven Rivlin? Yehouda Shenhav? Benjamin Netanyahu? Ari Shavit? Naftali Bennett?
Was it an original right-wing thought, which was sophisticatedly overturned and appropriated by avant-garde leftists: the idea of the Greater Land of Israel with a hip twist of neo-Canaanitism? Or could it be that we’re talking about an ultra-radical leftist thought by people who pretend to be more Palestinian than the Palestinians, who are trapped in a false consciousness and appropriated by the right in their well-known style of “give us your words and we will empty them of meaning”?
If MK Tzipi Hotovely keeps talking about “distributive justice,” Netanyahu about a “political horizon” and Bennett about “morals,” books will be begging to be burned.
The post-peace era benefits the right, which no longer has to dress up as a pursuer of peace. Under the new paradigm, the sky is the limit. It can even speak of civil rights – that is, in the biblical sense of a “ger toshav,” or resident alien, of course.
The left has also begun rearranging its concepts to fit the new era. When the idea of the two-state solution became mainstream, it felt to the left like meeting Israelis abroad.
Been there, done that. Then they sobered up, or more precisely, evolved. Only then the left understood that the two-state solution, and the Oslo Accords in general as well as all of Israel’s peace initiatives, are just organized versions of oppression, the institutionalization of racism. Supporters of the two-state solution are nothing but racists in disguise.
They just want to get rid of the Palestinians, arrange their transfer to a state of their own. Real leftists want a binational where we all eat from the same hummus bowl.
Others on the left suddenly realize that peace starts from the bottom, or from the top, that is to say it doesn’t start rather it ends; and there are those who perfume themselves with the breezes of the Arab Spring. They are dazed by the Islamic State’s lust, and think now only in regional terms. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict? You must be joking. It’s such a local conflict, so 20th century.
Be it despair or an apparent growing sobriety about the anachronism from the 20th-century school, many have stopped believing in direct negotiations as the channel to a solution based on the two-state principle. Those who espouse the idea of dividing the land – the only idea that can fulfill the national aspirations of both peoples without coming at the expense of the other – suddenly seem like dinosaurs at the natural history museum. They understand well that any one-state option is nothing but legal variations of the status quo. Come what may, any one-state proposal, regardless of Palestinian human rights within it, ignores Palestinian national aspirations which, as Mahmoud Abbas made clear to the world, are far from dying.
National aspirations are not a passing fashion. Whatever the left or right says, at the end of the day there will be no escape from a Zionist, modernist solution that is worded with 20th-century logic and bears all its pains: Israel, Palestine, two states for two peoples.
Many have stopped believing in a solution based on the two-state principle.
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