Editorial

The Gates Are Closing on the Two-state Solution

Following Abbas' warning of a nearing one-state reality, Netanyahu says there will be no more uprooting of settlements. Supporters of the two-state solution, this is our wake-up call

Palestinian protesters argue with Israeli troops during a protest in the Old City of Hebron, West Bank, September 3, 2017.
Palestinian protesters argue with Israeli troops during a protest in the Old City of Hebron, West Bank, September 3, 2017. MUSSA ISSA QAWASMA/REUTERS

Advocates of a two-state solution – in other words, a majority in Israel and throughout the world, or nearly so – cannot be unmoved and helpless in the face of its accelerated death spiral, in plain sight, under the irresponsible leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned 10 days ago, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, of the momentous change taking place before our eyes. It was the first time Abbas addressed in detail the remaining option open to the Palestinians – to declare a new struggle, for equal rights throughout the territory of Israel-Palestine – in other words, a one-state solution.

Thus spake Abbas: “[N]either you, nor we, will have any other choice but to continue the struggle and demand full, equal rights for all inhabitants of historic Palestine.”

Not a week went by before Netanyahu provided the ultimate proof of Abbas’ argument. In his speech at the state Ceremony Marking 50 Years of Settlement in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, held in Gush Etzion he said, “There will be no more uprooting of communities in the Land of Israel!” In other words, there will be no additional evacuations of settlements, a declaration meaning the end of the chance for a two-state solution, which is based on the simple, fair formula of land in exchange for peace.

From the beginning, the central goal of the settlement enterprise, which celebrated its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, was to frustrate the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel and destroy any hope of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinian people. This destructive objective could be within reach. Only the urgent and vigorous mobilization of all forces in Israel and the international community that want a strong and free Israel alongside an independent Palestinian state could avert the evil decree, in the words of the liturgy, and rescue the most logical, just and feasible solution for ending the occupation and obtaining peace.

A moment before the gates close, this is our wake-up call. What is not obtained soon will never be obtained.

The above article is Haaretz's lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.