Israeli Settlements Could Cause One-State Solution

Saeb Erekat, chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization Steering Committee,
said Wednesday that Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas should
be frank with the Palestinian people and admit to them that there is no
possibility of a two-state solution given continued Israeli
colonization of the West Bank.

It is morally and
ethically unconscionable to leave millions of Palestinians in a
condition of statelessness, in which they have no rights. (Warren
Burger defined citizenship as the "right to have rights" as my
colleague Margaret "Peggy" Sommers pointed out in her new book.)
Therefore, if there isn't going to be a two-state solution, there will
have to be a one-state solution, in which Israel gives citizenship to
the Palestinians. (As it is, 20 percent of Israelis are Palestinian
Arabs and that proportion will grow to 33 percent by 2030, if they are
not expelled by sometime-Moldavian-night-club-bouncer and now foreign
minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman.)

Al-Jazeera English has a video interview with Saree Makdisi on Erekat's statement:

The Israeli colonies in the West Bank are actively encouraged by the Israeli government. Haaretz reported last winter on a hitherto secret database on the settlements kept by the Israeli government:

An
analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the
settlements -- about 75 percent -- construction, sometimes on a large
scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary
to the permits that were issued. The database also shows that, in more
than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and
infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police
stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to
Palestinian West Bank residents. . .

The settlements in
which massive construction has taken place on private Palestinian
lands. Entire neighborhoods built without permits or on private lands
are inseparable parts of the settlements. The sense of dissonance only
intensifies when you find that municipal offices, police and fire
stations were also built upon and currently operate on lands that
belong to Palestinians.

The USG Open Source Center translated some of what Erekat said in an interview with Al-Hayat published on Sunday:

Erekat: Difficult Meeting

In
his turn, Erekat has stressed to Al-Hayah that the meeting with Clinton
was "frank and difficult." Erekat added that Abbas insisted that if the
US Administration wanted to resume the peace process, then it would
have to compel Israel to halt the settlements, including the natural
growth, and to start the negotiations from where they stopped in 2008.
Erekat added: "It is very clear that the US side has only achieved from
Israel stances that reject its commitment to halt the settlements, and
hence the US Administration, as chairman of the International Quartet,
has to reveal the side that refuses and hinders the launch of the peace
process, namely Israel."

Erekat continued: "If the US
Administration cannot compel Israel to halt the construction of
settlements, who will believe that it will be able to compel Israel to
withdraw to the borders of 4 June 1967, to withdraw from Eastern
Jerusalem, and to resolve the issue of the refugees according to the UN
resolutions, with Resolution No. 194 at their forefront?"

Erekat
stressed that Abbas, in his meeting with Clinton, reiterated his
rejection of "the Palestinian state with interim borders," and also
rejected Netanyahu's proposals of constructing 3,000 housing units in
the settlements, and excluding Jerusalem from any agreement on the
settlements; he said "this is rejected chapter and verse."

Erekat
attributed the difficulty in yesterday's meeting between Abbas and
Clinton to the Israeli stances rejecting the implementation of its
commitments stipulated by the "Road Map." Erekat stressed that the US
Administration would have to reveal the side that hinders the
resumption of the negotiations.

In reply to a question by
Al-Hayah about whether Clinton exerted yesterday any pressure on Abbas,
Erekat said: The issue has nothing to do with pressure, but with
interests. He pointed out that President Obama, in his meeting with
Abbas in May 2009, described the establishment of an independent
Palestinian State within 24 months as "US higher interest."

Erekat
added: "The United States has 230,000 soldiers in the region. If it
thinks that it can solve the problems through the use of Marines and
through wars, then it is completely mistaken." Erekat stressed: This
region needs to drain the quagmire of the Israeli occupation as an
introduction to security and stability. He continued: "Here, we are
talking about a system of interests. We have shown all possible
preparations to fulfill all our commitments, but the Israeli side has
not yet recognized its commitments."

I
think the whole thing is over with. I can't see a viable Palestinian
state in the West Bank as it is now configured, and I can't imagine the
Netanyahu government halting settlements.