Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.


Israeli border guards detain a Palestinian youth during a demonstration outside the Lions Gate, a main entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque compound, due to newly-implemented security measures by Israeli authorities which include metal detectors and cameras, in Jerusalem's Old City on July 17, 2017. (Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Hopefully 2022 Is the Year the Two-State Solution Finally Dies in Washington

Imagine you had a Palestinian child—could you support the "2-state solution?"

Philip Weiss

 by Mondoweiss

Maybe you remember this photo that went round the world four years ago. A Palestinian boy was accused of stonethrowing and marched away blindfolded by a dozen soldiers in Hebron. Fawzi al-Junaidi was 16 and spent three weeks in detention. You can imagine how that experience scarred him.

That is the ballgame, when the grassroots finally overwhelm the establishment delusion. When liberal Zionist gatekeeper organizations like Americans for Peace Now and J Street finally say the truth that every other progressive is now in on: Israel practices apartheid.

The amazing thing about the photo is that it's four years old, and nothing has changed in the occupied lands that are supposed to be a Palestinian state. The situation only gets worse. What happened to Fawzi al-Junaidi happens to other children all the time. Because it's Israel's only answer to protesters demanding rights.

The Netanyahu government gives way to the Bennett government, which includes liberal Zionists, and the policies are the same. Because the politics of a besieged Jewish homeland are rightwing nationalist and militarist, forever.

The Trump administration is replaced by the Biden administration with liberal Zionist backing and the policies are almost as bad as Trump. Biden will clearly spend No political capital on this issue, which he regards as a giant loser politically.

So American politicians say nothing as Israel builds more Jewish-only settlements where the Palestinian state was supposed to go and cordons off Jerusalem from the West Bank so there can never be a Palestinian capital there.

Palestinian children are raised with no rights in the occupied territories and no freedom to go to the seashore 15 miles away, or Jerusalem, and Betty McCollum can only get 30 signatures on her bill to remove American funding from Israeli programs that punish children. Israel still counts on the Democratic Party to support it till the Capitol would crumble and fall, as Nancy Pelosi said three years ago. Because she and Biden see the Israel lobby as a pillar of the Democratic Party.

The good news of the last year is that the grass roots continue to march on Washington. The Palestinian solidarity movement is chalking up victories all over America except in the halls of Congress. Even the recruits of the Israel lobby—young Jews under 40—say Israel practices apartheid.

Anyone with a conscience and two eyes understands what a cruel joke the two-state solution is. It is a neverending promise to Palestinians that if you just behave yourselves some day we will be able to promote the idea of sovereignty for you. Not yet! Not now! And meanwhile Israel will continue to swallow up your lands and push you off them, and America will give Israel $4 billion a year. Anyone who has visited Palestine can tell you, there will never be a two-state solution: There are 700,000-plus Jewish settlers living on the choice hilltops inside occupied Palestine and spreading by the minute. Maybe the most important media breakthrough of last year was when the Washington Post (finally) sent three reporters through the West Bank and East Jerusalem to show that a Palestinian state is more of a fantasy than ever. And 330 Palestinians were killed by Israel in occupied territories last year. Because that's Israel's only answer to the demand for freedom.

Liberal Zionists cling to the idea of a two-state solution because they recognize that the alternative is a struggle for equal rights under apartheid that will only end, as the South African struggle did, with one democratic state. They don't want that, because they see Jewish sovereignty as a great and necessary good in a world that's unsafe for Jews. A secure homeland for the Jewish people… That's a generational belief, it's dying out by the minute.

But liberal Zionists have been successful in creating a firewall around Washington and New York. "[T]he Democratic party at least remains almost totally united in support of two states," as J Street says. In the U.S. establishment, it is still verboten to say the truth about Israel, that it practices apartheid. It is still the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only real debate is whether you want to try to put pressure on Israel to improve the Palestinian conditions so that the two-state solution doesn't become officially dead or just continue to love Israel no matter what it does. J Street maintains the left pole of that discussion, pushing for "restricting" aid that is used to confiscate more land, and pushing a two-state solution act in Congress. But in the end it is hard to see how that position is any different from "managed conflict," the mainstream Zionist idea of clamping down on Palestinian resistance to their rightslessness forever.

I wonder if this is the year when the two-state solution finally dies in Washington. That is the ballgame, when the grassroots finally overwhelm the establishment delusion. When liberal Zionist gatekeeper organizations like Americans for Peace Now and J Street finally say the truth that every other progressive is now in on: Israel practices apartheid.

Friends ask me whether the Palestinian solidarity movement should just ignore the leftleaning part of the Israel lobby and organize among progressives, or reach out to the liberal Zionists. I tell them I believe in active engagement with that community, even in a critical way, because I think the lobby is ultimately so powerful in Washington. So shearing off liberal Jews will undermine the liberal Zionist lobby in the end and force a reckoning in our politics.

I know my tone is inconsistent. Sometimes I am hectoring, sometimes I am mocking, because I am so impassioned, and because I have seen apartheid for myself and I think it is an urgent moral matter to bring it down.

But sometimes I am beseeching. Many of us are privileged in this country. I ask all those who support the two-state solution to consider. It's been four years since Fawzi al-Junaidi was photographed being muscled in that brutal way. Now he's 20, and younger boys are taking up protests against their bleak future, and many of them have been shot and killed. If these were your children, could you in good conscience support a two-state solution of false promises? I am sure the answer is No.

© 2021 Mondoweiss
Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo