Excerpt from the article by Dalia Hatuqua
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there stunned many observers.
For many ordinary Palestinians, the move simply reinforced what they already believed: The U.S. was never an honest broker between the two parties, and the pipe dream of pursuing statehood under a historic peace deal is over.
Palestinians, especially of the younger generation, have been questioning the feasibility of a two-state solution for some time. This is a generation that came of age during the second intifada and watched its land be swallowed up by settlements and the separation wall as the years slipped by. Young men and women witnessed their own policemen arrest fellow countrymen at the behest of their occupier, while leaders placated them with empty words and slogans. They’re done playing this game.
Now, they’re looking at other options. Many would want the PA to cease its security coordination with Israel as a first step, while others call for the PA to be dissolved altogether. Some have turned to the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) for guidance.
Abbas, who has long championed peace talks instead of more aggressive options like participating in the BDS movement, said (recently) that the U.S. had effectively abandoned the peace process by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and deciding to move its embassy there.
Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat went further: He called for discarding the two-state solution entirely and shifting to a “struggle for one-state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea”—a statement that would have been unimaginable just one year ago, especially coming from a man who’d been a fixture of the peace process since its infancy and made it his life’s mission to negotiate (his book is even titled Life Is Negotiations).
The vision of a single state from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea was not taken seriously at first and was rejected by the majority of Israelis and Palestinians since the Oslo Accords and the two-state peace process began. It was often ridiculed as a fanciful notion of the far-left or as an academic exercise that would never be feasible in real life.
But after years of entrenching a civilian and military population in the West Bank, and spending millions of dollars on infrastructure to support them, Israel is so intertwined with its settlements and army bases there, that now pulling out is seen by many as the impossible fantasy.
It’s this push toward a one-state model with full civil rights for all living in it that will likely garner further momentum now.
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