Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The New Reality

Here's some video of Palestinians or Syrians, maybe both, unarmed, crossing into Israel from Syria where they are greeted by Arab Israelis living on the Israeli side of the border.

For years people have been saying that if the Palestinians just put down their arms and engage in non-violent mass demonstrations Israel's occupation would end, recognizing that protests of this nature would enable the Palestinians to claim the moral high ground. It appears that Palestinians are embracing just such a tactic.

The question of whether the Palestinians will have a state based on the 1967 borders is no longer the question. The question now is whether there will be a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with Israel living alongside an independent Palestinian state or whether there will be a single bi-national state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is simply untenable. My fear is that Israeli and American leadership fail to comprehend this, and that will mean only more pain for all sides until we arrive at the end-game.

It would be well to keep all this in mind when we hear Obama's and Bibi's speeches in the next seven days, and what we hear coming from the AIPAC Policy Conference convening on May 22. The relevant debate is no longer the debate of the last twenty years. And it will be interesting to see if this is acknowledged in Washington during the coming week. I'm not overly optimistic.

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