Thursday, November 29, 2007

Annapolis: The 1 1/2 state solution

Let’s be honest. Even if Annapolis did propose to solve anything, the “solution” it offered would be from the U.S.-Israeli point of view. And that point of view is, bluntly, the 1 1/2 state solution.

Now, that phrase, “1 1/2 state solution,” can be understood in one of two ways. The first way would be that Israel doesn’t want a fully independent Palestine for quite some time. That may or may not be the case, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

No, the U.S.-Israeli 1 1/2 state solution is the solution of only recognizing Mahmoud Abbas’ rump Fatah Palestinian government in the West Bank. That’s been the “solution” both countries jumped on ever since Palestinian Hamas won a free parliamentary election in January by a smashing margin.

For years, Likud-based governments in Israel have deliberately puffed up Hamas’ psychological profile in order to make it easier to demonize Palestinians in general. Labor, the times it’s been in coalition, has basically gone along for the ride.

Well, guess what, Likud? That’s now blown up in your face.

George W. Bush has been all about democracy promotion in the Middle East, ignoring clear evidence, such as Algeria’s late 1990s election, that free elections in the Middle East are most likely to elect Islamicist parties.

Well, guess what, W.? That happened in Palestine and it’s now blown up in your face.

But, it’s not just W. Way too many Democrats, let alone Republicans enthralled by end-time prophecies of the Christian Religious Right involving red heifers, temple rebuildings and Jewish conversions, are under thrall of Zionist strains in Israeli politics and Zionist-grounded Jewish-American political action groups such as AIPAC.

Until these shackles are shaken off, Middle East peace conferences are going nowhere.

I’m not excusing past terrorist acts by Hamas, as wingers are wont to claim left-liberal dialogue about Palestine and Israel does. Nor am I excusing Yassir Arafat’s post-Oslo lack of statesmanship. I’m simply stating the fact that anything short of a full two-state solution is bound to fail.