Reviews | Hopefully 2022 is the year the two-state solution finally dies in Washington
You may remember that photo that toured the world four years ago. A Palestinian boy was accused of throwing stones and left blindfolded by a dozen soldiers in Hebron. Fawzi al-Junaidi was 16 years old and spent three weeks in detention. You can imagine how much this experience marked him.
It’s the ball game, when the grassroots eventually overwhelm the establishment illusion. When liberal Zionist guardian organizations like Americans for Peace Now and J Street finally speak the truth that all other progressives are now implicated in: Israel practices apartheid.
What is amazing about the photo is that it is four years old and nothing has changed in the occupied lands which are supposed to be a Palestinian state. The situation is only getting worse. What happened to Fawzi al-Junaidi happens to other children all the time. Because that’s Israel’s only response 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 is nationalist and right-wing 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 not spend any political capital on this question, that he considers him a big loser politically.
So, American politicians say nothing as Israel builds more Jewish-only settlements where the Palestinian state was supposed to go and locks Jerusalem off the West Bank so that there can never be a Palestinian capital there.
Palestinian children are being raised with no rights in the occupied territories and no freedom to go to the seaside 15 miles away, or to Jerusalem, and Betty McCollum can only get 30 signatures on her bill to suppress US funding for Israeli programs that punish children. Israel still relies on the Democratic Party to support it all the way to Capitol Hill would crumble and fall, as Nancy Pelosi said three years ago. Because she and Biden see the Israel lobby as a mainstay of the Democratic Party.
The good news from last year is that the base continues to march on Washington. The Palestinian solidarity movement grows richer victories all over America except in the Congress halls. Even recruits to the Israel lobby – young Jews under the age of 40 – say Israel practices apartheid.
Anyone with a conscience and two eyes understands how cruel the two-state solution is. It is an endless promise to the Palestinians that if you behave one day, we will be able to promote the idea of ââsovereignty for you. Not yet! Not now! And during that time, Israel will continue to gobble up your land and drive you out of it, 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 over 700,000 Jewish settlers living on the prime hills inside occupied Palestine and spreading to the minute. Perhaps the most significant media breakthrough of the past year was the Washington Post (finally) sent three journalists across 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 the occupied territories last year. Because it is Israel’s only response to the demand for freedom.
Liberal Zionists cling to the idea of ââa two-state solution because they recognize that the alternative is a struggle for equal rights under apartheid that will never end, as did the South African struggle, than with one democratic state. They don’t want this because they see Jewish sovereignty as an important and necessary good in a dangerous world for the Jews. A safe homeland for the Jewish peopleâ¦ It is a generational belief, it is fading by the minute.
But the liberal Zionists succeeded in creating a firewall around Washington and New York. “[T]he democratic party remains at least almost completely united in favor of two states â, as J Street says. In the American establishment, it is still verboten to tell 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 pressure Israel to improve Palestinian conditions so that the two-state solution does not officially become dead or simply continue to love Israel no matter what. J Street maintains the left pole of this discussion, pushing to “cut back” on aid that is being used to confiscate more land, and pushing a two-state solution law through Congress. But in the end it is hard to see how this position is different of “managed conflict”, the dominant Zionist idea of ââforever repressing Palestinian resistance to their lawlessness.
I wonder if this is the year the two-state solution finally dies in Washington. It’s the ball game, when the grassroots eventually overwhelm the establishment illusion. When liberal Zionist guardian organizations like Americans for Peace Now and J Street finally speak the truth that all other progressives are now implicated in: Israel practices apartheid.
Friends ask me if the Palestinian solidarity movement should just ignore the left side of the Israel lobby and organize among the progressives, or reach out to the liberal Zionists. I tell them that I believe in active engagement with this community, even critically, because I think the lobby is ultimately so powerful in Washington. Thus, cutting off liberal Jews will end up undermining the liberal Zionist lobby and force an account in our politics.
I know my tone is inconsistent. Sometimes I harass, sometimes I laugh, because I am so passionate, and because I have seen apartheid myself and I think it is an urgent moral issue to bring it down.
But sometimes I beg. Many of us are privileged in this country. I ask all those who support the two-state solution to reflect. It has been four years since Fawzi al-Junaidi was photographed building muscles in this brutal manner. He is now 20 and the younger boys are protesting their bleak future, and many of them have been shot dead. If these were your children, could you in good conscience support a two-state solution of false promises? I’m sure the answer is no.