Israel or Palestine? Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Israel or Palestine? Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Israel or Palestine? Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Israel or Palestine? Is the Two-State Solution Already Dead? A Political and Military History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Synopsis

Written by a Palestinian with intimate knowledge of the political and physical landscape of the region, at its basic level the book advocates for a just peace based on the human rights and international law, a peace which all parties to the century-old conflict need. In this history of Palestine, the author shows that both sides of the conflict as well as the international community share the blame for the failure to bring the issue to a just conclusion. Most of the responsibility, he says, lies at the door of the Palestinian leaders themselves, who seem to suffer from institutionalized incompetence in dealing with the Israelis; and the Israelis are to be blamed for their refusal to transform their colonial enterprise into reconciliation politics by acknowledging the claims of the indigenous Palestinian people. At the same time, there is every sign that this impasse was deliberately created at the outset by the international community, led by Great Britain, in the endless game of "divide and rule." Unlike many optimistic writers who expect US President Barack Obama and his administration to find a just solution to the conflict, the author concludes that the Obama Administration would have to reverse the traditional US policy in the Middle East entirely if it is to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Delving into the historical background behind all the parties to the issue, the book provides much-needed background for understanding news events today and basic information that even human rights activists and peace organizations may not have fully appreciated. Throughout, the author seeks to transcend his ethnicity and deal fairly with the positions of people holding different worldviews.

Excerpt

The “Palestinians” or “Palestinian Arabs” in this book are the people identifying themselves as Arabs who had been living in Palestine just before the establishment of Israel, as well as their descendants. The West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are referred to as “the occupied land.” The Israelis call the indigenous Palestinians only “Arabs” to deny their linkage to Palestine and refer to the West Bank by its Biblical names “Judea and Samaria” to make the historical connection of the Jewish people with this land or the “disputed territory,” to deny its status as occupied land. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) estimates that there were more than nine million Palestinians scattered throughout the world as of 2006. More than one million were living in Israel proper, three and a half million lived in the West Bank and Gaza, two and a half million lived in Jordan and the rest were dispersed through the Arab world, Europe and North and South America. The American–Israel Demographic Group disputed these findings and concluded that the PCBS total numbers are inflated by one million three-hundred thousand.

I strongly argue against the concept of using ethnic origin to define nations today because every community within a geographic area is a mixture of races that came in contact through conquest, migration and intermarriages across time. This applies especially to the self-identified Arabs and Jews in Palestine. Arabs or Jews, or any race for that matter, throughout the world, cannot support their claim of being closely related genetically, by biology. Palestine was successively conquered by Canaanites, Philistinians, ancient Israelites, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Turks, by Muslims and by Christian crusaders. The groups that lived in Palestine fought, interacted and collaborated, but no group was obliterated in history. The Palestinians are the descendents of all the groups that inhabited the land since the ancient Canaanites and beyond. I therefore reject the myth of race and racial superiority including the ideology that fed the Fascism of the last century.

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