Why There Will Never Be a Two-State Solution

Forgive me for giving such an important topic terse treatment. But despite all the hopium and now Biden Administration misdirection, there will not be a two-state solution in Israel. Israel has created facts on the ground that make it impossible, namely settler balkanization of the West Bank. And now a devastated Gaza, even assuming Palestinians survive in meaningful numbers, will require state support to rebuild. That state will be Israel, perhaps with some financial support from the US and EU. It is not hard to foresee that any of what is left of Gaza that is allotted to the Palestinians will be kept at the barely habitable level, so as to encourage them to expatriate.

But back to the bigger picture. Some commentators point out that Israel never intended to end its occupation of Palestinian territory. For instance, from Aljazeera in 2017:

Following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, a resolution called on Israel to give up the territories it occupied in exchange for a lasting peace with its neighbours.

Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, resulting in the Palestinian “Naksa”, or setback, in June 1967.

In that year, Israel expelled some 430,000 Palestinians from their homes. The Naksa was perceived as an extension of the 1948 Nakba, or catastrophe, which accompanied the founding of the state of Israel.

In a matter of six days, Israel seized the remainder of historic Palestine, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. Later that year, Israel annexed East Jerusalem as well.

Apart from the Sinai Peninsula, all the other territories remain occupied to this day.

Under the sponsorship of the British ambassador to the UN at the time, Resolution 242 aimed to implement a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East” region…

However, the resolution was used by Israel to continue its occupation of the territories, as it also called for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem” while falling short of addressing the Palestinian people’s right to statehood, analysts note…

But in the US-based Journal of Palestine Studies, lawyer and Georgetown University professor Noura Erekat wrote that Israel has used Resolution 242 to justify the seizure of Palestinian land.

“When Israel declared its establishment in May 1948, it denied that Arab Palestinians had a similar right to statehood as the Jews because the Arab countries had rejected the Partition Plan,” Erekat wrote, referencing UN Resolution 181.

The final language of Resolution 242 did not correct the failure to realise Palestinian self-determination, referring merely to the “refugee problem”, she added.

“Following the 1967 war, Israel argued that given the sovereign void in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip the territories were neither occupied nor not occupied,” Erekat said, noting that Israel used this argument “to steadily grab Palestinian land without absorbing the Palestinians on the land”.

To simplify what could be a much longer account, the Oslo Accords, an attempt to bring about a two-state solution, failed due to the inability to resolve key points of difference. A recent (but pre-October 7) Aljazzera article contends the deal was a bust only from the Palestinian vantage:

The second part of the accords were signed in 1995, with the aim of kick-starting talks with a two-state solution as the objective; specifically an independent Palestinian state through the establishment of an interim Palestinian government – the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The accords set the framework for Palestinian elections, and the PA was given a five-year lifespan. But the provisional government still exists today, plagued by allegations of corruption and police brutality.

Despite being granted limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank, Israel has maintained military control over the entire area…

To Palestinian leaders, the accords were doomed to fail.

Major sticking points were left unresolved at the time of the signing of the accords. These included concerns about territory, illegal Jewish settlements, the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees and the right of return.

Among other things, they also introduced the controversial security coordination between Israel and the PA.

But to Israel, the accords were not a failure, Osamah Khalil, professor of US and Middle East history at Syracuse University, said.

“Israel had no intention of agreeing to the emergence of a viable, contiguous, and independent Palestinian state,” Khalil told Al Jazeera.

“Israel was able to pursue its occupation and settlement policies with the political cover of endless negotiations,” he said.

Alaa Tartir, director of SIPRI’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, agreed. He said the accords offered Israel an internationally sponsored framework to “sustain its occupation and solidify its colonial control over Palestine and the Palestinian people” over the past 30 years.

Of course, deals are only as good as the parties who sign them. Yitzhak Rabin, who is often depicted as wanting to reach some sort of accommodation with the Palestinians, was assassinated in November 1995.

In 1996, the normally Israel-protective Clinton Administration rebuked Israel for its settlements policy. From the Washington Post:

President Clinton criticized Israel yesterday for creating an obstacle to peace with its new campaign to encourage Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government of trying to unilaterally resolve an issue that Israel had earlier agreed to settle in talks with the Palestinians…

The criticism from Clinton — known here and in the region as a steadfast backer of Israel — came on the same day several former U.S. secretaries of state, national security advisers and Middle East negotiators, using considerably more blunt language, wrote Netanyahu that expanding the settlements “would be strongly counterproductive” and “could halt progress made by the peace process over the last two decades.”…

Asked if he considered new settlements an “obstacle to peace,” Clinton responded: “Absolutely.”

In 2011, a different Clinton criticized the continued expansion of the settlements in harsher terms. From ABC:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Israeli settlements “illegitimate” shortly before the United States vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning continued Israeli settlement expansion as illegal.

In an exclusive interview with “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpour taped on Friday afternoon, Clinton said, “I think it is absolutely clear to say, number one, that it’s been American policy for many years that settlements were illegitimate and it is the continuing goal and highest priority of the Obama administration to keep working toward a two-state solution with both Israelis and Palestinians….

In December 2010, Clinton took a similarly harsh line against continued Israeli settlements.

“We do not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” she said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. “We believe their continued expansion is corrosive not only to peace efforts and two-state solution, but to Israel’s future itself.”

So why did the US veto a resolution that was in line with Clinton’s criticisms? The excuse from UN representative Susan Rice was that it could poison negotiations. But the real reason seems to be that Clinton was not driving this bus. In one of the recent Judge Napolitano shows (I can’t recall if the interviewee was Alastair Crooke or Larry Johnson), the guest stated that Hillary Clinton, in a visit to Israel, told Netanyahu that the settlements had to stop, but when she got home, Joe Biden went to Obama to get her overruled.

Now in the wake of October 7 and the unification of sentiment in Israel against Palestinians, a two-state solution is simply na ga happen. Having the US, Egypt, and Qatar talk up a peace scheme that includes a two-state solution as a major component is an insult to intelligence, like the Collective West coming up with Ukraine peace plans they dreamed up in a vacuum, with no consideration of what Russia would accept.

But on top of that, even before October 7, the Palestinians had also soured on the idea. From The Strategist:

On the Palestinian side, long before 7 October it was evident the paradigm of Palestinian politics had shifted. Support for a two-state approach has collapsed.

Fatah, self-indulgent, corrupt and unwilling to do the hard yards of election campaigning, lost to Hamas in Gaza in 2006. It was crushed by Hamas when it attempted a coup in 2007.

Meanwhile, Israeli intransigence; settler violence in the West Bank; the loss of political authority on the part of Mahmoud Abbas; the contempt of Palestinians for the role played by the PA in meeting Israel’s security demands and destructive military and settler incursions; US promotion of normalisation between Israel and Persian Gulf Arab states, without addressing the Palestinian issue as an essential part of that process; and the emergence of West Bank urban militant groups defying the PA all combined to deadly effect.

And finally, let us turn to the ultimate obstacle, the fact on the ground of settler extreme balkanization of the West Bank. On top of settler occupation of much of the land, many of the roads are reserved for Israeli use, and Palestinians often have to take roundabout routes to get from Point A to B, as well as go through many checkpoints. The only way to create even some decent-sized chuck of contiguous Palestinian land would be through a reverse Nakba. And that simply will not occur.

Alastair Crooke describes how Israel has chosen to keep the Palestinians in an ambiguous, but of course second-class, position (emphasis original):

Even in 2008, Foreign Minister (and lawyer), Tzipi Livni, was spelling outwhy “Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources – leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill”.

And I noted in a separate piece:

Livni was saying that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state – based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. However, to secure such a state in a country with very limited territory – means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration.

A two-state solution inherently therefore, did not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism; rather, it compounded it. The inevitable demand for full equal rights for Palestinians would bring the end of Jewish ‘special rights’, and of Zionism itself, Livni argued – a threat with which most Zionists concur.

Sharon’s answer to this ultimate paradox, however, was different:

Sharon had an alternative plan for managing a large non-Jewish ‘out-group’, physically present within a Zionist State of differentiated rights. Sharon’s alternative amounted to frustrating a two-state solution within fixed borders

Sharon envisaged the depth of the West Bank in its entirety as one extensive, permeable and temporary ‘frontier’. This approach could thus disregard any thin-nibbed pencil line, drawn to denote some political border. This framework was intended to leave Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, caught within a matrix of interlocking settlements, and subject to Israeli military intervention at Israel’s sole discretion.

Crooke also developed these ideas in his Judge Napolitano interview on Monday. But he added some critical detail, particularly starting at 18:50: “Where are the two states going to be?” Continuing:

According to the Security Council resolution, it [the Palestinian state] includes all the West Bank and Gaza. Well, what are you going to do about the West Bank? I’ve already, you know that is peopled by nearly 800,000 settlers now who are armed and zealous, have absolutely no intention, whatever any government says, of abandoning. These are fanatics. I’ve been to them. I’ve spoken to them. They are really radical people. Even the Israeli Army, and look at the Israeli Army in the West Bank. It’s basically a reservists army, but also it is a settler army. Most of these people, when I was in Israel, I saw the big transformation of the Israeli Army into becoming a settler army. It used to be managed and led by the kibbutznik, the people who lived in the kibbutz, but then it changed and the settlers took command over the main points of this army.

So you’re not going to be able to use the Israelis to remove them. Who’s going to remove nearly a million Israelis from West Bank? There’s no discussion that is serious about these things. New fabulist sort of ideas that people are using just to manage the problem. We can’t solve it so we come up and we’ll say, “Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states will do this,” and the other things when they know that’s not going to work, it’s impossible to work.

In other words, shorter Crooke is that failure to admit how intractable the Israel/Palestine problem is allows Israelis to continue to use ambiguity and misdirection to the disadvantage and now physical destruction of Palestine and its people.

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  1. ISL

    Gawd this is depressing (yet realistic).

    The end logic is that the solution will be military and very ugly.

    Although the current bloody battle favors Israel, Hezbollah has promised to swing it the other way at the time of their choosing, while Netanyahu wants to push Hezbollah into attacking (entangling US ground forces?) sooner.

  2. ciroc

    The argument that made the most sense to me was that if Palestine became independent, nothing would prevent them from having their own (formal) army.
    If they were allowed to do so, it would be Israel that would forever live in fear of retaliation and invasion.

    1. CA

      “The argument that made the most sense to me was that if Palestine became independent, nothing would prevent them from having their own (formal) army. If they were allowed to do so, it would be Israel that would forever live in fear of retaliation and invasion.”

      Respectfully, the resolution to South African apartheid and rebellion might be looked to for a model. What did Nelson Mandela envision and work for as a resolution? What did “truth and reconciliation” mean for South Africans?

      1. ciroc

        The South African experience is a dark inspiration for me…. What happened there was a sham transfer of power to a black elite class, the so-called “black Boers,” who were co-opted by the white ruling class. The totally corrupt ANC lined their pockets, protected white interests and betrayed their own people by reneging on their promises of land reform. It was ANC executive, billionaire and current president Cyril Ramaphosa who presided over the Marikana massacre that killed 34 miners and was said to be worse than the Sharpeville massacre under the apartheid regime. And yes, I think Israel can learn from South Africa since they have the ANC for them called the PLO. A puppet government of “brown Israelis”…

        1. KD

          The South African experience is a dark inspiration for me

          South Africa is hardly perfect, but would you prefer an Algeria-style solution? There is no easy path forward when you have an ethnic minority retaining a system of legal privileges and actively repressing and exploiting an ethnic majority, and then you try and roll out democracy. At some point, it is more probable than not that Israel will have to institute one person one vote for everyone in Greater Israel, and there needs to be something in place to make sure that does not go sour.

        2. Black Swan

          The term “black Boers” is a first for me. Google returns links to articles discussing the role Black people during the South African War (aka Anglo-Boer War). The use of the term “Boer: is pejorative unless self-applied.

    2. urdsama

      “Israel that would forever live in fear of retaliation and invasion”

      This is already the case. And they did it to themselves.

  3. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the fanatics in the IDF, it’s not just settlers, there are foreigners like the sons of my former manager*, the UK’s chief rabbi, an American counterpart at another City firm and the NYT’s David Brooks and a former colleague from SA. Rahm Emanuel was another.

    *My former manager blames US evangelicals for all of Israel’s problems, including moving the US embassy.

    I think Palestinians may not appreciate the distinction between kibbutznik and settlers.

    1. Antagonist Muscles

      My family (excluding me) is fanatically Christian. I am uncertain if they identify as Evangelical, but if Evangelical means a belief in the Christian Bible (whose first several books overlap with the Jewish Bible) as a source of political and religious authority, then that is exactly what they want. In other words, my family has great sympathy and support for the theocracies in the US and Israel, in particular the Zionist objective of territorial expansion. By the way, the usual writers here and commenters have seldom applied the term theocracy to the US or Israel. Kakistocracy, kleptocracy, creditocracy, stratocracy, aristocracy, oligarchy? I buy it. Why not theocracy?

      I am ashamed that there is a framed biblical quotation in my house hanging on a wall. Inexplicably enough, I never gave it any thought until the recent news of Israel committing genocide on Palestine. That picture frame has a bluebird resting peacefully on some flowers, and it reads:

      Cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted this request.
      1 Chronicles 4:10

      My family might seriously believe that Israel and its American Zionist buddies are justified in eradicating the people of Palestine because the Bible and God himself sanctioned the aggrandizement of Israeli territory. Does my family (and other members of the oligarchy) truly support the Israeli genocide of Palestinian people because of the words written in a silly book 2500 years ago?

      1. eg

        If so, they don’t understand the book, because it’s basically a catalogue of wayward behaviour by the chosen people, followed by wrathful vengeance of their tribal god — and they are currently running up some ledger of offences to his covenant …

      2. Paris

        Don’t blame the Bible. Blame the idiocy of your relatives. Btw, you can tell them there’s a New Testament and that our God is a God of peace, and not a god of vengeance like the jewish god.

      3. GramSci

        All of my family (excluding me) ‘truly believe’ in The Bible enough to enhance their weekly self-promotion at their place of ‘worship’. They ‘truly support’ Israel in like fashion: so long as it increases their (≠ Israel’s) bottom line. It’s the banality of empire.

      4. KD

        I have two thoughts in regard to your comment:

        1.) Is Christian Zionism organic? It appears to be something that fringe Protestants began cooking up in the late-19th century, and has been extremely useful for late 20th Century Republican politics. Its hard to see it going anywhere if the money dried up and the political coalitions shifted.

        2.) What is meant by theocracy? Judaism and Islam have religious systems of law, Christianity has a tradition of ecclesiastical law in the Roman and Orthodox tradition, but not so much in the Protestant context, and ecclesiastical law never claimed superiority over secular law to my knowledge. The whole secular/religious dichotomy arose out of the Christian tradition, as religious unity was preserved primarily through the institution of the church (historically, especially prior to the Reformation), not through following some kind of religious system of law. There are ethical questions which Christians (again historically) have taken views on things like abortion, contraception, homosexuality, which are contested today by so-called secular individuals, but these are ethical questions, Christians have never had anything like Shariah. Further, if you look at a figure like Aquinas, a lot of the tradition of Catholic social ethics looks heavily to pre-Christian philosophical traditions coming out of Greece as much as scripture or the writings of Church Fathers.

        I suppose you could say that having an Established Church and political repression of other religious sects could be a theocracy, but most of Europe has Established Churches of one sort or another, and all sects are not necessarily welcome in Europe to proselytize (I don’t think they like Scientology). Is the EU a theocracy?

        You currently have some folks on the far right in America who talk about Christian Nationalism, whatever that is supposed to mean. I suppose you can call them “theocrats” to distinguish them from say Marxist-Leninists, but that seems to represent a way of categorizing someone with a universalizing moral imperative that you disagree with and who seek to use the power of the state for enforcement. At this point, “Christian Nationalism” is pretty fringe so it would be hard to paint the US Government as representing full throated “Christian Nationalism” (even if Trump wins), and second, the universalizing moral imperative backed by state power is characteristic of many political movements on the left and right, from the Neo-cons to the Wokesters to the Libertarian Non-Aggression Principle.

        Unless “theocracy” means government by people who quote the New Testament over Shakespeare, I am not sure how “theocracy” works in this context.

        1. Snailslime

          Taking a stance on ethical questions seems a bit of a cutesy way to describe it when the Church explicitely used the state to enforce many of it’s stances.

          Yes, there wasn’t a direct Christian equivalent to Sharia but that doesn’t mean that the authorities didn’t enforce what specifically was the will of the churches (of course a symbiotic relationship but nonetheless one where the church had enormous power to shape policy to it’s liking).

          It hardly matters that for the Catholics their program was only partially taken from their scriptures, the stuff they took from greek philosophy could still be taken to be absolute divine truth once the hierarchy decided it be so and of course the whole package had a huge influence on “secular” law.

          1. KD

            Really not trying to be “cutesy”–secular ethics makes a distinction between ethics versus morality, the first derived following from general principles and the second dictated primarily by custom (sub-rationally as it were). Obviously the archeology goes back before that to the Pauline epistles like the Letter to the Galatians where he tries to make a distinction between ethnic customs like circumcision and morality. This is the so-called Christian freedom.

            There is nothing like a Christian Law in the sense that such a conception exists in Islam or Judaism. Its much closer to Buddhism in the sense that Christian civilizations are centered around the institution of the Church the way Buddhist civilizations are centered around the institution of the Sangha. I guess it is fine if people want to call something “theocracy,” but its actually a lot more complicated as something like the Islamic Caliphate is not possible in the Christian tradition. To be fair, Calvin’s Geneva probably came pretty close but its not clear that that experiment is easily historically repeatable.

        2. Snailslime

          The more “organic”position would be to want Christians to directly rule a “Holy Land” without either Jews or Muslims in it, plus restricting access to the particular christian sect that is in charge.

          Though a religious idea like “Christian Zionism” being of recent origin (and obviously it would have been seen as completely heretical and been persecuted in Europe in centuries past, but so would be most of modern american protestantism) does not by itself necessarily mean it won’t stay around, quite possibly spread further and stay hugely influential for a long time to come.

          1. Matthew

            Christian’s don’t want to rule the Holy Land. They want Jews to because it fulfills the biblical prophecy about the Second Coming of Christ. When that happens all of the Jews will either become Christian or die and go to hell in the midst of a great war against the Antichrist.

        3. Antagonist Muscles

          I appreciate the replies. Understanding how religious beliefs shape one’s worldview is difficult for me to understand.

          As with most socio-political constructs, the definition of the words used is critically important. All too often, the definitions of words are deliberately muddied to discourage good communication. Although my contempt for the political and religious views of my relatives is implied, I am genuinely curious what and whose system of thinking helped my relatives decide to support genocide.

          I never talk to my family about politics and religion. My understanding of their beliefs is derived from me eavesdropping on telephone prayer meetings and glancing at their emails. What I had in mind for my (improper) use of the word theocracy was the state sponsored support of one particular religion and one particular ethnicity at the expense of all others. Whatever term we use, the political belief that fair skinned Christians and Jews should have the privilege of power and money is not uncommon. Nobody ever seems to talk about the role of skin color in the current Israel/Palestine crisis, but it is an implied part of the equation. “Our Judeo-Christian God said this is our holy land, and we are the chosen people. Thus, the people who disagree with us should just die.” Not coincidentally, when the Jews have complete control over the holy land, the Christians will rejoice.

        1. KD

          Yes, but are Evangelicals Christians, or are Evangelicals the Republican Party at Prayer? Is their Christianity related to some kind of coherent sacred world view derived from an actual historical tradition, or is it a soccer jersey they wear so you can tell what team they play for? If its the second, if the political and economic incentives switched, they would flip on a dime. It might be helpful to look at Evangelical positions on the question of abortion:



  4. Carolinian

    The above linked Alastair Crooke is good with its description of how Sharon wanted to deliberately not solve the crisis but rather “manage” the Palestinians like human cattle. Fortunately Sharon has now shuffled off to wherever he shuffled off to but the notion that two state is dead is not original and Mondoweiss has been saying this for some years now.

    It’s really the US and of course Biden and the Lobby who are to blame for not forcing Israel to assimilate into the community of nations that are more or less normal and not “unique” or “exceptional.” Friends don’t let friends drive drunk into apartheid and militaristic disaster so perhaps it’s really the zealots at AIPAC who are really the self hating ones in deed if not word.

    1. JonnyJames

      And let’s not forget the bloody British Empire: they had no right to give away land that didn’t belong to them in the first place. One could argue, if it were not for the British Empire, there would be no state of Israel as we know it.

      1. ruskin

        There were already over 60,000 well-organised and highly motivated Zionists in Palestine (around 10% of the population) when the British took power.

  5. Alice X

    What will this look like when 500,000 Gazans have died from starvation and/or disease? The world is failing them.

    1. LawnDart

      What will this look like when 500,000 Gazans have died from starvation and/or disease?

      Like affluent American suburbs and exurbs? You know, the Promised Land(s): Israel becomes one big sundown-town.

      1. gk

        Won’t work. Even if they get rid of the Palestinians, there are still the religious nuts who want to rebuild the Temple.

        To see what will happen, see Sarid’s masterpiece of Biblical science fiction “The Third”. Thanks (presumably) to the Lobby, it hasn’t been published in English, so your choice is to read it in the Hebrew original, the Italian or French translations, or try to get hold of the English translation that is only available in a form of samizhdat.

      2. clarky90

        Re; “Sharon envisaged the depth of the West Bank in its entirety as (1) one extensive, permeable and temporary ‘frontier’….”

        Similar in function and purpose to the USA;s permeable Southern Boarder?

        “..This approach could thus disregard any thin-nibbed pencil line, drawn to denote some political border.

        (2) This framework was intended to leave Palestinians (The USAian Deplorables?) in a state of permanent uncertainty, caught within a matrix of interlocking settlements, (USAian Gated Communities?) and subject to Israeli military (USAian Deep State?) intervention at Israel’s (Alphabet Agencies, the Neo-NKVD) sole discretion…”

        Is Gaza a foreshadow of the future of Occupied USA, War-Gamed by the Zionist Republican and Zionist Democrat Parties?

        Alistair Crooke is very wise….

  6. CA


    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This will be interesting: China – one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – calls for full membership for Palestine at the UN.

    The question is: will the US, also one of the five, veto it? This will test their sincerity with regards to actually wanting a 2-state solution, which is their official position. You cannot say you want a Palestinian state and veto the UN recognizing that state, it’d be completely hypocritical. But something tells me that’s exactly what they’ll do…


    The Spectator Index @spectatorindex

    China’s ambassador to the UN says it ‘high time to implement the two-state solution with concrete steps’ and calls for ‘full membership for Palestine in the UN’

    3:38 AM · Jan 22, 2024

  7. JonnyJames

    Great summary in the final paragraph. For years we have seen Israeli settlers steal more land, bulldoze more olive groves and crops, and murder more of the local population, while the Israeli military periodically “mow the lawn” in Gaza. (murder thousands and bomb it to rubble).

    The politicians usually play two-level games: the superficial rhetoric (nod nod, wink wink) and long-term policy. Often the two are incongruous, for obvious reasons.

    There will be no solution period, full stop. The Israelis of course, want the Final Solution for the Palestinians: expel them en masse,, and murder the rest.

    Unless something very drastic changes, Palestine will be reduced further into smaller and smaller isolated Bantustans, Gaza included. Palestine will be reduced to a series of concentration camps, and that’s being “optimistic”. At worst, the Palestinians will continue to be mass murdered and the rest expelled.

    1. vao

      Israel-Palestine is a colonial situation, and no colonial conflict was ever resolved by splitting the colony into a state for settlers, and another for natives. There are historically only three possible outcomes:

      1) The settlers carry out a genocide of the natives — slaughtered, dispossessed, their culture destroyed, survivors expelled, and destitute remnants parked in reservations or at the fringes of society. Examples abound in America and Oceania.

      This is the solution that Israel has been implementing for decades, and the end-result you describe.

      2) The natives stage a resolute fight, and the settlers, exhausted by a never-ending conflict and the resistance of the natives, possibly weakened by defeats on the battlefield, throw the towel and depart. There are numerous examples (French in Indochina and Algeria, Dutch in Indonesia, British in India and Yemen, Portuguese in Guinea Bissau, Angola and Mozambique).

      This is what Hamas, Islamic Jihad — and for their own reasons, Hezbollah, are attempting.

      3) The settlers give up their dominant position and merge with the natives, inter-marrying, and in time adopting their language, and even religion. There are numerous cases in the Antiquity (Greek colonies). The only true modern case somewhat similar is South Africa.

      All situations lead to a unitary state. Regarding Israel-Palestine, there is only (1) or (2) in the foreseeable future.

      1. LifelongLib

        It would be great if we could come up with a better way to decide land issues than raw power (the historical way they’ve been decided by just about everybody) but I’m not convinced that “natives” vs “settlers” is it. People who did their conquering/settling in the mists of prehistory (or at least so long ago that nobody cares) claim a perpetual right to live someplace, while somebody else is supposed to be content to sit around in the desert or the jungle or the ghetto until…when? And no, killing people or driving them from their homes isn’t the answer either. Maybe there isn’t one.

      2. Es s Ce tera

        Just because something hasn’t been historically done doesn’t mean two-state is off the table. It seems pretty reasonable to me that Israel pull back to the 1948 boundaries, recognize Palestine, begin truth and reconciliation and effect reparations for everything inflicted on the Palestinians since 1948. I think eventually it’ll be realized this is the only solution, reverse the Nakba. The only alternative is genocide, which the world will not accept. This is the true path to peace.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Did you read the post? Please tell me what magic fairy makes the nearly 1 million armed and radical Israelis in the West Bank give up their homes. Israel won’t and can’t. Those same settlers now dominate the army.

          The ICJ has no enforcement powers. The US will veto any resolution. A reader above pointed out that the Clinton support for the Oslo Accords was intended merely to drag out the ethnic cleaning process.

          And how many divisions does the UN have?

          1. Es s Ce tera

            I did read the post and, further, happen to agree with almost everything written. Almost.

            My take is just because the UN doesn’t have a standing army nor the ICJ any enforcement mechanism doesn’t mean other forces can’t be at play – such as happened with RSA, plus there are wild cards here. Also, it can’t be an argument against something that, well, settlers are already dug in, have made their homes somewhere.

            I’m not giving up on Palestine. If I did, I’d have to give up on humanity.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              My Communist (literally) college roommates were VERY deeply involved in the South African divestment movement. One typed for the ANC during her summers. This was 1976. Please look at Wikipedia to see how long it took for South African divestment to get traction and finally a regime change. They peg it not getting critical mass for a full decade, from 1984 to 1989. Apartheid did not end until the early 1990s. So I would not get your hopes up.

              1. Es s Ce tera

                I have friends who lived through apartheid. Yes, it took a while, still not an argument against it. Also, it took women 100 years of trying before they got the vote. Slavery was abolished eventually too. Progress happens, somehow or other, except when it doesn’t. Israel is an example of the latter.

                Yes, it’s hopium but it always seems hopeless.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  It is just that many people don’t seem to appreciate that it takes persistent effort over many years to achieve changes like this.

                  Having said that, as I pointed out elsewhere, Israel has now achieved the difficult task of uniting the Muslim world against them. If they overplay their hand militarily, they could jeopardize the state’s existence.

      3. Felix_47

        I agree with you vao. It is not just colonialism but also demography. You might want to add Germany and France. To paraphrase you “The natives give up their dominant position and merge with the settlers, inter marrying and in time adopting their language and even religion.” Essentially an Afro Arab version of number three. The schools seem to be a good representation of what the future population will be like. My kids school in Germany is majority west Asian/African Muslim. English is the lingua franca. “Christ” is a disparaging term on the playground or streets used by the majority to “other” the minority. Bio Deutsche are dying out. I have family in France and it is not much different. Many Jews are feeling uncomfortable here and many are moving out of Europe. The Jews in Israel could consider developing a way to convert the Arabs to Judaism. Intermarriage is the only solution. Most of the families I know here, including my own, have members that have intermarried with Muslim migrants from West Asia and Africa many of whom are married in their own societies as well. There are a lot of parallels with the Mormons. So will there be Ashkenazi Jews in 75 years or three generations? Maybe a few. They will be a historical artifact. Will there be bio Deutsch? Probably not. I think the issue is more demography than colonialism.

        1. Savita

          Hi Felix47.
          I struggle to find words to describe my disgust at the concept you describe that Arabs (or anyone) need to convert to Judaism in order to be acceptable, marry-able, or in this context – non-killable!!

          All this hand wringing over the issues when the singular fact of religion as the root cause, is often so overlooked

        2. vao

          Whether settlers or natives are absorbed depends on who has a compelling demographic majority. Israel-Palestine is a tricky case, as the proportions are essentially 50%-50%. Moreover, those two populations are not exclusionary to the same degree — just see how easy it is to convert to Islam and how difficult it is to convert to Judaism.

          “Bio-Europeans” are not dying out because the continent is overwhelmed by extra-European migrants — these still constitute a minority of the population, and will so in the foreseeable future. Rather, in the long term it is because Europe is an aging society, to the point that, in Germany, with a median age of 47, deaths of natives have been exceeding births for years now — and since nature abhors a vacuum…

          Another critical issue are social characteristics (i.e. values) both in the established and in the incoming population. Emmanuel Todd — whose book on the “defeat of the West” is much talked about these days — made a thorough demographic investigation of immigrants in France, Germany, the UK, and the USA 30 years ago (“Le destin des immigrés” — the fate of immigrants). When it comes to inter-marrying, the rates in the UK, the USA, and Germany were extremely low (at best percentages in the single digits): Bengalis, Pakistanis, and Nigerians do not marry Scots or English, and Scots and English do not want to marry them. Same with Turks and Germans. In France, however, about 25% of people (IIRC) of North African origin married native French. More generally, successive generations were assimilated anyway (no longer speaking Arabic or Berber, clothing and habits, etc)

          Despite all the racism, the values of “equality, fraternity” did have an impact and integration was taking place. Since then, successive governments have continously left those populations (of immigrant origin) by the wayside, marginalized them politically, and allowed Islamist integrist preachers from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar to get an ideological hold of them. The current situation regarding intermarrying and assimilation is therefore unclear.

  8. chuck roast

    The Israelis don’t even bother to mow the lawn anymore. And they were truly superior lawn care specialists.

  9. olddeadmeat

    Observation: the pre-67 borders seem to be the only ones the Palestinians have ever appeared willing to consider. (Please correct me if I am wrong).

    Observation: Israel’s foes have a loooooong tradition of attempting surprise attacks. This is, of course, how the borders changed in 67. So for 56 years, every Israeli citizen has been conditioned and reconditioned to fear surprise attacks from people just across their border.

    But let us consider how to really get a peace:

    If, arguendo, Netanyahu falls, and a pro-peace anti-settler government takes power, dismantles all the settlements, vacates the West Bank and Gaza, but declines to vacate Jerusalem, do we reasonably expect current Palestinian leadership (or the Palestinian public) to be willing to accept this as a permanent two-state solution? I rather think not because Jerusalem is an tremendously emotionally charged issue for all involved.

    But, again arguendo, let’s say a miracle occurs, and perhaps Buddhists agree to administer Jerusalem as an open neutral city and everyone goes along with it.

    Upon reaching that happy state of affairs, then could we also reasonably expect Iran to stop using Palestinian extremists and naysayers as catspaws to stir up trouble, and specifically to defund Hamas and Hezbollah?

    (Sidenote, if we take Iran’s and others external support out of the picture, Hamas, Hezbollah and other threats become enormously less threatening. It’s not like the Palestinians can sustain a war any better than the Ukrainians can.)

    Because EVEN IF we reach a happy two-state of affairs, so long as there is a foreign state willing to fund those folks, can any Israeli citizen ever be safe?

    I recognize how fashionable and popular it is to blame Netanyahu (indeed, who can excuse him? I can’t). Yet the conditions that enabled his rise and that he continues to exploit were not created in a vacuum and will not go away when he falls.

    So I suggest that anyone serious about real peace needs to think about how to build a broader peace. Those barriers must also be addressed.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      John Mearsheimer agrees with Crooke: there will be no peace. The situation is not tractable. There may eventually be an end to active hostilities but the situation will not be stable ex the end or severe diminution of Israel, which is possible if they overplay their hand and attack Lebanon.

      You have higher odds of getting Palestinians to take one part of Rump Ukraine and Israelis another.

      1. Victor Sciamarelli

        “In one of the recent Judge Napolitano shows (I can’t recall if the interviewee was Alastair Crooke or Larry Johnson)…”
        I think both men referenced the HRC story from a very valuable piece in Mother Jones, “How Joe Biden became America’s top Israel hawk” 12/22/2023

    2. nippersdad

      “…if we take Iran’s and others external support out of the picture, Hamas, Hezbollah and other threats become enormously less threatening.”

      But how would you take them out of the equation? That sounds a lot like a bunch of corporate execs in Davos discussing a Ukrainian peace deal without any Russians in attendance. Those groups are pretty independent and self sufficient. It came as a surprise to all of them when Hamas went over the wall, and the Houthis actions in the Red Sea are a cause celebre across the ME.

      I don’t think we get to make such decisions, and the fact that such decisions have been taken out of our hands is why we are losing all of these fights.

    3. Victor Sciamarelli

      I think you have to give more attention to religion in this situation. Unlike politics or business, compromise doesn’t work when religion is involved. Neither Jews nor Muslims are going to give up Jerusalem for some vacant seaside property.
      I found Islam to be a very doable religion. There’s some dietary rules, holidays with fasting but generally you can practice tolerance and easily live a spiritual and moral life. But there’s room for fanaticism.
      By contrast, Christianity is a tough nut which I find nearly impossible. Nobody is going sell everything and give it to the poor, turn the other cheek, or love your enemy anytime soon. And the Jewish god who sends the angel of death to kill all the babies in Egypt, including the Pharaoh’s kid, is a bit scary. Moreover, as Jews are the chosen people living in the land god gave them, they are going to be reluctant to move.
      This is not ancient stuff. Serbians, Croatians, and Bosnians speak dialects of the same language. Yet, Serbians are orthodox Christians and use the Cyrillic alphabet. Croatians are Roman Catholics and use the Roman alphabet. The Bosnians are Muslims. Religion contributed to these people hating and killing each other in the 1990s.
      Israelis and the Palestinians can’t solve this problem alone. An international group needs to be formed to help create security and peace for the region.

      1. olddeadmeat

        I agree, religion is an enormous impediment to peace in the region, which is why I used Buddhists as an example because Jerusalem is nothing to them.

        Yet I do have to beg to differ in a few respects about your comments re: Christians.
        I fully agree there is a bloody history but there is also a stronger countervailing current.

        And in the US, that current prevailed in part because of… Baptists.

        Baptists here spoke out against pew taxes on Native Americans and other non-Christians and against slavery. Not for nothing is a “slave’s Bible” a hideously edited mutilation. It was the sometime Baptist Roger Williams who purchased territory from the Narragansett tribe that led to the founding of Rhode Island. He was also an enormous advocate for separation of church and state which is why he was driven out of the other colonies to Rhode Island. Yet later on, another Baptist named John Leland compelled (even possibly blackmailed, depending on the account) James Madison into including the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

        That their views ultimately prevailed in the largely Christian colonies/states is why we do not have a theocracy to this day and why religious tolerance gained credence throughout the West. As for loving your enemy, that occurs more often than any of us know. Personally, I have seen bereaved parents forgive the drunk driver who killed their daughter because of their faith, though such rarely commands even the barest media attention.
        Many have seen a black man in Dallas forgive in open court the police officer who murdered his brother when she entered the wrong apartment and reacted badly.
        Tribes/nations/cultures nurture grudges with or without religious justification. They don’t forgive, but neither do they have souls. Forgiveness is a retail act, a person to person act. It’s hard to fit into foreign policy.

        It also doesn’t generate the ad revenue or the clicks that violence, hate and bigotry do.

        My journalism professor told us the first day of class that the story that goes on the front page is the unclothed woman running down the street, bleeding from bruises to her face while yelling “Fire” Something natural but abhorrent within us is drawn to the negative. As Matt Taibbi notes often, media seeks mainly to provoke you, because that $ell$. Fox News, of course, was the real pioneer of this in the US but the others have all largely followed the same path, albeit with different partisan leanings. I see none of them doing much to promote tolerance of other viewpoints these days….

        All that to say, the worst of each faith is fully visible and easy to find. Most folks I have met of any of the three faiths are better than you see in media. Of course, all the ones I have met live here in a nation that built a culture that has progressed toward tolerance in spite of itself.

        1. zach

          Which Buddhists do you recommend should oversee the situation? There’s at least a couple different traditions. Seems like that could just make things messier.

          1. caucus99percenter

            Surely the Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka who, after many decades of struggle, finally crushed the Tamil Hinduist minority’s rebellion with superior brute force! /s

    4. David in Friday Harbor

      If we can’t deal in facts here, there’s a problem. The 1967 Six-Day War was initiated by an Israeli surprise attack on Egypt. The original Israeli war plan didn’t include taking the West Bank, but the threat to West Jerusalem and the collapse of Egyptian resistance encouraged Allon, Begin, and Dayan to make a move to roll-up tiny Jordan. As for “foreign” funding of the conflict, the State of Israel wouldn’t be viable for a fortnight without U.S. funds and weaponry, and Azerbaijani oil flowing through Türkiye.

      It struck me as odd over the past weekend that the NYTimes chose to downplay the serious kerfuffle between Netanyahu and Biden on the viability of the Two-State Solution. Even in The Guardian, Biden was made to look like both a liar and a fool.

      I agree that any hope of a Two-State Solution died with Yhitzak Rabin and the shift to minority status of the old Kibbutznik/Labor-left pioneers. For 50 years Rabin had kept the IDF in opposition to the terrorist Irgun and their Likudnik successors — sometimes at literal gun-point. When I’m feeling particularly cynical I wonder if the Nut-n-Yahoo crowd intentionally left those old progressive Negev Kibbutzim undefended on October 7.

    5. hk

      A few observations:

      In 1967, it was Israel that launched the surprise attack: Nasser talked a lot publicly, but he made no preparation for a shooting war. In fact, there are as many Israeli surprise attacks since it was founded as there were by it’s does.

      Also, I would hardly think “external support” is going just to Hamas, Hizbullah, etc. The biggest external support for one side in this conflict is US. If one were to get the outsiders out, it would be us that should be first in the line. Judge Napolitano showed the video of Matti Peled, retired Israeli general and father of a well known Israeli peace activist Miko, addressing a gathering in SF some time in 1990s where he said near unconditional US support is the worst thing for Israel as it emboldens the warmongers who won’t have to pay the bills and that Israel would be better off having to pay its own way to pretty much every guest last week (I think). I think he is exactly right, personally.

  10. Dramaturgy of the 5th Dimension

    The Palestinians of the West Bank were Jordanian citizens from 1946 until 1988 when Jordanians stripped the Palestinians of citizenship re: Black September terrorism.

    During this time, Israel and Jordan were in a formal state of war, which is why the West Bank was occupied. Jordan had attacked Israel and Israel pushed the Jordanian Army back across the river in ’73. Even so, West Bank civilians had freedom of travel to and from Jordan. Palestinians participated in Jordanian politics. However, it was the Arab League, not Israel, who refuted Jordan’s claim. (It wasn’t called Transjordan for nothing.)

    From 1988 onward, the West Bank has been under the political authority of the PLO / Fatah. Statehood was on the table during the Camp David Summit 2000, even while the Second Intifada was raging. Arafat walked away without a counter-offer; his excuse was that he could not share Jerusalem. The reality is that Arafat’s leadership was already hanging by a thread on account of his corruption and brutal security service. Arafat could not survive an election.

    1. Alice X

      Would you provide links to your assertions? because at least some of it runs counter to my understanding. Thank you!

      1. gk

        This is the standard Israeli story. I don’t believe it either. One problem is that Rabin was going along building settlements during the negotiations, so that the Palestinians didn’t believe him.

        I can’t find a link, but I seem to recall Rabin admitting later that this was a mistake. Given what actually happened to him, though, he may not have had a choice.

    2. Offtrail

      I have to take whatever it is you’re trying to say with a few grains of salt because Israel pushed Jordan out of the West Bank in 1967, not 1973.

  11. Tommy S

    A great post. thank you. As Chomsky detailed since the Fateful Triangle, as did Cockburn and the great Robert Fisk (see his 1000 page book “The Great War for ..”…). .but all these facts need to be re stated, over and over again, and NC is doing an amazing job.

  12. nippersdad

    I can see there being no two state solution, right up until Hezbollah comes over the Golan Heights and presents them with an offer that they cannot refuse. After the mess that Israel has created for itself, I simply cannot see the US putting boots on the ground to protect them.

    Seven million Israelis vs. four hundred eleven million Arabs. I wonder what the odds Las Vegas would put on that bet are.

    1. Alan Roxdale

      If Israel runs into severe difficulty, the US and EU will launch an in-effect (9th?) crusade to shore up their position. Short a generational shift in attitudes towards settler-colonialism (dubious as it’s equally likely the west adopts the same caste governance model), Israeli has the backing of the rest of the west as its forward operating base in the oil rich middle east.

      1. nippersdad

        Where would they get the troops? At least Afghanistan and Iraq were singular entities fought individually, but in this case you would be taking on militias from the entire ME plus North Africa, Central and South Asia that would have the potential for being supported by Iran, Russia and China. That would just be an asymmetric butt-whooping of unprecedented scale and severity.

        I am picturing Hezbollah giving ballistic cover for the Chechens and Houthis after our battle ships run out of missiles, and it just is not pretty. I cannot imagine even our own neocons wanting to get into something like that.

    2. IEL

      The US was vastly wealthier and more powerful than the Taliban. But who won? Absolute numbers aren’t all that matters. Concentration of those numbers, political will and morale, logistics, technology (nukes included), terrain, etc. also matter.

  13. Starry Gordon

    It seems to me that Israel cannot continue to exist in its present form and with its present arrangements without a continuation of the active, vigorous, virtually unconditional support of the United States. But the United States is not necessarily invulnerable, immortal, and immutable. Indeed, it has created powerful enemies for itself through its attachment to mad-dog policies and personnel. It is not hard to imagine circumstances under which the situation of the U.S. might change suddenly and radically with obvious consequences for its satellites and dependents, including Israel. I imagine that there are competent, talented people waiting for the opportunity to help this happen. In which case the history of the future might not be as fixed as some people think.

  14. Chris Cosmos

    Great overview of the situation. As you imply the two-state solution is absolutely impossible. As for the both Bill and Hilary Clinton, the whole claim they supported the two state solution was never valid–neither of them were stupid–they knew, like all administrations since Clinton would make pronouncements just to appear to favor such a solution but Bill never did anything to put teeth in his (in my view) fake attempt to implement Oslo and by the mid-nineties Oslo was dead. From a practical viewpoint the pressure to maintain the State of Israel in Washington is overwhelming and impossible to change. What Washington has attempted to do is to block Israel to go the ethnic cleansing/genocide route which Israelis and their leaders both want. In the 90s Washington agreed with Israel’s ultimate goal but Washington forced Israel to go slow, i.e., making life impossible for Palestinians in the hope they might eventually migrate over time. However that failed to deter Palestinians.

    So today we have a vast speed-up of the process. While many in the West agonize over the plight of Palestinians, I believe the Biden Administration (with an eye to bid donors) will continue to support the Israeli agenda. There is no substantial interest in any change of this policy in the US and in Natostan, of course, where Washington’s unwritten “rules” are sacred so there is little pushback against the policies of ethnic cleansing/genocide. Thus what is the solution to this? My answer is that we will have to focus on moving the Palestinians elsewhere since integration between Palestinians is absolutely impossible due to extreme hatred on all sides, but most particularly the average Israeli citizen. If the conflict continues it will just be just another example of man’s inhumanity to man and perhaps lead to regional or even world-war. What those of who oppose imperialism and Israeli fascism can do is to hold a mirror up to Israel and emphasize they may structurally be a democracy but, like apartheid South Africa, the are a fascist apartheid regime who must face sanctions or, I should say, we ought to support them. The other solution is the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

    1. caucus99percenter

      > My answer is that we will have to focus on moving the Palestinians elsewhere

      No. If the concepts of right, wrong, and justice mean anything, the world should never reward bloodthirsty genocidaires by handing them victory and helping them achieve what was always their goal.

      1. gk

        Morality aside, this will never work. With no Palestinians, there will be nothing to stop Sarid’s nightmare: Replacing the mosques with the Temple, replacing Rabbinical Judaism with a King and a ridiculous ritual around animal sacrifices, and eventually the Muslims launch a war that finishes it all off.

        You can find some reviews in English of Sarid’s book at Goodreads. The first Hebrew review says it is the scariest book he has ever read. I agree.

  15. Ep3

    I just envision that there is secretly 2 trillion barrels of oil underneath all that land, and that’s what this is all about.

        1. The Rev Kev

          They also want the water from the Litani River in Lebanon and they were talking about this as a goal to invade that country for only a few days ago. They tried for it in 2006 but that time did not end so well.

          1. Polar Socialist

            They did manage to destroy multiple pumping stations that were “stealing” their water right there inside Lebanon, though. Apparently Hezbollah fighters were hiding specifically inside pumping stations and water treatment facilities – otherwise that would have been a war crime.

  16. Michael Hudson

    Well, there may indeed be a two-state solution that Netanyahu will accept: Israel and Palestine. But only Israelis can live in either of them. — so they get two votes in the UN.
    I guess the question will be, which one will expand to absorb Syria and “to the river”?
    I know it won’t be the Indus, but one can always dream.

    1. Travis Bickle

      Your underlying observation about Israeli relentlessness is key. Ben-Gurionism, or the guiding vision of a “Greater Israel” has been the driving force for Israeli actions since 1948 and it is their actions you have to focus on.

      There have certainly been negotiations, while Israel maneuvered for its next phase, but the pace has been modulated by what can be gotten away with at any point in time. There have also been logistical impediments, like having enough settlers to occupy the land Palestinians were shooed off of (to be diplomatic). But the facts on the ground are not about to be reversed and they go in one direction, relentlessly.

      To be more complete and fair to the realities, there are many fine and sensitive Jews in the Israel and the US who would be deeply offended at these sort of observations and conclusions simply as insult to their self-image, while in reality they endorse the whole project of a greater Israel. It’s a dirty job, but it’s got to be done, so they protest, sort of. You see, things needs to be done slowly and delicately, because these are such a delicate people, beyond the avarice that defines their actions. Stories of conquest are our oldest, and in modern times we feel the need to put more lipstick on that pig.

      This means Israel expansion comes under the cover of “Legitimate Security Concerns,” meaning the Arabs “make them” do what they do. In the case of Gaza at the moment, it’s them being beaten to a pulp for resisting effectively. Having them taken down a notch through Netanyahu’s “lawn mowing” is part of the budget, after all, but October 7 wasn’t part of the plan.

      Only quibble I’d make about these observations is that Israel does NOT want to kill or exterminate the Pals: They just want them to go away. This simply means making Gaza uninhabitable.

      As as the paragons of civilized humanity they are, I can see Israel allowing the US and others to pick up the bill to rebuild Gaza just enough for the current PR kerfuffle to blow over, discretely planning on future degradations of life there to keep them from getting too comfortable. As great students of history, they would have also noticed the sheer logistical difficult of direct action against several million Pals. So, a degree of patience on the Gazan front should be expected while those few Pals remaining in the West Bank are chased off or killed if they don’t move fast enough.

      Looking at the course of events over time, there’s nothing terribly difficult to understand going on here.

      What is more disconcerting is how they get away with it, which boils down to the ring they have in the nose of US foreign policy.

  17. Lona

    What if the Chinese communists were put in charge of implementing a one state solution – everyone becomes an egalitarian ‘comrade’ and property is nationalized, temples and mosques are repurposed.

  18. Es s Ce tera

    I’m a bit fixated on this:

    “Of course, deals are only as good as the parties who sign them. Yitzhak Rabin, who is often depicted as wanting to reach some sort of accommodation with the Palestinians, was assassinated in November 1995.”

    Surely in the context of the present topic it’s important to mention that Rabin was assassinated by a Zionist? This is another important obstacle to the two-state solution, that any Israeli leader who tries to move it forward will be assassinated by the Meir Kahane sect which also happens to currently hold sway in Israel.

    I don’t understand why that bit was left out. Seems like a careful omission.

  19. Tom K-ski

    So far nobody mentioned a Persian point of view or a game plan how to depopulate the state of Israel. As I recall Tehran is targeting “soccer moms” of Israel and wants to scare them to take their kids out of the harms way and move out. Due to the high density of population, the presence of thousands of injured young men amputees – former IDF soldiers will have a devastating effect on the “soccer moms” . Apparently, since October 7th, about 1.25 million of dual citizens already emigrated from Israel.
    Recommend to watch the migration out of Israel – this will indicate how things are really going.

    1. Mario Golden

      Hello Tom, would you be so kind to share the source or sources for this: “Apparently, since October 7th, about 1.25 million of dual citizens already emigrated from Israel.” I’d appreciate it.

      1. gk

        Especially as for a large part of that period most airlines had stopped flying (and passenger ships stopped a long time ago)

  20. Not Moses

    Not sure I agree with the notion of the “never a two state solution”. Public support for Israel in the US has gone down as is in Europe, and will continue to slide. Israel can flex its muscle now because, as Joe Biden has made it clear, the US will be there to protect it. However, alone? Not so much. But nothing lasts forever. No one would’ve thought that Israel would end up in the ICJ, but there it is. Symbolic, perhaps, but lethal nonetheless. Moreover, Israel is not a critical asset for the US, just the opposite, as the Iraqi and Afghan wars demonstrated.

    In the past I’ve said that one million French citizens went back to France when Algeria won independence from France after years of blood and violence. Jewish Illegal settlers can be removed and housed elsewhere Israel, away from the occupied territories. The point is that it’s not unheard of to move large numbers of people to other settlements.

    And, what about the chances of nuclear weapons making their way to the region, courtesy of Pakistan or North Korea – that would be a game changer, and not impossible. All what ifs, to be sure, but so are the other platitudes and opinions.

    1. Felix_47

      Weren’t large numbers of Jews removed from Iraq and other Arab countries and sent to Israel in 1948? All property was taken away as I recall.

      1. berit

        According to Jewish historien Avi Shlaim, organized Zionist settler milits from Palestine during the British mandate periode used terrorist methods to scare well integrated Arab Jews, citizens of Iraq and Egypt, to leave for Palestine, as they terrorized the British to make them leave Palestine, terrorized and killed an unknown number (to me) Palestinians so that 750 000 fled to refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. See The forgotten history of Arab Jews | Avi Shlaim | The Big Picture S2EP5, on youtube.com

    2. hk

      Population “exchanges/removals” require a lot of force. Who’s going to force illegal Israeli settlers? It won’t be the IDF, as the post explains in detail. In fact, the precondition for the solution is the defeat and destruction of the IDF as it will fight to the end to prevent that removal (It is the “settler army” now, after all. Will the Arab armies be able to comprehensively defeat the IDF to force the population removal? But if they are so completely victorious, why would they stop at just West Bank? Can third party armies intervene and force them off? I don’t think any Western power would actually dare do this (meaningfully), especially since they will face armed resistance. The British, when they were much more practiced in this sort of thing, couldn’t manage the tribes in conflict in Palestine in 1940s. I doubt anyone in the West has the ability to do it, even assuming away the political fallout. No one outside the West would volunteer to do that thankless task (and for that matter, neither would anyone in the West, I think.)

      1. ChrisPacific

        There’s also the point that the main Israel adversaries like Hezbollah would likely shy away from inflicting such a total defeat on the IDF, even if they had the opportunity, because of Israel’s nukes. I don’t think Israel would have any hesitation in using them if things ever got that dire for them.

        So even that potential outcome (such as it is) doesn’t really have any likely non-catastrophic paths.

    3. Matthew

      Removed by who? As Alistair says, the Israeli army is a settler army. You really believe that the US and Israel will allow a UN/Arab army to go into the West Bank and forcibly remove a million Jewish settlers?

  21. The Rev Kev

    Saw this the other day-

    ‘James J. Zogby
    Jan 20
    Reading in the Arab press that the US is urging them to let Israel accomplish its goals in Gaza, then work to integrate Israel into the region so it feels secure enough to take steps toward peace w/ Palestinians. I can’t tell how angry this makes me. It’s insulting & delusional’


  22. geoffrey v gray

    This prognostication that “And now a devastated Gaza, even assuming Palestinians survive in meaningful numbers, will require state support to rebuild. That state will be Israel.”
    I think that state will be Palestine. Israel failed the good neighbor policy and ia now being evicted.
    Also, the idea of putting Israel, the genocidaire, back in charge of the genocided is unlikely.
    The infidel is being removed from the near east. As we speak. For good.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Israel will remain in control of the territory. This is the price of being an occupier.

      Again it appears you did not read the post. Please tell me who has the capability to evict >800,000 and growing armed settlers from the West Bank, particularly since the IDF will support them. By normal military rules of thumb, that would take an army of over 2.4 million.

  23. Albert65

    The main reason for learning a foreign language, especially Italian, which I failed to do, or Spanish, to a lesser extent, is to escape the publishing oligopoly of the English (and French) speaking world(s). Today, Italy and some Spanish-speaking countries have many small independent publishers that enable access to publications unavailable to the English and French speaking worlds. This is discussed in Pedro Baños’ book El Dominio mundial under Communicación estratégica, a chapter where he describes the media oligopolies in the world. This is one of the books, whose translation into English was blocked by the usual suspects.

  24. gcw919

    At the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, it seems the underpopulated Negev Desert might be an alternative for Palestinians dispossessed of their land. It is lacking in resources (so are many places in the US Southwestern deserts), but with the proper investments, modern, functioning towns could be built. Solar could power homes, light-industry, agrigulture, and de-salinization of Red Sea water. When we realize that the US has sent Israel north of $140 Billion over the years, we can see there isn’t much to show for it in terms of social justice. Instead, there has been constant strife, with Palestinians living in horrible conditions, thousands dying with each new conflagration, and peace ever-farther off on the horizon. Some might object that the Palestinians would be giving up their birthright, i.e. their land in Gaza and the Westbank: Well, the same could be said about the land lots of people around the world occupy. It has been stolen, in many cases, from indigienous people, and not a chance it will be returned to them. But one would guess that many Palestinians would prefer an alternative to the rubble they might possibly be allowed to return to. Of course, all this requires equal-rights in ALL matters in a ONE-STATE land. But Israel, with the backing of blood-soaked American “statesmen,” never seems to learn, and finds itself forever feeling threatened. If they truly want peace, it won’t happen with more bunker-busters being dropped on children.

      1. gcw919

        I’m not suggesting its desirable for them to give up their, land, but at this point, much of the land grab is a fait accompli. California is not going to be returned to Mexico. I’m simply trying to suggest a solution that would end this senseless bloodshed, not to mention the risk that we are inching ever-closer to a major war. (Nevil Shute’s “On the Beach”, which should be required reading in high schools, as it was in mine, ages ago, describes a world in the end stages of radiation poisoning from a war started by small countries, which eventually sucked in the major players.) Israel is here to stay, and at least there should be some kind of future for the Palestinians, other than a disapora, and hopefully better than American Indians got. It appears that Israel, with the full and shameful complcity of the US, has no plans for the Palestinians to return to Gaza. They just leveled a university, and 75% of the mosques. This is a scorched-earth policy fueled by a deep, perverted need for vengeance. Any peaceful resolution to this insanity ought to be considered.

  25. Robert

    Yves, your post is most disturbing. Sadly if the people of Gaza are driven from existence I wonder if that will be the start of a long wave of terror attacks against the “West”, specifically the USA? If so, we might actually deserve it. Colonial wars always find their way home.

  26. Doug

    There will be no two-state because there is no way Palestinians will forgive what has happened. Tens of thousands of orphaned children will grow into new fighters wanting revenge for the loss of their parents, grandparents, friends and sibilings.
    I mean, put yourself in their shoes, would you be able to forgive people that stole your land, starved and butchered your friends and family?
    There is only one solution, Israelis must up and leave.

  27. Kambei

    Thank you, Yves. This was an important post. Like many other commenters, I don’t think a two-state solution has ever been on the cards. A “Greater Israel” was the Zionist goal long before Israel ever came into existence. Alastair Crooke’s analyses have been spot on.

    The global balance of power has dramatically shifted with America’s failed gambit in Ukraine and the rise of BRICS. The “global majority” no longer fears its wrath. I think the fanatical Zionists in power (Israel/US) are using the reaction to 7 Oct to go for broke and prosecute the final solution to the Palestinian problem. As this might be their last opportunity to impose it.

    Educated and dual-national Israelis are leaving. This exodus began before 7 Oct, but given the security situation, the rate must have increased significantly. I’ve read 500,000 since the attack, but do not remember where I read it. Increased pressure will lead to increased “reverse immigration”.

    Erdoğan needs to be pressured into stopping the flow of Azerbaijani oil at Ceyhan. This would cause significant disruption to Israel’s energy supply that could not be immediately offset by US oil. More citizens heading for the exits.

    At the UN, I think the BRICS nations need to demand not only a ceasefire, but also the immediate implementation of 242. The US will veto this, of course, but BRICS nations, especially China, should persist with a discussion the how best to implement the resolution. As the election approaches, the ball would then be in the American court.

    I disagree a bit with Yves on one point. There may be 800,000 settlers on the West Bank, but there are also 3 million Palestinians. Many settlers are in the IDF. In the case of war, they will be wherever the IDF sends them.

    I do not believe that Israel would survive a war against Hezbollah, Hamas, and a WB Intifada. The IDF generals know this. Pressure needs to be ratcheted up until the politicians and citizens realize this as well. This conflict is intractable. There is no solution.

  28. skippy

    It truly blows me away when historically land was given to a small group of religious people based on some very inaccurate religious texts and forwarded by the mother of all persecution complexes. Especially when you plonk them down in a region that is already and has been for a long long time occupied by the dominate religious order of the region for yonks …

    It just creates a hot bed of contention from day one, one side has generations of being there only to unceremoniously have this other mob plonked right down in the middle of them by the Roman [UK] administers with the fig leaf that everyone is going to play nice. This then quickly turns into a land and power grab by the people that were plonked down in the region. Whom quickly described the original peoples of this land as unclean heathens which should not only be looked down on, but have their stuff taken from them to serve a higher being.

    No people jaw bone about solutions …. lmmao ….

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