Former US president Jimmy Carter said Monday on a trip to Israel that Israel’s current government has abandoned the two-state solution in favor of a Greater Israel that will include the West Bank and Gaza inside the Jewish state.
“We are heading towards a one-state outcome, which will fail to ensure the security and democratic rights of the people of Israel and renege on the promise of self-determination for Palestinians,” Carter said. “The two-state solution is vanishing. We urgently need a fresh approach by all parties if a Palestinian state is to be achieved.”
“All indication to us is that the two-state solution has basically been abandoned and we’re now moving toward a Greater Israel, or Eretz Israel, taking over all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, which I think is contrary to the two-state solution concept,” he added.
Carter’s realization appears to be accurate, if belated. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have stopped completely because Israel refused reasonable preconditions from the Palestinians that Jewish settlement projects inside the West Bank be halted.
This refusal, and the insistence on continuing colonization of Palestinian territory should have been a sign to Carter long ago that Israel aims to dispossess Palestinians of the 22% of historic Palestine that they have left.
If this wasn’t convincing enough, Carter might have looked at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party Charter, which declares Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Gaza as “the realization of Zionist values” and describes the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem as belonging to Israel.
This not only goes directly against stated US policy in favor of a negotiated two-state solution, but it violates international law prohibiting forced relocation of occupied people and the settlement of conquered or occupied lands.
There have also been plans put forth in the Israeli Knesset which proposed to annex “Area C” of the West Bank, which makes up over 60% of the total, and establish formal Israeli law there and “naturalize” some 50,000 Palestinians from the seized territory. At least 27 Likud party Knesset members have endorsed the idea.
A recent report from the European Union warned that “if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seem more remote than ever.” And that, indeed, seems to be the intention.
The EU report explained how “a combination of house and farm building demolitions; a prohibitive planning regime; relentless settlement expansion; the military’s separation barrier; obstacles to free movement; and denial of access to vital natural resources, including land and water, is eroding Palestinian tenure of the large tract of the West Bank on which hopes of a contiguous Palestinian state depend.”