Kerry’s pogostick diplomacy is not working, and we are apparently past a point of no return in Israel.
The current tempest began when Danny Danon, a hawkish member of Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party and deputy defense minister, told the Web site The Times of Israel that “there is no majority for a two-state solution” within Likud or Israel’s governing coalition. Later, in a television interview, he said that the majority of the Israeli public “has given up the idea of land for peace”; that Israel should declare sovereignty over the Jewish settlements and empty areas of the West Bank; and that the fate of Palestinian “blocks” should be “determined in an agreement with Jordan.”
Opposition leaders called for Mr. Danon’s ouster. Palestinian leaders condemned his remarks as racist but said they revealed the “true face” of Israel.
“Danon is an honest man who discloses the Israeli real policies and plans,” Ahmad Tibi, an Arab-Israeli member of Parliament, was quoted as saying in gulfnews.com, the online version of a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates. On Monday, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, issued a statement saying that “Israel has officially declared the death of the two-state solution,” and “is determined to make Kerry efforts fail,” citing policies Mr. Netanyahu “is pushing on the ground.”
So, when there are no credible initiatives by the Israelis to reach a two state solution, and the increasingly obvious efforts to populate the West Bank by the Israeli government proceed (and thereby thwart any Palestinian state), what’s next? There is apparently no possible Palestine that satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians, and so now what? Wait another decade?
In the meantime, it’s not a standoff, it’s an occupation. But if the US and other actors come to see it in the terms of the quotation above — that there is no ‘room’ for a Palestine ‘within the land of Israel’ — then the idea of an occupied Palestine is put to one side, and the Palestinians are relegated to the status of American ‘Indians’, consigned to live on ‘reservations’ in perpetuity. Or perhaps, part of the larger regional chaos, requiring a regional solution. What is, then, the ‘answer’ to West Asia?