Only Alternative to Israeli Apartheid is a Secular One-State Solution: Erekat
nsnbc : Following a meeting with the Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons, John Bercow, PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat noted that the PLO consistently stated that the PLO consistently supported a two-State solution, but that the only alternative to a de-facto Israeli Apartheid State is a secular one-State solution.
Erekat stressed that the acceptance of a two-State solution by the PLO, in fact, represents a painful and historic Palestinian compromise of recognizing Israel over 78% of historic Palestine. He underpinned that today, almost 6 million Palestinians live under Israeli control in all of historic Palestine, while another almost 6 million Palestinians live in the diaspora. With reference to the continued occupation of Palestinian territories, settlement construction, and the fact that Arabs in Israel are second-class citizens too, Erekat stated:
Contrary to (Israeli Prime Minister) Netanyahu’s plan of one state and two systems, Apartheid, the only alternative to two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 border is one single secular and democratic state with equal rights for everyone, Christians, Muslims, and Jews, on all of historic Palestine. … I urged Mr. Bercow to work towards justice for the Palestinian people, especially given the historic responsibility that the UK bears 100 years after the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. Calls by Prime Minister Theresa May to celebrate the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration are not only unacceptable but insulting to the Palestinian people. We called upon the United Kingdom to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to take concrete measures in order to save the two-state solution, including to ban all Israeli settlement products.
Erekat’s statement following the meeting with Bercow refers to the recent invitation of Netanyahu to the celebrations of the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. Earlier this month Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah, deplored Britain’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend the celebration of the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.
Viewed in a historical context, the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes – Picot agreement show that sovereignty and self-determination where as irrelevant 100 years ago as they are irrelevant today, when major powers play geopolitics. The PLO, and especially the dominant PLO member faction Al-Fatah (Fateh) have long been criticized for signing the Oslo Accords and for accepting the two-State solution.
Many PLO member organizations, including the PFLP, and former PLO members organizations like the PFLP-GC have consistently denounced the Oslo Accords as impossible and/or defeatist, and as a means to implement an Israeli-dictated one state-solution or greater Israel by stealth and deception. It must be noted that the Oslo Accords are no treaty and never were legally binding. A treaty was promised five years after the accords but was never signed.
The PLO signed the accords based on the “assumption” that Israel would, in earnest, negotiate a final settlement of these issues within a five-year period. What the PLO received from the hands of Israel was decades more of settlement expansion but no settlement. No final treaty was signed in 1998, as promised.
The prominent Palestinian scholar Dr. Edward Said criticized the Oslo Accords from the get go as “A Palestinian Surrender”. Said’s assessment of the accords as a surrender were as correct as his assessment that the product of the Oslo Accords would be “a Palestinian leadership in disarray”. He was correct in that assessment too. These are the real achievements of the late Shimon Perez. These achievements are part of “theirstory”, the history of the Palestinians. It is unlikely that they will be published in official “his-story” textbooks.
Considering the track-record of Al-Fatah and the al-Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority which has usurped many of the functions of the PLO, it is likely that Erekat’s statement about a one-State solution was mostly posturing. However, the number of Palestinians and progressive Israelis who admit that a two-State solution always was and always will be impossible and that a secular one-State solution with equal rights for all citizens is the only viable solution that could bring a lasting peace continues to grow.
CH/L – nsnbc 15.02.2017