April is around the corner, the Palestinians and the Israelis negotiators are still talking, they mistrust one another, they are very leery about the outcome, they know that this round could be similar to other rounds if not worse, nothing of any substance is happening, in their minds and hearts they want to call it quits but they didn’t officially do that because they are worried about the mounting domestic & international pressures, & they are fearful about being labeled the party to be blamed for the failure, informed media sources coming from the negotiating teams clearly indicate that things don’t look all that good. Israel will not offer the Palestinians the minimum acceptable which is the 1967 borders plus Jerusalem plus one hundred percent sovereignty.
The Palestinians on their part will not grant Israel its Jewishness recognition and absolve it of accepting the right of return.
So what is the solution ? Annexation , a bi-national state, transfer, or what ? I happen to believe that the most viable solution at this point in time is disengagement. It was already tried in Southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, it worked in both places. There was no need for prolonged negotiations, a simple unilateral decision and then off we go.
Israel is now faced with a similar situation in the Palestinian West Bank territories, it has no option other than unilaterally withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967 and leave it up to the Palestinians to manage their own affairs.Once Israel withdraws its troops from the Palestinian land the Palestinians will breath the sigh of relief and begin building their cities, villages, roads, bridges and tunnel.
They will no longer blame the Israelis for the occupation, as a mater of fact the word occupation will be removed from their daily discourse.Everything else will come to a stand still, people will stop talking about the right of return, about the Palestinians in the diaspora, or Jerusalem as being the future capital of the Palestinian State. Israel must though disengage totally, completely and comprehensively from all of the occupied Palestinian land.On the flip side and if Israel continues with its intransigence, land grabbing, home demolition, and endless occupation, sooner than later it will cease to be a democratic state and will turn into an apartheid state.This is my two cents advice for the Israelis- the right time to do it is now, disengage before it is too late, the world events are changing fast, there may come a time when you wish that you had implemented your disengagement much earlier so why wait and keep it difficult for you and for the Palestinians. Take my free friendly advice and run with it.
(You can reach Hatem at firstname.lastname@example.org)