60 Minutes blows the lid off Israel's dilemma
by MainStreet, Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:08:50 AM EST
Time Running Out For A Two-State Solution? is the title of a 60 Minutes segment shown this Sunday focused on the growing number of Israelis and Palestinians who say that a two-state solution is no longer viable. And the sources of this dilemma were laid out for all to see.
For years, Americans were left in the dark about the reality of Israel's military occupation and its colonization of Palestinian lands that is still taking place. It has now created a dilemma for Israel that can only lead, for it, to undesirable consequences: 1) merging into a single democratic state with Israelis and Palestinians living together, i.e., give up the dream of the Jewish state; 2) ethnically cleanse the remaining Palestinians (those who are not already refugees from the ethnic cleansing of 1948) and risk international opprobrium; and 3) create an apartheid system, where Israel continues to control the lives of the Palestinians crowded into Bantustan-like enclaves in the Palestinian territories. The stark reality leaves few choices for Israel. As Bob Simon indicated, apartheid regimes are short lived.
Here is the CBS Video of the segment (commercial first):
Just a few paragraphs of the long segment description can be posted (below). The only down side of the segment was that the words, occupation or military occupation, and colonize or colonization, were never uttered. Soldiers occupying the West Bank were not seen, even though there was a brief episode in which Israeli soldiers had taken over a house of a family on a hilltop in Nablus they were allegedly using for surveillance.. But the military were otherwise hidden from view.
Another lie permitted to stand is the alleged equality of treatment concerning house demolitions by Israel's occupation forces, where a demonstration project was presented in which a settler house was demolished. The IDF claim was that they treat everyone equally. However, as reported by ICAHD, since 1967, almost 18,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in the occupied Palestinian territories, while the building of tens of thousands of Israeli only homes in the settlements on expropriated Palestinian land (B'Tselem), was permitted.
So the 60 Minutes segment is not entirely without flaws. But these misgivings aside, it did represent a major breakthrough in the education of Americans about the reality in Israel-Palestine.
Getting a peace deal in the Middle East is such a priority to President Obama that his first foreign calls on his first day in office were to Arab and Israeli leaders. And on day two, the president made former Senator George Mitchell his special envoy for Middle East peace. Mr. Obama wants to shore up the ceasefire in Gaza, but a lasting peace really depends on the West Bank where Palestinians had hoped to create their state. The problem is, even before Israel invaded Gaza, a growing number of Israelis and Palestinians had concluded that peace between them was no longer possible, that history had passed it by. For peace to have a chance, Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, which would then become the Palestinian state.
It's known as the "two-state" solution. But, while negotiations have been going on for 15 years, hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers have moved in to occupy the West Bank. Palestinians say they can't have a state with Israeli settlers all over it, which the settlers say is precisely the idea.
Daniella Weiss moved from Israel to the West Bank 33 years ago. She has been the mayor of a large settlement.
"I think that settlements prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state in the land of Israel. This is the goal. And this is the reality," Weiss told 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon.
Though settlers and Palestinians don't agree on anything, most do agree now that a peace deal has been overtaken by events.
LINK HERE to read the remainder.
This is the reality that George Mitchell is about to confront in attempting to bring peace to Israel-Palestine as Obama's envoy to the Middle East. His 2001 report to Bush contained recommendations based on a two state solution, which became the basis of the Road Map. Given the situation today, can a Road Map II lead to anything but the same outcome? Stalemate.