Whether we like it or not, the settlers have won.
The two-state solution is now impossible
It is now a matter of when, not if, the West Bank boils over into violent protests...Perhaps the most offensive phrase, still deployed by the laziest observers in the west, is "peace process". There is no peace; there is no process - despite an astonishing five visits to the region in the past three months by the US secretary of state, John Kerry.
...to quote Dov Weisglass, the then chief of staff to Ariel Sharon, almost a decade ago. "[W]hat I effectively agreed to with the Americans was that part of the settlements would not be dealt with at all," Weisglass told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in October 2004. "Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda." Or, as a smiling and confident Dani Dayan, the outgoing chairman of the Yesha settlers' council, put it to me in an interview for al-Jazeera English: "The conflict right now has no solution."
Dayan and his fanatical [??? a bit uncouth that] friends can take credit for burying the "two-state solution"...The settlements, therefore, have rendered a two-state solution impossible. The evidence for this? "The idea that a Palestinian state will be formed in the land of Israel has come to a dead end," declared the former Yesha Council leader Naftali Bennett on 17 June. "Today there are 400,000 Israeli residents of Judaea and Samaria and another 250,000 in eastern Jerusalem." [I would put those figures at 365,000 and 200,000 respectively]
Whether we want to admit it or not, the settlers have won - they have what they call a "wet dream" government, protecting and promoting their interests...Settlers make up 5% of Israel's population but more than 10% of Israel's parliament, the Knesset. Beyond the political sphere, settlers have mounted a concerted effort to dominate the Israel Defence Forces..
On my last visit to the West Bank, I met Dr Mohammed Shtayyeh, the influential head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, and Diana Buttu, a Stanford-educated lawyer and former Palestinian negotiator. "The two-state solution is not possible any more and we are slipping into a one-state situation... which is a comprehensive colonisation of all of Palestine," Shtayyeh said.
Buttu said she no longer backed two states for two peoples, preferring a single, secular, binational state. But is that feasible?...Either way, no matter how many visits John Kerry makes to Jerusalem, it is time to consign the two-state solution to the dustbin of history.
That was the opinion and language of Mehdi Hasan, political director of the Huffington Post UK, and a contributing writer of the New Statesman.