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HAIDAR EID | 30 DECEMBER, 2016
From Gaza: An Independent Palestinian Reaction to John Kerry's "Historic" Speech
GAZA: Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech on December, 28, in which he lamented the defunct two- state solution for the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” (The reason I am using inverted commas here is because what is being described as a conflict is, in fact, a classical case of settler- colonialism coupled with apartheid; therefore, one does not have two equal parties here, unless one considered the South African apartheid a “conflict” between” native Africans and White supremacist colonialists!”)
Kerry’s main point is that the two-state solution is in danger due to Israel’s policy of settlement building. The US, as he says, wants to keep the possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian state open. He, however, ignores the fact that Israel has already shot the two- state solution in the head by expanding the existing settlements, by annexing Jerusalem, and by constructing the monstrous apartheid wall, and by turning the Gaza Strip into the largest concentration camp on earth with two million inmates living worse than animals as president Jimmy Carter described it on his visit to Gaza, all of which have left the Palestinians with almost no land on which they can have a” state.”
Moreover, Kerry basically ignores the fact that the two-state solution is a racist solution par excellence. In fact, the fictional Palestinian state he is referring to is worse than the infamous Bantustans of apartheid South Africa.
But, more important I think is his “solution” to the refugees issue, where he is suggesting “an agreed upon” solution ignoring the fact that the right of return of all Palestinian refugees is guaranteed under international law and in accordance with UN resolution 194. There is no solution to the Palestinian question without guaranteeing the refugees’ right of return.
And he ends up reiterating America’s commitment to Israel’s’ security, ignoring the fact that it is the Palestinians who need to be protected from Israel’s policy of settler colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and occupation. No wonder, then, that the title of one Israel’s main-stream, soft Zionist paper, Haaretz, Op-Eds was: “Kerry's speech was superbly Zionist, pro-Israel, and three years too late!” But that is not what the far-right wing government of Netanyahu thinks.
Finally, it is the height of hypocrisy to use the one state solution, i.e., a secular democratic state for all of its citizens, as a scare crow. The US itself is a secular democratic state, and so is South Africa. Why is it so scary to have this alternative, instead of a racist solution?! One would think by the way American politicians carry on defending the racist 2-state solution, that they wouldn't mind having 50 independent states in the US itself!
The entire world is against Israel, but how are we, Palestinians, going to build on that? The answer comes loud and clear from the Palestinian-lead BDS Campaign: a total boycott against Israel and divestment form it and from foreign companies benefitting from its multi-tiered system of oppression, namely occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the imposition of sanctions against it until it complies with international law.
In a nutshell, what we, Palestinians, need right now is a diplomacy of resistance.
(Haidar Eid is an independent political commentator from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. He is a reputed scholar)