Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Last Call for a Two-State Solution?

Source: Fernand Braudel Center, Binghampton University

Commentary No. 220, November 1, 2007

By Immanuel Wallesrstein

The prevailing worldwide view of how to resolve politically the conflict of two nationalisms in Israel/Palestine is the so-called two-state solution - that is, the creation of two states, Israel and Palestine, within the boundaries of the onetime British Mandate of Palestine. Actually, this position is not at all new. One might argue that it was the prevailing worldwide position throughout the twentieth century.

The Balfour Declaration of the British government in 1917 called for the establishment of a "Jewish national home" within Palestine, which implied the idea of two states. When the United Nations passed its resolution in 1947, it called explicitly for the establishment of two states (with a special status for Jerusalem). The partition was supported at the time by both the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as by the social movements everywhere that followed their lead. The Oslo accords of 1993 called for two states. And today Condoleezza Rice insists that a final agreement on two states is an urgent matter that she hopes to see implemented at a conference to be convened in Annapolis, Maryland (at an as yet indefinite date, presumably in November of this year).

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