Saturday, April 10, 2010

Winners and Losers in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock

Immanuel Wallerstein, Commentary No. 278, April 1, 2010

Anyone who thinks there is going to be any significant change in the status quo in Israel/Palestine is suffering from multiple delusions. The Israeli government is dead set against the creation of a Palestinian state, even a weak Palestinian state, and this view has the support of a very large majority of the Israeli Jews. The Palestinian leaders are more divided. But even the most accommodating are not willing even to consider anything less than a state based on the 1967 frontiers, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The rest of the world cannot budge either side. This is called deadlock.

The question is who gains and who loses by deadlock? The Israeli political elite seem convinced that they will gain. There is a very large group who are so resolutely irredentist that they would consider a peace agreement a veritable disaster. The Israelis have always thought that if they dug in their heels, eventually the rest of the world (including even the Arab Palestinians) would yield to what they call “realities on the ground.”

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