I have taken a keen interest in the Israel-Arab/Palestinian
Conflict since the 1973 war, now that the Arabs has an uneasy
peace with Israel, events over the years has shown that the
Palestinians will not have a state that they can call their own.
The land of Palestine is being effectively occupied by Israel with
no single state solution in sight. Here are some articles from
the BBC which reinforces my opinion further:.
Middle East talks: Core issues
The Israeli government is unwilling to divide Jerusalem, held to be the political and religious centre of the Jewish people. It stands by the 1980 basic Israeli law that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel". In the past there has been room for manoeuvre on the margins. In talks in 2000 and 2007, the then Israeli governments proposed exchanging some outlying annexed districts.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which was controlled by Jordan before being captured by the Israelis in 1967, as the capital of a Palestinian state. The Old City contains the third holiest place in Islam, the al-Aqsa mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, from where Mohammed is said to have visited heaven on his winged steed Burak.
The US does not recognise the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv. President Barack Obama has opposed the building of housing for Israelis in East Jerusalem though he said before becoming president that dividing the city would be "very difficult to execute".
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts that there should be a Palestinian state and that there will have to be an Israeli withdrawal from parts at least of the West Bank (captured by Israel in 1967) to accommodate this. Israel has already withdrawn from Gaza. Israel would like the borders to include Jerusalem and the major Israeli settlements that have grown up on the West Bank.
They want the talks to start from the basic position that all the land occupied by Israel in 1967 belongs to a future Palestine. Any land given to the Israelis would have to be compensated for by a balanced land swap.
The US agrees that the starting point but not the end point should be the 1967 lines and that a land swap will have to be the basis of any agreement. It will encourage this.
The Israeli government insists on keeping the major Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Any departure from this would break up the coalition which forms the government. An immediate problem is that an Israeli moratorium on West Bank settlements ran out on 26 September.
Ideally, the Palestinians would like all settlements to be abandoned as they were in Gaza. However, they appear to accept that some will have to stay but they will argue for a minimum number and a land swap for any that are left. They threatened to leave the talks if the Israeli moratorium was ended on 26 September.
As with the annexation of East Jerusalem, the US has not recognised the international legitimacy of the Israeli West Bank settlements. But it accepts their reality and will press for compromise. It is also trying to reach a compromise on the moratorium problem.
Israel rejects the idea that Palestinian refugees from previous wars should be allowed any "right of return" to their former homes. They say that this is a device to destroy the state of Israel by demography in order to re-establish a unitary state of Palestine. For that reason Mr Netanyahu has called for Israel to be recognised as a Jewish state.
Formally, they maintain the "right of return", arguing that without it a great injustice would not be put right. However, there has been regular talk among Palestinians that this "right" could be met by compensation. They refuse to recognise the concept of Israel as a "Jewish state", saying that this is unnecessary and that it ignores the Israeli-Arab citizens of Israel.
The US understands the Israeli refusal to take back refugees and hopes that this can be resolved by compensation and development aid for this whose cannot go back to their previous family homes.
The Israeli government is afraid that a Palestinian state might one day fall into the hands of Hamas and will be used as a stepping-stone to turning Israel into Palestine. Therefore it is insisting that it keeps a large measure of security control, including in the Jordan Valley, and that a state of Palestine be largely demilitarised.
They argue that security will come from a stable two-state solution not the other way round. They want as many attributes of a normal state as possible. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fears that client-status would be untenable and open to a Hamas takeover.
The US accepts the Israeli need for security but also the need for Palestinian statehood and reconciling these is the aim of its diplomacy. It is unlikely, however, to recognise a state of Palestine which has not emerged from negotiation.
23 October 2010 Last updated at 01:02 GMT
Israeli presence on Palestinian land 'irreversible'
By Barbara Plett
BBC UN correspondent, New York
Israel ended a partial freeze on settlement construction in September A UN human rights rapporteur has said continued settlement construction will probably make Israel's occupation of Palestinian land irreversible.
Richard Falk said the peace process aimed at creating an independent, sovereign Palestinian state therefore appeared to be based on an illusion.
He said the UN, the US and Israel had failed to uphold Palestinians' rights.
Israeli officials said Mr Falk's report on the Palestinian territories was biased and served a political agenda.
In a report for the UN General Assembly, Mr Falk said Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem had become so extensive it amounted to de-facto annexation of Palestinian land.
He said this undercut assumptions behind UN Security Council resolutions which said Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory in 1967 was temporary and reversible.
Such assumptions are the basis for the current peace process aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
This now appears to be an illusion, said Mr Falk.
Israel said the report was utterly biased and served a political agenda, criticising its author for making no mention of what it called Palestinian terrorist attacks.
More than 430,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, alongside 2.5 million Palestinians, 20,000 settlers live in the Golan Heights, Settlements and the area they take up cover 40% of the West Bank There are about 100 settlements not authorised by the Israeli government in the West Bank.
read the rest of article in full here.
Obviously the Israelis will disagree with Mr Falk, but evidences on the ground suggest that Mr Falk is telling it the way it is, the stark reality that there will never be a Palestinian state. Unless of course the US get to start really serious, stop favouring Israel and listen to what its own General Petraeus has to say:
from Haaretz.com dated March 2010:
U.S. General David Petraeus said on Wednesday that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was fomenting anti-American sentiment due to the perception of U.S. favoritism towards Israel.
"Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples [in the region]," Petraeus said.
His comments follow a week of tense relations between Israel and the U.S. following Israel's announcement of plans to build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem, which was made public while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country.
On Sunday, another prominent member of Barak Obama's government, chief political adviser David Axelrod, said ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was imperative for U.S. security.
read more here.