Mideast Solutions

[This is the first question and answer in a lengthy interview conducted by Justin Podur and Stephen Shalom — it will appear in the May issue of Z]

1. What do you see as the best solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict?

It depends what time frame we have in mind. In the short term, the only feasible and minimally decent solution is along the lines of the international consensus that the US has unilaterally blocked for the last 30 years: a two-state settlement on the international border (green line), with “minor and mutual adjustments,” in the terms of official US policy, though not actual policy after 1971. By now, US-backed Israeli settlement and infrastructure projects change the import of “minor.” Nevertheless, several programs of basically that nature are on the table, the most prominent being the Geneva Accords, formally presented in Geneva in December, which gives a detailed program for a 1-1 land swap and other aspects of a settlement, and is about as good as is likely to be achieved — and could be achieved if the US government would back it, which is of course the one issue that we can hope to influence, hence the most important for us. So far, the US has refused to do so. “The United States conspicuously was not among the governments sending a message of support,” the New York Times reported in a (generally disparaging) news story on the December 1 meetings in Geneva where the Accords were presented.

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