Both, Palestinians and Israelis are blind. Palestinians (along with the Israeli Left) are blind in the short run while the Israeli right is blind in the long run. When you talk to Palestinians, representatives of the PA, or those connected to the PA, you realize that they simply do not see reality as it is. They are convinced that the Two-State solution is still feasible, is going to be implemented sometime in the not so distant future and all they need to do is continue insisting on its implementation. Someone will be there to make it happen.
It’s just that there is no one like that. Not only is there no one to do the job, there are strong elements sabotaging the effort and preventing success. For some reason the Palestinians have difficulty internalizing that Israel’s vigorous activity, both on the ground in the West Bank and on the political front in the United States, in the present political climate thwarts any Two-State option. All the talk of this solution, even within the framework of the “Deal of the Century” is in reality lip-service, if at all.
The Israeli Left contributes to the blindness of the Palestinians as it too continues to talk about the Two-State solution as if it could really be implemented and all that is needed is a Left led government and pronto, Two-State implementation will be imminent. Palestinians and the Israeli Left have failed to understand to what extent the Israeli Right, as part of the Israeli government, has succeeded, together with a (very) sympathetic US government, to take not only most of the land designated for the Palestinian State but also to negate the very possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian State in the Bantustans that are to be established under the Trump program, should they ever be.
And the Israeli Right? Power drunk and basking in victory, it has zero vision for the long run. It celebrates the Trump program as a framework for negotiations while all options remain open and there clearly will be further benefits, at the expense of the Palestinians, because we can be assured that they will refuse the Trump proposal. That’s how it was planned. And the Palestinians don’t disappoint, they always refuse.
The Right really believes that there can be some kind of autonomy for the Palestinians here, one to hold about 2.5 million of them in the West Bank as residents with reduced rights, without anyone discovering that this is actually apartheid. Right-wing representatives will come up with explanations from here to eternity that this is not really apartheid, that it just looks and sounds like it while polls show that Israeli Jews are fine with that. Normalizing apartheid has already begun and the Israeli public has no problem with the looming reality. It just really but really doesn’t like it being called by that name.
Obviously anyone who thinks this is really apartheid is actually an anti-Semite who begrudges Israeli Jews the apartheid lite we are setting up here. Oh yes, it is apartheid, to the world it will be clear and just like the world boycotted South Africa, it will eventually boycott us as well. True, it will take time, it will be difficult for the world because we have some amazing products that no one else has but in the long term, a boycott will hurt us badly, just as it eventually overpowered South Africa, after many years. Along the way, we will also lose Diaspora Jewry, with emphasis on American Jews, but not only them and Jewish immigration to Israel will be hugely reduced. Most Jews will not voluntarily move to an apartheid country. And finally the Right can breathe a sigh of relief that many leftists will leave the country. Because that’s how it is.
And denial? All of us in the Land of Israel are in denial, the Palestinian public least of all. The Left and the Right in Israel do not confront reality. All are trying hard to escape the notion that there is really only one sane choice here – to establish a single state of all its citizens, together. This land belongs to all of us, all those who live here and no one here can kick anyone else out and no one here has any privileges. And those who think this is impossible, think again. The establishment of the State of Israel at the time was also considered an impossible task but we did it. Establishing a joint state will be no less challenging even though today we are stronger by far but today we are full of fear. Those who believe are not afraid. This time too, if we want it it’s not a fairy tale.