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The Palestinian case for dissolving the P.A.

Ali Jarbawi, a political science professor at Bir Zeit University, argues in the Lebanon Daily Star that the best thing for Palestinians would be to dissolve the Palestinian Authority and press for a one-state solution:

Dissolving the PA would be the most serious step taken by the Palestinians to end the prolonged Israeli occupation. However, it should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather as a means to achieve an end. It should be viewed as part of a strategic option, a necessary step needed to achieve the one-state solution. …

Israel has been using negotiations as a cover to enhance its presence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The ongoing land confiscation policy along with the expansion of the settlement policy and the building of the separation wall are rendering a two-state solution obsolete. Israel wants to have its cake and eat it too: It wants to retain as much land as possible while getting rid of as many Palestinians as possible through the creation of a Palestinian state of leftovers. It will then claim that a two-state solution has been achieved and that therefore the book should be closed on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict forever.

Israel should not be allowed to achieve its goal. It is clear from the experience of past negotiations that Israel is simply not interested in a proper two-state solution, only one that leads to imprisoning Palestinians into separate cantons that can then be called a state.

The only way Israel might become serious about a two-state solution is if its existence as a Jewish state is threatened. Such a threat cannot come through an open-ended negotiating process, or by launching handmade rockets at Israel’s borders. A serious threat would only be posed to Israel if Palestinians announce to the Israelis and the world that they will pursue a two-state solution through negotiations until the end of 2008 (as US President George W. Bush proposed). If no tangible results are forthcoming, then Palestinians should absorb this lesson, close the door on this option, and refocus their efforts toward achieving a one-state option. This would require dissolving the PA, thus forcing Israel to face up to the real challenge of maintaining its existence as a Jewish state.

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