(Cross-posted with +972 Magazine)
I have a new piece in Foreign Policy, discussing the relations between Jewish and Arab MKs and their perspective on the one state solution. Interviewed are Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud), Deputy-Speaker Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Taal), and MK Hanin Zoabi (of Balad and of the Gaza flotilla fame). Naturally, I don’t think they’re talking about the same “one state” solution; but if we get to a situation where the main argument is about which kind of a one state is most desirable, this will be after tremendous shift in Israeli and regional politics. For now, the fact they are talking about this once-taboo solution and use similar terminology is significant enough.
I’m pessimistic in the extreme about the current talks in Washington; in a nutshell, the Palestinians were bullie into the negotiations, and Netanyahu appears to be mostly concerned with buying time. He can be fairly sure the Administration won’t seriously pressure him so close to an alreadybleakly looking midterms. After that, there’s very little time before the 2012 campaign kicks in, and I would guess much of the American effort will be dedicated to keep the peace process cooking on slow flames, keeping fingers crossed it does not explode when Netanyahu renews building in settlements, when the Hamas decides to escalate its power struggle with the PLO, or when something else goes suddenly and terribly wrong and just happens to be the last straw.
Against this background, developments like the ones I track in the Foreign Policy piece are encouraging – however they might develop further, they shake up the status quo and offer fresh perspectives. We could all use some cure for the déjà vu.