The Star (Nairobi)

4 December 2012

Kenya: Israel Must Embrace Two State Solution

LIKE a spoiled child, Israel threw a temper tantrum after the United Nations last week voted to upgrade Palestine to permanent observer state status.

Israel announced the construction of 3,000 more homes in the occupied territories and said it 'unfreeze development' in the E1 block to cut the West Bank into two.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the Israeli announcement would be a "fatal blow" to hopes of a two state solution. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off the criticism saying that Israel will continue building "in all the places that are on the map of Israel's strategic interests."

In fact Netanyahu is thinking short-term, not long-term. The only hope for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state is a two state solution. For that to work, the new Palestinian state has to have territorial legitimacy. If too much land is taken away, the two state solution will not work.

And if there is no two state solution, a greater Israel will eventually emerge, maybe in decades, where Arab citizens outnumber the Jews. Israel needs to embrace the two state solution now. That is Israel's strategic interest, not more settlements in the occupied territories.

Quote of the day: "A hair divides what is false and true." Persian poet Omar Khayyam died on December 4, 1123in

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