UN Secretary-General António Guterres told CNN on Wednesday that he is “a strong believer” that a one-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis “is theoretically possible if it is the democratic solution.”
“And all other situations would be a terrible violation of human rights or … put into question the democratic nature of the State of Israel,” the UN chief added.
Guterres’ reference to “other situations” is a clear allusion to the current reality of apartheid, where an Israeli-Jewish ethnostate rules over millions of Palestinians deprived of their most fundamental rights.
This apartheid reality was methodically described in a UN-commissioned report published in March 2017.
But Guterres himself quickly suppressed and withdrew the report, surrendering to pressure from the United States.
Rima Khalaf, the head of the agency that commissioned the report, resigned in protest at Guterres’ political cowardice.
Yet Guterres’ nod to the one-state solution was a rare crack in the ironclad consensus among international political elites that requires ritual denunciation of a single democratic state and mantra-like commitment to a so-called two-state solution that has proven impossible to achieve.
In a one-state solution, Palestinians and Israelis would have equal political rights in a single country with a modern democratic constitution. The solution would require decolonization policies to repair and make restitution for the effects of decades of Israeli land theft, expulsion and economic and social disadvantage perpetrated against the indigenous Palestinian people.
But Guterres also quickly reverted the to the official line. “I don’t think Israel can accept it,” he told CNN in reference to a one-state solution.
“So, I’m a strong believer in the two-state solution,” he added. “And for me, what is more important is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to discuss it.”
Guterres couldn’t offer any realistic plan to do that after 25 years of complete failure of the “peace process” inaugurated by the 1993 Oslo accords, and Israel’s unchecked colonization of Palestinian lands.
Nor did Guterres explain why Israel’s preferences should be of paramount concern when what is at stake are the inalienable human, political and civil rights, and the long-denied right of self-determination, of the Palestinian people.
White South Africans also overwhelmingly opposed ending white supremacy and adopting a non-racial democracy, but that was not deemed a valid reason to support apartheid.
White South Africans changed their minds because of internal resistance and external pressure and boycotts.
Certainly, the peacefully negotiated dismantling of Israeli apartheid is the optimal outcome, but Israel should be given no option to retain an apartheid-like system which is what the “two-state solution” would be under any plan so far put forward or endorsed by international political elites, or acceptable to Israel.
All such two-state proposals are predicated on preserving Israel as a “Jewish state” by physically and politically segregating the Palestinian population because Israel considers them a “demographic threat” to Israeli-Jewish dominance.
This would necessitate abrogating the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees solely on the racist grounds that they are not Jews, recognizing Israel’s “right” to be a racist Jewish state, and confining Palestinians to a mini-state on fragments of historic Palestine under overall Israeli control – similar to the bantustans of apartheid South Africa.
Commitment to apartheid
Such grotesque “solutions” are considered political common sense among international elites, and shorn of the rhetoric about “peace” they amount to a commitment to preserving Israeli-Jewish supremacy and apartheid in perpetuity.
The European governments urged Israeli occupation authorities to “reconsider their decision” to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank that faces imminent destruction to make way for more Jewish-only settlements.
“As repeatedly stressed, the consequences of a demolition of this community and the displacement of its residents, including children, would be very serious and would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospects for peace,” the governments, among them Germany, Britain, Poland and France, added.
Israel has absolutely no history of heeding such polite requests and there’s no reason to believe it will show any more regard for this latest toothless pronouncement.