Beinin, Joel. “Coexistence, Equality, and Universal Principles in Israel/Palestine: Regrouping in the Absence of a Two-State Solution.” Tikkun 30.2 (2015): 9-15.
The inordinate focus on a Palestinian state has diverted attention from the fate of the Palestinian people. The conditions of many Palestinians — citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — have deteriorated dramatically since 2000. Evictions of Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan by messianic religious-nationalist settlers, the expansion of settlements to surround East Jerusalem and prevent its return to Palestinian rule, home demolitions and disruption of normal economic and academic life throughout the West Bank, the siege (tighter or looser as Israel chooses) imposed on the population of the Gaza Strip, attacks on refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, insecure and dysfunctional conditions throughout Iraq — all these have taken a toll on Palestinians. The most urgent task is to focus on the present and future conditions of actual Palestinians, not to speculate on the nature of a state or states that have little chance of coming into existence anytime soon.
This means exposing and resisting Israeli efforts to diminish the Palestinian presence through various mechanisms of expulsion. It means dismantling the separation barrier and other infrastructures that separate Palestinian communities, including the massive checkpoints at Qalandiya and Bethlehem in the West Bank that are effectively international frontier posts, and opposing the continuing confiscation of lands for new settlements and the violent campaign of settler fanatics like the “Hilltop Youth” to terrorize Palestinian farmers and shepherds. It means demanding an end to Israeli occupation of all the lands conquered in 1967. It means advocating the full equality, including individual and collective rights, of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Perhaps most painfully for some, but nonetheless absolutely necessary, it means educating ourselves about and recognizing the full extent of the Palestinian Nakba, whose effects continue today. Resolution of the conflict necessitates that we confront our moral obligations as Jews, as Americans, and as global citizens to acknowledge responsibility, make restitution, and pay compensation.