We should thank Netanyahu for destroying the two-state solution

AFP)
Netanyahu was the one-state visionary. The struggle for its character lies with those who will follow him.

By Gideon Levy | Haaretz | Dec 26, 2018

In retrospect, we should be grateful to Netanyahu for taking this solution off the agenda, because it was a mirage. The events of 1948, the refugees, the return and equality would not have been resolved by the two-state solution; it would have been an interim arrangement. Netanyahu posed the truth; now the only question is what type of regime will prevail in the one state that has been here for decades and will probably be here between the river and the sea forever.

Benjamin Netanyahu must be excoriated. One can understand those who are dying for him to just go away. It’s clear his time is almost up. But one cannot say he hasn’t done anything.

In his dozen years as prime minister he has changed the face of Israel in ways that he considers wildly successful. Some of the changes he’s made could be rolled back if only some worthy liberal leader was given the chance — a hope that for now seems far-fetched.

But there is one big, fateful change, the fruit of Netanyahu’s calculated policy, that is irreversible. Against the stance of the entire world, the United States, the Palestinian Authority and even against the declared position of most Israelis, Israel’s ninth prime minister has managed to remove the possibility of a viable Palestinian state from the agenda. He has irrevocably destroyed the two-state solution. Whether reelected or not, Netanyahu will be remembered as a revolutionary statesman; the man who shaped the country in his image. . . .

He could have joined the negotiation ritual of all his predecessors, none of whom had serious intentions of ending the occupation; be portrayed as a peace seeker, as they were, to earn the world’s praise and win prizes without doing anything, like his predecessors. But Netanyahu stood up to that masquerade. He told the truth: There won’t be two states, only one. He swam against the tide and succeeded.

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