Here’s the Palestinian “vision”, courtesy of Western funding and largess. Impossible to achieve? No. A provisional Palestinian “state” could be called today. The question is what it will look like, what happens to the Jewish settlers and how will Israel react.
Right now, the thought of a viable Palestinian state seems close to impossible:
Next year, “the birth of a Palestinian state will be celebrated as a day of joy by the entire community of nations,” says Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in an exclusive interview to Haaretz.
Relaying Passover greetings to the Jewish community, Fayyad hopes Israelis will also participate in the celebrations for the birth of a new state.
“The time for this baby to be born will come,” he says, “and we estimate it will come around 2011. That is our vision, and a reflection of our will to exercise our right to live in freedom and dignity in the country [where] we are born, alongside the State of Israel in complete harmony,” says Fayyad, 58.
He also welcomed the Quartet’s announcement of two weeks ago in Moscow, which supports the PA’s August 2009 plan to establish a state within 24 months.
Fayyad says the Palestinians want an independent and sovereign state, emphasizing they are “not looking for a state of leftovers – a Mickey Mouse state.” He and his aides plan for the state to be born during the first term of Barack Obama; he notes that previous U.S. administrations seriously tackled the conflict only toward the end of their second term.
Fayyad says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has succumbed to the settlers who, he says, do not reflect the vision of the majority of Israelis. “We have universally shared values,” he says, and notes that “peace will be made between equals, not between masters and slaves.”
Fayyad, who has positioned himself at the forefront of popular opposition to occupation, criticizes Israel’s policies on protests at Bil’in and Na’alin and for targeting demonstrators. “It is expecting too much of Palestinians not to react,” he says.
“It is the right of an oppressed nation to say ‘enough’,” says Fayyad. “No one should be expected to stand for injustice, not least the Palestinians, who have endured long decades of occupation. Is it not what Gandhi stood for, what Martin Luther King stood for?
“The settlers have a tremendous pull on the Israeli government. It’s pure self-righteousness: the exclusion of the possibility that someone out there might have a slightly different opinion – in an indignant way and often times in a violent way.
“Related to the Zionist ethos, fine, Israel is a biblical country, there are lots of hilltops, lots of vacant space, why don’t they use that, and let us get on with it?”