Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Viability of a Two State Solution

The Palestinian economy held up

Bypass road for the exclusive use of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank

Posted with preamble by Nick Alexandra
THE SAUDI peace plan, currently the only framework attracting attention, tries to give new impetus to regional diplomacy around a two state solution. This plan relies on the assumption that a Palestinian state, most of the details of which still need to be worked out, could be viable.

There are however, a host of impediments, including the severe strictures to freedom of movement which have sunk the Palestinian economy into disarray. The wall and the large number of checkpoints within the West Bank make conducting business extremely
costly, slow and difficult. These conditions, constructed in the name of protecting Israeli Jews at any cost, stand in stark contrast to the situation for settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The settlements, which continue to proliferate in the West bank, are linked to Israel by a system of bypass roads that further damage the integrity of the proposed Palestinian state.

As Israel continues stamping these 'facts on the ground'--which not only immiserate Palestinians and suppress the economy, but imperil any possible Palestinian state--the future success of any talks becomes increasingly illusory.

Restrictions Harm Palestinian Industry
By KARIN LAUB
The Associated Press
Monday, April 16, 2007; 3:32 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian industry is "bound to fail" unless Israel lifts tight restrictions on trade and movement of people and goods in the Palestinian territories, a World Bank study said Monday...

The Israeli measures have severed the flow of people and goods between the West Bank and Gaza. The West Bank is carved up by Israel's separation barrier and a network of checkpoints that make travel and trade even within the territory difficult. Gaza producers have to export through Israel.

Restoring free movement and access is a precondition for a viable Palestinian economy, the report said, recommending that Israel lift most of the restrictions imposed in recent years.

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1 comment:

Davis said...

Your preamble, to what is a good and balanced article, fails to take into account a number of factors in my opinion.

The history of the conflict shows that if the peace dividend is right, Israel will do what is necessary, including moving settlements.

In the meantime, the checkpoints and in particular the security barrier have been remarkably effective in stopping (not just Jewish..., but it is the Jewish state) Israelis being blown up.

The counterargument here is of course to point to the Hamas government's attitude to peace - even in the 'unity' guise(and as regards 'business' at Rafah... the border would be wide open if it was only 'produce' passing through).

I assume the fact that comments were initially disabled on this post was a technical problem and look forward to a deeper discussion of these important issues in person soon.