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August 16 2022 8:03 AM ˚
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The inevitability of the independent Palestinian state

A Palestinian girl carries her country's national flag during demontrations against Israeli settler attacks near al-Mughayer village, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on July 12, 2022.
A Palestinian girl carries her country's national flag during demonstrations against Israeli settler attacks near al-Mughayer village, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on July 12, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
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A Palestinian girl carries her country's national flag during demontrations against Israeli settler attacks near al-Mughayer village, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on July 12, 2022.

Ruba Saqr

The writer has reported on the environment, worked in the public sector as a communications officer, and served as managing editor of a business magazine, spokesperson for a humanitarian INGO, and as head of a PR agency.

Despite Israel’s systematic efforts to cancel the Palestinians and exclude them from anything that has to do with the Abraham Accords, Jordan has put its foot down earlier this week by making Palestinian rights central to future schemes that aim to integrate Israel into the region.اضافة اعلان

At the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, His Majesty King Abdullah said the inclusion of the Palestinian Authority is a must to “ensure the success” of regional economic cooperation. He went further, underlining the importance of “reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution”.

King Abdullah told leaders from several Arab states, as well as US President Joe Biden, that “there can be no security, stability, nor prosperity in the region without a solution guaranteeing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967, lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security”.

Earlier on, in Israeli-occupied Bethlehem, Biden expressed his support for the two-state solution, but said “the ground is not ripe at this moment” to restart peace negotiations. Instead, his focus was on Israeli progress in getting integrated into the region, saying that such integration could set the stage “to reinvigorate the peace process between the Palestinian people and the Israelis”.

Framing Israel’s regional assimilation as a stepping stone to a life of dignity for the Palestinians is utterly naïve. The Israeli right-wing has no interest in the two-state solution and is unlikely to leverage its strategic gains into the region in a manner that may achieve justice for Palestinians.

Judging from its racist and inhumane policies, the atrocities it commits against Palestinians, and the belief system of Israel’s ultra-right settlers (who see the Palestinian people as lesser human beings than themselves), the Israeli right-wing is far from being on a path to acknowledging the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

To assume that Israel’s integration will change the extremist belief system of the Israeli hardliners is simply delusional, especially that these are now the face of Israel, adamant on silencing anyone who has a different opinion from their own, including left-wing Israelis and followers of the Jewish faith residing in and outside Israel.

While many Arabs see Israel as a single homogenous entity that holds identical beliefs on matters relating to the Palestinians, the truth is, the Israeli left-wing and younger Jewish people, especially in the US, are becoming more and more convinced of the justice of the Palestinian cause. At present, they have no hand in shaping Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians and their voices remain unheard, but not for long.
Framing Israel’s regional assimilation as a stepping stone to a life of dignity for the Palestinians is utterly naïve. The Israeli right-wing has no interest in the two-state solution and is unlikely to leverage its strategic gains into the region in a manner that may achieve justice for Palestinians.
The right-wing’s propaganda machine is undeniably louder than everybody else’s, cancelling anyone who dares contradict the Zionist project. But this machine is not representative of all shades of the Israeli and Jewish societies and, definitely, not all age groups.

Recent surveys show that support for Israel from within its own social and political circles has been waning in recent years, especially among a younger generation that is noticeably more vocal than its predecessors on issues pertaining to social justice, racism, sexism, genocide and other forms of oppression and discrimination.

In July 2020, Jewish American-Canadian actor, Seth Rogen, said he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” as a young Jewish person and throughout his “entire life”. He told a podcast that the fact that Israel was created on a land populated by the Palestinians had always been omitted from the narrative he was taught.

Not to anyone’s surprise, he endured a vicious attack on social media and was accused of being antisemitic. In the long-run, those attacks will prove futile, simply because, as a Millennial, Rogen’s statements — about never wanting to live in Israel — represent the views of a new generation of Jewish-Americans who are breaking with the archaic perceptions of their elders.

Exactly one year later, in July 2021, a survey commissioned by the Jewish Electorate Institute, led by prominent Jewish Democrats, concluded that more than a third of adult US Jews thought that “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to racism in the US” (at 34 percent), 25 percent agreed that “Israel is an apartheid state”, while the statement “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians” received approval from 22 percent of the respondents.

Interestingly, agreement with those statements was “higher” among younger US Jewish voters included in the survey. A third of under 40 Jewish-American adults (like Rogen) agreed that Israel is committing genocide and more than a third said Israel is an apartheid state. The poll also found that among the same age group, 20 percent agreed with the statement “Israel does not have a right to exist”, as opposed to only 9 percent of all adult American Jews included in the poll.

According to the Times of Israel, “the findings are striking” especially that “mainstream pro-Israel organizations struggle to make the case that Israel is central to Jewish identity and that criticism of it often veers into antisemitism”.

Last week (also in July), a new poll showed that 56 percent of American adults under 30 have an “unfavorable view of Israel”. Conducted by the Pew Research Center ahead of Biden’s trip to the Middle East, the survey concluded that this youngest age group in the poll “stands apart for expressing cooler views of the Israeli people —and warmer views of the Palestinian people — than older Americans”. It adds: “Whereas older Americans express more positive feelings toward the Israeli people than toward the Palestinian people, this is not the case for US adults under 30, who view the Palestinian people at least as warmly”.

These revelations could explain the Israeli right-wing’s hurried efforts to integrate into the region, as a survivalist tactic, supported by an older generation of American politicians who do not seem to see the tectonic shifts in the younger generation’s political attitudes.

After all, Israel was created 74 years ago in a world that followed a different ethos than those embraced by today’s justice-oriented Millennials and Generation Z. Fifty-five Years ago, when the West Bank was occupied it was impossible to imagine that a group of Israelis would band together to create a human rights organization like B’Tselem (founded in 1989), with the mission to document atrocities against the Palestinians. Last week, the group welcomed Biden with an outdoor billboard that said: “Mr. President, this is apartheid”.

At this rapid pace of change in young people’s attitudes, Israel will have no choice but to yield to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Simply put, integration into the region will not change this inevitable outcome.


Ruba Saqr has reported on the environment, worked in the public sector as a communications officer, and served as managing editor of a business magazine, spokesperson for a humanitarian INGO, and as head of a PR agency.


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