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Abu Allah and Tzipi Livni at the King David Hotel in Jerusaelm in August 2010
Rhonda Spivak

Hardly a Surprise- Former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei Calls on Palestinians to put the One State Solution on the Table

Rhonda Spivak, March 23, 2012

Former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, who was one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, last Saturday called on Palestinians to consider a one-state solution instead of a two-state solution with Israel. This has been reported by Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post.
Qurei, who has been one of the key negotiators in both secret and public negotiations with Israel over the past two decades, said that the “one-state solution, despite the endless problems it embraces, is one of the solutions that we should be contemplating through an internal dialogue.”
He blamed Israel for managing to “decapitate” the two-state solution through its actions and measures in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Qurei said that the two-state solution, which was first endorsed by the Palestine National Council (the PLO’s parliament- in-exile) in 1988, has lost its momentum, and Palestinians should be putting the one state option on the table.
 Why am I not surprised that Qurei is saying this so openly now? Because I sensed his lack of an endorsement of a two-state solution over a year and a half ago in the summer of 2010 when Qurei spoke with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
  Livni negotiated directly with Qurei under then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who gave the Palestinians the most generous Israeli offer ever (to which the Palestinians did not formerly respond). During the event at the king David Hotel Livni spoke repeatedly of the need for two states for two peoples, but Qurei failed to say the words two states even once.
  While the event was covered by other reporters, to the best of my knowledge no other reporter who was present mentioned Qurei's failure to use the words two states publicly or the fact that there was an obvious gap between the language used by Livni and Qurei then. We could say that this was just an accident that Qurei didn't utter the words "two states" or "two states for two peoples" as Livni did repeatedly, but I rather suspect it was no accident then.
 Is it possible that Qurei has favoured a one state solution (which will mean the Jewish state of Israel) for some time? I think so. This explains why in the summer of 2010 Qurei wasn't even using the two state lingo, even though he spoke with Livni on the same podium making it appear as if there was an agreement between the two them on this basic issue of support for a two state solution.
Some may say that Qurei has made this statement out of frustration and in order to pressure the Quartet to make Israel cease all building activity in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, so as to save the two state solution. I don't subscribe to that interpretation. But even assuming this were Qurei's intention, it will likely backfire in my view. By coming out and giving support to the one state solution,(which will see the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea become a Palestinian state) Qurei only serves to fuel the flames of extremism in the region.
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.