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Abu Allah (Ahmed Qurei)and Tzipi Livni at the King David Hotel in Jerusaelm in August 2010
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Former PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei: Palestinians Should pursue bi-national State not Two State

by Rhonda Spivak, October 2, 2012


Ma'an News reported on September 14, that Ahmed Qurei (known as Abu Allah ) a former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister [from Fatah], recently proposed that Fatah adopt a single bi-national state as the movement's end goal, as opposed to a two-state solution with Israel. The report says, "Speaking on the anniversary of the Oslo Accords with Israel, Qurei told Israeli reporters that as the possibility of a two-state solution was at an impasse, Palestinians should consider pursuing a bi-national state." [Of course, this would mean a one state solution with a Palestinian majority that it is a code for the destruction of Israel].

Ahmed Qurei isn't a fly by night politician within Fatah movement. Au contraire, Qurei, has been one of the key negotiators in both secret and public negotiations with Israel over the past two decades.

I am not surprised at all by Qurei's embrace of the one state solution, ever since I met him briefly at the King David Hotel after he spoke there with then Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.

Throughout her speech that day Livni repeatedly referred to the need for a "two state" solution and used the words "two states for two people" and similar phraseology, while Qurei, on the other hand, did not utter the words " two states" or "two state solution" even once. In addition Livni spoke of the need to "divide" the land that is between the Mediterranean sea  and the Jordan River at several points in her remarks, but Qurei did not use similar terminology of "dividing" the land.
After the speech was over, I saw Qurei in the lobby of the King David Hotel and went up to him noting that he had failed to say the words "two states" or "two states for two people" even once while Livni had repeated this language throughout her speech.

Qurei tried to cover this up, assuring me [when no one else was in ear shot, and seeing I didn't have a tape recorder] that he was of course speaking about a two state solution. Notwithstanding, I didn't buy that somehow it was an accident that he had failed to use the appropriate two state terminology in public when the microphones were on, and while he spoke extensively. I also briefly spoke to Livni in the lobby and noted Qurei's lack of use of the term two states. She paused when I said it, and then seemed appreciative for noticing and telling her.

In the spring of this year, Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post reported that Qurei had called on Palestinians to consider a one-state solution instead of a two-state solution with Israel.

What's interesting is that now this past week as Ma'an News has reported, Qurei actually flat out proposed that Fatah adopt the bi-national one state solution as its goal.

Ma'an also reported that Faysal Abu Shahla, a senior party leader from the Gaza Strip, said Saturday [September 14] "that Jerusalem-based Fatah leader Ahmad Qurai's remarks about adopting a bi-national state did not represent an official view. Abu Shahla said there was diversity of thought within Fatah, and officials have a number of views about a future peace."

Consider what Shahla has just disclosed--He didn't say that Ahmed Qurei isn't the only one in Fatah who wants to adopt a one bi-national state as Fatah's end game goal. Presumably others agree with him. He says there is a diversity of thought within Fatah."

Under the circumstances this is quite an admission--although not one made to a Western media outlet. After all, Fatah is now about to go to the U.N. to ask the general Assembly to accept it as a State along the 67 borders. So, it wouldn't be the right time for it to state that it really wants a one-state solution and doesn't believe in a two-state solution, would it? That would be kind of like letting the cat out of the bag.

It is therefore not surprising that Shahla distanced Fatah from Qurei's view saying it wasn't the official Fatah position.

But, behind the scenes--what do you suspect is really going on. I suspect that Qurei's view is the majority view within this "diversity of thought" that Shahla speaks about, which is why Fatah never returned to negotiations (even after Netanyahu had given a 10 month moratorium on settlements).


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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.