Blinken visits the Palestinian West Bank, meets with Abbas

Maisoon Ali, a Palestinian banker, has a message for visiting U.S Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

She needs him to grasp and acknowledge that the imaginative and prescient of an impartial Palestinian nation dwelling alongside Israel — the two-state resolution favored by most U.S. administrations for years — is useless and buried.

“It has been killed,” mentioned Ali, 56. “I can’t even dream it. I don’t see it. … This is what I want the secretary to hear.”

Blinken, wrapping up a three-day go to to the Middle East on Tuesday, met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and different officers within the West Bank metropolis of Ramallah, a day after prolonged consultations with Israel’s prime minister, president and international minister.

Abbas, 87, had powerful phrases for Israel, its continued occupation of Palestinian territories and the failure of the “international community” to cease actions by Israel to grab Palestinian-claimed land and thwart efforts by the Palestinian Authority to seek out justice in worldwide boards — efforts that Washington firmly opposes.

At each flip on this go to, Blinken has reiterated his authorities’s long-standing help for the two-state resolution, whilst its prospects appear extra distant than ever — to each Israelis and Palestinians.

The far proper that now governs Israel has lengthy opposed independence for the roughly 4.5 million Palestinians who reside within the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

For the Palestinians themselves, rejection of the two-state resolution has been a slower evolution.

In an impartial Palestine subsequent to Israel, which has insisted on retaining management of among the future state’s borders and airspace, “we would just have the name, Israel the power,” mentioned 80-year-old Mohammed Mustafa, one other resident of Deir Dibwan, who lived within the U.S. for a few years and mentioned he fought for the U.S. navy in Vietnam.

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Years of failed, often bad-faith negotiations, interspersed with durations of violence from each side, have solely achieved a modicum of sovereignty for Palestinians whereas Israel continued to allow tens of hundreds of Jewish settlers to maneuver into West Bank lands claimed by the Palestinians. The closely guarded Israeli settlements have successfully made making a contiguous state subsequent to unimaginable.

“The two-state solution was killed by the Israelis,” Ali mentioned. “I know [Blinken] knows it’s not working. … I look for the American government to take a stand and say it has been killed by Israel.”

Ali was born on this prosperous village close to Ramallah, closely populated with Palestinian Americans, and lived within the United States greater than half her life. She holds a U.S. passport, however due to her Palestinian start is barred from utilizing Israel’s airport and suffers different indignities, she mentioned.

Opinion polls have proven help for the two-state imaginative and prescient declining steadily amongst Palestinians, reflecting frustration and a way {that a} viable state will by no means occur. Instead, many Palestinians now help the so-called one-state resolution, a single nation with each Israelis and Palestinians however, importantly, one with equal rights for each communities. At the identical time, a majority doubts Israel would ever grant such liberties to Palestinians.

One set of calculations behind that state of affairs suggests the upper Palestinian birthrate would ultimately imply Palestinians would outnumber Israeli Jews. Failure to present the bulk full rights would, in concept, be untenable, however so would the flexibility to keep up Israel’s identification as a Jewish and democratic state.

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The newest ballot by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, carried out in December and launched final week, confirmed help for a two-state resolution that had been at roughly 43% for each Palestinians and Israelis in 2020 had fallen to 33% amongst Palestinians and 34% amongst Israelis.

It was the bottom stage of help for the idea amongst Palestinians and Israelis for the reason that ballot was first carried out in June 2016, the top of the middle, Khalil Shikaki, mentioned in an announcement saying the survey.

“The hardening of attitudes is driven by deep concerns about the ultimate goals of the other side,” he mentioned. “Indeed, perceptions of the other have worsened significantly since mid-2017 and are currently at a low point, with the two sides a mirror image of one another.”

After his assembly with Blinken, Abbas additionally blamed Israel for destroying the two-state resolution and for stoking violence within the West Bank. But he mentioned he was prepared to work with the United States to open dialogue and “end the occupation.”

Standing with Abbas on the presidential headquarters in Ramallah to learn statements earlier than the press, Blinken mentioned enhancements within the dwelling circumstances, prosperity and peace for Palestinians had been “best realized” by a two-state resolution.

But he additionally acknowledged the deteriorating prospects.

“What we are seeing is a shrinking horizon for hope, not an expanding one,” he mentioned. “And that has to change.”

Blinken mentioned he was assigning two senior workers members with in depth expertise within the Middle East, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs Hamy Amr, to remain behind and proceed work on defusing tensions and different issues. Though Blinken mentioned the trouble would construct on concepts he and officers had give you on the journey, the transfer may also mirror a scarcity of progress on such cussed points.

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