The Pitfalls of a U.S.-Israel Vision of a Palestinian State
After situating the Palestine question in the context of U.S. global policy, this essay deconstructs the U.S.-Israeli conception of Palestinian statehood as an all-encompassing "package deal" solution replacing the final status issues of return, refugees, settlements, and borders. The Gaza disengagement, the author argues, is the first step in implementing this plan. With disengagement, Gaza becomes a strictly Palestinian problem, no longer an Israeli problem, and whatever negotiations may take place will henceforth be dominated by technical and procedural issues connected with the Strip. The whole point of this vision of statehood, according to the author, is to downgrade the Palestine problem to its "true dimensions."
Azmi Bishara, a former professor of philosophy at Birzeit University, is a member of the Israeli Knesset and head of the Arab National Democratic Alliance (Tajamu’/Balad). This essay is based on his keynote address, delivered via video, at the annual conference of the Palestine Center in Washington, DC, on 18 November 2005.