Israeli settlements' "systematic" land grab "shocked" Obama. Now estimated to control 60% of the West Bank: no chance of two-state solution.

This shocking article in The New Yorker reports on the extent of the strategic land-grab of Palestinian territory in the West Bank by illegal Israeli settlements. The programme has been thought through with great care to cause the maximum possible damage to a two-state solution. The plan reveals that the chances of a separate Palestinian "state" being able to establish any meaningful integrity on the map is now practically zero.

The story reveals how, when Obama was shown the map in 2015 (where the fuck had he been hiding for the previous 7 years when this was all going on??) by a senior State Department diplomat called Frank Lowenstein - a special envoy on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations - (where the fuck had he been for the previous 7 years??) he was "shocked" by how systematically and strategically the settlements had been located.

The article makes clear that Lowenstein's office was full of maps of the West Bank... but........ "Typically, those maps made Jewish settlements and outposts look tiny compared to the areas where the Palestinians lived. The new map in the briefing book was different. It showed large swaths of territory that were off limits to Palestinian development and filled in space between the settlements and the outposts. At that moment, Lowenstein told me, he saw “the forest for the trees”—not only were Palestinian population centers cut off from one another but there was virtually no way to squeeze a viable Palestinian state into the areas that remained. Lowenstein’s team did the math. When the settlement zones, the illegal outposts, and the other areas off limits to Palestinian development were consolidated, they covered almost sixty per cent of the West Bank."

The article continues..."Lowenstein showed the small map to Secretary of State John Kerry and said, “Look what’s really going on here.” Kerry brought the map to his next meeting with President Obama. The map was too small for everyone in the Situation Room to see, so Lowenstein had a series of larger maps made. The information was then verified by U.S. intelligence agencies. Obama’s Presidency was winding down, but Lowenstein figured that he could use the time left to raise awareness about what the Israelis were doing. “One day, everyone’s going to wake up and go, ‘Wait a minute, we’ve got to stop this to at least have the possibility of a two-state solution,’ ” Lowenstein said." Duh !

Funny, isn't it, how the rest of the world has been saying this for more than decade? Either the US really was complicit in this deceit or the Israelis deliberately pulled the wool over the eyes of their best ally (not a difficult thing to do, really). It's hard to believe though that the hundreds - maybe thousands -  of US journalists and politicians who regularly visited Israeli could not have come back with some kind of report over the years that pre-empted this ridiculous "discovery". 

Well, States of Mind is a strong supporter of a democratic and secular One State Solution and finds the notion of a "Jewish democracy" a ridiculous anachronism today. In any event, the current manifestation of Israel is clearly not a fully functioning democracy since it eschews a range of core democratic values - including the basis of all democracy, pluralism.

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Doing god's work. Israel is breaking international and humanitarian law and core democratic values on a daily basis