In the news show 60 Minutes last Sunday, correspondent Bob Simon presented a thought provoking piece “Is Peace Out of Reach?” on the future of the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. It is definitely worth watching. Here’s the link to the report: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/23/60minutes/main4749723.shtml
The two-state solution envisages the coexistence of Israel and an independent Palestinian state. As Bob Simon reports, an increasing number of Israelis and Palestinians feel that a two-state solution is no longer possible.
“For peace to have a chance, Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank, which would then become the Palestinian state,” Simon reports.
“It’s known as the “two-state” solution. But, while negotiations have been going on for 15 years, hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers have moved in to occupy the West Bank. Palestinians say they can’t have a state with Israeli settlers all over it, which the settlers say is precisely the idea.”
He shows the various aspects of life in the West Bank that hinder the implementation of the two-state solution, and conducts interviews with settlers and Palestinians. Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a former candidate for Palestinian president, says to Simon: “While my heart still wants to believe that the two-state solution is possible, my brain keeps telling me the opposite because of what I see in terms of the building of settlements. “
One can’t help but feel pessimistic on viewing this report. I feel even sadder when I think of the photos and faces of the Palestinian children and wonder if they will ever have the chance to grow up, aspire and become leaders of their nation, and their own destiny.
This week, there have been developments surrounding the Middle East issues. President Obama gave an interview to Arab satellite station Al Arabiya. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter has a new book “We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work” which maps out a blueprint for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Glimmer of hope? Those of us who wish for for freedom, fairness and autonomy for all peoples can only hope so.