An interesting piece today in Ha’aretz by Imad Shakur, a former Arafat advisor and member of the Palestinian Revolutionary Council. He makes some provocative points about Israel becoming a more “normal” country because it has “lost” a war yet survives as a state.
Whether or not he is right as to the military balance remains to be seen. But at the end of the piece, he includes a crucial statement:
The objective truth is the strength and existence of the Palestinian people, who agreed to the formula of two states for two peoples, since that is the beginning of the formula. It ends with real sustainable peace.
This formula of “two states for two peoples” is crucial. It is what Arafat rejected at Camp David and Taba, insisting on the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to pre-1967 Israel, which would have swamped Israel demographically. Essentially, Arafat wanted two states for one people.
The touchstone to peace is whether enough Israelis and Palestinians endorse the formula that Shakur espouses and is enshrined in the People’s Voice Accord, which remains the only possible peace plan. This article seems to indicate that another prominent Palestinian figure is. That is good news.
It’s not much, but nowadays, we take what we can get.