Sir, – Your editorial “View on Israel and the West Bank: a worrying start to 2023″ (30th January) refers to “the two-state solution which is internationally seen as the only viable way forward”.
This viewpoint has long since been discarded by the likes of Jeff Halper (founder of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions and of the One Democratic State Campaign), Jonathan Kuttab (co-founder of Non-Violence International and of the Palestinian human rights organisation Al Haq), Ilan Pappé (Israeli historian), and just about every conscientious expert on the so-called “Israel-Palestine conflict”.
That it continues to be parroted by governments worldwide, one suspects, is precisely because it has been rendered impossible by Israel’s expansion of its illegal settlements. It is therefore feasible for these governments to feign advocacy of a just solution while simultaneously turning a blind eye (at best) while Israel creates a de facto single apartheid state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Your conclusion that US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah “should be an opportunity to make clear international concerns” is wishful thinking: Mr Blinken and President Biden have repeatedly made it clear that the US government will always stand with Israel, no matter how egregious its violations of international law and international humanitarian law.
It is high time that the European Union took an independent position in defence of the rights of the Palestinians, a “protected people” (sic!) under international law. The Irish Government could set an example by passing the long-deferred Occupied Territories Bill. – Yours, etc,