USA: Norman Finkelstein On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 recommending the implementation of the Partition Plan of Palestine.
The Plan was described as a Plan of Partition with Economic Union which, after the termination of the then British Mandate over the Arab country, would lead to the creation of two independent Arab and Jewish States along with a Special International Regime for the City of al-Quds.
The Plan sought to address the conflicting objectives of what it considered ‘two competing movements’, i.e. the Arab nationalism and the Jewish nationalism, widely known as Zionism. Part I of the Plan contained provisions dealing with the Termination of the Mandate, Partition and Independence, where Part II included a detailed description of the proposed boundaries for each state. The Plan also called for Economic Union between the proposed states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights.
Palestine: UN Partition PlanImmediately after adoption of the Resolution – accepted by the Jewish Agency on behalf of the Jewish community, but rejected by Arab governments at the time – the civil war broke out in Mandatory Palestine, and the partition plan was not implemented.
Following more than forty years of continuous conflict, the Palestinian Declaration of Independence of 15 November 1988 was interpreted as a support for a two-state solution, for referencing the UN Partition Plan of 1947 and “UN resolutions since 1947” in general.
Many Palestinians and Israelis, as well as the Arab League, have stated that they would accept a two-state solution based on 1949 Armistice Agreements, more commonly referred to as the “1967 borders”. And in a 2002 poll conducted by the American Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), 72% of both Palestinians and Israelis supported at that time a peace settlement based on the 1967 borders so long as each group could be reassured that the other side would be cooperative in making the necessary concessions for such a settlement.
Different conferences were held to negotiate the two-state solution, the most significant was the Oslo Accords, which officially divided Palestinian land into three administrative divisions and created the framework for how much of the Zionist entity’s political borders with the Palestinian territories function today, not to mention the Camp David 2000 Summit and follow-up negotiations at Taba in January 2001. However, no final agreement was ever reached amid nonstop Zionist massacres against the armless Palestinian people.
Commemorating the 66th anniversary of the Resolution 181, Al-Manar Website interviewed the American-Jewish author and political strategist, Doctor Norman Finkelstein, to highlight the most significant developments regarding the two-state solution and the future of the Palestinian cause:
Al-Manar Website: Being a strategist in American and Israeli affairs, do you think “Israel” will be able in the short or long run to materialize its dream and make the Palestinians and the whole world recognize it as a Jewish and democratic state that combines the world Jews within the boundaries it had set?
Dr. Finkelstein: Israel’s principal goal right now is to consolidate politically its achievements since the Oslo agreement was signed in 1993. Practically, this means it wants to annex the major settlement blocs that constitute approximately 10 percent of the West Bank, along the path of the Wall it has been building. It also wants to liquidate the refugee question. The Palestinians have never been weaker politically. Regionally, they have no allies, and internally they have neither leadership nor popular resistance. It’s quite possible that Israel will succeed in imposing a historic defeat on the Palestinians through U.S. Secretary of State Kerry’s current negotiations.
Al-Manar Website: To what extent is the reality of living within a pure Jewish state and an independent Palestinian state over the same land (Palestine)? And what are the pillars of objectivity to confirm this concept or to deny it, from both the scientific-philosophical and the political aspects?
Dr. Finkelstein: The international community has called for a resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict on the basis of two states along the 1967 border and a “just” solution of the Palestinian refugee question. Judging by the annual votes in the United Nations General Assembly, the entire world supports this formula, except the U.S., Israel and a handful of South Pacific islands. This is not a philosophical or even a moral question. It is a strictly political question, although it is also backed with the force of international law. I see no political basis for any other solution to the conflict, because no other solution has significant political support in the world.
Al-Manar Website: After all that happened and is happening in the region, do you believe that the racial Jewish entity – living its best conditions since foundation in 1948 – has become absolutely safe in an unstable environment where conflicts are generated just like the mushroom, in accordance with plans and dreams set by leaders and founders of the entity several decades before?
Dr. Finkelstein: It cannot be doubted that Israel’s political existence for the foreseeable future is secure. It is thriving economically and faces no significant military threats. It is pointless to project into the future. I lived long enough to see the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of Apartheid, and a Black man elected president in the United States. The future is full of surprises, mostly unpredictable
Al-Manar Website: On a personal level, where the ongoing confrontation between you and the Zionist lobby has reached now, in the wake of your anti-Zionism and pro-resistance writings and ideas regarding the Middle East region, which you’ve expressed more than once?
Dr. Finkelstein: I have been unemployed the past seven years. It has not been easy. But I will reach my 60th birthday in a couple of weeks. It means that I have lived much longer than the average person in Africa. I also have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back. So I count my blessings. I continue to read, think and occasionally write. I also continue to do my small part to make the world a better place.
USA: Norman Finkelstein Norman G. Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton University in the U.S.. For many years he taught political theory and the Zionist-Palestine conflict. He currently writes and lectures.