There are two choices. The first is obviously an independent Palestinian state. At a minimum, this would be within the 1967 frontiers—only 23 per cent of historic Palestine—and would have East Jerusalem as its capital. All settlements, without exception, would have to be dismantled. Their occupants could stay if they wished, since we want no more expulsions, but it must be under Palestinian sovereignty. Personally I would see no objection to this state being demilitarized, on condition that there was an international force to protect us. But the borders must comply with international decisions.
1. Dominate thy neighbor. No atonement necessary for an occupation that deprives the Palestinian population of life, liberty and even brief moments of happiness. We’ll continue violating every international law and convention that stands in our way.
2. Nothing succeeds like success. The thirty-seven-year-old occupation continues in full force and will remain in place. With lands confiscated and settled, the territories as we knew them in 1967 no longer exist. And with every Israeli under 50 raised with the occupation in the background, the territories are no longer “occupied”–a term that suggests an interim condition–but rather transformed into areas permanently and irreversibly controlled by Israel. Incidentally, this process follows closely the “creation of facts” that took place in pre-state and immediately post-state Israel.
IOA Editor: A very important discussion on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and ‘God-given land’ claims by Israelis, including Said’s recognition of Jewish/Zionist rights in Palestine – but not as “the only claim or the main claim,” rather, as “a claim, among many other.”
Edward Said’s comments are as relevant today as they were in 2003, a few months before his death. They serve as an excellent ‘reality check’ against the current focus on Settlement Freeze – an insulting diversion from the main discussion: the Occupation itself.