Trump’s Bantustan-Lite Palestine Plan Shows the ‘Two State’ Solution Was Always a Lie

Trump’s “peace deal” for Israel is ludicrously one-sided and reads as pure, unadulterated zionist propaganda, writes Craig Murray.

President Donald J. Trump, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, Jan. 28, 2020, unveiling his Middle East Peace Plan, in WDC. (White House/Shealah Craighead)

By Craig Murray

I have read through the entire 181 pages of President Donald Trump’s “peace deal” for Israel, and it is breathtaking. It is not just that the “solution” it proposes is ludicrously one-sided, it is the entire analysis of the problem to be solved which reads as pure, unadulterated zionist propaganda.

For example, the word “violence” is used repeatedly. But it only ever refers to violence by Arabs. There is not one single mention of violence by Israel against the Palestinians, even though the ratio of killing between Israelis and Palestinians over the last 10 years is approximately 80:1 . The only mention of violence against Palestinians at all relates to the Kuwaiti expulsion of Palestinian refugees after the first Gulf war.

The analysis of the refugee issue is the same. Nowhere can the paper bring itself to note the key historic fact, that the Palestinian refugees were expelled from Israel. The paper treats Palestinian refugees as if they had simply materialised as an inconvenient phenomenon, like a plague of locusts. This “othering” of Palestinian refugees permeates the entire paper:

It must be stressed that many Palestinian refugees in the Middle East come from war torn countries, such as Syria and Lebanon that are extremely hostile toward the State of Israel

No. Palestinian refugees were driven by violence from the land that is now Israel. Families who lived there two generations ago have been displaced in favour of families who claim the land because their ancestors lived there eighty generations ago. That is a matter of indisputable fact.

You can claim that displacement of the Palestinians from Israel was justifiable because of the urgent need for a state for Jewish people after the Holocaust. You can claim that the displacement of Palestinians from Israel is justifiable because it is divinely ordained. You can claim the displacement of Palestinians from Israel is regrettable but irreversible. Make what argument you wish, but to refuse to acknowledge the basic fact that the Palestinian refugees were driven from Israel is a pathetic act of cowardice that underlines the sheer intellectual shoddiness of the paper.

The “deal” makes a direct equivalence between Palestinian refugees and “the Jewish refugees who were forced to flee from Arab and Muslim countries.” The language here is extremely revealing. The Jewish refugees “were forced to flee.” There is no hesitation about this claim of victimhood. Whereas there is no acknowledgement at all that the Palestinian refugees “were forced to flee” by the Israelis.

In 1948, some Palestinians, uprooted by Israel’s claims to their lands, relocated to the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria. (Wikimedia Commons)

It is undoubtedly a valid point that many Jews were disgracefully and involuntarily driven out by Arab nations, and their suffering is too often overlooked. However to claim the numbers are equivalent is to ignore the fact that a significant portion of the Jewish population of Arab states moved voluntarily to the new homeland, whereas none of the Palestinians expelled from Israel left voluntarily. But the more glaring fact ignored in the paper is that the majority of the Jewish refugees from Arab lands were given the property of Palestinian refugees in Israel. The claim that both sides are in equal need of compensation is therefore a nonsense.

Pandering to Extreme Zionist Propaganda

The failure to admit the Palestinian refugees were driven out of Israel panders disgracefully to the most extreme zionist propaganda, which claims that the land was empty before the Israelis settled it in 1948. This is a classic colonist origin myth, used repeatedly by the British Empire, by white settlers in the USA, and of course by apartheid South Africa.

When the Trump deal was first published, I was genuinely astonished to find twitter awash with thousands of tweets claiming the Palestinians do not exist as a people. This is an extraordinarily prevalent racist trope among zionists and appears to be not policed on the internet at all. I have read hundreds of articles about the hateful phenomenon of anti-semitism in the mainstream media. I don’t think I have ever seen this extreme zionist racism of “there is no such thing as Palestinians” ever mentioned in the MSM as a problem. But zionist racism is a huge problem, and it underlies the fundamental analysis of the Trump paper.

If you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge, even once in 181 pages, that the Palestinian inhabitants were driven out of Israel, there is no chance the proposals built on these fundamentally dishonest foundations will be solid.

Three ‘Solutions’

The Trump paper has three fundamental “solutions” to the Palestinian refugee issue.

1) Only those originally displaced to be deemed refugees, not their families.
2) Not one single refugee to be allowed to return to Israel (yes, it does actually say that)
3) No compensation to be paid to refugees by Israel

I have often pointed out that the proposed “two state solution” for Palestine has always been no more and no less than the old apartheid policy of “Bantustans” in South Africa, where the indigenous population were herded into six self-governing and four supposedly “independent states”.

It is worth pointing out that the apotheosis of the apartheid system, the Bantu Self-Governing Act of 1959, was given Royal Assent by Queen Elizabeth II, a point now rather skated over by a false narrative that apartheid was a solely Afrikaaner project post-Independence.

The major similarity that I had been pointing out with Bantustans was revealed by the map: fractured lands, not forming any kind of economically viable unit. Trump proposes Israeli annexation of the whole of the Jordan Valley, of North Jerusalem and large areas of the West Bank, the remnant of which is to be shattered by 15 Israeli sovereign settlements connected by Israeli only roads. Trump’s “Palestine” is very plainly not viable.

But the Trump proposals for how “Palestine” will run, make the Bantustan comparison still more stark. Indeed, the restrictions on the so-called “state” of Palestine under the Trump plan from having its own military or security forces are even greater than those imposed on the Bantustans by apartheid South Africa. Trump also proposes that Israel should have the right to stop Palestinian refugees from the wider diaspora entering the new “state” of Palestine.

A “state” not permitted to define its own citizens is not a state.

It does not stop there. The “state” is to have no right to a territorial sea or exclusive economic zone, with its sea to be given to Israel in contravention of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is not to be allowed to conclude treaties without Israeli consent. It is not even to be allowed to open a port but to be forced to import and export goods through Israeli ports – in other words, the Israeli economic blockade is to continue on the new “state”. Plainly, even apart from the unviable fracturing and the shrunk territory, the administrative arrangements proposed make no attempt to reach the level of statehood.

Surely, then, the proponents of the “two state solution” must have reacted strongly to this betrayal of their proposal?

Well, no.

In many ways the most incredible thing about the Trump proposals is how welcoming the Western powers were. The general reaction from all European governments was that these are serious proposals with which the Palestinians must engage. While the ridiculous assessment from Dominic Raab that “this is clearly a serious proposal” is perhaps what you would expect from a state looking to the U.S. for economic crumbs, the Palestinians might legitimately have expected better from the EU than the official response, which welcomed Trump’s “commitment to a two state solution,” of France which “welcomes Donald Trump’s efforts,” and of Germany which “appreciates that the president is sticking to the two state solution.”

The Palestinians were probably less disappointed by the support of the traitorous dictatorships of the Saudi and other Gulf States for their close Israeli ally, which is par for the course. But the fact that the international community recognizes as a proposed “two state solution” a paper which in no sense whatsoever establishes a Palestinian state within any normal definition of the word, should tell us something important.

As I have repeatedly stated, those who trumpeted the “two state solution” have always been con-artists who do not believe in a viable Palestinian state at all. The fact that former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President George W. Bush, two dedicated ultra-zionists, stood in the Rose Garden and promised a “two state solution” as part of their propaganda for the Iraq War and other Middle East invasions, really should have shown people of goodwill this was a blind alley. The Trump proposals are a betrayal of the Palestinians, of course. But they are not unique to Trump and they are exactly what Blair, Bush and all the zionist apologists intended all along.

The “two state solution” was always a con.

There is no viable two state solution. To create a viable Palestinian state alongside a viable Israeli state would now involve highly undesirable further forced movements of population. The only long term solution for Palestine/Israel is, as with South Africa, a single state in which everybody has a vote and everybody is treated equally, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or gender.

Trump may, peculiarly, have done one good thing with these ludicrously unfair proposals. He has exposed the hollowness of the “two state solution”, and the pretense that it offers any justice to the Palestinians of way forward towards peace.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

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15 comments for “Trump’s Bantustan-Lite Palestine Plan Shows the ‘Two State’ Solution Was Always a Lie

  1. dean 1000
    February 4, 2020 at 11:52

    The so called west can not be really free as long as Israelis can kill and rob Palestinians at will. It is the most diabolical racial hatred on the planet. Apartheid Squared.

  2. JWalters
    February 3, 2020 at 20:17

    The alleged rise in anti-Semitism today is primarily a rise in anti-Zionism. The Zionists contort facts and logic to claim anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism, and count incidents of anti-Zionism as incidents of anti-Semitism. It’s another lie in the ongoing litany of lies from the Zionists. Behind the scenes, it’s all about war profits.
    “War Profiteers and the Roots of the ‘War on Terror'”
    war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com/p/war-profiteers-and-roots-of-war-on.html

  3. Sam F
    February 3, 2020 at 17:30

    The one-state concept proposed here presumes that Palestinians would be the majority and would thereby secure their rights in a democracy. That needs further analysis: it seems an unlikely outcome, unlikely to be agreed by Israel without scams to leave them in control.

    A better two-state plan:

    Recognize the right to residence of those resident by some prior date, or descended from refugees. Neither state may maintain military forces, and police should be UN supervised.

    A census to be taken as of some prior year; gross assets cataloged including offshore and hidden assets, infrastructure, real estate, equipment, and personal property. Each state must be viable in shoreline, ports, waters, agriculture, roads, infrastructure, and residential, commercial, industrial improvements. A generous DMZ of desert or farmland between the states is reserved, securing bonds. The cost of development required to make each state viable is taken from total assets before distribution.

    The combined assets then apportioned between the two state groups. Compensate for the Ps deprivation of opportunity. Stripping or wasting of assets taken is penalized and deducted from group assets.

    The assets per group are distributed with a minimum share based upon age, and the balance in proportion to each person’s prior assets relative to the group. Persons may receive shares in jointly held property (DMZ etc.) Those with property should retain that or obtain something similar in their destination state, and may owe a government mortgage or receive a subsidy.

    Special compensation for those forced to live in refugee camps, suffered injuries, or are survivors of wrongful deaths. When the DMZ is partitioned after decades of peace between factions, the land may be sold and those with shares compensated or given mortgages etc.

  4. AnneR
    February 3, 2020 at 13:25

    Thank you Mr Murray.

    I would disagree on a few points, however. The first being that any Ashkenazi Jews have a really existing historical (beyond a religious one, rather like Roman Catholics have a link to Rome, to the Vatican) link (by descent) to the land of Palestine. Indeed it has been seriously considered that many, if not all, of the Palestinians have the genuine millennial ancient link to their lands – as “Canaanites,” “as the early Jews.” Moreover, where on earth in the world beyond Palestine’s borders (original) would anyone be able to claim “title” to land because their putative “ancestors” dwelt there millennia ago? Palestine was a convenient whipping population for the Europeans/Brits during WWI and for them plus the USA following WWII – no German was ever expected to have to cede a square millimeter of land to the peoples they damaged, devastated – Jews, Slavs, Roma… But the Palestinians? Who had nothing to do with the slave labor and death camps, the theft of Jewish property – nothing.

    Your points about zionist violence toward Palestinians is absolutely true – indeed I would go further: the IDF is the force (funded and supported by the US) with the aircraft (an Air Force), bombs (as opposed to big fireworks) including phosphorus ones, with tanks (also funded and supported by the US), indeed an army (existing from before 1948). Yet does the MSM ever point to any of these huge disparities? No – and the Palestinians are always posited as the “aggressors” and the poor, weak, unprepared “Israelis” (Occupiers of all of Palestine) the “victims” who just have to “defend themselves” against Hamas, Palestinian children, farmers…

    Moreover, it is my understanding that the Palestinians have every legal right to defend themselves, to resist their expulsion from, the (never ending) theft and destruction of their homes and land, *by Any Means available.*

    That Germany, France (the US & UK are irredeemable) have gone (happily?) along with all of this only reveals their fundamental Orientalism, racism and totality lack of morality and ethics (well in keeping with the UK, US and Occupied Palestine “Israel”). Zionism and its result, Occupied Palestine (known as Israel), have never intended that *any* of the indigenous Palestinians – Muslims and Christians – remain on Palestinian land, on any portion of it. Were always duplicitous regarding the so-called “2 State solution.”

    Totally, zionism is an amoral, inhumane, criminal “philosophy,” enterprise. Reading Pappe, Finkelstein and others reveals the obscenity of this enterprise.

    • John Graversgaard
      February 4, 2020 at 12:09

      So precise..thanks Anne.

    • Josep
      February 7, 2020 at 16:27

      no German was ever expected to have to cede a square millimeter of land to the peoples they damaged, devastated – Jews, Slavs, Roma

      Not sure if this counts as an example, but what used to be Königsberg has since been ceded to Russia and renamed Kaliningrad. The German and Russian governments have agreed not to cede it back to Germany.

  5. John Gehan
    February 3, 2020 at 13:17

    The “two-state solution” for the land of historic Palestine is no longer viable, if it ever was. It is a fool’s errand, serving as camouflage for the on-going expansion of the Israeli state and the militarization of Israeli society. It serves as justification for Israeli-imposed apartheid, the occupation of all of Palestine, and the ethnic cleansing of a “greater Israel.” Many practical obstacles prevent creation of a separate Palestinian nation-state: the wall; the separate roads, water, and utility systems; the lack of viable land in Gaza and the West Bank; the lack of contiguous territory; the theft of Palestinian lands and homes both within Israel and in the settlements; the denial of the right of return; and many others.

    The only viable option now is a one-state solution: either a Zionist apartheid state based on repression and ethnic cleansing, or a democratic secular multi-ethnic state based on equality for all people and peace with its neighbors. It must be one or the other. Israel must be disarmed and dismantled to win lasting peace.

    One of the most dysfunctional inconsistencies of life in Israel/Palestine is how various people are either given the unconditional right to live there (that is, to “return” to their “homeland”), or prohibited from doing so (or, in other words, live in their actual previous homeland).

    With Donald Trump’s recent certification of the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, this incongruity has been amplified to alarming levels. Israel gives all Jews from around the world the right to live in the Zionist state and become citizens, even if they have no historic relationship to Israel. Jews who have never set foot in that country, and have no ancestors with ties to Israel, can “return” to a land that they have absolutely no connection to.

    Yet, at the same time, Israel prevents the 14 million Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza, the refugee camps, and the worldwide Palestinian diaspora from returning to the very homes they were forced to abandon in the 1948 Nakba, as Israel seized new territories. Many Palestinians still have their front door keys.

    Making matters worse, Israel is now aggressively expanding the policy of destroying Palestinian villages on the West Bank and replacing them with new Jewish settlements.

    This is what is meant when Palestinians call for the “right of return.” It refers to the right to return to their homes, lands, and villages that were stolen from them as Israel consolidated its grip in Palestine after 1948. The Palestinian right to return to their ancestral lands is central to the solution in that region.

    Note: John Gehan recently returned from Palestine.

  6. Michael Miller
    February 3, 2020 at 10:30

    Stop pretending. There will be no Palestinian state. Make everyone Israeli with full Civil Rights. Like in every other country. This game is to keep Palestinians powerless until Israel someday cleanses them into Jordan.

  7. Michael 1028
    February 3, 2020 at 10:29

    Stop pretending. There will be no Palestinian state. Make everyone Israeli with full Civil Rights. Like in every other country. This game is to keep Palestinians powerless until Israel someday cleanses them into Jordan.

    • rm
      February 3, 2020 at 16:41

      By that same token, Make Palestine a Palestinian State. Make everyone Palestinian, with full civil Rights.

  8. Skip Scott
    February 3, 2020 at 10:12

    It is quite obvious that there is no just way for Israel to exist as a “jewish state”. Equal rights for all in a single, secular state will make the jews a minority in Israel. For justice to prevail, there will also need to be a “truth and reconciliation” commission as there was for South Africa. If we are to survive as a species we must learn to wage peace, and as individuals we must force our governments to do likewise.

    • anon
      February 3, 2020 at 17:34

      Yes, but if property is not distributed, Israelis would have all the wealth and would rule that way, as in the US.

  9. February 3, 2020 at 08:36

    The author: “There is no viable two state solution.” Since the Balfour Declaration there never was In 1939, Britain recognized that and the Parliament approved CMD 6019 said so. It proclaimed one state and the right to control immigration. With its main ally, the United States, the Zionists sabotaged the British declaration. The relentless march to denude the land of Palestinians or make them permanent second class citizens continues to this day

    One state with equality for all? Let it be the aspiration of those who support the Palestinians, let them focus on obtaining equal rights as citizens of that state. Cries that this is unrealistic carry a lot of weight, of course, but there is no alternative. Is the idea of equality enough?

    The success in securing these rights depends greatly on the many Jews who commonly support universal human rights. That alone is reason to hope.

    As to the claim that Arab countries treated the Jews in the same way, recall that what happened following the invasion of Palestine in 1948 and was a backlash. Jews had had lived among the Muslims and Christians for hundreds of years.

  10. geeyp
    February 2, 2020 at 23:13

    I must have dreamed it many years ago, that there was a time when the US of A would have stepped in to help a persecuted country such as Palestine. Yes, I must have dreamed it.

  11. Jeff Harrison
    February 2, 2020 at 21:45

    Indeed. I’ve always thought that the problem was making a “Jewish” state. Sure, let the Jews move there and take their place along side everybody else. There has long been a Jewish population that has lived in the Levant (They were the ones that chose not to cruise to Europe). But they got along with their Arab brothers (who are also Semitic). Take the Jews ability to control everything and our problems will go away. The Jews are doing to the Palestinians what was done to them and they should be ashamed of that.

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