Referendum law: don’t give the Knesset so much credit

Let’s calm down, shall we? Saying that Knesset legislation has given a coup de grâce to the two state solution (TSS) is a gross misunderstanding of the Israeli political system. It’s almost like a kid telling his father he won’t be able to do his homework tonight because he lost his pencil. Yeah, Daddy’s gonna find you another pencil kiddo, don’t worry about it.

If anything kills the withering TSS, which could indeed happen very soon, it will be much greater forces than puny legislation passed by the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. And it would be simple naiveté to even think if an historic agreement was eventually reached between Israeli and Palestinians, endorsed by the U.S. and the rest of the world, that it would be hindered by such a law.

If the Knesset has proven anything over the years, it’s that it’s spineless. Laws are changed,  cancelled, overturned or shot down by the Supreme Court (the Deri law is one example [Heb]). Any of these options could happen to the ridiculous referendum law passed yesterday. I can even see the Knesset approving an agreement with the Palestinians with a clause that rules out any future referendum on it. And that’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure the cunning MKs can find a way to get around it, if needed. Let’s just say that there are countries who have a bit more respect for the laws they pass themselves.

And speaking of spinelessness, don’t forget our revered leader PM Netanyahu who has been bended backwards and sideways over and over again on much lesser issues, like taxes on vegetables.

So don’t give that much credit to the Knesset, and certainly not to its lawmakers. The only ones who will eventually kill TSS are the local leaders of Israel and Palestine, but even more so: the international leaders who have consistently failed to impose the solution to begin with.

The TSS is indeed coming to an end, and if the unilateral declaration of independence by Palestine in August 2011 turns out to be a flop due to America’s weakness, then indeed the one-state solution may have to be considered more seriously – even though it will mean more bloodshed and a much longer delay in granting Palestinians their due civil rights (haven’t they waited enough already?), not to mention scores of other issues that will make TSS negotiations over the refugee status or Jerusalem seem like a walk in the park.

But until that happens, let’s stop the gloating over a death pronounced too early and keep working for Palestinian statehood. And if you think now may be the time to start supporting a one-state solution – fine. But don’t let the fickle Knesset be the one to push you over.