March 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Books, CFG, Globalization, History, Israel, Middle East, Palestine | Leave a comment


CFG’s Lawrence Feiner discusses current Israeli elections  in a global as well as local context  for TV show hosted by Harold Channer


Lawrence Feiner Ph.D Original air date: 03-20-13

by Harold Channer


The Israeli Election and the Two State Solution

For some reason, my video on the Israeli election and the two-state solution was truncated. This update is a brief description of what was in the video.

Even though the newly elected Israeli government is more moderate (61 rightist Knesset members, 59 centrist and leftist Knesset members) than the previous Israeli government, there are three major impediments to a two-state solution.  (1) West Bank Jewish settlers, (2) Jerusalem, (3) The right of the Palestinian refugees of the ’48 war to return to their homes in Israel.

There are currently 513,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. It is difficult to imagine Israel withdrawing them or allowing them to live under Palestinian control. In 1989,  when there were far fewer settlers than there are today, the noted Israeli political scientist, Meron Benvenisti, maintained that there were too many settlers to make a Palestinian state viable, and that, therefore, the only solution to the conflict, which wasn’t an apartheid Bantustan,  was a binational, democratic state where Jews and Arabs had equal rights.

In 1983, the PLO rep to Lebanon, Shafiq Al-Hout gave a Q and A at the UN Church Center. He was asked whether a viable Palestinian state was possible. He answered “Well you know. It’s a dream I share with my dog at the fireplace”.

As far as Jerusalem is concerned, during the Camp David negotiations in 2000, even a leftist like Shimon Peres would not agree to a divided Jerusalem.

During the Camp David negotiations, the main obstacle to a settlement, was the Palestinian inability to drop the right of return. The Israelis wanted the Palestinians to drop the right of return as a precondition for a settlement, and the Israelis also a wanted to postpone Jerusalem to a later date. The Palestinians, on the other hand, wanted to postpone the right of return, (the Arabs was getting tired of supporting the right of return) and negotiate Jerusalem (for which the Palestinians had the support of the entire Muslim world).

It must be pointed out that the right of return (which the Israeli agreed to in order to get UN membership) is an individual right which Arafat maintained could not be negotiated away. Also, the refugee issue is a regional issue, involving all the states where the refugees reside, and a two-sided negotiation is not really the appropriate venue.

Given all this, it is hard to imagine a two-state solution which isn’t a Bantustan in disguise.

To sum up my video was rather pessimistic about the prospects for a viable two-state solution.

However, there are some hopeful signs as regards American Jewish attitudes towards Israeli intransigence. Recently the New York Post had an editorial debunking the peace negotiations. All the letters to the editor regarding the editorial were from Jewish people who supported a two-state solution and blasted the Post editorial. Also, on the 22 of August a right-wing orthodox synagogue in New York invited the noted critic of Israel, Peter Beinart, to give a talk.

So maybe there is some hope.

addendum: the Israeli election video is no longer truncated




Published on Mar 15, 2013


Lawrence Feiner CFG Co-Founder

I was born in 1942 in the Bronx. I graduated from ps95 in 1956. I graduated from the Bronx H.S. of Science in 1960.

I got my b.s. in math in 1964 from MIT. I got my Phd in math in 1967 from MIT. The title of my thesis was “the strong homogeneity conjecture”.  It was about math problems that can be generated by a computer but cannot be solved by computer. From 1967 to 1974 I taught math at Stony Brook and Brooklyn College.

From 1974 to 1979 I worked in computers.

From 1979 to 2003 I worked as an economic consultant specializing in economic forecasts.

After 2003 I retired and am now retired.

Published on Mar. 2, 2012 by Harold Channer TV Show NYC

Recent Book:

The Reagan Revolution and the Developing Countries (1980-1990) A Seminal Decade For Predicting The World Economic Future: together with a long term … for predicting the world economic future
by Lawrence Feiner and Richard Melson
Publisher: iUniverse (November 28, 2011)



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