World View: Catalonia Parliament Votes to Secede from Spain

Catalan Independence Rally In Barcelona
David Ramos/Getty Images

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Catalonia parliament votes to secede from Spain
  • Israel’s Netanyahu promises Obama to implement two-state solution

Catalonia parliament votes to secede from Spain

Marta Rovira votes for secession from Spain in Catalonia's parliament on Monday (Getty)
Marta Rovira votes for secession from Spain in Catalonia’s parliament on Monday (Getty)

Spain faces a new governing crisis after the parliament of Catalonia voted on Thursday to “open a process” to secede from Spain within 18 months.

Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy said that an appeal will be made to the Constitutional Court to invalidate the vote, adding “I understand that many Spaniards have had a bellyful of this continued attempt to delegitimize our institutions.” However, the Catalan politicians say that they will disobey Constitutional Court rulings. Irish Times and Reuters

Israel’s Netanyahu promises Obama to implement two-state solution

For years, every event related to the Mideast “peace process” has been bizarre in some way, and Monday’s was no exception.

Visiting Washington, Israel’s president Benjamin Netanyahu said the following to President Barack Obama:

I want to make clear that we have not given up our hope for peace. We will never give up our hope for peace.

I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state. I don’t think that anyone should doubt Israel’s determination to protect itself and defend itself against terror and destruction. But neither should anyone doubt Israel’s willingness to make peace with any of its neighbors who want to make peace with it.

It is bizarre because of the fact that it was even necessary to say that there is a “hope for peace.” This was necessary because of the intense personal hatred between Obama and Netanyahu, as reflected in unofficial remarks that occasionally leak out from either administration. A member of Netanyahu’s cabinet was recently reported to have said that Obama is anti-Semitic, which he and other Netanyahu administration members undoubtedly believe. And the Obama administration has frequently leaked accusations that Netanyahu personally is fully to blame for not reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians, which is why Netanyahu chose to make the statement about “hope for peace.”

When you zoom out to look at the entire “peace process,” the desire for the two-state solution — “a vision of two states for two peoples,” as Netanyahu put it — is even more bizarre.

In May 2003, President George W. Bush published his “Mideast Roadmap to Peace” calling for the two-state solution — a Palestinian state by 2005, side by side with Israel. The plan was sponsored by the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. It provided a series of steps for both sides to follow, mostly having to do with eliminating violence against both Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The solution was to be implemented by 2005.

The 2003 plan was a adaptation of a Clinton administration plan. Since 2003, President Bush’s plan has been tweaked in various ways by both the Bush and Obama administrations, and presented each time as a new plan that would bring peace to the Mideast and joy to the world. And it has failed each time.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to realize it will never work, and that trends in the Mideast are going towards war, not a peace process. In recent years, wars have begun in Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iraq; the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) has risen in Syria, and has spread to other countries in the Mideast Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, and Russia’s Caucasus provinces. The new “Oslo Generation” of young Palestinians is using knives for random attacks on Israelis, and they declare that they have no use for their own leadership. Anyone can see that trend is away from a “peace process” towards war.

In 2003, there might have been some real hope that a peace deal could be achieved, but today, no one who follows the news could seriously believe that there is any chance the peace process would succeed. In fact, a White House spokesman said last week that the administration now believes that no peace deal will be reached before Obama leaves office:

This is really the first time since the first term of the Clinton administration where we have an administration that faces a reality where the prospect of a negotiated two-state solution is not in the cards for the time that’s remaining. That was not the case until now.

Well, this is unusual – the Obama administration “facing reality,” and saying so. And that makes Netanyahu’s statement on Monday even more bizarre, since “a vision of two states for two peoples, a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state” reflects no reality whatsoever. USA Today and McClatchy

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Spain, Catalonia, Mariano Rajoy, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu
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