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The one-state reality vs. the two-state idea

This post was originally published on Peter Beinart’s Open Zion blog (@ The Daily Beast), as part of a debate regarding the fate of the two-state solution. This piece by Jerry Haber, on the same issue, is worth reading as well. And if you have the stomach for it, here is rightwing MK Danny Danon (Likud), who wants to annex most of the West Bank without giving the Palestinians voting rights.

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In the wake of a unity deal between the Likud and Kadima, which resulted in one of Israel’s largest coalitions in history, some claimed that there is a chance to revive the peace process, and ultimately, arrive at a two state solution. Others have said that it’s too late for a plan based on separating Palestinians and Israelis. But this is a false dichotomy.

For Israelis and Palestinians, the single state is a fact of life. The Israeli government controls the airspace, all the borders, the public land, the resources, and even the electromagnetic frequencies between the sea and the Jordan River. The same government has a monopoly over the use of force. The fact that some services that in the past were provided to the majority of the Palestinian population by the army’s civil administration are now given by the Palestinian Authority is all but meaningless. Israel is the sole sovereign both east and west of the Green Line.

Under this single, unified system, different groups of populations enjoy different rights: Israeli Jews have full political representation and all rights; Jews have rights as individuals and as members of certain communities, and they can take active role in shaping their future. More than a million Palestinian citizens have fewer individual and communal rights, but they can still vote. Some 300 thousands Palestinian residents in Jerusalem have even fewer rights than citizens, and they can only vote in municipal elections. Finally, 2.5 million Palestinians non-citizens in the West Bank have extremely limited rights; they are not able to travel freely, they are tried by military tribunals, and they have no political representation within the sovereign system.

Such a system of ethnic separation is nowhere to be found in the West, especially considering that most of the Palestinian population has been under military rule for almost half a century. One can choose any name he or she wants to attach to this situation—”Apartheid,” as Israel’s critics refer to it; or “limited democracy,” as Ambassador Michael Oren recently described the political situation in the West Bank—the reality remains the same: segregation and military control operates along ethnic lines.

The irony is that the “radical” one state solution only involves giving voting rights to the entire population living in Israel, while the “rational” two state solution means breaking the current system into two, not to mention moving many people from their homes. Still, the debate on both ideas misses the point: Israelis don’t feel any urgency in promoting any solution, since maintaining the status quo seems to be the preferred option for both the public and decision makers.

It’s understandable: today Israel enjoys relative calm and economical prosperity. The military advantage Israel has over its neighbors has never been so wide, and the toll of the conflict has never been so low. Keeping things as they are makes sense: the status quo might not be perfect, but it is certainly preferable to all other options. Leaving the West Bank would be costly, dangerous, and could bring the country to a near civil-war moment; giving voting rights to the Palestinians would transform the political system and ultimately the state itself.

Israelis politicians understand this almost instinctively. If elections were held on September as planned, there wouldn’t have been a single party running on a peace platform. Even several of the more dovish parties are explicitly declaring their intention to avoid the Palestinian issue at all cost. The desire to maintain the status quo is what lays the heart of Netanyahu’s new government: While their rhetoric might differ, all parties in the coalition, from the National Religious to Kadima, share an understanding that nothing more than minor adjustments is necessary on the Palestinian issue.

“The problem” is not Netanyahu or Lieberman (nor is it the so-called “Arab Rejectionism”); but rather the way Israeli Jews understand their immediate political interests. They would protest—in masses—the deteriorating government services, but not the collapse of the peace process or the ongoing violations of Palestinians’ human rights. Israelis say in polls that they prefer the two state solution over the single, democratic, state, but when presented an opportunity to keep the status quo, the latter often becomes their favorite option.

There is little point in arguing over the desired change when most of the political capital is invested in preventing any kind of change. The current political battle is not between the supporters of one solution to another’s but rather between those who defend the status quo—the way most of the organized Jewish community, as well as the current administration’s policy do—to those who actively work to transform it.

Instead of debating far-away solutions, political energy should be devoted in constant opposition to the military occupation of the West Bank and the isolation of Gaza, and to all forms of segregation and oppression that come with them. In other words, it should be directly aimed at the status quo and all those benefiting from it.

Since this system not only favors Jews but is perceived by them as the best of the immediate alternatives, changing it means working against the current desires of most Israelis. There is no way around this problem—ending the occupation requires intense pressure on Israel, one that would make the current state of affairs less appealing. All those opposing any form of pressure—whether they are supporters of the settlements or advocates of the peace process—are contributing their part to a regime of oppression and segregation, whose end is nowhere within sight.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Support for a Palestinian state only became Israeli state policy once it had become incontrovertibly clear that any such state would be, as the apt comparison has it, a ‘Bantustan’. This gives me an opportunity to remark on the extraordinary obtuseness of Haaretz, though it may just be sour grapes because of the paywall. Today, Chemi Shalev reports that Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, voiced “surprisingly moderate” positions about the creation of a Palestinian state in a debate with Jeremy Ben-Ami. Kristol surprised many in the audience by voicing clear support for a Palestinian state, saying, “I would be very happy if there was a Palestinian state.” Ben-Ami and J Street, as you all know, want the Bantustan, or as Shalev puts it, “1967 borders with modifications, Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and the Palestinians, no right of return and a demilitarized Palestinian state.” Kristol rejected Ben-Ami’s predictions of a one-state future in which the Palestinians would demand the principle of “one man one vote,” saying that Israel has ruled the occupied territories for over 45 years and that the indefinite maintenance of the current status quo “is also an option.” Shalev fails to make clear Ben-Ami was not merely ‘predicting’ but warning that this will happen in the absence of a ‘Bantustan’ deal. Shalev is just intelligent enough to remark that “Ben-Ami was clearly better informed on the details of the issues than Kristol,” but only just.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Richard Witty

      You again describe “something is wrong”, but don’t articulate a plausible alternative path or goal.

      There are just too many holes, too much vagueness in your proposal, that indicates a blind almost messianic faith in one-person one-vote.

      Self-governance can occur in either a two state or a one state solution, if the people believe that they are self-governing.

      The majority of Israelis perceive, as far as I understand, that a single state would not be self-governance. That which is not self-governance is oppression.

      The claim of unlimited right of return to a single state, would firm that absence of self-governance, rather than an absence of self-governance in the form of a bi-national state, it would become absence of governance in a Palestinian majority state.

      And, some Israeli institutions would continue to dominate/control in a single state, particularly in economic and likely in military/foreign policy affairs. The single state might be then in fact Israel, very similar to the present, with the improvement of free movement and voting for Palestinians.

      As frustrating as the current Israeli society is, are you sure that in advocating for the single state, you are not just giving up?

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    3. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Noam Sheizaf is the best pundit writing at +972 and among the better pundits writing on these topics anywhere. But…this piece wasn’t among his best. Here are some of the things I think it gets wrong.
       
      “The single state is a fact of life.” Not by a long-shot. There seems to be a confusion between political jurisdiction and the state. The current status is still very far from a single state, the unified services and administration notwithstanding. And if Noam really takes his own statement seriously, then why is Danny Danon’s proposal so stomach-churning? If the single state is a fact of life, he’s proposing nothing more than the reality of the last couple decades or more.
       
      Israelis do NOT prefer the status quo over a two-state solution. They strongly prefer the latter. However, they perceive (rightly or wrongly, that’s another question) that while a two-state *treaty* is easily obtainable, a two-state *solution* is beyond reach. The statement “Israelis prefer the status quo” hides an important misunderstanding: They prefer the status quo given what *they* believe is possible now, not given what *you* believe is possible now. One can’t over-emphasize how important this misunderstanding is. It’s a classic example of the intelligence failure called “mirror-imaging”: unconsciously assuming that others, in this case the majority of Israelis, perceive and think the same as you, in this case on the existence of alternatives to the status quo.
       
      Finally, Israelis are correct on this factual question. Therefore, it’s not the case that it’s too late to achieve a two-state solution. Just the opposite: it’s too early. Like many writings on the left, this article treats Israelis as the agents of change and Palestinians as passive objects.

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    4. I think it’s clear that the one-state solution would be preferable for the Palestinians, just in a utilitarian sense, to the ‘Bantustan’ (or Bantustans, if Gaza is separate). Consider the original South African Bantustans: they were grotesque and thankfully, short-lived. But I don’t romanticise the probable one-state reality, any more than I do post-apartheid South Africa. As I said in my first comment here, sixteen days ago, how ‘post-apartheid’ is it, really? My impression is that it isn’t; economic class divisions have replaced racial ones, and they are slightly more porous, at least to the extent that there is a small, comprador Black elite and a minority Black middle class with enough property to make defending the existing system seem worthwhile to them. But the Black working class still lives in effectively segregated townships, just like before, and there is no need for pass laws because neoliberal economic forces do the segregation job just as well. So in fact, the installation of neoliberal legal norms in place of formal apartheid hasn’t made much difference, except cosmetically, but it has defused the threat of Black majority revolution, by buying out the Black leadership. Now, Richard, bear in mind that the White minority in South Africa really is quite diminutive compared to the Black majority. As of 2010, the figures were roughly 80% Black, 10% White and 10% Coloured, Indian or Asian.

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    5. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      I think the article is correct that Israelis aren’t going to accept a two-state treaty – which, again, they do not see as a solution or as a step towards peace – without very heavy external pressure. As always, the possibility is that such pressure would backfire, making Israelis become even more entrenched. There’s that Israeli idiom, אין ברירה, “there’s no alternative,” that Israelis say in a certain tone, a certain mixture of resignation and determination. Israelis strongly believe that a two-state treaty is a recipe for war. Whoever’s applying this external pressure does not want Israelis to get to the place of, “אין ברירה, we have to resist.”

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    6. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Oh yeah, forgot to mention another mistake: “the reality remains the same: segregation and military control operates along ethnic lines.” Obviously not. It operates more along lines of citizenship. For instance, Arab citizens of Israel can vote and can drive on “Israeli-only” roads in the territories.

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    7. XYZ

      Again, we hear at the end of this article the hope for the “deus ex machina” that is going to miraculously appear where “outside elements” are going to force a soluation. I just don’t see it. Most people in the world don’t care about the Arab-Israeli conflict, don’t care about the Palestinians and don’t care about the settlements. They view it as simply another one of those ongoing, unsolvable international problems.
      The Left/Progressives have to understand something that has eluded them all these years…the “human rights problems” the Palestinians supposedly have as a consequence of the ‘occupation’ simply don’t interest most people. It is true that people like those here at 972 or Phil Weiss or Richard Silverstein or Peter Beinart have sleep elude them night after night because of their constant worry that the Palestinian don’t have a sovereing state, but only a small number of people care about this outside of this small circle. What’s my proof? Look at Syria. Thousands of people have been killed there over the last year, and every week hundres more die. But do you see any mass demostration of popular outrage around the world? NO! Look at places like Paris and London where there are large Muslim populations, plus large groups of “Red” (Left/Progressive) Europeans. One would think there would be massive marches against the Syria Embassy in those cities and demands that something be done to help the poor Syria people. BUT NOTHING IS HAPPENING. Look at the Arab Spring countries. In the old days, when Mubarak and the other (pro-Western) dictatorships were in power, demonstations were never allowed because the regime feared that the popular outrage against whatever target the demonstration was directed would be turned against the regime. But this is not the case today. There is relative freedom to protest and the police are more reluctant to crack down. THus we should be seeing Tunisians and Egyptians and Turks carrying out massive demonstrations protesting the terrible human rights violations done against their Arab/Muslim brothers whom they love. Yet, NOTHING. The populations don’t care. And if the Arabs don’t care about their brothers in Syria, then other people care even less. Regarding Palestinians were the situation is far less acute (Thank heaven), why should most people care?
      There never will be an “imposed solution”. That is the reality of the situation.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Yet more systematic blindness from XYZ, almost the original “Nowhere Man” who “just sees what he wants to see.” XYZ, what is going on in Syria is a NATO-backed coup. You have no idea what Syrians, Arabs, Muslims, or anybody else thinks about it, because you never read anything except the mainstream media.

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    9. XYZ

      Bernard Avishai dreamed that with the election of Obama, the US was in the position like it was under Eisenhower in 1957 to force Israel out of the Sinai. He said Obama was “so popular, like Ike was” that he could force Israel out of the territories and the whole world would applaud. Of course, now this seems like a bad joke. But it must be rememmbered that Nasser did NOT make peace with Israel, he simply accepted (without telling his people) that UNEF (United Nations Emergency Force) would be stationed along the Israel-Egypt border and would monitor free Israeli naval passage through Straits of Tiran. Nasser scrapped the agreement 10 years later. Eisenhower stated in 1967 that he made a mistake in not demanding Nasser sign a peace agreement, but of course he couldn’t. Same today. No “imposed agreement” would be acceptable to the Arab countries, who would be backing the Palestinians because no matter what the terms of the “imposed agreement” there would still be a long shopping list of Arab grievances, particularly the “right of return” problem of the refugees. Arab petrodollars who are greasing the palms of all world leaders would see to it that no “imposed agreement” with terms unacceptable to the Arabs would ever come up. So here is another reason why there never will an “imposed solution”.

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    10. Jack

      Israel will not accept a democratic state for palestinians/jews alike, and they will neither accept a independent palestinian state. They will keep occupying, that is the 3rd alternative. Thus making israeli occupation an illegal one.

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    11. aristeides

      That was the amazing thing about Shalev’s article about Kristol’s comment. As if it were a novel revelation, instead of the implicit consensus all along.

      .
      What’s interesting to me is that Kristol phrased it as “we”. Another dual-loyalist in the halls of US power, making sure his preferred solution comes to pass.

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    12. @AARON re Danon’s proposal: Danon is not a one-stater (unlike Rivlin, Hotuvali and as of today, Caroline Glick). He thinks we should annex the West Bank and have the Palestinian vote for the Jordanian parliament. This is clearly absurd – if they don’t vote to the government that rules them, why Jordan? let’s have them voting to the French assembly! I am not afraid from serious rightwing thinking, I even prefers it to Israel’s liberal left at times, but Danon is a populist clown.

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    13. caden

      xyz happens to be right. Jews are wrapped in this issue, some of them anyway. And the anti-semites are what they always are. The Jews among them. But the average person is just trying to get though the day. And if I was European I’d be more worried about the Euro flying apart and bank runs has opposed to the palestinians, who are always complaining anyway

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    14. generally i agree, but Noam fails at the same point as others in the past: “today Israel enjoys relative calm and economical prosperity.” That’s not true. Perhaps Noam and his family are above poverty, but a big part of the “non-occupied” population is poor, and they are interested in changing the situation.

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    15. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Noam, thanks for the correction about Danon. Agreed 100 percent that Danon is a populist clown. It will be good when his 15 minutes of fame are over.

      Regarding external pressure, I think it’s more likely to come from the US than from Europe. Europe doesn’t care about saving the world, but unfortunately, America does. Israel can’t take the future support of Christian Zionists for granted. If Israel will be pressured into a destructive agreement, it will probably be by a self-described friend of Israel in the White House.

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    16. Glick is a clever little thing. She quotes this Tea Party person, Joe Walsh, whose op-ed in the Wash Times says “Those Palestinians who remain behind in Israel will maintain limited voting power but will be awarded all the economic and civil rights of Israeli citizens. They will be free to raise families, start businesses and live in peace, all of which are impossible under current Arab rule.” Glick now takes away the number first thought of, by saying: “In truth, there is no reason for them to receive anything but full voting rights.” The card up her sleeve is obviously a loyalty oath to the ‘Jewishness’ of the ‘Jewish State’, couched in terms so humiliating that no self-respecting Arab will be prepared to sign it, and as a result they will all be packed off to Jordan in cattle trucks. Am I right?

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    17. aristeides

      Joe Walsh is the loosest cannon in congress. I wouldn’t expect him back next year.

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    18. I just read Danon’s proposal. What differentiates that from the Walsh/Glick proposals is that Danon is not proposing to offer Israeli citizenship to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza after Israeli annexation. They will in fact be stateless, because the PA will not be a state. If they want any statehood whatever, they will have to apply to Jordan or Egypt for it. Walsh and Glick are explicitly offering them citizenship, with either limited (Walsh) or unlimited (Glick) voting rights. So Danon’s idea is far more preposterous than either Walsh’s or Glick’s.

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    19. Blake

      Great analysis

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    20. Sinjim

      Aaron the etc. argues that there is no racial segregation, but rather segregation based on citizenship only. He presents as proof of this the fact that Palestinian citizens have a limited number of privileges that are not afforded to Palestinian non-citizens.
      .
      However, his terminology betrays him. He refers to the Palestinian citizens as “Arabs” only. And indeed the state does not recognize them as Palestinians. They are always Israeli Arabs, or Israeli Muslims, or Israeli Christians, or Israeli Druze. Never Palestinians. In the eyes of the state and its institutions and laws, these are an entirely separate class of people, in much the same way that Coloreds (among whom were descendants of mixed-race couples) were separate from Blacks in South Africa.
      .
      Furthermore, to deny that the people living in the West Bank are treated differently based on their ethnicity is absurd. If a pregnant Palestinian housecleaner working in a settlement gave birth on the job, her child would not be a citizen of Israel. Yet, if her Jewish employer gave birth in the same house, her child would be. Here are two children whose fates are decided based on their ethnicity. If that isn’t racial/ethnic discrimination, then nothing is.

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    21. Kolumn9

      @Rowan, East Jerusalem Arabs have been rejecting Israeli citizenship for 40+ years without any pledge to the Jewishness of the state. Glick belongs to a group of people that believes that not only is there no demographic threat, but that the Jews are winning. She thinks that the Arabs will reject Israeli citizenship, will boycott the elections, and by the time they wake up to the reality there will be an unassailable Jewish majority and the Palestinian demands for their own state will be ridiculous given the demographics of the areas they claim due to the growth in settlement distribution and population. The demographic analyses Glick prefers believe that the real number of Arabs in the WB is closer to 1.5M rather than the 2.4M claimed by the Palestinians.
      .

      One problem with her argument is that the demographic analyses she uses take into account Arab emigration figures from the WB. As these are likely to be primarily economic in nature it is not at all obvious that the current trends of Arab emigration would continue if the population had access to the Israeli labor market.
      .

      It isn’t entirely clear whether Glick really believes many of her own arguments. She is someone that would support the Jewish state spanning from river to the sea regardless of the demographic balance.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Kolumn9

      Whether Israel refers to Arabs as Arabs or as Palestinians is your proof of discrimination? They are indisputably Arabs, whether they are Palestinians or not is a matter of political opinion, a matter on which I must point Israeli Arabs do not speak with one voice according to polls done.

      Reply to Comment
    23. palestinian

      Does Israel discriminate against its Palestinian population ? 100% yes ,simple example , how many new Palestinian villages have been established since 1948 ? How many Kibbutz and Moshavim ? whats the avg population density in the Palestinian villages ? how many acres of land have been consfiscated from the Palestinians in comparison to Jews (in case they own anything)….the list goes on

      Reply to Comment
    24. Kolumn9

      Sinjim, see, Palestinian’s argument is way better, though the terminology he uses is questionable. Again, they are certainly Arabs, and there is certainly discrimination against them, but not referring to them as Palestinians is neither discriminatory nor terribly strange given that a large part don’t think that they are Palestinians.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Kolumn9, owing to my great respect for C Glick, I shall endeavour to get to the bottom of this enigma regarding her column. I shall visit her blog. If necessary, I shall even watch this week’s Tribal Review.

      Reply to Comment
    26. I’ve done the above, and the main impression I get is that she really doesn’t trust Netanyahu not to go the two-state route while he can. This is what she wrote on Mar 8, immediately after hearing of the deal with Mofaz:
      “Some on the right have voiced concerns that Netanyahu wants this coalition so he can reinstate negotiations with the Palestinians and withdraw from Judea and Samaria. Maybe. But it’s hard for me to believe that he will want to go full speed ahead with that. [...] I don’t see him following in Ariel Sharon’s footsteps and betraying his political camp and ideology completely.”
      She seems to identify rather strongly with the right-wing Likud Central Committee members, led by D Danon and M Eitan, who revolted against Netanyahu on the night of May 6 and successfully demanded a secret ballot for the Central Committee presidency — the event that precipatated Netanyahu’s deal with Mofaz. She fears he will make the West Bank deal, and her one-state proposal is a feint intended to throw any such two-state deal off-track. What she really wants is not what she claims to want, but the same thing Danon wants. Does that sound logical?

      Reply to Comment
    27. max

      ” Does that sound logical?” – absolutely, if you like conspiracy theories and believe that journalists also build their worlds around them

      Reply to Comment
    28. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      I honestly don’t know that the word “Palestinian” means, which is why I tend to avoid it. Which groups self-identify as Palestinians? All those who are identified by others as Palestinians? Are all Palestinians Arabs (perhaps with individual exceptions)? I don’t know the answer. I don’t know what “Arab” means either – are Bedouin Arabs? – but it seems a little less ambiguous, and “Arab Israeli” is more commonly used than “Palestinian Israeli.” I admit to sometimes using the former as a synecdoche, though.
       
      Often, “correct” replacements for commonly used words in effect impose identities upon groups of people against their will, or privilege one indigenous group over another. The result being that some indigenous groups prefer the old “incorrect” word to the new “correct” word, which they find offensive. The word “Arab” itself seems to have been an example of this, starting with “Arabism” and, later, Arab nationalism. My question – an honest question, not rhetorical – is whether “Palestinian” is another example.
       
      Sinjim, I never argued that there’s no racial or ethnic discrimination. I addressed the much more specific statement, “segregation and military control operates along ethnic lines.” I said that it operates *more* along lines of citizenship. Your hypothetical example shows only that citizenship itself is ethnically based, which of course is obvious.

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    29. I really don’t imagine Glick wants to give West Bank Arabs equal rights with Jews. Women in Green announced Thursday it will support the Knesset lobby for the application of Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria’s bid to apply Israeli law in the region, in order to raise public awareness. Glick is scheduled to address the lobby in Hebrew on Wednesday, when it holds its first conference. (Arutz Sheva, May 18)

      Reply to Comment
    30. B”H 20 May 2012. Many of my in-depth intellectual predications hold proof to the theories of conflict resolution that I promoted back in my campaign in a mayoral position but today address the urban aggravation that is faced by the world’s population, including the beasts nd vegetation. The communities of Israelis and Palestinians can achieve the light from the beacon of environment restoration by initiating projects and training crew to do the manufacture, sales, installation, and economic advancement of equal educational opportunities in the field of renewable energy by one man one vote citizens of Israel National Palestine. I shudder with vibrant joy at the thought of peace and human purpose guiding the world to follow in our wake.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Hostage

      Of course the State of Israel shared it’s ideas with the US government each step along the way. Here are some excerpts from the declassified texts of Abba Eban’s discussions with US officials about an autonomous statelet back in 1967:

      Gaza territory was also security problem for Israel. Israel would like have the territory without the population but did not see how that could come about.

      West Bank presented particularly difficult problems. Incorporation of West Bank into Israel, with its large Arab population, would completely transform Israel’s national existence and reason for being. An Israeli demographic expert had estimated that at present rate of population growth this would produce an Arab majority in Israel within 15 years. In any case it would cause a total reshaping of Israeli politics, as Arab votes were sought, and thus produce alterations in structure of Israel that they did not desire. Neither could Arabs be incorporated into Israel without granting them Israeli citizenship. This would not be permitted by international community nor would it be acceptable to Israeli people themselves.

      Eban said they had also given thought to establishment of separate, autonomous Palestinian state on West Bank. This also has serious drawbacks. Days of autonomous dependent regions had really passed. Creation of Palestinian state might simply increase irredentist desires. There would be yet another Arab state on Arab scene. In a year or two it would ask for UN membership, and it would be admitted. Such prospects did not look attractive.

      http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d442

      Reply to Comment
    32. XYZ

      Important point to note in what Noam wrote here. He stated that the Left/Progressives, having apparently lost the battle for Israeli public opinion, need to go around it and have outside powers impose what the Left/Progressives want. In other words, use anti-democratic weapons against the will of the public and the government. Just remember, this is a double-edged sword. If the Left/Progressives advocate anti-democratic measures, then Noam is going to have to acknowledge that the Left/Progressives are justifying allowing the opposition to them to used anti-democratic means to defend themselves.
      Just like the Left/Progressives learned after they cheered Sharon breaking all his promises to his voters and destroying Gush Katif anyway, they then found they had no moral right to whine when Mofaz broke all his promises and joined Netanyahu’s gov’t. Is this really the kind of world Noam and the Progressives/Left want……everyone does what ever he wants regardless of whether the democratic rules allow it? Don’t go around whining that the anti-BDS laws are “anti-democrati” when you yourselves advocate anti-democratic measures.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Rehmat

      The two-state idea came out of the 1917 Belfour Declaration. However, it did not suit the leaders of the World Zionist movement who had a dream of Heretz Israel.

      Palestinian groups under PLO umbrella were divided on their agenda. Some wanted to recapture the entire historical Palestine stolen from them by the European Zionist Jews – while the other were content to live in a separate state beside Israel. However, after the failure of several “peace accords” negotiated by pro-Israel US administrations – more and more Palestinian leaders and foreign political analysts and even Jewish writers and bloggers are convinced that the two-state solution is very unpractical for both the Jews and the native Muslim and Christian Palestinians.

      Two Jewish bloggers, Israeli-born Gilad Atzmon and US-born Roger Tucker – are among those who believe that the only a single democratic Palestinian state with equal rights for the Jewish settlers and native Muslims and Christians will bring a lasting peace in the region.

      http://rehmat1.com/2010/06/18/palestine-the-third-option/

      Reply to Comment
    34. I see no evidence that the US will force you to “save” yourself. Caste Lead had no public effect at all on US policy. True, I think the Obama Administration rather disgusted with the “no preconditions so we can keep building while you beg us to leave” policy, but not to the extent of actually doing something. I don’t think any American President can contravene Israel unless something quite horrible happens–and Caste Lead didn’t reach that, giving one an idea of the bar.
      .
      Sari Nusseibeh has argued for an economic union with no voting rights–because he knows that will ultimate produce a real civil disobedience movement.
      .
      Aaron: I can no longer see a viable Gaza/West Bank State internally. Completely divided States with that population split will not work. Which means that Israelis are imagining an unstable option when they speak of “two States.” That a single Palestinian State is not feasible given de facto Israeli severence of its geography–without allowing unfettered transport to both areas–the economic creep will give you an annexed Bank. You are likely right that outsiders don’t understand how Israelis see the options; but I am pretty sure now that Israelis have no idea of what an uncontiguous State of such proportions would mean. The talk of “contiguous boarders” for the Bank are rather silly when you conisder severed Gaza.

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    35. Jo Levy

      Tell me what right Jewish citizens of Israel have that Israeli Arabs don’t have, just one. Of course, you wont be able, because they have equal rights. Do they have equal treatment? No. Not because Israel is a Jewish state, but rather because of the ongoing Arab Israeli conflict.

      As for the Palestinians, they are not victims of apartheid, they are occupied,like the Germans after WW2.
      This occupation can end tomorrow morning, in spite of the settlements.
      Don’t forget that 80% of the settlers live in the main settlement blocs which were built alongside the Israeli border. It would be very easy to make a land swap so that the Palestinians will be compensated for the annexation of the settlements.
      About 60% of the Israeli population supports this idea, but they still vote Likud.
      Guess why? They fear terrorism.
      As long as Hezbollah and Hamas will remain Israel’s real neighbors, the Likud will remain in power. The Arab league offer of 2002 is interesting, but it will remain meaningless as long as the Arabs wont prove Israelis that a pullout from the West Bank will be safe, and that it will not turn the West Bank into a launching pad against Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Gabby

      What do you propose a viable solution for the status of Jerusalem?

      Reply to Comment
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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel