Promising to promote ‘new thinking,’ Dan Goldenblatt, the founder of a one-state Israeli group, was made the new co-CEO of IPCRI.
Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, a think tank formed in 1988 by veteran peace activist Gershon Baskin, has recently appointed Att. Dan Goldenblatt as the new Israeli co-CEO of the organization, alongside Riman Barakat, his Palestinian counterpart.
Interestingly enough, Goldenblatt, a former political adviser to MK Dr. Roman Bronfman, is one of the founders of Eretz Yoshveha, a group advocating a one-state solution to the conflict, consisting of left-wing Israeli academics and activists, Palestinian citizens of Israel and settlers. (Disclaimer: after a feature piece I published about the growing interest within the settler movement in the one-state solution, I attended an Eretz Yoshveha’s meeting.) Eretz Yoshveha’s recently-launched Hebrew blog states:
Eretz Yoshveha is a diverse group, consisting of Jews living on both sides of the Green Line, and of Arabs of 1948 who doubt the chances of successfully implementing the two-state solution and [therefore] wish to discuss alternatives to separation, under an understanding that the conflict should be resolved in the space between the sea and the Jordan River.
We believe that… the conflict didn’t start in 1967, and the claims of both peoples don’t end at the borders of the ceasefire that predates this war… the political reality is that one sovereign controls the entire land, on which two communities live… A single state exists now, but the political reality is not inclusive or fair…
While IPCRI’s website still states that the organization is “dedicated to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of ‘two states for two peoples’,” I have learned that when applying for the position of co-CEO, Goldenblatt made his political views known to the board of IPCRI, along with his intention to promote “new thinking” on the conflict.
Naturally, the changes at a small organization like IPCRI alone don’t represent a breakthrough in the political debate, but they provide further evidence of a growing dissatisfaction with the two-state solution as a viable, applicable idea. At the same time, the interest in a single state model is gradually moving from the intellectual debate into the political conversation. More to come, I believe.
Update: Gershon Baskin, the founder and co-chair of IPCRI, has posted the following comment to this post:
Hanna Siniora and I remain the co-chair of the Board of IPCRI and IPCRI remains committed to the two states solution. We still believe that it is the only solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the only solution which enables both national movements to have self determination in their land. We have always believed that the two states should progress beyond 2 separate states after peace is achieved to find ways of cooperation, perhaps confederation or other such models but first two separate states. Dan Goldenblatt agreed to that formula when he was appointed as the new Co-CEO of IPCRI. IPCRI’s policy has not changed although we have always intelligently examined all options.