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Why it’s time to discuss the one-state solution

Secular, binational, and more: there are plenty of one-state models that can and should be discussed. But what’s becoming increasingly clear to figures from both the right and the left is that the feasibility of the two-state solution must be reconsidered. 

By Yoav Kapshuk

It is time to start a public discussion about possible and realistic arrangements for the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

The importance of the discussion does not lie in reaching a consensus about a desired arrangement of one state or two states, but rather in creating an opening through which to understand the intricacies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These intricacies are concealed when the discussion focuses only on the option of a two state-solution. The discussion on the two-state solution has exhausted itself in recent years because it has ignored or downplayed core issues.

A discussion about such possible and realistic arrangements in the area between the river and the sea was held last year in a conference organized by The Public Sphere, the journal of the Political Science Department at Tel-Aviv University. This debate continues in the sixth issue of The Public Sphere, a special edition published recently under the title: “One State between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Reality or Dream?” [Hebrew with English abstracts] Although The Public Sphere’s editorial collective encompasses various opinions about possible and desirable arrangements between the river and the sea, we agree on the importance of examining those positions in light of the reality on the ground.

There exists in this particular conflict an enormous gap between declarations and actions: The declarations of Israeli and Palestinian leaders about their commitment to the two-state solution contradict the acts of Israeli governments that undermine its feasibility. This gap between declarations and actions is manifested in Israel’s characterization of its presence in the West Bank as a “temporary situation”: On the one hand, Israel has not asserted sovereignty over this territory (beyond the expanded municipal boundaries of Jerusalem). On the other hand, its continuous civilian and military activities seem to operate under the presumption of an indefinite occupation. As a result of Israel’s actions and the “permanent occupation,” the central question that should be tackled today is whether forming one state between the river and the sea is a realistic option, or whether the two-state solution is still relevant and possible.

Dealing with this question requires a deep consideration of Israeli and Palestinian societies, as they both have changed over the last two decades, especially throughout the course of the Oslo process and its collapse. The purpose of the Oslo Accords, at least formally, was to separate the area between the sea and the river into two sovereign states. We should ask ourselves whether the collapse of Oslo indicates that this area cannot be divided, or whether partition is actually the only way to achieve reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Does Oslo’s failure as a transitional process demonstrate the need to accelerate partition, as long as it is still possible? Or does Oslo’s failure to divide the land mean that the one-state solution is the only realistic option? Additionally, the single state solution is not a monolith, and we should consider which of its forms are relevant and attainable. Should we think in terms of a democratic, secular and liberal state or a bi-national state with two (or more) central ethnic groups? Or would these options ultimately lead to an oppressive form of Jewish or Palestinian national hegemony? And furthermore, is it possible to support the binational principle while simultaneously supporting the partition of Mandatory Palestine? Which type of arrangement would bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? These are the questions that should guide the public and the academic debate.

It is critical to note that support for and opposition to the two-state solution – and the one-state solution – can be found in various and contrasting political and ideological movements. The centrist factions of both the Israeli left and right wing support the two-state solution, at least declaratively. This solution is also still supported by the Palestinian Authority. On the other hand, in recent years, more and more leaders and public figures from the Israeli right (like Moshe Arens and Reuven Rivlin) and left (including Meron Benvenisti, Haim Hanegbi and Avraham Burg) have come to doubt the feasibility of the two-state solution, and some have come out in favor of one state.

Just a few days ago, notable mainstream journalist Nahum Barnea from Yedioth Ahronoth joined those who have come to doubt the lasting relevance of a two-state solution. Threats to withdraw support for two states have also been increasingly heard from Palestinian Authority leaders like Saeb Erekat – though it is reasonable to believe that some such statements are actually intended to pressure parties to reach an agreement on two states.

As stated, there are various models for the one-state and two-state solutions. We should be aware of the variety, and especially of the dangers of undemocratic models. However, therein lays the vitality of this discussion: creating public awareness of the wide gap between declarations and acts, a gap that exists as a result of 45 years worth of temporary occupation strategies and ambiguity regarding the real goals of the Israeli policy. Only when the Israeli society opens a space for this kind of discussion will it be able to address its ignorance and blindness to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the primary issue impacting society since its establishment.

Yoav Kapshuk is the special issue editor of The Public Sphere 6. Click here for the full edition, dedicated to the question of the one-state solution (in Hebrew with English abstracts). The journal’s editors in chief are Yoav Peled and Michael Kochin.

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    1. Worth noting that Likud’s constitution calls for a one state solution.

      Reply to Comment
      • yoav kapshuk

        I knonw that the Likud’s constitution emphasizes the strengthening of the settlements. which version of it do you have? is it the one from 2006 or a newer one? i am sure there is nothing about giving citizenship the west bank palestinians as has suggested reuven rivlin and moshe arens from the likud.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Richard Witty

      The difference between consideration and advocacy is enormous.

      A case in point. Many have described that Avram Burg advocates for a single state. In a recent NY Times op-ed, he explicitly described that his preference was for two-state solution, with friendly relations and potential federation.

      There are multiple single state proposals, not only including Israel/Palestine in various geographic and political forms.

      There have long been historical proposals for a single Arab state, constituted by a Congress. When the Arab League proposal to accept Israel at 67 borders, the proposal was framed by some as ‘Israel is sovereign state potentially a peer in the Arab nation/federation’.

      I think it is undeniable that a super-majority of Israeli Jews continue to desire to self-govern as a distinct sovereign entity, and to undertake any political suggestion that ignores that, or even in seeking to change hearts and minds, does not respect the reasons (historic and current), is living in a cruel fantasy world.

      Reply to Comment
      • I wouldn’t call opposition a super-majority: a poll by Hebrew University this year found that 28% of Israeli Jews (and 33% of the total electorate) would accept one state with equal rights for all: given that no party or campaign has promoted this and it’s generally presented as existential suicide, this number is remarkable, and could well consolidate and grow if details and benefits are fleshed out.

        There aren’t really so many versions, far fewer than the different two-state arrangements. The essentials are equal treatment and rights, and equality under the law: these could not be fulfilled under a bi-national regime where next-door neighbours would be subject to different laws, so most in the one-state movement favour the greater flexibility of one person, one vote. This, however, can be balanced by checks and balances (such as an upper chamber, and a rights-based constitution that law has to live up to) to protect and represent ethnic groups and cultures as well as different sectors of society, while the state apparatus, law courts, police and army must be scrupulously separate from religion as they are in most successful democracies. Onedemocracy.co.uk argues that these state bodies need to be integrated at all ranks and levels as early as possible.

        The presentation of the issue as terribly complicated is just a device to put people off, so the 28% figure in favour is little short of a miracle.

        Reply to Comment
        • richard witty

          Israel is very cosmopolitan society. Many Israelis are just getting on with their lives and are neither religious nor enthusiastically Zionist (indifferent to politics of all stripes).

          I’m surprised that in response to language “could accept” or ” could live with” that the number in the poll you referred is only 28%.

          Palestinian society is also much more cosmopolitan than most other arab communities. Attitudes obviously vary by community largely determined by the extent of contact with each other. “They’re not as weird as I thought.”

          To realize a single state without a civil war would require in range of 80% willing to accept it in both communities.

          To accomplish that would require determined effort to humanize the other in hearts and minds, again in both communities.

          And the development of institutions to implement equal relations, confidently.

          The path originating on Palestinian nationalism and particularly non-engagement politics is kirmterally the opposites of what would make a single state possible.

          Hearts and minds don’t change for the better by ridicule.

          Reply to Comment
          • I think the 28% figure is not just about numbers. First, it refutes the No.1 argument put forward by two-state supporters of all stripes, that one state is just for “coffee-house dreamers” and the far-left fringe, while two states is the “international consensus”.

            But as important, it means that as a mainstream view (even though never articulated yet by any party or mass movement) it will involve a big range of views and involve surprising adherents. It also re-shapes the discussion, from left vs. right or secular vs. orthodox, towards separatism vs. integration. As such, we can see that the separatist agenda was set by the Zionist labour movement long before Likud came on the scene, while right-wingers can be more willing to own-up to the 1948 ethnic cleansing than the left Zionists who led it.

            Richard is right to single out co-existence projects as a vital route towards a unifying politics. When the Palestinian agenda turns from nationalism to demands for civil rights and the franchise we will surely see more support for such initiatives.

            Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          I found your source data. The numbers you state are misleading, but it isn’t entirely your fault. The shortened press release by the Truman Center misrepresents the actual question asked in the poll. Here is the actual question that was asked:

          “Recent arguments suggest that a failure of the two-state solution is inevitable and
          there is a need to begin to think about a solution of a one state for two people in which Arabs
          and Jews enjoy equality. Do you agree or disagree to this argument?”

          The question doesn’t actually ask about support for such an outcome and it is intentionally vague on what the outcome would look like. It is an absolutely terrible poll question in the way it is structured and I am afraid any ideas you build on the basis of the responses to it are rather shaky.

          Sources:
          Shortened press release from the Truman Center:
          http://truman.huji.ac.il/.upload/Joint%20press%20releaseJune%202012%20eng.pdf

          Here is the same press release along with the questions asked:
          http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_31486-1522-2-30.pdf?120711152850

          Reply to Comment
          • Yes you’re right about the question, which is why I think I said “would accept”: anyone holding strong views against a single state would say NO to even putting it on the agenda as an alternative to two states or the status quo. The question itself has changed, interestingly, from a poll they did two years ago where it was presented as a preference of two states or one. Now it’s yes-or-no to talking about it, which presumably means discussing the pros and cons as real possibilities.

            If such a substantial minority see it as an outcome to talk about, it opens the way for the whole discourse to shift. You say that the outcome is vague, but the clear and simple statement of equality is enough to distinguish this from Greater Israel politics. Clearly, establishing the nuts and bolts of a constitution and a harmonious, safe and equitable transition or road map are part of that discussion. There are enough serious implications in this poll response to put one state into the mainstream, and if this discussion were taken out into the mass political market-place and media, that in itself would not only signal change, but could in itself create changes in thinking and behaviour that would make one country seem an easier and more obvious result, while the current oppressive and segregated living starts to look as antiquated and unacceptable as the old “whites only” signs in South Africa and the American south.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Witty

            I think that people should talk about what a single state could be, and what prerequisite institutions and attitudes would need to be in place for a single state to be functional.

            I believe that unless a literally super-majority (>80%) are willing to invest (time, attitude, participation) in a functional single state, that pursuing it would be an invitation to literally civil war, and should be avoided if one realizes that that is impractical.

            The reason I say that, is that it then utterly distracts from the efforts needed to realize a viable and functional two-democratic state solution, that could morph into a federation over not even as long a period of time as a single state might take.

            To date, again and again, the primary proponents of a single state camouflage that they really seek a state dominated by their ethnicity, always stated as “righting historical wrongs” (both Zionist and Palestinian solidarity), with the prerequisite of politically correct formula to implement.

            Ali Abunimeh and Moshe Arens at the same table, agreeing to the same principles of motivation?

            The reason that I think a constructive discussion of what creates a functional single state is relevant, is that the SAME attitudes of willingness to reconcile with one’s neighbors, inter-personally, socially, politically, are the constructive characteristics of either functioning healthily.

            That is exactly what the anti-normalization approaches prohibit though.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Rachel, well, you made a significant number of assertions that are unwarranted by the poll question. First the question is about talking, not actual solutions, which in many societies is more a mark of the legitimacy of free speech than an endorsement of a political position. This is a major problem with the methodology of the question. The other issue is that you assert that there is approval of a unitary state while the question itself doesn’t bother with such a distinction.

            I don’t know why they changed the question, but it certainly has the outcome of leading to the kind of confusion that spawns these kind of arguments.

            The rest of your argument is derived on the flawed numbers that suggest that there exists a large minority that would grant legitimacy to such an outcome in practice, but when asked directly about specific proposals on the issue there is marginal actual support for any form of a one-state solution among Israeli Jews. There is no barrier in Israel to having the one-state conversation. There really is nothing in your way of pushing it out there. If you are not seeing much of a response to it is a reflection of how impractical it is and how unattractive it appears the more detail that is provided on its nature, even for the vast majority of those that find the current arrangement unattractive.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Adam Keller

      It is a very great fallcy to lump together right-wingers and left-wingers who doubt the feasibility of the Two-State Solution. Both could agree that there should be a single state, but would NEVER agree on whether Palestinians would have equal rights in it. In my view, it would be immeasurably easier for the Israeli Right-Wing to accept withdrawal to the 1967 borders than to accept giving the vote to all Palestinians. For a simple reason: they are Zionists. From the Zionist point of view, giving up “Judea and Samaria” is tantamount to having an arm or leg amputated, but giving up the “Jewish State” is tantamount to being decapitated.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        @Adam Keller “For a simple reason: they are Zionists. From the Zionist point of view, giving up “Judea and Samaria” is tantamount to having an arm or leg amputated, but giving up the “Jewish State” is tantamount to being decapitated.”

        I can’t help it, statements like this sound like I imagine an elephant plumping its rear end on a piano keyboard would. The truth is that amongst those for whom giving up Judea and Samaria is tantamount to having arms and legs amputated, there are some who would be willing to give up the Jewish State in order to be able to continue living in Judea and Samaria. Some of the better-known examples are groups formed around Rabbi Froman of Tekoa and Eliaz Cohen of Kfar Etzion, the latter someone Dimi Reider did a piece on in +972 last year
        http://972mag.com/a-settler-for-the-right-of-return/

        Reply to Comment
    4. gal shalev, esq.

      The one state solution is a non-democratic one because you are essentially eliminating the Jewish right for freedom of association and self determination. You cannot force two ethnic groups with different (or even incompatible) cultures to live together. Please don’t accuse me of making a “racist” statement. I don’t contend that one culture is superior to the other – just that they are different.
      With the rise of political Islam the idea of a one state solution is even less palatable.
      Seems the one state solution follows the Jewish pathology of self-negating utopianism. All of you seem 100 percent convinced that this is the only right way to do things.

      Reply to Comment
      • Just how exactly would you be eliminating the Jewish right to self-determination and freedom of association by having a true democratic state? It is exactly because a state is truly democratic that all types of races, nationalities, religions, etc have the right to self-determination and freedom of association.

        The Jewish religion would be but one of many that would flourish under this system. You are using the tactics of scaremongering that have no logic and no basis in fact.

        Your comment, whilst not racist, is uneducated and misguided, and possibility the result of your indoctrination in your youth.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Kolumn9

      Discuss it all you want. It is and will remain a stupid idea with no practical application. The concept’s only real-world use is as a bogeyman by people on the left to frighten each other with and work up a fervor for a two-state solution because of how absolutely horrendously terrible of an outcome it realistically would be even in the face of its sheer and obvious impracticality.

      Reply to Comment
      • Jack

        The question is then what solution is more probable?
        One cant live in denial of this solution that seems more and more probable for every year that peace is not achieved.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          The probability of this non-solution is exactly zero. You can multiply that any number of years out and you will still get the same probability.

          Reply to Comment
          • Jack

            Well again, one should not live in denial.
            How do you think a state in the west bank for example could be possible now when roadchecks, roads for settlements, settlement itself etc have made a two state solution impossible, add that to the the asessments by the UN that Gaza will not be livable place in 2020.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            You can look for any solution you want under the circumstances and tthere are plenty, including the two-state solution which the settlements do very little to actually forestall considering they are eminently movable and have been moved in the past. I am merely pointing out that the one proposed in the article has exactly zero chance of realization given there is absolutely no conceivable realistic path to its implementation, the resulting outcome would be unstable, unsustainable and extremely bloody, and no support for any conceivable version thereof exists within either society. Another way of putting this is by flatly stating that the chances of it are zero and none of the things listed by me above change in the slightest as the years go by.

            As to Gaza not being livable by 2020.. If the UN believes there is a problem it is free to work with Hamas to deal with it in the same way that it is working with Tuvalu as that island is sinking into the ocean.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jack

            Kolumn9,

            There is no possibility at all that all these hundreds of thousands of settlers are going to go home to Israel and you know this yourself. The very reason they live there is because they think that this is their land. They are not going to movie, it is not going to happen and this is why the one state solution is getting nearer, especially since the pace of settlement building have soared during 2010-2011.

            If you read the article about Gaza you would understand that its not livable by 2020, because of the situation Israel have put it under.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            It doesn’t take removing hundreds of thousands of settlers to create a very contiguous Palestinian State. It takes removing less than 50,000. In any case, yes, settlers are removable, their cooperation is optional, settlers have been removed in the past, and they can be removed in the future.

            Gaza’s problem is overpopulation where the population has risen from 280,000 in 1967 to 1,800,000 today and the water resources can not handle the demand. Clearly this overpopulation is the result of Israel’s genocidal policies. In other words, not Israel’s problem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jack

            Kolumn9

            No one is going to leave that area.
            Also why 50000 and not all of them?
            Why do you think they are removable at all?

            It lives about 1.6 million not 1.8 millions in Gaza. Why did you add 200000?
            Also I advice you to read the report if you dont beliveve me about the culprit of this situation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            50,000 is all it would take for a contiguous Palestinian state. The settlers are removable because Israel has already demonstrated its capacity to remove settlers twice in the past 30 years when the political decisions demand it. In other words, I have precedent on my side.

            As for Gaza, again, the problem is overpopulation. Every other problem is derived from it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Jack

            Kolumn9,

            Problem is that all settlements are illegal. Removing 10% makes no sense legally nor rationally.

            Gaza settlers could neither be compared with the hundreds of thousands of more in the west bank, they cant neither be compared due religious significance for these settlers.

            You are free to read the report. Your rejection only proves you arent interested in fact and reality.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            If the goal of the Palestinians is to have a state they can have that even if Israel annexes the large settlement blocks while removing isolated settlements. If the goal of the Palestinians isn’t that, only then do the settlements become an issue. As to the nonsense about the settlers of the West Bank being different and not being movable. Israel has removed settlements in the West Bank before, so even here you are on historically shaky ground.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      hello Jack. The solution to the Palestinian problem is the same as was the solution to the Saami problem and the Aztec problem and the Moorish problem: co-option and absorption into the larger Hebrew civilization. The Beduiins and the Cherkassim already think that enlisting into the Magav is their best career choice. Two down….. one to go: the Palestinians. They will jump on the train before it leaves the station, just as the Apache bands did in North America. And there hasn’t been a Palestinian born yet who is even ten percent of a ferocious fighter than the Apaches were in their heyday.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Yaron

      A one state solution means that the Pals will have to give up their sovereignty on a national level and the Jewish state will become a lot less Jewish. Both are very unlikely. Next question: will this be a free and democratic state? Now, Israel is, but the PA is not, because that is ‘part of their political culture.’ Hmm. In short: the PA will have to be gobbled up by Israel; under which conditions? Even if in name the Pals will be free, just like their bro’s and sisters in Israel, they will remain second grade citizens for a long time; the price they pay for their higher number in Israeli society.
      And don’t forget everything is connected to the typical Middle East instability (don’t count on any peace agreement) and the fast and steady hatred of the Jews by the Arabs and you understand why no one is moving right now.
      Still I believe this is the only way….

      Reply to Comment
    8. I have never seen “One State” as a solution but rather inevitable outcome. The vanguard settlements will proceed, IDF jurisdiction continue, the PA financially dependent on Israel (as we see today). There will be protests, deaths, incarcerations, a kind of evolved residency status on the West Bank. Israel will have to evolve a jurisprudence greater than the military courts. At some point, possibly as the EU turns against the scene, civil protests, with the additon of militants, will begin. Israel will ultimately then have no choice but to phase in citizenship. Two, three decades, a guess. The dynamics within Israel seem to lead nowhere else.

      Reply to Comment
      • yoav kapshuk

        @greg pollack , what you write is a very realistic analysis of the situation and unfortunately it may happen this way. I hope we will be suprised for the better…

        Reply to Comment
        • The only advocacy I see now is for rights jurisprudence and incorporation of your Declaration of Independence as the foundation of the Israeli constitution. One can begin to prepare for the future by dealing with Arab Israeli discrimination in the courts. You need a constitutional jurisprudence of rights, and you have a text in your Declaration.

          Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Obviously we aren’t going to tell for a while, but I would estimate the probability of your sequence of events to be incredibly, and I mean laughably low. It is incredibly unlikely that there will be a time where Israel’s preferred option would be to ‘phase in citizenship’ for Palestinians. There isn’t even a set of incentives or punishments that can drive Israel into this direction since it is suicidal to the entire core of Israel’s raison d’etre, which is being a state where Jews control their own fate. Israel will turn North Korea before it goes into this direction.

        The hopes you place on changes in the legal system are also misplaced. The current legal system in the territories is entirely used to and is capable of handling the protests, deaths and incarcerations that you seem to believe would force a change. In either case, even were this system to evolve it would still operate under the aegis of the IDF and not under the normal civilian court system of Israel. For your sequence of events to sort of play out Israel would have to unilaterally annex the entirety of the West Bank so as to remove the very mature and solid legal structures of the occupation and replace them with some second-class version of Israeli law answerable structurally to the Israeli civilian government. In such a scenario it would be difficult over time to sustain the distinction between Israeli and Palestinian civilians in the realm of law and rights under the existing legal system, which as a result is likely to collapse and be replaced by something even less pleasing to liberal eyes than the current system.

        Reply to Comment
        • Then you must kill them, en mass, or in a trickling, as they rebel; or expunge them, as is happening in Area C and some B. You must brutalize their faces with your feet without end. You must take racial hatred into you with the certainty of the past.

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            You are reaching in a heavily non-linear and sentimental fashion. No one has to die and no one has to leave. Israel just needs to create a system where it can ignore the Palestinians, including renouncing claims on populated areas and not taking responsibility for the internal affairs of the populated areas.

            Whether the Palestinians call such an entity a state, a bantustan, an empire, an emirate, a libertarian paradise or a donkey, is entirely irrelevant. That is until they choose leaders that are interested in living side-by-side with Israel instead of replacing it, at which point a nicer arrangement might be possible.

            The situation described above is also known as the current status quo and there are no particular structural impediments to its continuation, nor have any realistic alternatives been proposed. Outbreaks of violence only push Israel further into this direction, not towards integration as should be obvious from the outcome of both intifadas. Likewise, external pressure on Israel would at best lead to additional progress towards such a scenario, as do Palestinian efforts to achieve international legitimacy for their entity.

            Reply to Comment
          • You treat these millions as less than Israelis, think, demand, that they endure what yours should not have to endure. You describe bantuization logic just as the apartheid government of South Africa did. But as occupation control grows, Israelis will want to do business even in the bantus. And then you will discover that the race fractures, that civil unrest will lead some Israeli business to demand a solution for the gain of profit; there is so much labor there. Israel will evolve; Israelis will evolve. Exploitation itself will create new paths.

            Your logic is ruthlessly racial. No one is as good as yours. This will be the downfall of your position. After much travail.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            The Palestinians can choose peace in which case everybody wins or they can choose continued conflict in which the conflict turns into a zero-sum game. So far and repeatedly they have chosen continued conflict. Why should I put the interests of non-Israelis at or above the interests of Israelis? You are free to do so, of course, but that is hardly a reasonable position to make decisions from or to take positions on if one has the best interests of Israel and Israelis at heart. I also fail to see how putting the interests of fellow citizens above those of non-citizens is in any way a racist proposition, nor do I believe you will have much luck convincing others of such an assertion. It seems entirely a common sense position to us mere mortals, but then again I am only human and do not possess your divine qualities of detachment and judgement.

            Your analogies are also silly and misplaced. The Palestinian state/entity is outside the borders of Israel and the population living there has never had Israeli citizenship and doesn’t seem to be marching in the streets with Israeli flags. There are no residents of Israel who are being forced to move to the Palestinian state/entity, nor is anyone’s citizenship being annulled or replaced. There is minimal economic value in doing business with the Palestinians. They are not cheap as labor and are easily replaced as a labor force. They are a tiny market for products and they produce nearly nothing of value. Israeli Jews do not as a rule visit the Palestinian areas (except for a few crazies that do it to make a point). In other words, separation from the Palestinians in the West Bank causes no real issues for the Israeli economy and no one is going to demand a change of the status quo because economically they miss the Palestinian areas of the West Bank. Likewise you are going to have to wait quite a while before you find an economic lobby whose primary motivation is to gain access to the lucrative Gaza market. The “civil unrest”, also known as suicide bombings, already happened and the Israeli economy dealt with it without too many calls for increased integration (and by ‘too many’ I mean the calls were nearly unanimously for separation) despite the large number of Palestinians working in Israel at the time. Your references to some fictional economic dependency that Israel has on the Palestinians or their labor suggests that you read too many books on the conflict from the mid-1980s. You really should refresh your library.

            Reply to Comment
          • Wow. I’m making progress.

            On Israeli economic encroachment: please see Abu Sarah’s piece:

            http://972mag.com/the-palestinian-dilemma-between-ideology-and-reality/56131/

            You seriously think bantu islands of millions surrounded by Israeli soverignty are not going to tempt business? You seriously think such islands are going to live that way for generations? You seriously think that what you say the world is is what it must be? And as to all Israeli citizens being alike–did you enjoy the Citizenship Law decision, which seems to have been based on the “demographic threat?” Think beyond your present war. There will be a beyond.

            Reply to Comment
          • …Citizenship Law decision which seems to have been based on the “demographic threat?”

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            However you describe the Palestinian economy it is a tiny market, access to which is and always has been subservient to security and political considerations with minimal objection from the business sector.

            I seriously think that the effective separation between Israel and the major Palestinian population centers will remain for generations. What that looks like – whether it is within a small Palestinian state, a confederation with Jordan, or under some sort of variation of the status quo I really can’t predict. What I am fundamentally aware of is that there are so few factors that would change this reality that you are forced to come up with imaginary and presently non-existent economic pressures that have historically have had no impact on Israeli decision making.

            What the world is, is what the world is. It even changes according to its own rules, and certainly not in any predestined direction, which given a lack of room for error suggests the prudence of a very conservative approach.

            I enjoyed the citizenship law decision very much. What I saw was a large number of relatively liberal jurists accepting that a liberal approach to some policies can have the long-term impact of undermining the state and society. In that case specifically it was an immigration policy that gave preference to individuals who are highly likely to pose a security threat in the future, which is hardly a rational policy to have.

            I am very much thinking past the ‘current war’ and how to end it in a way that ensures the continued existence and survival of Israel. Unfortunately the only way to do that is to demonstrate conclusively and brutally that this is the only available outcome for all concerned so that they adjust their expectations accordingly.

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    9. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      If you want people to start discussing a one-state solution, you’d better hide that flag you’ve got on the home page under your by-line.

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      • yoav kapshuk

        why do you think that the flag cant contain elements from both ethnic nations? Is it must be neutral? (by the way the picture wasn’t my choice but the editors…)

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    10. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Not at this point, no. There’s one way to find out, though. Sew up a flag with that design, take it down to the streets of Gaza and Hebron, unfurl it and show it around: “How do you like our proposed flag, which will fly over the new state of Palestine from the river to the sea?” If the Arabs love the idea, then I guess I was wrong.

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      • yoav kapshuk

        @Aaron The Fascist Troll of course that today it unrealistic and most of the people on both sides have not preferd the one state solution. but what my piece try to show is that the far future may be in this scenario. its not a wish but a realistic analysis of the politics.

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    11. Kolumn9

      Cite your sources. 28% Jewish support for a unitary democratic state which includes the Palestinians doesn’t sound credible.

      I have yet to see a poll that puts a binational state that includes the Palestinians at higher than 15% among Israeli Jews. Even there half of the support came from the right-wing that see a binational state as ..egh.. not exactly a unitary democratic state and most certainly don’t include Gaza in that state.

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    12. Bluegrass Picker of Afula

      >>> At some point, possibly as the EU turns against the scene

      I think you mean the EU Leftists. But: they will be rotting in their graves, having been massacred by the Breivik devotees.

      >>> civil protests, with the additon of militants, will begin.

      Ah, my friend….. that’s when we will pull out the:

      > kill them, en mass, or in a trickling, as they rebel; or expunge them, as is happening in Area C and some B. You must brutalize their faces with your feet without end.

      According to my study of biology, all living organisms actually only live as long as they struggle precisely as you describe above, to fight off the natural physical forces of entropy which try to turn complex, well-organized biochemical “entities” back into topsoil. So, just as we wrested Tel Aviv out of our opponents hands…. everything west of our East River will become Hebraicized.

      The Spaniards made the Al Andalus colonialists disappear: just by being focused enough, organized enough…. and ruthless enough. It will work for us, also.

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      • You are, Picker, a poster boy for why +972 exists. You are a Social Darwinist. So too were the Nazis. But Germany is a strong social economy now, given a hand by its former enemies in the West. Social economics outstripes your understanding.

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    13. Franz

      How about another type of two state solution: Once state for the secular Palestinians and Israelis, with Tel Aviv/Jaffa as its capital, and another state for religious and dogmatic lunatics of all kinds.. they can have Jerusalem.

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      • yoav kapshuk

        there are many others suggestions for one two state solution. this suggestion. into the israeli society there also many people who prefer to establish a state on the area between Gedera and Hadera (the coadtal plain). but practicaly all these suggestions not seen serious.

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    14. un2here

      Discussing whether a one-state solution is possible or not is at best misguided. It is very possible – this is what we have and have had since -67. The question is what kind of state, if the Apartheid as it is implemented should be upheld indefinitely? On what moral basis? I don’t believe that will work on any level, security or otherwise, leaving only one road ahead: One man, one vote!

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    15. Ali Saleh Shamkhani

      A one state solution of Palestine is the only obvious solution. However, the zionists will need to return to Europe, since allowing these colonists to stay in Palestine does not redress the theft of Palestine

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    16. Sandy Tolan

      Hello Yoav Kapshuk, I am Sandy Tolan, American journalist and author of The Lemon Tree and Children of the Stone. I am in Jerusalem and would like to contact you. Would you be willing to contact me via email? sandytolan@gmail.com

      thank you. I am here through this Wednesday.

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