Posted by: Lister | January 24, 2008

One-State Solution

Haaretz has an article on this topic, regarding how views are changing: Rebranding the left.

A worrying change has been evolving among the Israeli left in recent years. The traditional peace-camp solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – two nations, two states – has fallen out of favor, and its supporters’ ranks have dwindled. Instead, other voices have been advocating, with increasing confidence, a single bi-national state.

The two-state option is increasingly seen as anachronistic, conservative, overly Zionist and unjust.

[…] The one-state advocates still don’t have a joint program or political front, but the balance within the left is changing. The peace organizations’ conference in Madrid exploded last month after radical leftist activists refused to sit in the same hall with Peace Now representatives, claiming they were “an arm of the occupation.” They drafted a document focusing on the one-state principle.

The drift toward one state is obvious in the Arab leadership in Israel. The Arab legal organization Adalah has recently revoked its traditional stand and called for the creation of a single constitutional state between the Jordan and the sea. Even Hadash is drawing away de facto from the two-state idea.

[…] It would be a mistake to underestimate this process, with the claim that it involves Arabs and a handful of people on Sheinkin and at Tel Aviv University. Even if this idea’s supporters are a minority, they are affecting the left-wing’s discourse, re-demarcating the borders of what is “just” and “moral” and damaging the sense of justice and inner conviction of a wider left-wing circle.

[…] If the two states for two nations vision loses its active, dedicated public of supporters – its activist, ideological engine – its implementation is in danger.

So the two-state solution needs rebranding — to make it hip again. I see it as a doddering old man who had his chance. How long have we waited for a two-state solution?

And I think that doddering old man gets a kick up the arse to hurry him along each and every time the one-state solution is mentioned. Listen to Olmert: ‘Two-state solution, or Israel is done for’:

“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Haaretz Wednesday, the day the Annapolis conference ended in an agreement to try to reach a Mideast peace settlement by the end of 2008.

“The Jewish organizations, which were our power base in America, will be the first to come out against us,” Olmert said, “because they will say they cannot support a state that does not support democracy and equal voting rights for all its residents.”

Olmert pointed out that he had said similar things in an interview he gave four years ago, when he was deputy prime minister under Ariel Sharon, in which he revealed for the first time his proposal for a withdrawal from most of the occupied territories.

The only thing driving Olmert (and, before him, Sharon) towards a two-state solution is the fear that they might have to defend Israel from comparisons with South African Apartheid. If the two-state plan fails, so does Israel.

Already people are using the word ‘Apartheid’ to describe roads through Palestinian territory in the West Bank that Palestinians cannot use. The wall Israel has built is called the ‘Apartheid Wall’. People are seeing the Occupation as an injustice and as racism.

The two-state solution needs to be quick.

I’ve made a “one-state solution” category for the blog. That means I’ll have to find the other posts I’ve made on this subject and file them. Eventually!


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