Sunday, August 17, 2008

The strange case of the one state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


Lately it has become the fashion to threaten that if Israel does not agree to Palestinian peace terms, a one-state solution or a binational state will be the only solutions, or to put these solutions forward as the best solutions.

Ahmed Qurei made this threat not long ago:

The Palestinian leadership has been working on establishing a Palestinian state within the '67 borders," Qureia said.

"If Israel continues to oppose making this a reality, then the Palestinian demand for the Palestinian people and its leadership [would be] one state, a binational state," he added at the meeting held in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Sari Nusseibeh noted with much less enthusiasm that such a "solution" would have to be considered. He told Akiva Eldar in a Haaretz interview:

"I still favor a two-state solution and will continue to do so, but to the extent that you discover it's not practical anymore or that it's not going to happen, you start to think about what the alternatives are...

Nusseibeh says the struggle for a one-state solution could take a form similar to some of the nonviolent struggles waged by oppressed ethnic groups in other places.

"We can fight for equal rights, rights of existence, return and equality, and we could take it slowly over the years and there could be a peaceful movement - like in South Africa," he notes. "I think one should maybe begin on the Palestinian side, to begin a debate, to reengage in the idea of one state."

Nusseibeh, who apparently disregards Israeli rights in Jerusalem entirely, also bases his thesis on the assumption that Palestinians have given up on the demand for return of refugees as he has proposed. From that point of view, the Palestinian proposals appear to be a reasonable choice for Israel, and the alternative one state solution would be a less desirable one. An alternative for Israel to fear in fact. But the Palestinian Authority insists that they have not given up the demand for refugee "rights" and Israel is not going to abrogate all national rights in East Jerusalem, and Israel may have in mind quite a different "one state solution." 

Continued at Palestine & Israel: One state and binational state 'solutions' are frauds 


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