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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 'one-state solution'

A recent poll shows that more and more 'Palestinians' are in favor of a 'one-state solution' to the Israeli - Arab conflict. David Hazony wonders why.
There are only two possibilities. One is the way Palestinian lives look compared with those of Israelis next door, and especially Israeli Arabs, who enjoy a degree of freedom and prosperity not found anywhere in the Arab world. Indeed, a poll taken some years back suggests that of all the possible political regimes, most Palestinians would prefer democracy, and not just any democracy, but specifically a parliamentary democracy along the Israeli model. Perhaps they see joining Israel as a possible solution to their economic and civic plight? To roadblocks and unemployment?

The problem with this view is that Palestinians don’t seem to like Israelis very much, and it’s hard to believe that any of them want to live together in harmony with people who they’ve always been told are the devil incarnate. Nor does this approach match decades of internal Palestinian rhetoric, including Abbas’ own, which has rarely wavered in its long-term goal of redeeming all of Palestine and ridding the world of Israel. If what really concerned Palestinian leaders was their economic and civic plight, moreover, why are they so resistant to Western efforts to build their economic infrastructure? Why do they so imperatively demand that Israel stop building settlements, when they are the source of many thousands of Palestinian jobs? Why do they insist on supporting terrorism, which only triggers more Palestinian suffering? Why does no serious democratic movement emerge as an alternative to the Palestinian authority? And why does Hamas have such a strong appeal — even though Gazans under Hamas have suffered so horribly in economic terms compared with Palestinians in the West Bank?

The other possibility is that the problem they’re solving is Israel’s very existence. A bi-national state would solve that nominally, by eliminating the “Jewish” state in their midst, creating a huge Palestinian electoral force in the parliament of the new Israel-Palestine. And it would solve it substantively, through the long-term demographic advantage that Palestinians’ high birth rates would give — or more immediately, as millions of Palestinian refugees would flood the country as part of the “Right of Return” they would necessarily demand as a condition for creating such a state. It also explains the appeal of Hamas, because it, too, offers an alternative solution to the problem of Israel — destroy it through violence.

But if that’s the real meaning of a bi-national state in Palestinian eyes, doesn’t this call into question their motives in peace negotiations with Israel? No, I still don’t get it.
Actually, I think David gets it just fine, but he doesn't want to say it because it calls the entire premise of a 'peace process' into question.

The 'peace process' is based on the notion that both sides want peace. That notion is false. For the 'Palestinians,' the goal has always been to destroy the State of Israel. The demand for a 'Palestinian' state and for the 'right of return' for 'refugees' were just means of leaving Israel overwhelmed with 'refugees' and burdened with indefensible borders.

The 'one-state solution' is a more direct way of reaching the same place. In a 'one-state solution' there would be no right for Jews to immigrate to the state (there would be no law of return for Jews as we have today), but the 'Palestinians' would presumably insist on a 'right of return.' While Israel would not have indefensible borders, because its borders would include Judea and Samaria and maybe even Gaza, it would be overwhelmed demographically by returning Arab 'refugees' who would relegate the Jews to minority status in their own country. The assumption is that the Jews would leave or would be quickly reduced to dhimmi status. The Jewish state would be destroyed.

What could go wrong?


At 7:48 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is being asked to choose between the rope and the bullet. Somehow, I don't find either means of execution pleasant.

There is no "peace process" no matter much deluded Westerners and Israeli politicians who have mistakenly sold them on the notion, would like to believe it will end in a settlement of the conflict. The Palestinians don't want a state and nothing Israel could offer them would ever induce them to make peace.

The conflict and the status quo will continue for a very long time because none of the alternatives are workable or practical and no one wants change. On that point, Hillary Clinton was wrong in her AIPAC address. For peace to be possible, the Palestinians would have to want it as much as Israel.

They don't and the proximity talks are not going to begin any time soon.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Alexander Maccabee said...

One-state, yes... provided we throw all the Arabs out. Complete the "exchange of populations" as prescribed by Rav Meir Kahane[may God avenge his blood].

At 11:50 AM, Blogger BernardZ said...

For the Palestinians a one state solution is also a good bargaining position. It means they can take back everything they have agreed too.


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