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Palestine: One or Two State Solution

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"The main attraction of a single-state democracy is that it allows all the people to live in and enjoy the entire country while preserving their distinctive communities and addressing their particular needs." 

"It offers the potential to de-territorialize the conflict and neutralize demography and ethnicity as a source of political power and legitimacy."

"The moment Israelis and Palestinians commit themselves to full equality, there is no rationale for separate states."

Most Palestinians want it. Israel remains the stumbling block. Changing its decades-long mindset won't be easy. It's up to resolved internal and external resistance to nudge it.

Jeff Halper and Itay Epshtain co-direct the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Together they addressed the same issue. They co-wrote " In the Name of Justice : ICAHD Raises Key Issues Around a Single State as a Step Towards Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Although not fair and just, they don't reject a two-state solution in principle, especially if Palestinians prefer it. At the same time, conflict resolution must involve the entire region. One state "may represent only a stage, albeit an unavoidable stage, towards a more comprehensive solution."

"If the state is to be inclusive, should it be a unitary democratic state, a bi-national one or a combination? Will the solution be one defined purely by politics, or will the rights and obligations of all parties be guided indeed by international law and human rights treaties?"

Israel wants occupation legalized and permanent. Palestinians want and deserve sovereign freedom. Democratic legitimacy requires one nation for all its people, irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or other differentiating characteristics. 

It requires institutionalized equal rights, observance of international law principles, and ending decades of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

It requires ending what's no longer tolerable and never was. It requires treating Arabs and Jews equally. It requires establishing binding statutes mandating it. It requires enforcing them. It requires commitment to do the right thing.

According to Halper and Epshtain:

"With the end of the two-state solution, only three options remain: apartheid, warehousing or a one-state solution."

Israel is comfortable with the first. Under international law, it's illegal. The second normalizes the status quo. It helps make the Palestinian issue disappear. So does focusing on Iran, other manufactured threats, and/or bread and circus distractions.

Resistance alone isn't enough, say both writers. 

"We must see ourselves as political actors, and following the lead of our Palestinian partners we must formulate and pursue solutions that will provide justice, peace and the full range of human rights -- civil, political, social, economic and cultural -- guaranteed by international law."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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