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To Bibi: The Time Has Come (for One Democratic State)

By       Message Justine McCabe     Permalink
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I never imagined agreeing with Bibi Netanyahu. But there, just before the Israeli election, outright rejection of an independent Palestinian state. Hallelujah!

Forget his post-victory back peddling. It's what we always knew. But now Bibi has opened the door to the only sustainable alternative: one democratic state (ODS) for all between the River Jordan and Mediterranean. One country for all its citizens, the national home of two peoples. Voting rights for all, Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) just like their 600,000 Jewish- Israeli settler neighbors.

Implicitly Bibi acknowledges that Israel-Palestine has already emerged as a de facto one state, the "Green Line" having been eroded by Jewish settlers pouring into the West Bank. As former Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti, put it," "You cannot unscramble that egg."

In truth, it would not have mattered which Jewish-Israeli party had won, left or right. Each is Zionist, devoted to maintaining Jewish hegemony at the expense of democracy for all its citizens. Even if Palestinians were to agree to the fragmented "state-let" Israel disingenuously proposed in the past, this "two state solution" would do nothing for greater legal and political realities:

First, it would not end apartheid within Israel. Racism is untenable but as in South Africa and Jim Crow U.S., only institutionalized, " legal" racism is "apartheid" under the UN's International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Israel, by law, has institutionalized privilege of Jews over non-Jews within Israel and the OPT, defining itself as the state of the Jews worldwide rather than the country of all its citizens:

For example, the 2011 [Bertrand] Russell Tribunal on Palestine, lists Israeli laws and legislation giving exclusive land and citizenship rights to Jewish-Israelis, and despite Palestinian citizens ability to vote, "the tribunal concludes that Israel's rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid."


Jewish-Israeli anthropologist Uri Davis describes the process by which quasi-governmental agencies--World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund--maintain Israel's discriminatory land polities, committed to serving interests of Jews alone. "It is through this mechanism of legal duplicity . . . , that the State of Israel has successfully veiled the reality of Zionist apartheid in the guise of legal democracy. . . ." (Apartheid Israel, p. 48, 2003).

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By such "legal" land control mechanisms, Palestinian citizens of Israel can access only about 7 percent of the land, a situation worse than apartheid South Africa's "influx control" policy restricting black South Africans to 13 percent of the land.

Second, only ODS could realistically implement Palestinian refugees' inalienable right to return to their homes in Israel, the sine qua non of resolving the conflict: 70+ percent of the majority native population of historic Palestine were dispossessed and ethnically cleansed in 1947-1949, facts affirmed by many historians, including Jewish Israeli historians, like Ilan Pappe and Benny Morris. This dispossession continues as territory like East Jerusalem, the Naqab are Judaized.

But return doesn't mean pushing Jewish-Israelis "into the sea." Among plans offered for a regulated return for those choosing so, the most detailed is from Salmon Abu-Sitta: the majority of current Israeli residents would experience no displacement, since 80% of Jewish-Israelis live in about 15% of the country; the majority of refugees could return to vacant or underpopulated areas from which they came. http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/arabunity/2008/03/200852519351587150.html;


Third, the international political tide is growing against Israeli oppression of Palestinians especially through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement whose recent support came from the Presbyterian Church, USA among others. http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/round-up-13017. Moreover, recent polls indicate that Americans of different backgrounds may be ahead of Jewish and US leaders on Israel-Palestine.

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In a December 5, 2014 survey of Americans by the Brookings Institute, when asked about their preferred solution to the conflict, 34% said "One (democratic) state"--up from 24% a year ago, while 39% supported "Two states." Significantly, when asked if the two-state solution were not possible, a whopping 71% of Americans polled favored one state in which Palestinians and Jews were equal, over a state where a Jewish majority were sustained and Jews were privileged over Palestinian citizens. And (take note President Obama), of those favoring this ODS solution, 84% were Democrats.


Israel-Palestine, as "one, apartheid state," is not sustainable. For decades, American taxpayers have underwritten unequivocal US support for Israel even as it violates international law and corrupts American values of equality before the law.

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Justine McCabe earned doctorates in cultural anthropology (area specialty, Middle East) and psychology which she practices in New Milford. CT. She's worked in Lebanon, Iran and the Palestinian Occupied Territories, and is a former co-chair of the (more...)

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To Bibi: The Time Has Come (for One Democratic State)