Is Gideon Levy against a binational state?

Gideon Levy is excellent as usual in his new article about the fake peace process and the silly show Obama and Bibi just put on.  But one thing stood out fat me. In the first and last sentences of the article, Levy stated the obvious truth which I rejoice in but which he seems to regard as a failure:

The chance that a binational state will be established has improved as a result [of Obama's making nice with Netanyahu]

and his finish to the article:

Get ready for the binational state, or the next round of bloodletting.

Let me say that Gideon Levy has been an incredible inspiration to me for a long time.  My work in Students for Justice in Palestine at Cal State Northridge was made much easier due to being able to use him as an example of a Jewish Israeli critic of Israeli policies.  I also know for a fact that many a Palestinian and Muslim I know have been heartened upon learning of a Jewish Israeli who thinks more like them than the Israel Lobby.

I would like to give such a courageous and accomplished man the benefit of the doubt.  However, these quotes really do sound like the typical "liberal" Zionist "let’s get the two state solution before it’s too late and we have to share a state with Palestinians" J-Street esque sentiment.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, One state/Two states

{ 11 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. potsherd says:

    A lot of Palestinians still prefer the 2S option. A lot of them don’t want to share Palestine with the Jews. It’s not an illegitimate position to take.

    • Colin Murray says:

      They might prefer it, but imo they are not going to get it, at least not a viable contiguous area where they could build a civil society with Israeli interference. The best they will do for a 2ss is a fragmented collection of little statelets organizationally linked by a Palestinian government ruled by their equivalent of our Israel Lobby.

      Israel will ensure that any Palestinian pseudo-state is maximally hindered in economic, civil, and social development. They don’t want a successful empowered Palestinian people as neighbors, if for no other reason than simple spite at (assuming that a Palestinian shell-state is created in the West Bank) failing to finish ethnic cleansing all Palestinians west of the Jordan River.

      I think spite at failing to colonize Gaza is half the reason for Israeli enmity towards it. Mean-spirited temper tantrums seem to be a fundamental principle of Israeli foreign policy.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      A lot of Palestinians still prefer the 2S option. A lot of them don’t want to share Palestine with the Jews.

      Five years ago, Palestinians overwhelmingly favored two-state. The numbers are no longer overwhelming. A binational state is becoming more popular by the day.

  2. Oscar says:

    I think it was more a sarcastic tweak to the AIPACers high-fiving after Obama’s shameful capitulation yesterday. Levy was saying, watch out what you wish for — next thing you know, the Zionists will be stuck with a binational state . . . and more bloodletting. That’s how I read it.

  3. sherbrsi says:

    Levy, in an interview, identified himself as a Zionist, and a proponent of the two-state arrangement.

    While Levy’s commentary is insightful, and his compassion is heartfelt (compared to the crocodile tears that have come to define liberal Zionism, and even his colleague Bradley Burston), he isn’t perfect.

  4. Dan Kelly says:

    Uri Avnery also recently stated his opposition to a binational state, in response to Mearsheimer’s calling the two-state option a fantasy.

    link to

    I don’t understand how “men of peace” cannot bring themselves to even entertain the idea of Jews and Palestinians living together. Whenever the subject is broached, they suddenly turn into “realists” and trot out all the reasons why it won’t work. Strange indeed for “peace activists.” But then that’s Zionism for ya.

  5. piotr says:

    Hardly ever there was a less promising situation for a binational state. Number one, one can see, say, in Belgium, what happens when hitherto disadvantaged group obtains a majority. To wit, it tries to stick it to the former overlords to the largest possible extend.

    Luckily, the scope of mistreatment that Flemmings can apply to Valoons is rather limited. And here comes the second point: in Israel, what government can do to you is not limited. You can be strip of property, banished, censored. No constitution, and a tradition to disregard courts when inconvenient. There is ample precedent that when “the other side” takes over, it retains all bad habits of former lords.

    So the stakes are very high for all Jewish Israeli to remain in a Jewish state. Yes, the idea is retrograde, but one-nation states are a norm (even if the tribal extreme of Israel is not). Given that, what is the route from A (what we have today) to B (something more civilized). Either it will be a non-violent route, and perhaps a minor military setback, and then the solution would have to be more acceptable to Israelis than “binational state”, or it will be some apocalyptic military defeat.

  6. The unpleasant piece of fecal matter who goes by the name of Richard W. has a comment on Gideon’s article in Haaretz..This ‘mouche a merde’ is spawning its wings. (shudder)

  7. The reasoning that liberals conclude that a two-state solution is preferable to a single state is that in the current geographic setting of the two communities, and their national sentiments, the two-state solution resembles self-determination than a single state.

    Israel/Palestine would be Yugoslavia, ultimately imposed. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have good diplomatic relations, much intermarriage, large minorities, much travel, but they are definitively two states.

    Glatzer advocates, but its hard to say that he takes it seriously as a goal to work for. He is NOT organizing for say an emphasis on civil political affiliation in each, non-nationalist but only towards Israel (from afar).

    It doesn’t create self-determination, consent of the governed. It creates pressure and imposition on the governed.

    Burston, Avneri, Levi prefer a “just” Israel, an “enough” Israel,

    not “no” Israel.

  8. Seham says:

    I guess I don’t really care what his personal views are just as long as he continues to write with integrity as he always has about what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians.