Years ago at The Nation magazine I asked Henry Siegman about a one-state democracy and he said it was impossible to imagine, dismissed the possibility. Now Siegman, the former head of the World Jewish Congress, grasps that the business of imagining a democratic outcome is far more important than a business to which he dedicated much of his life, Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East. He is a great leader.
This is a piece at the National Interest about the urgency of stripping away the “disguise” that Greater Israel has maintained in the West. That is media work, of course, work we do here. Notice Siegman’s use of “Jews-only” highways, eschewing the usual prevarication about the fact that even Palestinian Israelis may use those roads.
(By the way, Siegman tries to resuscitate the two-state solution near the end of the piece. I think this is a common response. Because folks imagine a one-state paradigm will require decades to materialize and they want an exit ramp sooner.)
The Middle East peace process is dead. More precisely, the two-state solution is dead…
The question can no longer be whether the current impasse may lead to a one-state outcome; it has already done so. There is also no longer any question whether this government’s policies will lead to what can legitimately be called apartheid, as former prime minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli leaders predicted they would. Palestinians live in a one-state reality, deprived of all rights, and enclosed in enclaves surrounded by military checkpoints, separation walls, roadblocks, barbed-wire barriers and a network of “for-Jews-only” highways…
Israeli decision-making elites long ago made a cold cost-benefit calculation that the benefits of establishing permanent Israeli control over the entire West Bank exceed the cost..
It is unlikely that even those Western democracies accustomed to pandering to their Israeli lobbies would be prepared to shield Israel from condemnations and sanctions when its apartheid can no longer be disguised. One must assume that no American president wouldagain declare at a UN General Assembly that Palestinian victims of such a system should seek relief not from the UN or international courts but from their occupiers….
Paradoxically, only Palestinians can make that happen. By abandoning the Palestinian Authority, ending the ugly Fatah-Hamas rivalry and mounting a struggle for full citizenship rights in the Greater Israel they now live in, Palestinians will challenge not only Israel’s public but also the United States and the international community to finally stand up to the most reactionary government in Israel’s history.