Over the weekend Electronic Intifada broke a story that the Israeli government is stamping the the passports of people intending to visit the West Bank as “Judea & Samaria only.” Up until very recently these same passports were stamped “Palestinian Authority only.” Writing at EI, Ali Abunimah says:
The latest change is further proof, if it were needed, that Israel is, without announcing it, implementing a racist one-state solution where there is no such thing as a Palestinian state and even the “Palestinian Authority” has been erased.
It’s unclear when this change began, the EI story uses an example dated November 26th. The move does serve as a clear indication that Israel is formally claiming its sovereignty over the occupied West Bank (the EI story uses the phrase “effective annexation”).
This story, and Abunimah’s comment above, speak to a point that has been raised with increasing frequency in past years – the one state/two state debate ignores the reality on the ground. There is already one state, the question is what kind of state will it be? Yousef Munayyer made the point over Twitter this weekend:
The debate over Israel/Palestine is no longer about One State vs Two but merely what type of One State outcome we will have.
— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) December 2, 2012
Democracy or apartheid? Jewish state or state of all its citizens? Or something else? This shift in discourse should be interesting to watch, and will be an opportunity to re-frame the debate on what is needed for a just outcome in Israel/Palestine – freedom, justice and equality for all.