The struggle to define the one state in Israel/Palestine

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:

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.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation, One state/Two states

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

  1. amigo says:

    All the while , Israel,s propagandists,(hasbarists) are busy spreading lies throughout the Capitals of the world claiming

    ISRAEL WANTS PEACE”.

    ISRAEL SEEKS PEACE.

    ISRAEL EXTENDS IT,S HAND

    Blah, blah, blah ad infinitum.

    The only question remains is what are their plans for all the Non Jews that will still be in their Jewish democracy.

  2. Rusty Pipes says:

    “Democracy or apartheid” or a mostly ethnically-cleansed state (with the few Palestinians allowed to remain for staffing some tourist attractions and religious shrines granted rights somewhere between those of Bahais in Haifa and Asian undocumented workers)?

  3. The geographical areas referred to are not the same. “Judea and Samaria” (the West Bank) includes the areas under direct military occupation as well as the PA areas. And the settlements too, of course. So does the change mean an expansion in the areas the holders of the passports are allowed to visit?

    • Avi_G. says:

      That’s a very good question. Given that the word “only” is included could be an indication that Israel has unilaterally annexed the land on which the colonies are built.

      • Avi_G. says:

        But since Israel is able to continue to confiscate Palestinian land and build colonies, then the area that constitutes “Judea and Samaria” is elastic; it will continue to grow.

        Israel has basically annexed the entire West Bank without actually appearing to have done so all at once.

        The change in the stamp also indicates that Israel no longer recognizes the Palestinian Authority or its jurisdiction, as if to say that the Oslo Accords are null and void as far as Israel is concerned.

  4. Avi_G. says:

    Since Israel has violated the trust of the United States so many times, and given that several European countries have summoned Israeli ambassadors to explain why Israel authorized the construction of yet more colonies a mere day after Palestine won a seat at the UNGA, how can anyone continue to trust the rhetoric coming out of Tel-Aviv?

  5. Jerry J says:

    you mean out of Jerusalem

    • jerry, avi is israeli so i assume he means tel aviv if he says tel aviv. perhaps it has to do with the mention of ambassadors, there are no embassies in jerusalem and none likely to be there, ever unless the status of palestine changes. although the ‘summons’ by EU countries probably means to their capitals.

      anyway, this is an old thread and avi may not read your comment since you didn’t hit ‘reply’. location location location.