When will the discourse of the ‘two state solution’ finally change?

Weekend with the two state solution
Weekend at The Two State Solution’s, photo collage by author

The two state solution is a corpse, it is dead. But every now and then, as in this latest news of Arab states endorsing modifications to the ’67 lines with minor landswaps, the body jerks forward a bit and threatens to zombify and walk around trying to convince others it’s actually still alive. It is like Weekend at Bernie’s, with John Kerry and Qatari Prime Minister al Thani playing the roles of Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy.

Yet in spite of everything that’s been said and done, inexplicably, there are members of the Palestine solidarity community who still believe in the “two state solution”.  The “two state solution” has become an article of faith for many; a sort of dogma which is at times more rigid than the most fundamentalist of religious believers. 

The prime manifestation of this dogma is the following: “it may not be ideal, but the two state solution is the only realistic way to end this conflict” and “The one state solution is obviously the fairest and most just outcome, but it is pie in the sky utopian thinking which won’t get the Palestinians anything but more misery”. 

According to this school of thought: the forfeiture of the Palestinian right of return (on all but a tiny symbolic basis) and the inequality for (and possible ethnic cleansing of) Palestinian citizens of Israel upon a 2 state deal, are a regrettable and unfortunate sacrifice which must be made.  As our Nobel Laureate President Obama says, “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”.

A strong appeal is made for Palestinians to be “realistic” and accept what they can get within the current “international consensus”.

The support for a 2-state deal is obviously an effort to hold on to a Jewish state. What I seek to do in this article is to attack and undermine the underlying premises of these arguments that bolster support for the “two state solution”.  I seek to reframe the resolution of the Palestinian issue from one of ”negotiations”, “the international consensus”, “international law” and what’s “realistic”, to one of effective resistance to settler-colonialism based on historical context.

When anyone talks about “two states” and “land swaps” rather than equal rights and democracy; when someone glorifies the top-down “international consensus” rather than respect for the rights of the indigenous people, these ideas are part of the problem.

In my opinion, the international consensus (from the bottom up) at this point in time is of democracy and respect for each other’s common humanity; not the creation of racially pure spaces as the “only realistic option”.

1. Israel is a Settler Colony just like the USA, Australia, Canada & New Zealand are settler colonies. Israel is a settler colony like Southern Rhodesia and South Africa were settler colonies until they were decolonized.

Establishing Israel as a settler colony and Zionism as a colonial settler movement underpins my entire analysis.  Settler colonialism is a type of colonialism where instead of wanting to exploit the natives for labor or resources (although this can also be present), the main goal is to replace the natives:

“We must expel Arabs and take their place”

David Ben Gurion’s letter to his son, 1937

Settler-colonialism means creating a new polity on top of people who are already there.  These unfortunate parasites in the way need to be eliminated through either ethnic cleansing (chasing the natives away) or genocide (exterminating the natives) or a combination of both strategies.  The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, aka the Nakba of 1947-1949, helped Israel to accomplish their goal of founding their settler-colony.

As the editors of the excellent Jadaliyya state:

“Second, we were perplexed by the ongoing application of ever-newer theoretical approaches that seek to understand the constantly shifting situation on the ground: we feel that, taken together, these discrete approaches tend to undermine holistic, structural analysis. The framework of comparative settler colonialism offers important insights and interventions that, while not all new, provide productive scaffolding for thinking about Palestine. Comparative settler colonialism rejects the exceptionalism that is ascribed to Zionism and Israel, and to Palestine and Palestinians, and it opens the situation to comparison with other contemporary and historical settler colonial cases.”

Every Palestinian activist must internalize this crucial fact from which everything else follows. The discourse of settler-colonialism is integral to our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.

2.  If in the mid-1800’s, an American settler sought to be an advocate of Native Americans, yet refused to disassociate himself from the settler colonial ideology of Manifest Destiny, no Native American (or Mexican) in their right mind would have considered them an ally.

The “two state solution” is based on the racial-separatist logic of partition and is inextricably linked to the ideology of Zionism. I don’t think its advocates are effective allies for justice today.

3. A settler colony has never fully abided by any treaty it has signed.

To my knowledge, there has never been a settler-colony which has fully respected a treaty it has signed with indigenous people, and probably few which have even partially respected one.  Placing Israel within the context of settler-colonialism allows us to make a useful comparison to American history.  It shows us that the “peace process” and the “two state solution” would be just a modern-day example of the treaties the American government signed with the First Nations peoples of what is now the USA.

4. An indigenous people have never been able to save themselves from near extermination by making concessions of land or rights to the settler colony.

Would advocates of the “two state solution” have advised the Five Civilized Tribes to sign the treaties with the US government or to resist?

Signing away land and rights was the only “realistic” and “responsible” thing the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole could have possibly done. In a very savvy and pragmatic fashion, these “Five Civilized Tribes” did absolutely everything which the settler colonial government asked of them.

Between 1814 and 1824, these tribes signed treaties with the US government to give up much of their land, in hopes of salvaging whatever land they had left. It was a laudable and realistic move. Predictably, it was still not enough, because the thirst of the settler-colonial genocidal ideology of Manifest Destiny was unquenchable. Instead of honoring the treaties, President Andrew Jackson started Indian Removal.

In 1838 and 1839, the Cherokee were the only tribe of the Five tribes to not sign a removal treaty. They were forced at gunpoint to embark on their Trail of Tears, and to agree to a 19th century version of the 2 state solution: The Cherokee got part of the Oklahoma Territory, and the settler colony got the rest. Pragmatic, non-cultish… sublime.

The reward for their pragmatism in finally accepting their 2 state solution was further “land runs” and the opening up of much of their precious few remaining lands for white settlement.

To my knowledge, there is no case in modern history where indigenous people signed away part of their land, and the settlers were satisfied and left the indigenous people alone after that.  Just as the logic of Manifest Destiny in America didn’t allow for halting the expansion of settlements, neither does the logic of Zionism.  Even if Palestinians renounced their right of return, allowed the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and accepted their Area A bantustans as a “state” called Palestine, would this really be the end of the Zionist land runs?

5. History tells us that without the near-extermination of the indigenous people, the settler-colony collapses. 

In the cases of the United States, Canada and Australia the indigenous population has been decimated to the point that they are below 5% of the population in all these countries.  This is what I mean by “near-extermination”.  The indigenous people aren’t entirely eliminated, but they are decimated to a manageably low level so as to not challenge the viability of the settler-colony demographically or militarily.  

In the cases where demographics were on the indigenous peoples’ side (South Africa, Algeria, Northern Rhodesia-Zimbabwe) we see an eventual collapse of the settler-colony.

6.  The 2 state solution is the only thing which will enable the continuation of the Israeli settler colony.

“If we annex the West Bank to Israel and grant citizenship to the Palestinians – Israel will become a bi-national state without a Jewish majority. If we annex the territories and not grant citizenship to Palestinians, Israel will no longer be a democracy. We only have one option to keep Israel Jewish and democratic state and to ensure a real chance for peace: We must leave the West Bank. Two states for two peoples.”
Why Israel Needs a two state solution, Peace Now, 2011

“If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the State of Israel is finished,”
Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, Haaretz, 2007

“J Street believes that urgently reaching a sustainable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is both a fundamental American interest and essential to the survival and security of Israel.”
The Urgency of a Two-State Solution, J Street

I could attach more quotes from Tzipi Livni, the Reut Institute, and Ehud Barak, but I’m sure you get the picture. The two-state solution is a refuge for supporters of maintaining a Jewish state. So… isn’t it a bit strange that some activists are advocating the only “solution” that renders Israel fundamentally secure as a settler colony for the long run?

If the rejection of a two state solution is really a rejection of a Jewish state in Palestine, then it follows that the rejection of a two state solution is really a rejection of the state of Israel.  I think it’s now time for not just pro-Palestine activists, but all peace-loving people of conscience throughout the world, to reject the two-state solution, reject the idea of a Jewish state, and continue the fight for equality and democracy from the River to the Sea.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, One state/Two states | Tagged , ,

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

  1. MHughes976 says:

    A 1ss can bring rather unpredictable cultural change. Look what happened to England when a sort of medieval 1ss was created with Wales. We went in a few decades from squabbling over control of Wales with a charismatic rebel, Owain Glyn Dwr, to having a Welsh king of disreputable ancestry, Henry VII, who overthrew the senior descendant of William the Conqueror and whose son changed our religion out of all, or much, recognition.

    • Philip Weiss says:

      Thanks M, I have once again learned from the Comment section. My neighbor is Welsh and I will now provoke him.

      • RoHa says:

        “My neighbor is Welsh and I will now provoke him.”

        Provoking the Welsh is always a good thing. Make suggestions about sheep.

    • RoHa says:

      And, later, a Welsh Prime Minister.
      (He knew my father.)

      • MHughes976 says:

        If you visit Leeds Castle in Kent, which rather justifiably calls itself the most beautiful castle in England, you will see the very room where Katherine, Henry V’s alluring French widow, was seduced by the sexy Welsh harpist Owain Tudor, producing a son who married a very determined woman from a family supposedly excluded from the royal succession, who, keeping ingeniously away from King Richard’s secret police, persuaded the shattered Lancastrian faction to support her son’s claim to the throne. The highly improbable happened. Wouldn’t have done without that 1ss with the Welsh!
        Leeds Castle was the scene of some ME peace talks in the 70s, with no less a person than Moshe Dyan included, as I recall. The medieval moat was considered to be a good anti-terrorist barrier. There’s irrelevant information for you.

        • RoHa says:

          Harri Tudur was a crafty bugger. When the Yorkists put up Lambert Simnel as pretender, he stamped on them, but contemptuously appointed Simnel to the position of kitchen servant. (Warbeck was not so lucky.)
          And he kept a tight hold on the royal purse.
          (Which is why, when we see him paying out a vast sum for decorating a frumentary, we can be pretty sure this was a way of paying off secret agents.)

        • Some of the positions within the royal kitchens were prestigious.

    • lysias says:

      And the dynasty that succeeded the Tudors was Scottish.

  2. amigo says:

    Why has it taken so long for so many intelligent people to figure out that Israel never intended to allow the creation of a Palestinian State.I have been stating this for 15 years.

    The signs have been there for a long time.

    It is good that the discussion will move from the 2SS fiction to one about Palestinian rights and dignity.

  3. miriam6 says:

    “The two state solution is dead.”

    Wishful thinking Mr Glatzer.

    I suspect that the likes of Mr Glatzer are running scared now that the 2SS has new life and momentum in it.

    Apparently, nothing terrifies and troubles delusional advocates of the Disney world fantasy one-state-solution MORE than a SIGNIFICANT break-through in the impasse current I/P TWO state solution model for peace between Israel/Palestine that this latest diplomatic development represents.

    After all, this latest development is an add -on to the 2002 Arab Peace Plan.

    Imagine finding a serious prospect for peace a threat.

    But somehow Glatzer finds it a threatening enough to try to dismiss it out of hand.

    Many commenters on this very site have spoken favourably of the proffered to Israel 2002 Arab peace plan so why be so quick to dismiss it out of hand?

    This latest important breakthrough shows that, in reality, the 2 state solution is the only game in town.

    Continuing to promote the bi-national state “solution” can only serve to prolong the agony of occupation for the Palestinians.

    All for the sake of allowing narcissistic western activists to indulge a fantasy to the detriment of those that live the ghastly reality :

    The Palestinian People under occupation.

    see this link to the Doha debates discussion on right of return and bi-nationalism versus lifting occupation first;

    link to www,yiutube.com.

    How much of a fantasy is the One state solution?

    http://www. Aljazeera.com/news/middle east/2013/04/.

    Also I take it Joseph Glatzer is an American Jew of assimilated Ashkenazi origin.

    Once again a disregard for what Mizrahim might have to say when it comes to discussion about their future security in Israel is simply pushed aside by the Ashkenazi Mr Glatzer.

    If it isn’t Ashkenazi liberal Glatzer deciding Israel’s future over the heads of all Israelis’ including the Mizrahim, then it is that other Israeli liberal Ashkenazi Gideon Levy patronising them.

    How would a bi-national state REALLY function given all the evidence of “peaceful” co-existence between Jews and the Muslim majority Arabic population?
    *********************************************************

    link to blogs.timesofisrael.com.

    *********************************************************

    “Gideon Levy may be the most hated man in Israel, or the most heroic, but the controversial Haaretz columnist has a dream. Recently, he expressed his enthusiasm for turning Israel into ‘one just state for two peoples.’

    One state for two peoples? It has already existed for a while now. More than two peoples live in it – Jews and Arabs; ultra-Orthodox Jews; religious Zionist and secular Jews; Jews of Middle-Eastern descent and Jews of European descent; settlers and Palestinians. (…) This, though, is how an imaginary, just state would appear: It would grant everyone the right to vote, and have a democratic constitution that would protect the rights of all communities and minorities – including an immigration policy like that of all other nations.

    Such a state would have a legislature that would reflect the mosaic of the country, and an elected government formed by a coalition of the communities and the two peoples’ representatives. Yes, a Jewish prime minister with an Arab deputy, or vice versa.

    Levy’s Utopian ‘state of all its citizens’ will replace Zionism with ‘something infinitely more just and sustainable.’ In his dream, the lion will lie down with the lamb and all threats will dissipate. Foreign aid will flood into this cross-confessional nirvana.

    One can assume that ‘an immigration policy like all other nations’ will not privilege Jews over Arabs. Very quickly, Arabs would become a majority, Hatikva would cease to be the national anthem, and the Jews will be forced to give up their national state.
    Levy’s solution has already been tried. It has failed. Lebanon was a mosaic state, but following a bloody civil war, it is little more than a precarious collection of quarreling sects on the edge of another precipice. The Maronite Christians have become a beleaguered minority, prefiguring what will happen to the Jews of Israel. Who said the definition of insanity is proposing the same solution but expecting different results every time?

    Gideon Levy’s dream is the triumph of hope over experience. The 650,000 Jews who sought a haven in Israel and now form a 52 percent Jewish majority – some 300,000 others went to the West – did not escape violence and repression in Arab states in order to find themselves once more under Arab-Muslim dominion.
    Been there for 14 centuries, done that, got the blood-stained T-shirt.
    To all intents and purposes, the Arab world is now judenrein. The fewer the Jews in the Arab world, the greater the Jew-hatred.

    Israel is far from perfect, but no Arab state is remotely comparable. In Israel, minorities enjoy equal status before the law, strenuous strides are being taken to fight social discrimination and prejudice. By contrast, the Arab world’ s record for tolerance and pluralism is disastrous.

    In the wake of the Jews, Copts, Assyrians and Chaldeans are streaming out. The fiercely bigoted Muslim Brotherhood parties have become important players across the Arab world, but they promise only a bleak future of subjugation for women and non-Muslims under Shar’ia law.

    Ultimately, Gideon’s dream is doomed, because it is based on the lie of Jewish-Muslim coexistence. On a visit to Morocco two years ago, Gideon was excited to witness proof of such coexistence: the Jewish cemetery in Fez is beautifully kept and the synagogue restored, he wrote at the time.

    But with 90 percent of the Jews of Morocco gone, the Muslims are coexisting with dead Jews and empty Jewish buildings (which have their uses as tourist attractions). Before the French arrived in 1912, coexistence meant intimidation, constant humiliation by classification as second-class dhimmi citizens, pogroms and coercion by the Muslim majority. The cemetery in Fez contains the grave of Solika, the 19th century martyr, who chose to die a Jewess, rather than convert to Islam. It is her bitter legacy that Gideon Levy needs to confront.

    Anyone but Gideon Levy can see that coexistence between a dwindling 3,000 Jews (where there were once 300,000) and the Muslim majority, has been a dismal failure.

    It is a truism that those who share Gideon Levy’s ill-conceived dream tend to be leftist Ashkenazim who only have contempt and condescension for ‘Jews of Middle Eastern descent.’ The great mass of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in Israel, chastened by their suffering in the Arab world, support ‘right-wing’ parties – they are therefore deemed an’ obstacle’ to peace.

    The Ashkenazi dreamers on the Left, blinded by wishful thinking, deaf to the din of inter-Arab strife unleashed by the Arab Spring, unruffled by ruthless regional power-politics, refuse to take seriously the Mizrahi experience of insecurity and oppression in the Arab world. Zionism did not create Arab anti-Semitism – it was a response to it. Among other things, it vindicates Israel as a Jewish homeland and a Zionist state.

    Dream on, Gideon Levy, dream on – but don’t inflict your nightmare on us. ”

    Lyn Julius is a journalist and co-founder of Harif, an association of Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in the U.K.

    her website;

    link to harif.org.

    • Bumblebye says:

      What “new life and momentum” has appeared in the 2ss? Could you expand on where this is coming from? I thought we were just in for another round of the interminable piece process, which only ever maintains the status quo – Israel steals, attacks Palestinians; the Palestinians have no recourse; Israel demands no Palestinian preconditions, while setting a ton of its own, etc.

    • Donald says:

      “Israel is far from perfect, but no Arab state is remotely comparable. In Israel, minorities enjoy equal status before the law, strenuous strides are being taken to fight social discrimination and prejudice. By contrast, the Arab world’ s record for tolerance and pluralism is disastrous.”

      Sorry, but that’s stupid. If you want to criticize the Arab world, fine, but don’t cherrypick the facts to make Israel out to be something it isn’t. It’s not an state with a few flaws, it’s a state that runs an apartheid system in the West Bank. You don’t get to pretend that this is something that is outside of Israel, when in fact Israel/the West Bank already is a nightmarish form of the one state solution. It’s been that way for decades and this has been entirely Israel’s decision. Even without peace, nobody was forcing them to create settlements.

      You want to talk about narcissism–there’s nothing more narcissistic than an Israeli or an Israel supporter constantly trying to persuade everyone that their beloved idol is better than it really is.

      On 1SS vs. 2SS, I don’t see any solution on the horizon anymore. In the past I’ve supported the 2SS somewhat begrudgingly not because I give a crap about saving the “Jewish state” or Muslim states or Christian states or any such nonsense, but because I believed the argument that at least the 2SS was achievable. I’m not sure anything is achievable–as Glatzer points out, settler colonial states have a certain history and it doesn’t include acknowledging sins and making restitution unless forced into it. Who is going to force Israel to do anything with the US acting as their lawyer, pressuring the Palestinians to cave in on their own demands and listen sympathetically to Israel’s? If it weren’t for the fact that the US is culpable, I’d say we just write the whole mess off–let the Israelis live out their 19th century settler colonialist “we’re the civilized ones among the barbarian” fantasies and see where that gets them.

      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ Donald,

        Is Israel a state according to the fine print of international law?

        No, she isn’t. The GA passed a resolution, but Israel’s in fact a never finalized League of Nations’ proposal that has never been ratified by the entire world community. Furthermore, who or what gave this LoN the right to partition anything at all to begin with? Did anyone ask the locals?

        Based upon the facts, as they have been so clearly visible over the past few decades, Israel does not want a 2ss. Words are wingless dodos when it comes to the reality of what Israel does, as an entity, on a daily basis.

        The fact that most of what she does doesn’t trigger a response from the overarching ‘world community [aka CWW - Concerned Western World]‘ doesn’t mean the committed crimes are less heinous.

        Where does anyone see that 2nd state in these pictures

  4. HarryLaw says:

    Your rejection of the 2 state solution has not been accepted by any state at the UN nor by any organization thereof, nor by any political party in Israel or Palestine, it is wishful, idealistic and naive thinking on your part, at this time, I stress at this time, a solution based on International Law is still the preferred wish of the Palestinians and the International community and which has greatest chance of success, and achievable if the Palestinians play their cards right.

    • Ecru says:

      The creation of Israel wasn’t accepted by any state at the UN etc. and was wishful thinking on the part of a bunch of rabid bigots. Still ended up coming true unfortunately for us all. Maybe the 1SS will too.

      As for the 2SS being achievable – not if the Israelis have anything to say about it it isn’t, no matter what the Palestinians do. The Israelis just don’t accept that Palestinians are people, let alone people with valid aspirations of statehood.

    • Tzombo says:

      It is certainly not the preferred solution of the Palestinians in the diaspora.

  5. Gart Valenc says:

    Israel has one goal and one goal only: Menachen Begin’s! Don’t take my word for it, listen to Rashid Khalidi: bit.ly/12X9BcB

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

  6. Given the current ruthlessness of Israel and the way it’s governments and the electorate seem to move in an ever more extreme direction:

    1) Isn’t the main danger a complete ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, perhaps during a moment of high crisis elsewhere when much of the world is distracted. For example, a crisis on the Korean peninsula, or possibly the island of Taiwan?

    2) Isn’t a secondary danger that Israel establishes an apartheid state, but with the help of it’s very powerful domestic allies, especially in the USA, it simply toughes it out. “Israel hates the situation in the West Bank, but it’s the only way this exceptional country can guarantee it’s security.”

    • Ecru says:

      Honestly the way it’s going I see Israel repeating its penchant for ethnic cleansing in the not-too-distant future. It’s already doing as much as possible in Area C.

  7. ToivoS says:

    This is a pretty good advocacy for a one state solution. Perhaps as one of many who believes that the two-state solution is likely dead but could have worked and maybe be salvaged today if Israel would agree, let me defend two states.

    First the path towards one-state would be on Israeli terms. Today those terms are the apartheid solution. Perhaps if that started to break down, we would have to also consider active ethnic cleansings and various degrees of mass killings — Israel certainly has the willingness to carry out such acts. Most rational observers believe that these are acts that won’t work in the long term. However, the short term could still be many decades and in the meantime another one, two or more generations of Palestinians would be suffering under Israeli oppression. There is a human cost here that should be unacceptable. Also in the next few decades we could see another world war — such an event would open the doors to genocide. That could be irreversible.

    The advantage of the two state solution is, if Israel willing, a solution could be found tomorrow. International law and political support is already in place. The problem with the one-state solution is that the world is not yet prepared to accept such a result. There would be real inertia in dismantling or abandoning all of those policies and treaties devoted to the two state outcome.

  8. I think the author means “ending white rule”, regarding South Africa, when he speaks of “decolonising”. South Africa was not even a member of the British Commonwealth, in the decade or two prior to end of white rule.

  9. Should we remember that Southern Rhodesia declared its independence, a number of years before the whites abandoned power to the blacks?

    • Yes, I wrote a paper in college comparing Southern Rhodesia’s, Turkish Cyprus and Israel’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). The differences in how the “international community” treated Israel vs. the other two countries couldn’t be more stark. Yes, Chile and all of Latin America were founded as settler-colonies by the Spanish remember? They wiped out as many of the indigenous people as they possibly could. Mestizos (mixed white and indigenous) comprise the majority of the population. I concede the point that my analysis does not take mestizos into account.

      I think it would be interesting to consider why this pattern of settlement in the Americas took place where it is more mixed and mestizo, vs. in the USA or Canada where even the mixed indigenous / whites are a very very small single digit percentage. I just haven’t done that analysis as of yet.

      • lysias says:

        Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay have very few Mestizos and Indians, and their populations are close to purely of European descent.

        Could their similarity in this respect to Canada and the U.S. (and to Australia) have something to do with climate?

        • lysias says:

          I must correct myself on Chile. According to the Wikipedia entry on it:

          A public health book from the University of Chile states that 30% of the population is of Caucasian origin; Mestizos with an average 60% Caucasian ancestry and 40% Native American ancestry are estimated to amount a total of 65%, while Native Americans (Amerindians) comprise the remaining 5%.[2] A genetic study by the same university showed that the average Chilean’s genes are 64% Caucasian and 35% Amerindian.[105]

          Despite the genetic considerations, many Chileans, if asked, would self-identify as white. The 2011 Latinobarómetro survey asked respondents in Chile what race they considered themselves to belong to. Most answered “white” (59%), while 25% said “mestizo” and 8% self-classified as “indigenous”.[106] A 2002 national poll revealed that a majority of Chileans believed they possessed some (43.4%) or much (8.3%) “indigenous blood”, while 40.3% responded that they had none.[107]

          In Argentina, about 97% of the population is of European or partial European descent. An estimated 885 of the population of Uruguay is of European descent.

        • Tzombo says:

          I think it is mostly the regions that were heavily populated at the time – Central America and Mexico, Peru and the other Inca countries – that have a mainly mixed population now.

      • Joseph, the cohabitation of whites with “Indians” was more accepted in Latin America than it was in the English colonies in North America.

        The Spanish settlers often did not try to “wipe out” the “natives”. The labor of those natives was valuable, if it could be harnessed at reasonable cost relative to return. Pearl diving off the coast of what is now Columbia, in the Caribbean, was lucrative, for example. Tens of thousands of Indians died in the process.

      • Ecru says:

        I wondered about this myself a while back. Latin America is generally more mixed than North America which seems, given how insanely aggressive the Conquistadores were, a bit strange.

        Not sure how well my idea will hold up but one of the factors I identified was religion. In the North most settlement was by North European Protestants, who from the 16th century on were quite taken with the Doctrine of Predestination which gave rise to the idea of a people who were “Chosen”(funnily enough ALL Protestants), a “Select Few.”

        The Spaniards and Portuguese, following Catholic doctrine believed, in contrast to Protestant theology, that all people could be saved through Works. God had “chosen” no-one and his grace was available to all. This encouraged conversion efforts that were often not attempted in the North until much later. The Catholic Church also had a long history of making accommodations with Pagan belief, allowing old deities to be reclassified as Saints, redefining festivals etc. This permitted the colonists to see their Native American subjects as Catholics.

        In the North however, where Protestantism had no such tradition of flexibility, the Natives were perpetually relegated to “the Other.” As such they were a constant threat. Bit like Palestinians to Israelis.

        The other big factor is that most of South America was not subject to Settler but Economic Colonisation. The stunted political structures of Spain in particular during the period meant that the New World was only ever seen by the Nobility as a temporary posting, fit to mine for a fortune before returning to Madrid. The massive success of early Spanish conquests and the riches Spain took, which meant that Spain did not have to rely on trade for wealth like its Northern European competitors, almost made that attitude the logical one to take. Not being focused on Settler Colonisation freed up those who did immigrate to Latin America to mix more freely with the native populations.

        Mitigating against the mixing was the centralisation of Spanish society, the importation to Latin America of Old World feudal ideas with their emphasis on blood line, and also Spanish ideas of National identity developed from the 15th century on. These contradictory factors might go some way to explaining how there was always a limit on the extent of population mixing in Latin America.

        • tree says:

          Most of the Spanish settlers were men. Therefore, they married, or dallied with, ( or raped,) native women, accounting for the higher number of mestizos in South and Central America. Its as simple as that. It certainly didn’t mean that the Spaniards settlers treated the native population with any greater respect. They didn’t.

        • Ecru says:

          The point is Tree that Mestizos and Indians were more easily incorporated into Latin American social structures than they were in North America.

          And where do tell did I say the Spaniards treated the Natives with respect? Just saying that their culture allowed for more easy incorporation of Native populations into a society doesn’t mean that you know. I mean I did mention feudalism.

        • A serious shortage of Spanish women, in many areas of Spain’s vast holdings in the New World, was a large factor.

        • Spain had a gigantic empire in the New World, and too few Spaniards to populate the empire. In countries like Guatamala, the Spanish element of the population is relatively small.

  10. Was Chile a “settler colony”? Has it collapsed? Yes as to first question, no as to the second. And indigenous people were about half the population.

  11. mondonut says:

    …then it follows that the rejection of a two state solution is really a rejection of the state of Israel.

    What refreshing honesty, Israel eliminated and a State of Palestine from the river to the sea. I suppose talking Israel to death is preferable to fighting them (unless you are Hamas).

    I hope that you are successful in motivating your fellow supporters of the 1ss to drop the phony pretense of justice and just come out and say it as you have.

    • Ecru says:

      So giving people under Jewish dominion equality before the law and the vote is not justice to a Zionist. Wow! Let’s strip Jews in the west of those same rights see how long it takes you to start screaming antisemitism shall we. It’ll probably break a world speed record.

    • Cliff says:

      A rejection of an ethnoreligious Jewish democracy that persecutes non-Jews?

      Thats the definition of justice.

      No State should discriminate against non-members of the privileged population.

      Not to mention Palestinians aren’t immigrants. Israel is only able to maintain a Jewish majority through war and destruction of the indigenous population.

      • mondonut says:

        Cliff says:No State should discriminate against non-members of the privileged population.Not to mention Palestinians aren’t immigrants. Israel is only able to maintain a Jewish majority through war and destruction of the indigenous population.
        ==============================================
        Then I suppose you are are also on record for eliminating the State(s) of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, etc… ???

        And BTW, although completely off topic the population of Israel is also largely non-immigrant as well, 73% are native born. I suspect that is a much higher percentage than those who would claim a “right” to return.

        • Cliff says:

          @mondonut

          I suspect that is a much higher percentage than those who would claim a “right” to return.

          With enough time, that number of 73% native-born will increase.

          Palestinians were native-born but were driven out by Zionist Jews.

          Now Zionist Jews are ‘native born’.

          The RoR needs no contemptuous quotations by the way. It’s an entirely legitimate desire for people driven out of their homeland.

          And yes, I oppose discriminatory States. I don’t want to see them ‘eliminated’ – I want them to be transformed.

          Israel is different from those States because it rules over the indigenous population – both the Israeli Palestinians and the Palestinians of the OT.

          Israel has maintained a Jewish majority only through discrimination and war.

          It’s not as if you convinced the Palestinians to get up and leave. You did it through force.

          So whatever ‘natural born’ statistics you pull up is in that context.

    • I don’t understand what the “talking Israel to death” comment means. Can you clarify? What makes you think Israel as a nation-state eliminated with a state of Palestine from the river to the sea and the concept of ‘justice’ are mutually exclusive ideas? I think the whole point is that justice will be done when Israel as a nation-state no longer exists and a pluralistic democracy based on equality and fairness can take hold. Why do people like you hold that such a concept of democracy without regards to race, class, religion or ethnicity is tantamount to a holocaust of Jews? I don’t understand it at all.

      • mondonut says:

        Joseph Glatzer says: …and a pluralistic democracy based on equality and fairness can take hold.
        =========================================
        Where in the world did you get the idea the any state replacing Israel would be a pluralistic democracy? And what the hell does this mean: “Why do people like you… “. Feel free to respond to my comments but there is no reason to put words in my mouth that I never expressed.

      • Sumud says:

        What makes you think Israel as a nation-state eliminated with a state of Palestine from the river to the sea and the concept of ‘justice’ are mutually exclusive ideas?

        Hint: to a jewish supremacist, your idea of justice – equal rights for all – is an injustice.

      • Ellen says:

        Joseph, excellent article.

        As for mondo’s comment. Zionism, and the idea behind Isreal’s existence is built on exclusivity over others, fear and separation. Without the European Holocaust of Jews (and others) Israel would never have come into existence. So creating the specter of an impending Holocaust of Jews is what will help sustain an ethno-nationalistic colonial enterprise.

        Universal ideas of pluralism, out of many one, is an anathema to Zionism and the idea of the “Jewish State of Israel. ” Or the so-called “land of Israel.”

        When you think about it, Zionism and it’s settler movement and supremist “land of Israel” is completely unhinged.

    • One can not easily argue that the purpose of the “one-state solution”, is the continuation of Israel. In the minds of many who advocate it.

      • Ecru says:

        Who cares if Israel’s preserved or not? Funny me, I’m more concerned about the people than lines on a sodding map.

        The idea of the 1SS is not to preserve Israel, a vile nation built on an ideology all but identical to Nazism, it’s to build a new nation where ALL can experience justice and equality before the law, not just an ethnically identified elite.

    • eljay says:

      >> What refreshing honesty, Israel eliminated and a State of Palestine from the river to the sea. … I hope that you are successful in motivating your fellow supporters of the 1ss to drop the phony pretense of justice and just come out and say it as you have.

      Absolutely funny sh*t, coming from a hateful and immoral (mondo)nut(eee) of a Zio-supremacist who is more concerned about his “collective’s” supremacism than he is about true democracy, egalitarianism or human rights.

      What a joke(r).

  12. I am in Beijing this week while they celebrate a 3-day Labor Day holiday. While listening to news on one of the English stations on my car radio, I was surprised by the lengthy discourse on the Middle East in a city where most people outside of government know little and care less about what happens in the Middle East, except for the vague knowledge that much of their gasoline comes from there.

    What was being discussed was the impending visit to China by Abbas on May 5th, followed by a visit on May 6th by Netanyahu. It seems that China is providing a forum for discussions on the course forward for both parties. The Chinese government reiterated how much import they were lending to this occasion and their desire to be the catalyst for peace in the ME.

    What struck me as odd was that I have not read about this visit anywhere in the Western Media (TM). I remarked to my Chinese companion that this highlighted the rising prominence of China and Russia in world diplomatic affairs, in contrast to our own declining importance and credibility.

    Over the past few years, China has been quietly forging trade alliances with countries across the globe and ensuring a steady supply of necessary resources from them as well as engendering their goodwill and cooperation. In contrast, we have been trying to (unsuccessfully) obtain our resources by bombing people all over the globe at great cost to our blood and treasure – not to mention what we are doing to them!

    As an American, I am confounded as to why we would choose this horrific path for our resources, when China has clearly demonstrated a much more desirable alternative and a successful one at that. Well, maybe I am not that confounded and know full well why this is so.

    The Israeli hold on our government has to end, or we as a people will end. It is more than high time that we put our own self-interest and well-being ahead of those of that shitty little country (sic).

    Sitting in my car in Beijing yesterday with my Chinese companion, I felt embarrassed to be American.

    • American says:

      ‘Over the past few years, China has been quietly forging trade alliances with countries across the globe and ensuring a steady supply of necessary resources from them as well as engendering their goodwill and cooperation.’ C&D

      Yea, China has and been very smart about it too…..forging more than just trade deals…they go into business “with” other countries, set up plants and/or do building and infastructure development and guarentee ‘training” and x number of jobs for natives. China does win-win, the US doesnt.

      • MRW says:

        Agree with both of you. Witness what China has done in Africa, outdoing the ugliness of the World Bank and the IMF by giving loans at 2-3% to poorer African countries to help build their infrastructure, instead of setting up deals where they steal their resources in debt collection.

        Furthermore, to the media issue that CloakAndDagger brings up: we hear nothing about these events, no decent international news that indicates the changing geopolitical landscape. Our news, at least out here in the west where the public radio programming can be completely different than DC or NYC because of the programs they purchase, is so laden with pro-Israel this and that, Islamophobia, the public radio (NPR, PRI, etc) discussions are an endless parade of ‘aren’t we wonderful’ Jewish American players/actors/writers, and if not that, we get stories about the holocaust and Anne Frank, still after 68 years. I’m being purposefully hyperbolic, but not really, it’s a trend that people are noticing. A story two days ago led with the line that Anne Frank ‘would be happy’ about some new doll, as if she, a German, were a relevant icon in 2013 America!

    • Oh, it shows up on Jpost now:

      China offers to broker Abbas-Netanyahu meeting

      China on Friday offered to broker a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas while the two are in the Asian country next week.

      link to jpost.com

  13. RJL says:

    Perfect. Except you don’t explain how, or why, a one state, secular Palestine would allow the 6 million Jews to remain, live freely as equals, and would somehow render all anti-semitic hatred by the Palestinians null and void. There is no precedent for such a country anywhere in the Middle East, so why do you naively (or worse) believe it would/could work in the one state of Palestine? Is the current anti-Jewish incitement promoted heavily in Gaza, and to a lesser but still toxic degree in the West Bank, not indicative of a racial, religious hatred that supercedes political problems? Don’t you think the long history of the Jewish (and Christians, but not as bad)dhimmi status and treatment worry you? Please, do explain.

    • Ecru says:

      The current anti-Jewish incitement is happily provided by Jews funnily enough. They just LOVE bombing them some fish in a barrel. Here’s an idea – what if Jews stop bombing Gaza, murdering children, destroying livelihoods, locking people up without charge let alone trial, knocking down peoples homes and stealing things maybe, just maybe Palestinians might stop hating you quite so much. Ever thought of that?

    • Donald says:

      “Is the current anti-Jewish incitement promoted heavily in Gaza, and to a lesser but still toxic degree in the West Bank, not indicative of a racial, religious hatred that supercedes political problems? ”

      It never crosses your mind that decades of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and other forms of oppression might tend to increase the level of hatred.

    • American says:

      ‘Is the current anti-Jewish incitement promoted heavily in Gaza, and to a lesser but still toxic degree in the West Bank, not indicative of a racial, religious hatred that supercedes political problems? Don’t you think the long history of the Jewish (and Christians, but not as bad)dhimmi status and treatment worry you? …RJL

      Nope does not worry me…. Isr and zios have been told a trillion times to stop doing what you’re doing because your stealing and oppressing makes people hate you…and not just Palestines hate you, makes a lot of people hate you.

      But you don’t stop what you’re doing do you?….so who cares,…. if you won’t listen to anyone, you won’t listen, your problem….dont come whinning to us with the old ‘it’s all just Jew hatred ‘dodge..

  14. FreddyV says:

    Just demonstrates that Israel’s legitimacy will always be questionable. It started as a settler colonialist project, threatening the existence of the indigenous.

    This makes a strong argument for a one state solution. No matter how you slice a two state solution, Palestinians won’t see full justice. The only problem with one state is that it completely relies on Israelis and Palestinians getting along and the disassembly of Israel as a Jewish state.

    I’m not sure how that’s ever going to happen, so is a two state solution for Palestinians a way for them to get something sooner rather than later?

    • Thanks for the compliment, glad you liked the piece. RE: your points: don’t think so, because look at points 3 and 4 in this piece. Negotiating with the settler society has never worked. The only thing that has ever worked is demographic superiority (which the Palestinians have and will have even more in the coming years) and effective resistance (which they have externally with BDS but internal resistance remains weak due to the PA).

      Also look at point 6. It is precisely a “two state solution” which renders the Israeli settler colony fundamentally secure demographically and politically for the long run. It is not a stepping stone to a one state solution. Anyone who tells you that is really interested in securing a Jewish state but does not say so.

      • Donald says:

        “Anyone who tells you that is really interested in securing a Jewish state but does not say so.”

        I thought your post was superb, but then I’ve long thought that the analogy to how the US took the land from the Native Americans was the most historically accurate one. But this comment above is wrong–some people have supported the 2SS out of pragmatism. They might not think it is ideal, but at least has the support of international law.

        I’ve come to the point where I don’t see the argument from pragmatism as particularly compelling anymore, because we’ve heard this song and dance about the peace process and the 2SS for decades now, but some did hold it in good faith and maybe some still do.

        • American says:

          ‘…some people have supported the 2SS out of pragmatism. ”..Donald

          Yes, I initially supported 2SS…however pragmatism now tells me Israel will never agree to 2SS or the One State solution.
          So?……what next?

        • American – - Netanyahu does not want one state, and he does not want two states. Of this fact one can be in no doubt whatever.

  15. talknic says:

    The real issue is that Israel simply cannot now adhere to the law, UN Charter and conventions. It would be sent bankrupt for decades.

    Israel DELIBERATELY created this situation and Israel should in all fairness pay for its stupidity and crimes against the Palestinian people. Germany has been and is still paying for its WWII crimes.

  16. kayq says:

    Brilliant piece. There are a few problematic things in here, but overall you make some very great points.

    The international community has “hope” for a 2ss.
    Palestinians, even with a 2ss, do not have hope. Palestinians have been kicked out of their home, and you’re going to reduce it to a two state settlement?

    It really needs to let go of the whole 2-state discourse. Palestinians could’ve had their own state before ’67, but Israel still atacked, and occupied. Who’s to say they won’t do it again?

    Jews need their self-determination however people need to get over the idea of Israel having a “Jewish majority”, and it needs to adapt to a one-state reality. While the two state solution looked like it had foundation, it no longer does, no thanks to settlements. However, people also think that one state has no foundation, but it does. Even though after Oslo, there was a formation of a Palestinian Authority which gave them the right to self-rule. Pretty much everything was guarded by Israel – borders, land you name it. Israel provides water and electricity to the oPt etc.

    On the other hand, a one-state settlement is better for all. Also allowing a two-state solution to happen will allow Israel to get away with everything it’s done over the generations.

    With RoR, everyone will be able to return home. This will hopefully include Mizrahim who left their homes in the Arab lands.

    Also a one man, one vote is what Palestinains should currently be looking at, like Gideon Levy mentions in his Ha’aretz article. Like South Africa, equal voting rights will lead to the elimination of the Jewish governments, and hopefully a Palestinian government installed. We’re not talking Fatah or Hamas, but Balad and the like, or even new mixed Jewish-Arab Palestinians.

    That being said, Palestinians need to stop looking to Fatah and Hamas in hope of them resolving this conflict because they are a thing of the past, and new leadership being formed is what should be looked at. This includes the abolition of the Palestinian authority.

    • kayq – - And how would Israel be forced to annex areas of the West Bank with large numbers of non-Jews?

      • kayq says:

        I didn’t say anything about Israeli annexation. I said occupation, but although with a state, it’s unlikely. What I meant to say was what if Israel attacks etc.

    • American says:

      “Jews need their self-determination”

      Tell us EXACTLY what it is Jews need to self determine for themselves…what is it exactly?…be specific.

      • kayq says:

        I meant that I understand that they need self-determination, which they kind of do, due to anti-semitism, and the fact they’ve been a minority, but like RoHa said they need self-determination as citizens of the state, and not Jews.

        I’m not forgiving towards Israel, and I never will be, but I realise it’s kind of necessary for the survival of Jews. Although because I’m not forgiving them ever for building Israel at the expense of Palestinians, I’m not a two-state advocate. One state for all people.

        • American says:

          kayq says:
          May 3, 2013 at 4:10 am
          + Show content
          I meant that I understand that they need self-determination, which they kind of do, due to anti-semitism
          >>>>>>

          According to statistics there is far more bigotry toward blacks than Jews–do they also need their own country for self determination?
          How do you think Israel would save the Jews if there was some world wide outbreak of anti semitism? Suppose a or several European countries elected Hitler like leaders that spurned Jews?….at the very best Israel would serve only as some strip of land they could all be deported to, and cut off from the world it would be some open air prison like Gaza is now..
          Israel as the savior of Jews is a complete delusion imo.

        • RoHa says:

          “I realise it’s kind of necessary for the survival of Jews.”

          What do you mean? Jews in Australia survive without Israel.

        • Ellen says:

          kayq, with all respect, the language “right to self determination” is rhetorical nonsence. Think about it: it is nothing more than phony identity politics. Asserting special “rights” over others. It implies that a group has no or few rights. Are you telling us that persons who identify with Jewish religion lack rights?

          Also, the medieval closed Jewish communities of Europe are an example of an excercise in “self determination.” Jews could live in the protection and cultural comfort without accomodating the ways of the Gentile, the “other.” In a way, this was ultimate self determination of a people.

          Do you call for a return to the Gehtto? Is the idea of the Zionist state to create the modern nuclear-armed Jewish-only Ghetto?

        • kayq says:

          Where did I mention that Israel is the saviour of the Jews, or is more safer than the West? Nowhere.

          I said it is necessary because it is a place where Jews can have self-autonomy, but I never said that I favoured it. I said, I do not because it was achieved at the expense of the Palestinian Arab population.

        • kayq says:

          I’m not saying that either. I’m not calling for a return to the ghetto. You know, there is cultural Zionism which some of its followers call for self-determination in the diaspora.

          Also the Jewish religion does not lack rights., at all. I’m also not saying that they deserve more rights over the Palestinians. That is not what I’m saying at all.

        • Ellen says:

          kayq, you are misreading my post and then responding to a complete misread.

          But, ok, you elaborate that Isreal “is necessary because Jews can have self autonomy.” So if you believe that, do you believe that those of the Jewish faith need to have rules seperate from other civil societies? Or that Jews are so repressed they are not allowed to practice Judaism? Do you believe that is the real purpose and need of a Zionist Jewish state?

          If so, and it seems you do, don’t you see that is inevitably a return to the structures of the medieval central European Ghetto.

          On one hand you seem to like the Zionist ideas of “self autonomy” but see that in practice, it was at the expense of a people. There is more, in my mind. It is tribal and bigotted to the core and will lead to Ghettoization and nothing good for anyone, especially Jews, will come of it.

          There are more effective and universal means of cultivating Jewish religion and culture than creating fearful walled-in Colonies (ghettos).

    • RoHa says:

      “Jews need their self-determination”

      As citizens of a state. Not as Jews.

      • Sibiriak says:

        RoHa says:

        “Jews need their self-determination” As citizens of a state. Not as Jews.

        Like it or not, “self-determination” in international law and politics refers to whole peoples, not individual citizens.

        “Self-determination” is a collective, not individual, right.

        • RoHa says:

          Like it or not, the “peoples” referred to in international law about self-determination are all and only the people resident in a specific territory.

          We have thrashed this out ad nauseam in previous posts.

          The Jews in general are not confined to a specific territory, so they are not a “people” in the relevant sense. The Jews of Israel are not the only residents of Israel, nor of Palestine as a whole, so they are not a “people” in the relevant sense.

          The entire population of the territory is the “people”.

    • eljay says:

      >> The international community has “hope” for a 2ss. Palestinians, even with a 2ss, do not have hope. Palestinians have been kicked out of their home, and you’re going to reduce it to a two state settlement? It really needs to let go of the whole 2-state discourse.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a sincerely-negotiated and mutually-beneficial two-state solution that results in:
      - a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of Israel – a state of and for all its citizens equally, and with a predominantly “Jewish culture”; and
      - a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of Palestine – a state of and for all its citizens, equally, and with a predominantly “Palestinian culture”.

      >> Jews need their self-determination …

      Jews don’t need “self-determination” any more than homosexuals need “self-determination”. Both groups represent minorities within their native countries, and both groups have been persecuted throughout history. What both groups do need is equality under the law and protection of their human rights.

      Homosexuals understand that. Zio-supremacists can’t seem to get it through their thick, hateful and immoral skulls.

      >> … people need to get over the idea of Israel having a “Jewish majority” …

      IMO, there’s nothing wrong with Israel having a Jewish majority as long as that Jewish majority is not created or maintained by supremacist means, including ethnic cleansing of non-Jews, terrorism against non-Jews, or an immigration or “return” policy that favours Jews instead of Israelis or people originally from – and up to n generations removed from – the geographic region that is currently Israel.

  17. amigo says:

    It may already have,?

    Netanyahu: Israel needs deal with Palestinians to avoid becoming binational state

    link to haaretz.com

    My immediate thought is , what are they up to now???.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      I wouldn’t put too much stock in this. Netanyahu’s playing a much more satanic game: his final solution of the Palestinian question (a.k.a. “dealing” with the Palestinians) isn’t either the 1ss or 2ss, but 1 ethno-religious apartheid state and zone of occupation.

      He will always claim to be ready to pull the israeli terror forces out of the zone of occupation, just as soon as the Kafkaesque ever-changing and purposefully-never-reachable set of conditions are reached by the Palestinians. Thus, he can paint himself as a man respectful of human rights while denying to Palestinian people their right to be regarded as human beings.

      If you want Netanyahu’s vision of the future, imagine a Jewish boot stamping on a Palestinian face – forever.

  18. Nevada Ned says:

    I see people I respect on either side of this crucial debate:
    Uri Avinery, Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein (2SS), Ali Abunimah and Rashid Khalidi (1SS)

    Either the 2SS or 1SS would have to be forced on Israel, whose govt has always opposed a Palestinian state, in practice (while sometimes claiming to support it verbally). Certainly in the US, racial integration had to be forced on Alabama, Mississippi and the other former Confederate states. If it were entirely up to the southern whites, Jim Crow would still prevail today.

    Chomsky’s argument is that there is some support in Europe for the 2SS but none for the 1SS.
    He thinks the 1SS is more morally just, but then if you ask, “how do we get from here to there?” his argument is that it’s even harder to win the 1SS than the 2SS.

    Khalidi (and MANY others) think the 2SS is dead, because Israel worked very hard for decades to make it impossible, and they succeeded.

    • Sibiriak says:

      Nevada Ned:

      Either the 2SS or 1SS would have to be forced on Israel.

      Bingo. Now ask yourself: would it be easier and more feasible to force Israel to give up the entire Zionist dream (1SS), or to give up just a portion of it (2SS)?

      And ask yourself: just who has the power and the will to force the complete disappearance of Zionist Israel, as opposed to just a portion of it?

      Personally, I don’t see any near term solution. At best, I see a 1.5 S non-solution, leading in the med/long-run to various possible regional confederations.

  19. The Qatar foreign minister was at Blair House in Washington yesterday. Qatar has tried for years to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Tweaking the language regarding the borders of Palestine, in the 2002 Saudi peace plan, was requested by John Kerry in hopes of advancing the proposal.

  20. pabelmont says:

    Waiting for a 1SS is better for the Palestinians? really? And does that mean ANY 1SS? After all, we’ve got a splendid 1SS right now, and within that splendid 1SS, the settlers (i.e., those of the post-1967 OPTs) are pushing, pushing, occasionally murdering, the remaining Palestinians, doubtless [1] to obtain more land-without-people, which they’d later calim to own, and [2] also to persuade the remaining Palestinians to leave the OPTs entirely.

    I am not a fan of Apartheid (rhymes with HATE). So I don’t like the present 1SS. And where is the deus-ex-machina that’s going to democratize Israel’s 1SS? Magic?

    When I call for international state-level BDS aimed at compelling Israel to remove settlers, wall, settlelement, and siege, (and thus pave the way for 2SS), am I not ALSO calling for magic?

    And which form of magic should we work for? Both, at the same time? Maybe.

    I can describe the GOAL of the international intervention that I call for, and I just did, above. What would be the GOAL of the international intervention seeking to democratize the present 1SS? What sort of “democracy” would satisfy the I/C? And what sort of time-line? Would Palestine have to act (in a sort of abdication of non-existent sovereignty) to demand official and democratic 1SS? And when Israel refused or pretended, what then?

    I invite the 1SS folks to describe any one or more mechanisms toward their goal and to assess the likelihood of success (and the year of success).

    I am by no means confident about 2SS, far, far from it. But I’d like some persuasion from the 1SS-ers. And I wonder about the land. Who will own which parts of it when the smoke clears. Where, if anywhere, will sheep and goats graze? Where will olives still be harvested? And if the exiles of 1948 are NOT part of the mix, if expulsion is retroactively OKed by the deal, why not another dose of expulsion from time to time to keep the demographics of the fledgling “democracy” in order, ehh? Assuming (as there now is) a Zionist voting majority at all critical moments? Can you imagine those fine enthusiasts of a “Jewish State” with a “Jewish majority” giving up on that? What would make them do that?

    • ritzl says:

      I understand your angst about 1S, but my take is that it is the current and foreseeable reality. It’s not so much about a desired or preferable outcome. It’s about what IS, by Israel’s own hand.

      So there’s not so much “magic” about making 1S1P1V a just outcome to this problem. It implies, nay screams, protracted struggle to bring about that justice.

      The “magic” to me is more about what might precipitate a 2S outcome (imho “out of the blue”). There are structures and motivations, current and potential, to make that happen but Israel seems capable, politically, of resisting them (while it blathers about “self-determination” and/or “historical claims” and goes about cleansing and assimilating the WB and otherwise making a 1S outcome even more likely).

      The weight of Israel’s ability to resist a 2S outcome coupled with its inexorable and probably irreversible absorption of the WB have almost certainly dictated the outcome at this point.

      I’m may be completely wrong about this, but if there is to be a Palestinian state, it’s probably going to be a resource-rich, free, and non-Hamas led Gaza.

      FWIW.

      • ritzl – - You think Israel can be pressured into annexing parts of the West Bank with large numbers of non-Jews?

        • ritzl says:

          @James Canning

          A) Annexing is such a legal/loaded term. They’re not annexing anything…yet. They’re surrounding enclaves of Palestinians with territory (Area C in the archaic sense) that they are never going to give up/back.

          B) Pressured? They (Israel) are doing it. No pressure involved…

  21. ToivoS says:

    I am puzzled about something. I posted the following over 24 hours back”

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm
    This is a pretty good advocacy for a one state solution. Perhaps as one of many who believes that the two-state solution is likely dead but could have worked and maybe be salvaged today if Israel would agree, let me defend two states.

    First the path towards one-state would be on Israeli terms. Today those terms are the apartheid solution. Perhaps if that started to break down, we would have to also consider active ethnic cleansings and various degrees of mass killings — Israel certainly has the willingness to carry out such acts. Most rational observers believe that these are acts that won’t work in the long term. However, the short term could still be many decades and in the meantime another one, two or more generations of Palestinians would be suffering under Israeli oppression. There is a human cost here that should be unacceptable. Also in the next few decades we could see another world war — such an event would open the doors to genocide. That could be irreversible.

    The advantage of the two state solution is, if Israel willing, a solution could be found tomorrow. International law and political support is already in place. The problem with the one-state solution is that the world is not yet prepared to accept such a result. There would be real inertia in dismantling or abandoning all of those policies and treaties devoted to the two state outcome.

    Why is that waiting moderation? There have been a number of other comments posted after that. Are my comments here considered to
    inflammatory? I mention this now because in the last few weeks some of my comments have been held up for one or two days. Is this some kind of hint that my comments are not welcome? Let me know. I will go elsewhere.

    • toivo, i’m just now clearing a bunch (at least 15) of comments on this thread. i wouldn’t have even run into them had you not left this comment. it’s been months now i’ve made efforts to streamline the comments/moderation but as far as i know, nothings been resolved. i’ve given up bugging phil and adam about it, or getting frustrated about it. start writing them emails. there was a discussion about it in the comment policy thread a few days ago. i really don’t know what else to say, but it’s not directed at you or anyone as far as i know.

      • ToivoS says:

        Thanks annie. I thought something like this might be happening. I waited a bit before complaining. I do realize that MW is supported by volunteer help and backlogs like this can occur.

      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ Annie Robbins,

        I’m against moderation, but would like to express my appreciation for the time you put into reading all messages/replies [and if you're not alone in doing that, that/those other person/s as well].

        May something good come your way/s.

  22. notatall says:

    “Can you imagine those fine enthusiasts of a “Jewish State” with a “Jewish majority” giving up on that? What would make them do that?”

    Answer: superior force, including resistance by Palestinians within the “occupied territories” (including Israel, which is also occupied territory), a Pan-Arab army marching on Jerusalem, internal conflicts among the “Jewish” population, withdrawal or lessening of US government support and, lastly, BDS.

  23. gingershot says:

    Israel is a Ponzi Scheme that is always grabbing more and then saying that anyone that has trouble with that is either anti-semitic or a terrorist. Then they grab more. It’s neverending

    Israel’s whole idea of a ‘peace process’ is to circumvent, undermine, and invalidate international law, the Geneva Conventions, and numerous UN Resolutions. That’s it. They can’t win with the law so they have to go for the ‘negotiated solution’ – and they have their echo chamber in the US parrot that line and then use Palestinian resistance to such malarkey as justification to colonize even more

    The whole issue rightly needs to be removed OUT of Israeli hands and Israel BDS-ed with crippling sanctions (like Israel orchestrates on Iran currently) until Apartheid is abandoned

    Treat Israeli Apartheid like Israel treats Iran’s non-existant nuclear weapons

    • Donald says:

      “Israel is a Ponzi Scheme that is always grabbing more and then saying that anyone that has trouble with that is either anti-semitic or a terrorist. Then they grab more. It’s neverending

      Israel’s whole idea of a ‘peace process’ is to circumvent, undermine, and invalidate international law, the Geneva Conventions, and numerous UN Resolutions. That’s it. They can’t win with the law so they have to go for the ‘negotiated solution’ – and they have their echo chamber in the US parrot that line and then use Palestinian resistance to such malarkey as justification to colonize even more”

      That’s one of the best summaries of their behavior I’ve ever seen. All that’s lacking is the utter sense of self-righteousness that accompanies it. (And which one sees in their supporters.)

      • Donald says:

        “All that’s lacking is the utter sense of self-righteousness that accompanies it. ”

        Hmm, that probably wasn’t clear. I meant that when Israel acts this way or when its supporters defend its behavior, I often get the sense that they actually believe their own words, as absurd as they may be. They aren’t hypocrites, not consciously so–they’re self-deceived.

  24. MRW says:

    Hammer hits nail:

    When anyone talks about “two states” and “land swaps” rather than equal rights and democracy; when someone glorifies the top-down “international consensus” rather than respect for the rights of the indigenous people, these ideas are part of the problem.

  25. Obsidian says:

    “We must expel Arabs and take their place”

    ‘David Ben Gurion’s letter to his son, 1937′

    BG never said ‘expel the Arabs..’

    See below @ Bing Bong’s posts ( and Hostage’s weak rebuttal).

    link to mondoweiss.net

    • Ellen says:

      Realities show Zionists a policy of expelling the Arabs and taking their place. This is ongoing and supports the language of the translated letter. (Which I believe has never been released in full.)

      What was noteworthy about Bing Bong’s assertion?

      What was weak about Hostage’s rebuttle, which was thoughtful and fully sourced?

  26. American says:

    inch by inch….but not enough.

    Danes, Finns Upgrade Palestinian Diplomatic Status

    STOCKHOLM May 3, 2013 (AP)
    Finland and Denmark have become the latest European countries to upgrade the status of Palestinian diplomatic missions.
    Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and Danish counterpart Villy Sovndal made the announcement Friday after a meeting of the Nordic foreign ministers in Stockholm.
    Sovndal said the move means that “Palestine gets the same status” as embassies from other countries based in Helsinki and Copenhagen, adding that both countries believe Palestinian self-rule has “come very far in recent years.”
    All five Nordic countries, which also include Sweden, Norway and Iceland, voted in favor of granting status to the Palestinians as a non-member observer state at the U.N. General Assembly in November.”