More and more people see ‘one state only’ but Remnick fears it will be like Bosnia

US Politics
on 40 Comments

David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, said last weekend that more and more people say “there will be one state, and one state only” in Israel and Palestine, though he endorsed the idea that such an outcome would produce “Bosnia”– in other words civil war and ethnic cleansing.

Remnick discussed the issue in some depth on the New Yorker Radio Hour with three rightwing/centrist voices: Israeli ambassador Dani Dayan; a Labor member of Knesset, Merav Michaeli; and the Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki. All said they were for a two-state solution.

Many of Remnick’s observations were very helpful, inasmuch as they conveyed an irreversible one-state reality:

“The Obama administration’s ambition to make peace failed miserably, we’ve got to acknowledge that…. It seems to me after so many failed attempts at negotiation… that we’ve reached a point now that’s called a frozen conflict….

“It seems to me that more and more people are saying, there will be one state, and one state only. That Oslo, that two states and all the rest, is dead… Isn’t it clear Netanyahu despite some earlier statements will refuse to negotiate the establishment of any Palestinian state. Isn’t it clear that he has no intention whatsoever of altering the status quo unless he decides in the end to make it even more draconian?”

Remnick, photo at UCLA site

Remnick suggested that “enormous violence and upheaval” would result if settlers were removed from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and he pressed Shikaki on whether the two-state solution was over. Shikaki insisted that it was not, and that polls show a majority committed on both sides.

“I don’t think we have reached a point of no return…. For most Palestinians, this notion of independence and sovereignty and self-determination is a very very rooted interest.”

The two then talked about what a one-state solution means. Neither was very positive:

Shikaki: Basically equal political and civil rights, in one state. Two communities, but one single state. Jews of Palestine, of Israel, and Palestinians of Palestine, Israel, including Israeli Arabs in other words– would all live in one single state. Basically the South African model.

Remnick: A post apartheid South Africa… Now people who object to a one-state solution say Yeah, the solution sounds like Bosnia. In other words it’s a solution that will end up in inevitable conflict. Do you agree?

Shikaki: I tend to agree with that. I don’t see the one-state solution as viable.

Shikaki went on that some Palestinians endorse a one-state approach because they see that one state is “here to stay.” These Palestinians reason that in 5, 10 years, the apartheid reality will become more evident to all the world; and it won’t be tenable. Remnick spelled that out: Some Palestinians think things might well get worse before they get better. And that when there is “unambiguous” apartheid, Israel will come to be isolated diplomatically and finally yield to a more just form of government.

Remnick saved liberal Zionist Merav Michaeli for last:

Q. Is the two state solution absolutely dead in your mind?

A. Oh no. Oh– so no!… The two state solution is so possible, and there are so many partners who can make it possible. Yes it’s going to be so much more complicated than it was ten and twenty and thirty and of course fifty years ago.

Remnick offered that few Labor members of the Knesset are talking about a two-state solution, that Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog is “not a powerful presence,” and the faith in two states “seems to be disintegrating all the time.” He asked:

“Has liberal Zionism died and has religious nationalism won in Israel?”

Michaeli said it hasn’t died. Life is not a movie with a simple ending. This is just the latest act, and the right is winning. They won’t win in the end.

Remnick concluded by endorsing that view:

“I think Merav Michaeli is right, history doesn’t end, it doesn’t lock into place. Things can shift, in the most unlikely way….

“This is a conflict that has been going on for fully a century and it’s not going to end anytime soon. But with the future of so many people at stake, Israelis as well as Palestinians, not to mention the ramifications for the United States, the region, and the world, despair shouldn’t be an option for any of us.”

It was a very good show journalistically, but it ended with that bromide. No one would accept that as an answer to injustice in the United States: let’s kick the can down the road and hope that the white southerners change their minds; and meantime no one should give in to despair. Surely Remnick is concerned about violence. It’s a worthy concern; but as anyone who has visited the permanent occupation understands, There is a great deal of violence right now; it is impossible to imagine any peaceful resolution of this conflict; and if you’re not going to despair, well then take some action: support or at the very least give airtime to a nonviolent movement that is pressuring and isolating Israel now (when apartheid is already unambiguous): the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). BDS was unmentioned.

The segment leaves me wondering how many American liberal Zionists are going to adopt a quietist pro-status-quo stance rather than do what it is in their capacity to do: stop believing in Zionism, admit the failure of a separationist ideology, come out for “equal political and civil rights,” to quote Shikaki. There was in the show no acknowledgment of anti-Zionism as an ideological force that might shape outcomes. Michaeli is wrong when she suggests that there was any kind of two-state consensus 50 years ago. That consensus developed 25 years ago in the face of great opposition. Today one might say the same thing about one-state ideas.

Thanks to Jefferson Morley of Alternet

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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40 Responses

  1. Citizen
    January 24, 2017, 3:20 pm

    I listened to that audio show; the really right wing guy just kept reverting back to nothing can be done because the Palestinians won’t recognize the Jewish state’s Israel’s right to exist. I came away feeling nothing positive will be done to help the Palestinians; especially if Jared Kushner, Phil’s old boss, is Trump’s Iago. I did notice, in that recent Women’s March, a Palestinian American speaker who mentioned the occupation at the end of her speech….Too, I think there is a consensus among Pentagon & State brass that US rubber-stamping Israel makes it harder to obtain US interests in the Middle East generally.

    • ckg
      January 25, 2017, 2:14 pm

      Citizen, I put together a transcript of Linda’s powerful speech:

      “Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. My name is Linda Sarsour and I am one of the national co-chairs for the Women’s March on Washington. I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim-American, unapologetically Palestinian-American, unapologetically from Brooklyn, New York. Sisters and brothers, you are what democracy looks like. Sisters and brothers, you are my hope for my community. I will respect the presidency, but I will not respect this president of the United States of America. I will not respect an administration that won an election on the backs of Muslims and Black people and undocumented people and Mexicans and people with disabilities, and on the backs of women. Many of our communities, including my community, the Muslim community, have been suffering in silence for the past fifteen years under the Bush administration and under the Obama administration. The very things that you are outraged by during this election season, the Muslim registry program, the banning of Muslims, the dehumanization of the communities that I come from , that has been our reality for the past fifteen years. Sisters and brothers, if you have come here today as your first time at a march, I welcome you. I ask you to stand and continue to keep your voices loud for Black women, for Native women, for undocumented women, for LGBTQIA communities, for people with disabilities. You can count on me, your Palestinian-Muslim sister, to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the street, keep my head held high because I am not afraid. Sisters and brothers, fear is a choice. We are the majority. We are the conscience of the United States. We are this nation’s moral compass. If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of color, sisters and brothers, we know where we need to go and we know where justice is because when we fight for justice, we fight for it for all people, for all of our communities. I want to remind you that the reason why you are here today is because mothers and yoga teachers and organizers and bakers came out to organize ordinary people made this happen. No corporate dollars, no money from corporations, this is your dollars, this is your work. You made this happen. I am honored to stand here today on the stage as a national co-chair with Tamika and Carmen, who are my sisters, but also my family. I organize for my mother and I march for my daughters and all of my children, but most of all, I am my Palestinian mother who lives in occupied territories. I am so proud to be here with you all. Justice for all. “

  2. Jasonius Maximus
    January 24, 2017, 5:41 pm

    The Two-State solution is dead in the water and no amount of external political intervention can save it. Expecting anything to change the status quo from the US political establishment is a pipe dream. Even at the end of one of the most antagonising eight-year relationships in US/Israeli history, neither Obama nor Kerry could bring themselves to that conclusion let alone do a damn thing about it. Students of history would do well to note that the same was true for Apartheid South Africa. The US political establishment were literally the last people in the world (possibly aside from Israel) to have any effect at bringing about change to the status quo in South Africa.
    The Israel/Palestine issue is no longer about conflict resolution, it hasn’t been so for decades, as there is quite literally no opposing military to speak of on the Arab side. It is a civil rights issues and needs to be approached as such by activists and the media alike. In fact the media has a far greater duty to make this distinction and bring it to the public’s attention rather than running for cover like cowards every time the issue is raised.

    It is the media that has failed the Palestinians at every turn. Journalists are incapable of speaking truth to power in regards to Israel without risking their respective careers or livelihoods. This was not the issue when it came to reporting on Apartheid, or Bosnia, or Rwanda, or Sudan, which should make them even more acutely aware of their responsibility and bravery required in addressing this tragedy and changing the status quo. Only public awareness will start the ball rolling in the direction of justice and the longer the media actively quashes the truth and withholds reporting fairly and accurately on this matter the more they are as complicit as the bought and paid for US Members of Congress and the Israeli regime itself.

  3. JWalters
    January 24, 2017, 6:42 pm

    “‘enormous violence and upheaval’ would result if settlers were removed”

    The problem is not merely the radical Jewish terrorists (i.e. “settlers”) and their violent beliefs. The bigger problem is the cabal who finance them, who silence the main Western media and politicians, and who profit from the resulting conflict (e.g. “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” for readers who haven’t seen it).

    These terrorist outposts could be removed with drone strikes. More difficult is taking out the cabal of bank criminals (e.g. LIBOR) and their corporate affiliates who have such a firm grip on the Western media and governments. We need a strategically organized revolt by key members of the media and political establishment. Once the general public knows what is actually going on, these criminals will be toast.

    • hophmi
      January 25, 2017, 8:32 am

      Libor is responsible for the settlements now? Lol.

      • amigo
        January 25, 2017, 10:39 am

        “Libor is responsible for the settlements now? Lol.” Hopknee

        Hoppy , anyone who has supported in any way or never has or does not oppose the “Illegal ” settlements is responsible for their existence. Then we have every leader of the zionist movement.BG/GM/YS/YR/AS/EO/BY , et al , who have orchestrated the continuation of these war crimes.

        Welcome to the real world hoppy .

        1S , 1P, 1V.

  4. diasp0ra
    January 25, 2017, 5:16 am

    An interesting exchange. Though I’m interested in knowing what the new blood think of this. It’s no surprise that the old guard think this way, this is their vested interest. As Upton Sinclair once said:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

    The youth, especially in Palestine, are very frustrated with the leadership. As a matter of fact, over 40% say that they do not identify with any political party at all. I don’t see the Two State Solution happening any time soon, I honestly don’t think it had a chance past the early 2000s. With all due Respect to Dr. Shikaki, I think we’re suffering a bit from path dependency when it comes to the Two State Solution. Everything is geared towards this, locally and internationally that it is more expedient to stick to your guns rather than seek radical changes.

    At the same time, I don’t believe that there will be a negotiated One State Solution either. If one state would happen, I believe it would be through changes in facts on the ground slowly inching themselves forward, little areas being annexed until it becomes so apparent that no other solution is possible, both to Israelis and Palestinians as well as the world community. The right wing in Israel already wants to annex the West Bank, and not just areas C.

    If you read Caroline Glick’s book “The Israeli Solution” she underlines this quite frequently, the right in Israel believe only taking in the West Bank would not endanger the Jewish majority as there would still be more Jewish people in Israel, especially since, she argues, that Orthodox birthrates are skyrocketing. This view has become much more popular in Israel, with a majority of Jewish Israelis now believing there is no occupation in the West Bank. Call it contested, whatever, it’s not an occupation to them.

    How could anyone reverse this buildup? This buildup of facts on the ground going on for 100 years? What two states could possibly emerge? From my perspective, even a full Two State Solution envisioned in Oslo would still not achieve our rights, but that’s a different discussion.

    • Sibiriak
      January 25, 2017, 12:43 pm

      Diasp0ra: …little areas being annexed until it becomes so apparent that no other solution is possible,
      __________________

      Or that no solution is possible.

  5. Ossinev
    January 25, 2017, 6:46 am

    “BDS was unmentioned”

    I have not listened to the show and it would be good to have a link to be able to do so. BDS was not mentioned – was there any specific mention or any specific reference to the 1.5 million and growing Israeli Arab population in Israel itself. There seldom is – they tend to be a forgotten factor in the 1SS/2SS discussion and I am fairly sure that most Americans simply believe that Israel itself is 100% Jewish. These 1.5 million are citizens of Israel although Bennett and Lieberman would dearly love to be able to round them up and concentrate them somewhere in the Negev desert deprived of course of Israeli citizenship. Yes through a catalogue of discriminatory laws they are subject to a form of de facto apartheid in many areas of life but the fact that they are citizens and by and large with the exception of military service ( for obvious reasons ) they conduct themselves peacefully as citizens including taking part in Israeli parliamentary elections and electing MP`s to that parliament should be seen by the outside world as a very positive argument for the 1SS as being the only viable and sensible way forward.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 25, 2017, 12:28 pm

      ossinev, there is a link to the show embedded at the beginning of the second paragraph.

  6. Boo
    January 25, 2017, 12:25 pm

    I listened to this entire interview and was struck that Dani Dayan kept insisting that no progress was possible “until the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist”. Well, most Palestinian leaders have already granted this, so I suppose he insists on 100% compliance before Israel will even consider changing its policies and tactics.

    Guess what, that’s a non-starter — just as much as expecting all Israelis to recognize the right of existence of a Palestine state is equally a non-starter. There will never be peace and justice as long as Dayan’s position is that held by the Israeli government. And that’s the real takeaway message — their precondition is simply untenable.

    Dayan is conflating “the fact of existence” with “the right to existence”. They’re not the same at all. The “right” to existence is to some degree contingent on acceptable behavior.

    The civilized world concurred that South Africa, in its apartheid form, had voided any claim to being a proper member of the world community. The civilized world deemed the continuing existence of Nazi Germany to be unacceptable as well. Both nations had to reform themselves and transform themselves in order to be worthy of continued existence. In the first case, economic and political pressure sufficed. In the second, military action was necessary in order to bring about the requisite changes.

    My initial conviction that Israel has “a right to exist” is lessened every day by their policies and actions. In the process, I’ve become convinced that no nation that demonstrates an ongoing and unredeemed pattern of violence and injustice toward others has an absolute right to exist.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 25, 2017, 12:38 pm

      i wonder if remnick vetted dayan on what he intended to contribute to this conversation prior to it being aired. because this worn talking point is useless. he is useless. if remnick’s intent was to have a right wing settler voice to balance out the discussion he chose the wrong person. dayan should be ignored. he’s a blob of a diplomat. worthless.

    • Mooser
      January 25, 2017, 2:17 pm

      “Dayan is conflating “the fact of existence” with “the right to existence”. They’re not the same at all.”

      They sure aren’t .If Israel was secure in the “fact of existence”, the “right to exist” wouldn’t be much of an issue.
      Israel’s “right to existence” schtik is a way of saying : “The world is obligated to prop Israel up, and support our genocidal project.”

    • eljay
      January 25, 2017, 3:35 pm

      || Boo: I listened to this entire interview and was struck that Dani Dayan kept insisting that no progress was possible “until the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist”. Well, most Palestinian leaders have already granted this, so I suppose he insists on 100% compliance before Israel will even consider changing its policies and tactics. … ||

      Dayan – like all Zionists – wants the Palestinians (and the rest of the world, too, I suppose) to acknowledge Israel’s “right” to exist as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

      And of course it would be anti-Semitic to acknowledge this “right” without also absolving Israel of:
      – its obligations under international law (including RoR); and
      – accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      • MHughes976
        January 26, 2017, 12:27 pm

        The claim that ‘Israel has a right to exist’ is actually false, though it’s easy to sound monstrous by saying this. Part of the true basis of any theory of human rights, which otherwise would not be a theory of human rights at all, is that these rights are the same regardless of whether one is or is not of any particular race or religion, Jewish very much included. Israel exists on the basis of claiming for people who are Jewish certain rights in the Holy Land on an exclusive and overriding basis, therefore exists in essential conflict with human rights, therefore cannot have a right to exist, much as it would be nice to calm the situation by saying that all that is agreed. The Palestinians, having daily and hourly experience of the cruelty which the Israeli project had no chance of avoiding, though much of disguising, must know without much abstract argument that the ‘right to exist’ claim is morally false, really somewhat grotesque.
        It’s not just a somewhat trivial parallel, as some suppose, to ‘France/Uruguay has a right to exist’, since the existence of these countries does not raise the same problems – though even then even these claims are at best problematic.
        If some Palestinians do claim to recognise the RTE in full in the full Israeli sense then the Israelis have some perverse justification for saying ‘You don’t mean it’ or ‘You’ve never really, really said it’.
        The question of compromise for the utility of all, equally considered, is another matter, of course. But that is not Israeli language. They don’t believe in the utility of all, equally considered. They can’t, because they have this belief in exclusive rights and the utter conviction that those of us who disagree are motivated by hatred, religious perversity or total lack of human feeling. They’re wrong, though.

      • RoHa
        January 26, 2017, 9:58 pm

        I agree with your overall position, but I am reluctant to assign rights to non-persons, and especially the right to exist to states.

        My much-loved “Readers Digest Great World Atlas” includes such states as East Germany, the USSR, Czechoslovakia,and Yugoslavia. (Pakistan is a two-part state.) My late brother had an atlas that included Trieste. Were the rights of these states violated?

        I would suggest a phrasing it in terms of the rights of the residents.

        If the residents of the territory (say, France or Uruguay) want to establish and maintain a state in that territory, then the residents have a prima facie right to do so. At least two of the restrictions on that right are:

        (1) The state must be reasonably just, such that it does not oppress or inequitably limit the rights of any of its citizens. (Plenty or room for debates here.)

        (2) The state does not commit crimes against humanity (such as promoting BHL as a philosopher, or allowing Jaques Tati to make films) either domestically or internationally.

        Israel, of course, is not just and does commit such crimes. The residents of the territory do not have a right to maintain such a state. In your terms, Israel does not have a right to exist.

        Of course, plenty of other states fail in similar ways. This does not necessarily means that the states are to be disbanded or absorbed into a revived Majapahit Empire, but it certainly means that those states need to be reformed.

      • eljay
        January 27, 2017, 8:55 am

        || RoHa @ January 26, 2017, 9:58 pm ||

        Spot on, old chap! :-)

      • Mooser
        January 27, 2017, 1:51 pm

        Israel’s “right to exist” is more correctly termed “Your obligation to prop up Israel”.

        When has a country which had the means and the power and the resources to exist ever, ever appealed to its “right to existence”?

        Israel’s “right to exist” plea is an admission of their own incapacity to exist under normal circumstances.

      • MHughes976
        January 27, 2017, 1:51 pm

        No dispute, I think, RoHa. When I said of ‘Uruguay has RTE’ that this is at best problematic I was thinking that it’s perhaps a way of saying, though rather misleadingly, that Uruguayans, like everyone else, have the right, each and every one of them, to be spared the horrors of invasion by landgrabbers and marauders, which is true. However, I think that any attempt to set up a system of group rights somehow cutting across individual rights would lead to chaos.
        I think it follows that no individual rights, so no rights at all, are violated, just by the fact that a frontier is moved, though there may be very strong objection to the means used to get it moved. It’s never morally imperative that the frontier between X and Y should run along this or that line of rivers or mountains.
        There are some who respond to Israel’s RTE claims by saying that of course they recognise it just as they recognise RTE for every other country – no big deal. In fact it’s quite a big deal and quite a bad one.

      • RoHa
        January 27, 2017, 7:35 pm

        More an intitial draft, in need of much discussion and refining, eljay.

        But there can be no doubt about BHL and Tati.

      • RoHa
        January 27, 2017, 7:50 pm

        Good point Mooser. I think it even applies when the resources proved inadequate. I may have missed it in the history books, but, when the Japanese were invading China and the Germans were invading France, I don’t recall that either country said, “Steady on, lads! Right to exist, and all that, you know. “

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2017, 9:41 pm

        Zionists are pretty good at portraying fatal weaknesses as strengths. That “right to exist” is a great example.

  7. Annie Robbins
    January 25, 2017, 12:32 pm

    Remnick spelled that out: Some Palestinians think things might well get worse before they get better. And that when there is “unambiguous” apartheid, Israel will come to be isolated diplomatically and finally yield to a more just form of government.

    this part, “And … Israel will come to be isolated diplomatically”, how? when? what magical cloud will descend over governments in the world that will finally get them to pressure israel in a meaningful way?

    • just
      January 25, 2017, 1:00 pm

      Good questions, Annie. Only deep sanctions will work~ maybe!

      There already is (and has been) “unambigious apartheid” by and for Israeli Jews, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine, and so much more since the ‘beginning’.

      Remnick appears to remain willfully blind to Israel’s multitudinous and ongoing crimes. They did not only begin with Netanyahu, did they? Could he be a ‘liberal Zionist’? Hasn’t he heard that there is no 2SS nor ‘peace process’ because of Israel’s history of duplicity and outright lies? What did he and his fellow “rightwing/centrist” folks on the program do to stop Israel in its tracks before now?

      (Why Bosnia, btw???)

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2017, 1:11 pm

        Only deep sanctions will work~ maybe!

        but israel’s deepstate lobby is running around ensuring each and every state has anti sanction legislation in place – patching holes in a bucket before the thunderstorm. remnick glosses over this as if it’s an inevitable minor technicality. he’s a liberal-lite zionist, yes.

  8. Pixel
    January 25, 2017, 2:31 pm

    This guy is delusional.

  9. jon s
    January 25, 2017, 3:50 pm

    Ms. Michaeli is a member of Knesset, not “minister of Knesset” (which makes it sound like she’s in the government, not the opposition.)

    • Annie Robbins
      January 25, 2017, 4:00 pm

      thanks jon, fixed. it’s also the labor party in israel, not labour like the UK.

      • jon s
        January 25, 2017, 4:12 pm

        The same mistake occurs later in the article:


        “Remnick offered that few Labor ministers of Knesset…”

      • Annie Robbins
        January 25, 2017, 5:03 pm

        thanks again jon

    • Philip Weiss
      January 25, 2017, 10:52 pm

      thanks jon

      • jon s
        January 26, 2017, 1:58 am

        Incidentally, Merav Michaeli is the granddaughter of Rudolf Kastner, whose controversial deeds during the Holocaust in Hungary were discussed here a while ago.

  10. K Renner
    January 25, 2017, 4:07 pm

    The two-state solution is dead because Israel never wanted it and so killed it.

    There can be no peace without dignity, which is something that Israel seeks to strip away from the Palestinian people. Zionism demands as much.

    Therefore– the Israelis yet again force the Palestinians to respond aggressively and violently if need be. With the disgusting new administration in America, I really do think things are going to get worse before they get better. All legitimate violent resistance by Palestinian factions ought to be on the table options-wise.

  11. Rusty Pipes
    January 25, 2017, 9:42 pm

    I see the Remnick quote that mentions civil war, but see nothing about Ethnic Cleansing. Indeed, the greater danger of the one-state reality is that GOI will use civil “unrest” or “uppity Arabs” as an excuse for stepped up Ethnic Cleansing (and if any MSM reporter ever-so-slightly hints at the reality on the ground, the network will need to air a few Israel human interest stories to atone). Even as awareness of Palestinian human rights grows among American activists, I don’t see our politicians willing to act to halt the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

    • inbound39
      January 26, 2017, 5:07 am

      Exactly correct. Too many American Politicians are in the pay of the Israeli Lobby. Until Americans demand an end to Israeli manipulation of their government nothing will change. Right now America is a satellite of Israel.Maybe it’s time to fix the problem.

  12. Ossinev
    January 27, 2017, 12:21 pm

    @Annie Robins
    “ossinev, there is a link to the show embedded at the beginning of the second paragraph – See more at”

    Thanks for that Annie – guilty of a little bit of rapid scrolling there I`m afraid. Have now listened to the interviews and found all three of them surreal including the contribution from the Palestinian commentator. The only positive aspect of the show was the interviewers persistence in asking difficult questions and repeating the difficult questions when answers were evaded.
    Dayan is hilarious and you get much more of a flavour when you see him as well as hear him speak eg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6lwgCs2PNM

    Basically he is a self indoctrinated/self brainwashed dickhead living in the classic Ziobubble where everything is fine/will be all right on the night etc. Particularly hilarious in the radio interview was the sequence where David Remnick suggested that what was needed in the conflict was a”Mandela ” figure. Dayan said that he couldn`t see a Mandela on the Palestinian side but could see “many Mandelas” on the Israeli side. Remnick immediately pressed him on this asking him to give an example of an Israeli “Mandela” and Dayan`s panic response was simply to say “I don`t know” and move on. It is a great shame that he was allowed to get away with this blatantly nonsensical claim – perhaps some future interviewer can keep in the bag and tag him with a “you said recently – can you specify who these Mandelas are for the benefit of our viewers/listeners”.

    At least with the other two speakers there was a sense of the brutal reality of the I/P conflict and some sort of feeling coming from them that things were sliding towards a one state reality. With Dayan it was ” what`s the big problem – why don`t you lighten up a bit”. And BTW if there is a “problem” it`s not the settlers to blame it`s those ungrateful Palestinians who refuse to let us steal their land. As I say a 100% dickhead = Israeli Ambassador to the US.

  13. harveystein
    January 29, 2017, 8:27 am

    Interesting article, but not sure why you guys (and the people you write about) are still focusing so much on the 1-state 2-state dichotomy. Life ain’t black and white….

    I live in Jerusalem, and there are MANY groups who have grown beyond this polarization. One is http://www.2states1homeland.org/en, another one is, http://www.federation.org.il/index.php/en , and there are others.

    The most exciting thinking and activism happening on the ground in Israstine is about some kind of confederation. Each “side” would have some sovereignty. But (as one main possibility that the dichotomists forget about), most of the settlers could stay on as Palestinian citizens. In some plans (like in the EU), Palestinians could reside anywhere in Israel, and vica versa.

    Bernard Avishai and other Israelis are writing about confederative possibilities all the time.

    The underlying assumption in most of these plans is that some kind of TRUST (and relationship) is essential to a stable confederative relationship. Trust on the ground, and trust between politicians on both sides. Of course, Bibi is incapable of this, not with Palestinians, and not even with most of his fellow Israelis….

    Why don’t you write more on these possibilities, and not just trash the “old school” dichotomies?

    God knows, Americans need to know about these possibilities too. Salaam-shalom from the sometimes Holy City…..

    • Annie Robbins
      January 29, 2017, 12:50 pm

      harvey, we’ve covered other ideas, some articles referencing your first group mentioned: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/palestine-oppressed-normalization/
      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/controversy-ignites-flotilla/

      your second link, which says equality for all, also says this:

      Establishment of a federal government, and the division of the country into 30 cantons, about 20 of which will have a Jewish majority and ten with an Arab majorities (one of which will have a Druze majority).
      Establish of an additional house of representatives: the Council of Cantons.

      so how does that work out to equality in a population demographically split equally between two people? represented by a council where one demographic has 1/2 the representation as the other? can you explain that to me?

      the graphic is in hebrew (i can’t read it), but the west bank is broken into 10(?) green sections so one could assume those are the “arab majority” cantons. but north, central and western galilee, is a palestinian majority region of israel. “The Jewish Agency has attempted to increase the Jewish population in this area” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galilee#Demography

      so why wouldn’t the cantons in the galilee w/a palestinian majority population, be palestinian majority cantons? why not have 30 cantons w/15 each? why create a new additional house of representatives that gives one ethnicity twice as much representation as the other? i just don’t get it.

      • Mooser
        January 29, 2017, 1:46 pm

        “? i just don’t get it.”

        “Annie”, don’t you see, he is just trying to achieve the “proper demographic balance”. After all, isn’t that the process (rigging the demographics) which worked so well for Jews in the US?

        “God knows, Americans need to know about these possibilities too”

        What about the possibility of giving Israel less money, and making Israel compromise because it is rapidly losing power and population? That would work.

  14. Ossinev
    January 29, 2017, 1:44 pm

    @HarveyStein
    “Life ain’t black and white….”
    It is always good to hear sensible and most importantly sensitive Jewish Israeli contributions to the I/P conflict dialogue and what you say and what the groups you link to propose is sensitive as in the Palestinians are indeed fellow human beings and yes they are natives to the land and yes they should have equal rights. However , as with South Africa in the Apartheid era , I`m afraid the situation has become “black and white”. Israel is now irrevocably controlled by the very extreme right and it`s politics are driven by the settler movement and their imperative of realising the “Eretz Israel” dream with the Palestinians simply being viewed as temporary “illegal squatters” . Any talk of “cantons” or” confederations” presupposes that the settlers can somehow be persuaded by the “more moderate” voices in Israel to abandon this dream and eg acccept non Eretz Israel citizenship in a Palestinian canton of some kind.
    a) The “more moderate” as a potential persuasive force in Israeli politics no longer exist as any form of political force.Those few remaining “more moderate” voices are viewed with contempt , are seen as traitors /self deniers/dangerous left wingers or all three by the majority of Israelis.
    b) The settlers along with their Ultra Orthodox fellow travellers within Israel itself are zealots who simply cannot and will not be persuaded to accept the idea of anything less than an Eretz Israel outcome.

    Worthy but very wishful thinking I`m afraid.

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