How Avi Shlaim moved from two-state solution to one-state solution

US Politics
on 31 Comments

Jadaliyya has posted an excellent interview with the British-Israeli historian Avi Shlaim, in which Shlaim states that he is an “Arab Jew” because he was born in Iraq and describes the long history of Jewish-Muslim coexistence in the Arab world before the rise of Zionism in the 20th century.

Palestinians, Shlaim says, were not the only victims of Zionism.

[T]here are other victims of Zionism—the Jews of the Arab lands. There was a Jewish community in Iraq which had been there for two and a half millennia, and had no wish to leave. It is only because of the rise of nationalism in the twentieth Century that peaceful coexistence was no longer possible.

Shlaim has no faith in Donald Trump’s ability to resolve the conflict. Trump is only listening to Netanyahu. Shlaim points out that President Obama promised to treat Palestinians fairly in Cairo in 2009 and did not follow through at all, but failed to pressure Israel, instead increasing aid. When will U.S. establishment voices begin to echo this truth:

The American-sponsored peace process, which began in 1991 after the Gulf war, is all process and no peace. It is a charade. It is pretence. It is worse than a charade because the peace process gives Israel the cover it needs to pursue its aggressive colonial project on the West Bank.

Shlaim was once proud of his Israeli background, which included serving in the Israeli armed forces in the 1960s. He used to be for partition as realistic, but today he has given up on the two-state solution. Because he observed Israel’s steadfast refusal to allow a Palestinian state.

I was a proponent of a two-state solution for most of my life because there can never be absolute justice for the Palestinians. I believe that the creation of the state of Israel involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians but I don’t want to go a step further and say that Israel should be dismantled in order to deliver justice to the Palestinians. I accept the reality of Israel within its original borders, I accept the legitimacy of Israel within its original pre-1967 borders.

Edward Said described the two communities as two communities of suffering. We have to take into account the tragic history of the Jews as well as the suffering of the Palestinians. The two-state solution seemed to be not a perfect solution but a reasonable solution. The PLO by signing the Oslo Accords gave up the claim to 78 percent of Mandatory Palestine in the hope that they would get an independent Palestinian state on the remaining 22 percent, on the West bank and Gaza. So I supported the two-state solution but Israel under both Labour and Likud governments continued to expand settlements. This is incompatible with a two-state solution.

The settlements represent land-grabbing, and land-grabbing and peace-making don’t go together, it is one or the other. By its actions, if not always in its rhetoric, Israel has opted for land-grabbing and as we speak Israel is expanding settlements. So, Israel has been systematically destroying the basis for a viable Palestinian state and this is the declared objective of the Likud and Netanyahu who used to pretend to accept a two-state solution. In the lead up to the last election, he said there will be no Palestinian state on his watch. The expansion of settlements and the wall mean that there cannot be a viable Palestinian state with territorial contiguity. The most that the Palestinians can hope for is Bantustans, a series of enclaves surrounded by Israeli settlements and Israeli military bases.

So a two-state solution is no longer a viable option and that is why I have become a supporter of the one-state solution, a single state with equal rights for all its citizens. Ideologically, I don’t have any problem with a one-state solution. Ideologically, it is very attractive, it is a noble vision of two communities living in harmony in one space with equal rights for all its members. But, I am not naïve enough to think that the one-state solution is a realistic prospect because there is no support for a one-state solution in Israel. And if pushed really hard I think Israel would withdraw to the wall on the West Bank and annex whatever bits it wants of the West Bank. It would annex the main settlement blocks in Ma’ale Adumim, and the whole area around Jerusalem, and it would do so unilaterally rather than have a one-state so I am not in the least bit optimistic that the one-state solution is a viable proposition. But this is where I stand and I blame Israel for eliminating the alternative of a two-state solution.

Note that the one-state solution is the idealistic alternative, two peoples sharing sovereignty democratically. And if you object that it is not realistic, alright– but neither is two states.

Shlaim also endorses BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, saying that it frightens Israel and it is the only hope Palestinians have of making progress globally.

BDS is a global grass-roots movement which has been gathering support at a very impressive pace and it has had a large number of successes with major companies divesting from Israel. It has also had considerable impact on public opinion throughout the world, delegitimising the Israeli occupation. The Israelis take it very seriously. They have formed a unit with a budget of GBP 40 million in order to fight BDS by launching personal attacks on individuals and delegitimising them rather than engaging with the arguments of BDS. And it seems to me that there is now hope that western governments will change their policy of support for Israel….

So going back to BDS, there is no hope for the Palestinians to bring about the end of occupation through the support of western governments or the UN, the only hope that the Palestinians have is through BDS.

That is not to say that in the foreseeable future BDS could bring about an end of the Israeli occupation. But that is the only hope the Palestinians have of making progress.

It’s amazing that these simple straightforward ideas are not reflected in the U.S. discourse. Though I would say that progressive Americans readily accept these ideas, and that is why the Democratic Party establishment is today running scared of these ideas entering the mainstream.

H/t Jonathan Ofir. And Michael Smith. 

About Philip Weiss

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

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31 Responses

  1. JosephA
    November 11, 2017, 4:36 pm

    Normally I try to steer clear of broad stroke generalizations, but I just have to say:

    I have found that Iraqi Jews (specifically those Jews of Iraqi origin who moved to Israel after the zionist false-flag attacks against them/their families and their wonderful, ancient community) have the most sensible and reasonable viewpoints about Israel and Palestine.

    I am referring to such people as Naeim Giladi, Ella Shohat, and this person Avi Shlaim. If only more people could hear and listen to their most well reasoned opinions.

    Thank you for sharing this article.

    • Brewer
      November 12, 2017, 3:00 am

      Avi Shlaim is a true gent. I had a query concerning the History once and ventured an email to him. His response was prompt, courteous and kind though we had never met.

  2. Citizen
    November 11, 2017, 5:38 pm

    And in conclusion yes, “It’s amazing that these simple straightforward ideas are not reflected in the U.S. discourse. Though I would say that progressive Americans readily accept these ideas, and that is why the Democratic Party establishment is today running scared of these ideas entering the mainstream.”

    Bingo! Other than continuing #BDS, the growing number of rank & file Democrats can bring this situation to the forefront, so that, eventually, the US mainstream TV news/infotainment shows would have to bring it to the attention of the US mass public. The Democrat leadership is looking for a charismatic, relatively young candidate to run for POTUS–but all they trot out are old passe candidates, the latest being Beiden. What’s not being discussed by main media on channels like CNN and MSNBC is that the Democratic Establishment is afraid to run anyone who might bring with them change in the US-Israel status quo.

  3. just
    November 12, 2017, 8:21 am

    Thanks for this. I guess it’s never too late for some. I only hope it’s not too late for Palestine and the Palestinians while a few more Israelis screw their brains and hearts on tight and right.

    You write:

    “It’s amazing that these simple straightforward ideas are not reflected in the U.S. discourse. Though I would say that progressive Americans readily accept these ideas, and that is why the Democratic Party establishment is today running scared of these ideas entering the mainstream.”

    Have a look at this:

    “Democrats Urged to Attack Trump Over Support for ‘Terror-funding’ Qatar …

    Democrats on Capitol Hill are considering a new line of attack against the Trump administration, this time over its policy towards Qatar, the oil rich Gulf emirate known for its support of Hamas. A memo prepared by a Washington-based consulting firm, which has been sent to senior Democratic lawmakers this week, outlines a political strategy to negatively portray Trump’s Qatar policy, in ways that would also involve arguments relating to Israel. 

    The memo, titled “Emerging GOP Vulnerability on Terrorism, Iran and Israel,” was written by Bluelight Strategies, a consulting firm that earlier this week helped launch a new national organization of Jewish Democrats. The same firm also worked earlier this year with opposition leaders in Qatar who are fighting against the country’s current regime, and it is currently advising Jewish groups and Washington think-tanks that are frequent critics of Qatar. 

    In the memo, the firm claims that while in recent years, Republicans have “tried to paint Democrats as anti-Israel, weak on Iran and weak on terrorism overall,” Trump’s policy regarding Qatar “has opened a significant vulnerability for Republicans, on which Democrats should move swiftly to fully exploit. That vulnerability is Qatar.” …”

    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.822086

    Never mind the unholy mess that KSA and Israel are foisting upon Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, and Iran…

    Here’s an interesting bit:

    “Prince Charles’ Letter From 1986 Blamed Jews for Unrest in Middle East

    British Jewish leaders take specific issue with Prince Charles’ use of the ‘Jewish lobby’ phrase, which they say has been used as an anti-Semitic pejorative for centuries

    … Prince Charles has come under fire for the letter, with some calling the usage of the phrase “Jewish lobby” anti-Semitic. Stephen Pollard, editor of the British Jewish Chronicle, wrote that the term has been used by anti-Semites for centuries and called the letter “jaw-droppingly shocking.”

    The letter’s text reads, “I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some U.S. president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in U.S.? I must be naive, I suppose!”

    The letter, which surfaced in a public archive on Sunday, was written to Afrikaner explorer Laurens van der Post and discussed Prince Charles’ understanding of the Middle East.

    No member of the British royal family has ever come to Israel in an official capacity. Prince Charles visited last October to attend former President Shimon Peres’ funeral, and took the opportunity to go to the Mount of Olives. There, in the Church of Mary Magdalene, he paid a secret visit to the grave of his paternal grandmother. …”

    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.822251

    Ah and so… Is/are there folks in the UK hierarchy that are ashamed of Balfour?

  4. Ossinev
    November 12, 2017, 12:30 pm

    “Stephen Pollard, editor of the British Jewish Chronicle, wrote that the term has been used by anti-Semites for centuries and called the letter “jaw-droppingly shocking.”

    There are Catholic Lobbies , Presbyterian Lobbies , Anglican Lobbies. Perfectly OK to refer to them as such. But “Jewish Lobbies” = shrieks , howls , wailing and gnashing of teeth as reference to such a non existent pressure group is FFS “Jaw droppingly shocking”. Mr Pollard once you have picked up your jaw I suggest that you and your pathetic Hasbara rag stop treating the UK populace and its royalty as morons. I don`t count you and your rag readership as UK populace as you are patently 100% Zionist Israeli Firsters. Better still if you find that living in the UK is so “jaw droppingly shocking” pack your suitcase , pick up your jaw and move to your ancient historic etc. Guaranteed that your mandible will stay in its rightful place.

    Pathetic.

  5. Nathan
    November 12, 2017, 7:59 pm

    “The PLO by signing the Oslo Accords gave up the claim to 78 percent of Mandatory Palestine…” Well, if this sentence were to be phrased in the present tense, it would be quite a sensation. Perhaps it’s true that the PLO gave up its claim, but in reality today the PLO is not giving up its claim to the entire country. Similarly, the PLO agreed (past tense) to erase all the sections of the National Covenant that deny Israel’s right to exist; however, they don’t agree (present tense) to erase anything. Just take a look at the PLO website, and you can see the 1964 version and the 1968 version of the National Covenant, but the post-Oslo version that was supposed to delete all the calls for the destruction of Israel simply is not available. One also hears all the time that the PLO recognized Israel (past tense), and it’s absolutely true. However they don’t recognize Israel (present tense).

    Avi Shlaim supports the one-state solution. In order to reach a one-state solution, there will have to be an agreement in which the two sides express their willingness to live together in a single state. Again, once that agreement is reached, it will be possible to state truthfully (only in the past tense) that “the PLO (or the PA) agreed to live with the Israeli Jews in a single state”. However, in the present tense, (we will discover that) they simply don’t agree. The grievance will be that the Jews are not legitimate residents of the country (they’re “invaders”). And the conflict will continue within the single state.

    When proposing a solution for a conflict, it’s always a good idea to first define the true reason of conflict. If the conflict started because the two-state arrangement is no longer viable, then the one-state solution is a great proposal. However, if the conflict started (let’s say) “because unwanted foreigners arrived in Palestine”, then the one-state solution is absolute nonsense (it doesn’t solve the Palestinian grievance). It would be helpful if Avi Shlaim would have defined the cause of conflict, and then it would be possible to judge if his one-state idea hits the nail on the head (and I doubt it).

    • Donald Johnson
      November 12, 2017, 9:14 pm

      This is your long winded way of claiming that Palestinians don’t want to live in peace in the same state with Israelis, so the conflict is their fault. You don’t state it plainly because it invites the obvious counter that Israelis don’t want to share one state with Palestinians.

      • echinococcus
        November 13, 2017, 12:34 am

        Johnson,

        I’m always amazed by the pretty unanimous tendency of people here to insist on the “obvious counter that Israelis don’t want to share one state with Palestinians”, as you put it. A counter to the absurd use, as if it were a fault the fact that Palestinians may not want to live with invaders.
        Of course no invaded people has any obligation to put up with invaders!
        Of course invaded peoples have every right to reject an invasion by all means available!

        While it is of official that the Zionist invaders refuse coexistence with the owners of the territory to the point of exterminating them, no justification is ever needed to totally reject any invasion. Zionists have no right to “co”exist in Palestine.

      • Nathan
        November 13, 2017, 8:20 pm

        Donald Johnson – Already in the article, it is explained that the Israeli public is not interested in the one-state solution. So, that is not the issue of my comment. I am suggesting that the one-state solution is not a solution from the Palestinian point of view. It does NOT address the issue of conflict as the Palestinians see the conflict. Perhaps, you could define in a few sentences what this conflict is all about, and then we could judge if the founding of a single state is the remedy to the crisis.

        In 1947, UNSCOP suggested two ideas to solve the crisis in Palestine. The majority suggestion was partition (two states) and it was the suggestion that was voted on (29 Nov 1947). The minority suggestion was a one-state arrangement. The Arab side of the conflict rejected BOTH suggestions. The acceptance of a one-state solution was also understood as an acceptance of the Jews as legitimate residents of Palestine.

        Today, the one-state solution is not being suggested in order to end the conflict; rather, it’s being suggested in order to end the existence of the Jewish state. The conflict will not be resolved with the founding of a single state, and it will continue in the framework of the single state.

      • eljay
        November 14, 2017, 8:31 am

        || Nathan: … The acceptance of a one-state solution was also understood as an acceptance of the Jews as legitimate residents of Palestine. … ||

        “The Jews” – all the people in the world who choose to hold the religion-based identity of Jewish – were not and are not “legitimate residents of Palestine” so there was not and is not any valid reason for anyone to have to accept such a notion.

        || … Today, the one-state solution is not being suggested in order to end the conflict; rather, it’s being suggested in order to end the existence of the Jewish state. … ||

        The existence of religion-supremacist “Jewish State” should end because – one-state or two-state solution – religion-supremacist “Jewish State” has no right to exist.

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2017, 12:05 pm

        “Today, the one-state solution is not being suggested in order to end the conflict; rather, it’s being suggested in order to end the existence of the Jewish state. “

        Oh, quit kvetching already. So the “Jewish State” will become The “Half-Jewish State” or some other fraction. That seems to work for an awful lot of people, why not Israel?
        Israel should be the same amount Jewish as the Jewish people are.

      • gamal
        November 14, 2017, 1:13 pm

        “The “Half-Jewish State” ”

        and think of all the half Jews the American community is producing, perfect.

        “or some other fraction” where do Jews register? is there a column for Octoroons?

        Identity algebra is fun, so long as one doesn’t take it too seriously, I may or may not have a Sudanese connection, they fight about it in the family, people say my late father confused a neighbour family story as ours, he used to get really angry when people said that, he was adamant we are partly Sudanese, and would shout at people who told him he had got confused, but we didn’t want anything from Sudan, just to fight with each other that was enough.

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2017, 3:22 pm

        “Identity algebra is fun…”

        My Mom always maintained they switched babies on her at the hospital, which turned my identity algebra into a kind of trigonometry I couldn’t do.

    • Misterioso
      November 13, 2017, 11:20 am

      The Oslo accords were preceded by both parties signing a Declaration of Principles and the following letter of intent from Yasser Arafat to Prime Minister Rabin. Among other commitments, the PLO agreed to alter the Palestinian Covenant (July, 1968) by removing clauses calling for “armed struggle,” “the elimination of Zionism in Palestine,” “[liberation of the Palestinian] homeland,” and those referring to the illegitimacy of Israel.

      “September 9, 1993

      Yitzhak Rabin
      Prime Minister of Israel

      Mr. Prime Minister,
      “The signing of the Declaration of Principles marks a new era in the history of the Middle East. In firm conviction thereof, I would like to confirm the following PLO commitments:

      “The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security.

      “The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

      “The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

      “The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators

      “In view of the promise of a new era and the signing of the Declaration of Principles and based on Palestinian acceptance of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid. Consequently, the PLO undertakes to submit to the Palestinian National Council for formal approval the necessary changes in regard to the Palestinian Covenant.”

      “Sincerely,
      Yasser Arafat
      Chairman
      The Palestine Liberation Organization”

      In January 1998, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the PLO and President of the PNC, sent the following letter to President Clinton reminding him that contrary to assertions by Israel’s Likud government under Netanyahu, the PLO Charter had been formally amended in accordance with commitments made to Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.

      “January 13, 1998

      Dear Mr. President.

      “In the mutual recognition letters between me and the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of September 9/10, 1993, the PLO committed to recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security, to accept UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides. The PLO also agreed to secure the necessary changes in the Palestinian Covenant to reflect these commitments.

      “Accordingly, the P.N.C. was held in Gaza city between 22-25 of April 1996, and in an extraordinary session decided that the ‘Palestine National Charter is hereby amended by cancelling the articles that are contrary to the letters exchanged between the P.L.O and the Government of Israel on 9/10 September 1993.’

      “It should be noted that the above mentioned resolution acquired the consent of both the American Administration and the Israeli Government. Afterwards I sent letters concerning this historic resolution to your Excellency and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and later a similar letter was sent to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

      “Both your Excellency and Prime Minister Peres warmly welcomed the P.N.C. Resolution.

      “The Israeli Labor Party, and in appreciation of the P.N.C. resolution dropped its objection to the establishment of a Palestinian State from its political platform.

      “From time to time questions have been raised about the effect of the Palestine National Council’s action, particularly concerning which of the 33 articles of the Palestinian Covenant have been changed.

      “We would like to put to rest these concerns. The Palestine National Council’s resolution, in accordance with Article 33 of the Covenant, is a comprehensive amendment of the Covenant. All of the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the P.L.O. commitment to recognize and live in peace side by side with Israel are no longer in effect.

      “As a result, Articles 6-10, 15, 19-23, and 30 have been nullified, and the parts in Articles 1-5, 11-14, 16-l8, 25-27 and 29 that are inconsistent with the above mentioned commitments have also been nullified.

      “I can assure you on behalf of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority that all the provisions of the Covenant that were inconsistent with the commitments (of September 9/10, 1993) to Prime Minister Rabin, have been nullified.

      Nablus: January 13, 1998
      Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the P.L.O., President of the P.N.A.”

      As for Netanyahu and the Likud party, here’s a brief summation of their positions that explain why the conflict continues:

      The Likud Party Platform states:

      a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

      b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

      c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

      d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

      • Nathan
        November 13, 2017, 7:40 pm

        Yes, Misterioso, Mr Arafat announced that all the parts of the Palestinian National Covenant that negate the existence of Israel have been nullified. That’s great news. Now, please, help me find an updated edition of the Palestinian National Covenant. I checked the website of the PLO (in Arabic), and lo and behold, there you can read the 1964 and the 1968 editions of the Palestinian National Covenant – but there is no post-1993 edition.

    • Bosnorth
      November 13, 2017, 4:22 pm

      One state will not be led by negotiations or both sides agreeing to live together. It is best compared to other jim-crow or apartheid situations where the oppressed conduct a civil rights struggle that captures world-wide support and forces change.
      The change within Israel could, at some stage we can’t now foresee, spread out from coexistence and bi-lingual projects and by increasing support for such a civil rights movement.
      At present, BDS is the closest thing we have to that. The PLO will not lead but follow, eventually. It has only just come around to BDS. One single secular democratic state is very popular among Palestinian students and youth, and for a while during the past decade some mid-ranking Fatah members were organising for this. Within Israel, opportunities were missed (when leaders of the 2011 Tent protest headed it off into cost of living grumbles) and this was followed by fierce repression and legal obstacles that have left only a few brave die-hards holding out for “boycott from within”.
      The best thing we can do is keep up and extend BDS, and support especially any Palestinian struggles for rights, including the prisoner hunger strikes for rights, demands for freedom of movement and an end to barriers and so on: these focus on UN standards of universal human rights, rather than demands for a separate state, so are comparable with anti-apartheid/JimCrow struggles. Even the demands for recognition of Palestine as a state are less a means for establishing such a state than for strengthening the diplomatic position of Palestinians to bring Israel to account at UN agencies such as the ICJ: this runs together with, rather than against, demands for civil rights.

  6. yonah fredman
    November 12, 2017, 9:36 pm

    Reading headlines about Saudi Arabia trying to start a war between Lebanon/Hezbollah and Israel, there is a fear/wish/fantasy that headlines will provide the earthquake that shakes the terrain and brings change. I have been following the Israel saga quite closely for over 45 years and there have been in that time two earthquakes: the Yom Kippur War and the second intifada, and neither of them entices me, though I must admit that the status quo is pretty dismal in terms of political respect for the Palestinians. The general tumult in the region certainly should not suffice to explain away Israel’s stance, but without trying to get a handle on the macro Arab middle east tumult, seems like silliness and it is difficult for an amateur to get a handle on it.

    I admit I didn’t take bibi netanyahu sufficiently seriously when he left office in 99 the first time, but he is a formidable personality. the Zionist versus Palestinian conflict predates bibi and will continue after he is no longer prime minister, but to go from the relatively pragmatic trio of ehud barak, ariel sharon, and ehud olmert to the “tough it out” attitude of bibi who is most reminiscent in attitude to shamir (who expressed his desire to leave office as he received it, zero change and hand it over) has been a cold shower and a slap in the face to those who placed their hearts on change.

    Not familiar enough with Shlaim to get a real feel for him and his writings.

    • Donald Johnson
      November 12, 2017, 11:17 pm

      “ The Iron Wall” is a pretty good diplomatic history of Israel, in my admittedly not overly informed opinion. I have the hardback edition, when he was still optimistic about Barak ( this was around 1999). Those were the days when some liberal Zionists ( he was one then) were both optimistic about peace and honest about Israel’s sins.

  7. David Gerald Fincham
    November 13, 2017, 10:58 am

    The root of the conflict is the fact that both the Israeli-Jewish people and the Palestinian-Arab people claim all of the land of former Palestine. Irrespective of how valid or invalid these claims may be, they are firmly ensconced within the minds of both peoples, and a peaceful future will require a political arrangement which respects both claims. This can be achieved by a union of the State of Israel with the State of Palestine to form a single sovereign state, the United State of Israel and Palestine (Usip) in which Israel and Palestine retain their national lives and identities with a defined but open border between them. See http://www.religion-science-peace.org/2017/10/07/the-one-state-two-nations-proposal/ for more information.

    • Mooser
      November 13, 2017, 12:26 pm

      “The root of the conflict is the fact that both the Israeli-Jewish people and the Palestinian-Arab people claim all of the land of former Palestine.”

      Those Palestinians just don’t appreciate the claims our DNA gives Jews on the land.
      Just check my DNA, go ahead, I dare ya! It’s got “Palestine” written all over it.

      • David Gerald Fincham
        November 13, 2017, 2:50 pm

        Mooser, it might well have Kazachstan written all over it. And a Palestinian Arab’s DNA might well have “Jew” written all over it.

      • Mooser
        November 13, 2017, 4:11 pm

        “Mooser, it might well have Kazachstan written all over it.”

        You know, it very well might. Okay, then, off to Astana! There’s a square foot with my name on it, written all over it (in Kazakh, which’ll make it tough to find) there somewhere.

        And what does “Israeli-Jewish people” have written all over it?

    • eljay
      November 14, 2017, 2:50 pm

      || David Gerald Fincham: The root of the conflict is the fact that both the Israeli-Jewish people and the Palestinian-Arab people claim all of the land of former Palestine. … ||

      It isn’t the “Israeli-Jewish” people who claim that all of Palestine belongs to all of the world’s Jews – it’s the Zionist Israeli and non-Israeli Zionist.

      || … a peaceful future will require a political arrangement which respects both claims. … ||

      The Zionist claim has no merit and should not be respected.

      || … This can be achieved by a union of the State of Israel with the State of Palestine to form a single sovereign state, the United State of Israel and Palestine (Usip) in which Israel and Palestine retain their national lives and identities with a defined but open border between them. … ||

      Would the “national life and identity” of the State of Israel be Israeli or Jewish?

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2017, 3:41 pm

        And what on earth is “Palestinian-Arab people” supposed to mean?

      • Mooser
        November 15, 2017, 11:33 am

        Well, as far as the “Israeli-Jewish people” goes, perhaps this Jonathan Ofir article will help Dr. Fincham sort out who is Jewish and who is Israeli.

        I thought they were all just a bunch of Zionists, but who knows, there may be more to it.

  8. Bosnorth
    November 13, 2017, 4:32 pm

    Well if we are going to do DNA going back 2000+ years, we’d find that of the Jews living there in and around AD70, some left, some became Christians and others stayed put, such as an entire surviving Jewish village in the West Bank that has been Jewish and Palestinian forever, with no problems. But that doesn’t fit the myth of “return”, “exile” etc.

    • jon s
      November 14, 2017, 4:15 pm

      Bosnorth, what village are you talking about?

      • Mooser
        November 14, 2017, 4:49 pm

        “Bosnorth, what village are you talking about?” “Jon s”

        It must be Beersheba.

  9. Elizabeth Block
    November 13, 2017, 11:14 pm

    “There was a Jewish community in Iraq which had been there for two and a half millennia, and had no wish to leave.”
    Yes. I know someone who is an Iraqi Jew – now a Canadian Iraqi Jew – who agrees with this. The Israelis conducted false-flag terrorist attacks to get Jews from all over the Mediterranean to leave their homes and go to Israel.

    And it looks like Avi Shlaim has turned into an honest man, one with the courage to face facts, one of which is – there is no such thing as a liberal Zionist.

  10. jon s
    November 14, 2017, 4:13 pm

    The Jews of Iraq were basically expelled by the Iraq government.

    • Mooser
      November 14, 2017, 4:48 pm

      “The Jews of Iraq were basically expelled by the Iraq government.”

      Gee, I hadn’t made up my mind about that, but when such a disinterested, impartial, and well-informed commentator with a reputation for unhedging veracity says so…

      And “Jon s” leads with a distraction and a lie, as usual.

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