Category Archives:
One state/Two states

Remembering Bassem Abu Rahme

Allison Deger on
Palestinians sit outside of a mosque in Bil'in, the West Bank, during a memorial service for Bassem Abu Rahme and Palestinian Prisoners Day, Friday April 17, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Subhiya Abu Rahme, 60, propped up on her elbows and recounted her son’s last morning before the Israeli army killed him. Six years ago on April 17, 2009 Bassem Abu Rahme, 30, was shot in the chest with a tear gas canister in his West Bank hometown of Bil’in outside of Ramallah. The morning was a scorcher. Bassem went into the bathroom to cool off, musing, “I will shower or I will die.” Once clean and dressed, he walked to the garden behind the house. “I was working. He told me don’t tire yourself. It’s not good for you,” Subhiya said, relaying Bassem’s final words to her.

One state in historic Palestine, but — what kind of state?

Ellen Isaacs on
A Palestinian looks at the Israeli settlement Har Homa in the West Bank.

What is absent from much of the discussion of one state in Israel/Palestine is how this just state is to be structured economically and politically. Ellen Isaacs says that any movement which is going to enlist a mass movement in the call for a single just state must address the needs of the non-owning majority of Arabs and Jews on both sides of the wall.

Despite punitive Israeli tax freeze, Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges with Arab League financial help

Allison Deger on
Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas attends the 25th Arab League summit, held for the first time in Kuwait City, on March 25, 2014. (Photo: Yasser al-Zayyat/AFP/Daily News Egypt)

Within days of Palestinians announcing they would join the International Criminal Court (ICC), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his country would stop transferring customs revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The punitive move was expected to lead to a crisis for the Palestinian leadership as government services would collapse across the West Bank. But the Palestinian Authority had an unexpected back up plan. The Arab League has agreed to provide emergency funds to cover the VAT-taxes frozen by Israel. This Arab League safety net will help the Palestinians avoid the expected temporary bankruptcy and allow them to move forward with pressing for war crimes at the ICC. In fact, financial support from the Arab League was a key component, along with joining the ICC, of long-term strategy to pressure Israel into negotiations.

Updated Security Council resolution calls for East Jerusalem as Palestinian capital, Israel says UN creating ‘second Hamastan’

Allison Deger on
Security Council Meeting, 2011. (Photo: Iraqi News)

Late Monday evening Jordan submitted an updated version of a draft resolution seeking to end Israel’s occupation to the United Nations Security Council. The latest document maintains a 2017 deadline for an end to the Israeli occupation but contains a handful revisions, with substantive changes on the status of Jerusalem and Israel’s separation wall.

Palestinian UN effort seeks to set ‘terms of reference’ for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership

Allison Deger on
Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, September 26, 2014, NYC. (Photo: AFP/ Timothy A. Clary)

PLO official Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh says the current Palestinian push at the UN Security Council comes “a serious junction in the history of Palestine.” Allison Deger reports that the proposed UN resolution marks a change in Palestinian strategy for the PLO. According to Dr. Shtayyeh the resolution is “not simply as part of a routine diplomatic issue. We are going to the Security Council because this is part of a strategic shift in the way that we are dealing with the struggle with the Israelis.” Although details of the resolution are not yet public, it appears this shift includes taking a harder line on Israeli settlement construction and looking toward Europe for leadership over the peace process instead of the United States.

Recognizing Palestine—and political reality

Jamie Stern-Weiner on
Pro-Palestinian supporters position a giant banner calling for a recognised Palestinian State, in Parliament Square, central London on October 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP/Leon Neal)

After British MPs moved overwhelmingly to recognise the State of Palestine, the governments of Britain and Israel affected indifference in an attempt to undermine the vote’s significance. These dismissals mask a deep and growing anxiety about the direction of political traffic. “There is indeed reason to worry”, a senior Israeli diplomat acknowledged. “Not because it’s going to be translated into actual government policy, but because it’s a public opinion setter. It does create a trend”. But trends don’t set themselves, and fortunately for Israel, rather than mobilising to publicise and build on last week’s achievement, significant tendencies within the Palestine solidarity movement are working instead to undermine and contain it. Instead, we need to accept the victory and build on it.

The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear

Jeff Halper on
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: AP)

Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear.

Hope in the one state solution 

Leena El-Refaey on

As a fresh ceasefire continues to hold (for now) and the rest of the Middle East bleeds, the media can be forgiven for turning its attention away from the battered Gaza Strip.  If the indirect peace talks in Cairo are successful and the ceasefire extended, then once again Palestine will be momentarily forgotten. The well-oiled […]

Chomsky and BDS

Tom Suarez on

Many people who have come to value the courageous and principled stands of Noam Chomsky regarding injustice and imperialism are surprised to learn of his opposition to most aspects of BDS. Precisely because of the stature and influence of this “father of modern linguistics”, it is especially important that his views be subject to the same […]

‘Haaretz’ conference trumpets tired word ‘Peace’ (when the only solution is ‘equality’)

Matthew Taylor on

The answer — the only answer — to Israel/Palestine is equality. But Haaretz, stuck in the old, now-meaningless paradigm of so-called ‘peace,’ is promoting an Israel Conference on Peace in Jerusalem on July 8. The biases are striking. Nowhere in the conference program is there a clear focus on equality, human rights, international law, or the rights of […]

What Comes Next: Five Palestine futures

Richard Falk on

This post is part of “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” This series was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years […]

Interview with Haidar Eid: Resisting 66 years of Israeli Apartheid

Ayah Bashir on

In 2010, this interview was conducted with Dr. Haidar Eid as an activity by the Gaza BDS group and the One Democratic State Group (ODSG), but it has never been published before due to technical reasons. It was edited recently because this interview needs to be publicised since it tackles some of the most recent important and timely issues. Eid presents insightful […]

Beinart predicts J Streeters will tackle immigration before thinking critically about Israel

Matthew Taylor on

A day after Rebecca Steinfeld asked in Haaretz whether liberal Zionists will move left to support democracy or move right for permanent ethnocracy in the wake of the two state solution’s autopsy, Peter Beinart on cue considers — and then totally avoids — the question. Writing about J Street: Absent some crisis that forces Washington’s […]

Now that Israel has killed the two-state solution, will liberal Zionists support equality or ethnocracy?

Matthew Taylor on

Now that the Two State Solution has finally received belated, more-or-less official autopsy results, what will liberal Zionists do: move left to support a state of equality, or move right to support a state of permanent Apartheid ethnocracy? For a long list of self-identified liberal Zionists such as Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg, Thomas Friedman, Bradley Burston, Larry Derfner, and […]

Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last

Matthew Taylor on

For most of Obama’s time in office, Netanyahu and the Israel lobby tied him down like Gulliver. After initially confronting Netanyahu on settlements, Obama retreated in humiliating defeat. This time round, however, Obama outmaneuvered Bibi, apparently using anonymous proxies to pin the blame for the recent talks’ failure where it belongs: on Israel, for failing to end […]

In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft

Matthew Taylor on

U.S. officials blamed Israel’s “expropriating land on a large scale” to build colonies “on the territory meant for that [Palestinian] state” as the “primary” reason for the recent negotiations’ failure, in a must-read Ynet interview with historic implications. This rare moment of honesty from anonymous officials of the dishonest broker stands in sharp contrast to the […]