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One-state solution is debated in California congressional race

Israel/Palestine
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Here’s a fine piece by Linda Milazzo in the LA Progressive, showing how viciously the lobby responds to talk of a one-state solution. LA Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of Energy and Commerce and a big liberal, goes haywire against Marcy Winograd, the challenger to Congresswoman Jane "AIPAC" Harman in a neighboring district. Milazzo points out that Israel/Palestine is not a huge issue to Harman’s beachfront district but that for both Waxman and Harman, it is the political litmus test.

Below are excerpts from Waxman’s letter to constituents urging them to support Tel Aviv Jane, and from Winograd’s letter to Waxman telling him that Israel’s persecution of Palestinians is hurting "our people." Note that Winograd takes a very reasonable line here: as a liberal who opposes racial discrimination, she’s for the one-state solution, but if they can come up with a just two-state solution, she wouldn’t oppose it. And that is extremely repugnant?

FROM THE DESK OF CONGRESSMAN HENRY A. WAXMAN

Dear Friend,

Recently, I came across an astounding speech by Marcy Winograd, who is running against our friend Jane Harman in her primary re-election to Congress. Ms. Winograd’s views on Israel I find repugnant in the extreme. And that is why I wanted to write you.

What has prompted my urgent concern is a speech Ms. Winograd gave, entitled, “Call For One State,” at the All Saints Church in Pasadena last year. The complete text is attached, but in it she says:

– “I think it is too late for a two-state solution. Israel has made it all but impossible for two states to exist.”

– “Not only do I think a two-state solution is unrealistic, but also fundamentally wrong…”

– “As a citizen of the United States, I do not want my tax dollars to support institutionalized racism. As a Jew, I do not want my name associated with occupation or extermination.”…

To me, the notion that a Member of Congress could hold these views is alarming. Ms. Winograd is far, far outside the bipartisan mainstream of views that has long insisted that US policy be based upon rock-solid support for our only democratic ally in the Middle East.

In Marcy Winograd’s foreign policy, Israel would cease to exist. In Marcy Winograd’s vision, Jews would be at the mercy of those who do not respect democracy or human rights. These are not trivial issues; they cannot be ignored or overlooked. Jane’s victory will represent a clear repudiation of these views.

Winograd’s response:

Like you, I am intimately aware of our Jewish history. On my mother’s side, my great-grandparents escaped the Russian Pogroms to make a better life for themselves in Europe. On my father’s side, my great-grandparents were killed in the Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany. Because of our collective experience with persecution, it behooves us to stand in opposition to persecution anywhere and everywhere, rather than sanctify reductionist state policies that cast all Jews as victims who can only thrive in a segregated society. Furthermore, we must stand in explicit opposition to the Israeli persecution of the Palestinians; the brutal blockade of Gaza, an act of war by international standards, denying children clean water, food, and medicine.

We are better than that.

In your letter, you reference my speech in support of a one state solution, one that would recognize both Israelis and Palestinians as equals in a land of great historical significance to both. Security for Jews and Palestinians will be increased, not decreased, by efforts to establish a state where all are welcome and treated equally, but such a day may be far down the road given the existing enmity and lack of accountability in U.S. foreign policy regarding ever-expanding Israeli settlements. To stop the suffering of the Palestinian people and to end the rocket attacks on Israelis near the border, I am ready and willing to accept a negotiated peace agreement that adheres to principles of justice and recognizes a two-state solution based on withdrawal of illegal settlements to the 1967 borders or a mutually-agreed exchange of territory.

Nowhere in my speech do I advocate destruction or violence. Those are your words.

In your letter, you include what you term an “alarming’ quote of mine – “As a Jew, I do not want my name associated with occupation or extermination.” Frankly, I am mystified as to why you would find my words objectionable. Surely, you are not saying the converse is true – that you want Jewish people associated with occupation and extermination. Such a legacy would dishonor our people.

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

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