We spend a lot of space on this site following the generational (and intra-family) divide in the Jewish community over Israel. Turns out there seems to be a split among Palestinians as well, but this one focuses on the way forward – one state or two?
Jodi Rudoren has a very interesting piece in today’s New York Times on the debate happening within Palestinian families in the West Bank. And she starts at the top, with Mahmoud Abbas’s own son:
When President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority visited the White House this week, he again heard dire warnings that the current moment could be the last chance for a two-state solution through negotiations with Israel.
Back home in Ramallah, Mr. Abbas’s own son has been telling him that last chance is already long gone, the negotiations futile. The son, Tareq Abbas, a businessman who has long shied away from politics and spotlights, is part of a swelling cadre of prominent Palestinians advocating instead the creation of a single state stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in which Jews and Arabs would all be citizens with equal rights.
“If you don’t want to give me independence, at least give me civil rights,” Mr. Abbas, 48, said in a rare interview at his well-appointed apartment here as his father headed to Washington. “That’s an easier way, peaceful way. I don’t want to throw anything, I don’t want to hate anybody, I don’t want to shoot anybody. I want to be under the law.”
And Abbas is not the only one. Rudoren also quotes Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki who says the numbers for Palestinians 45 years old and younger are skewing towards one state, including his own son:
“Just ask my son,” Mr. Shikaki, 60, wrote in an email. “He will tell you that my generation has failed and should exit the stage and take its mainstream paradigm, the two-state solution, along with it.
“The views of my generation were formed during the heyday of the Palestinian national movement; his views were formed during the failed years of Oslo, the days of perceived Palestinian Authority corruption and tyranny, the Internet and social media,” Mr. Shikaki added, referring to the 1990s Oslo accords, which laid the two-state groundwork. “We are pragmatic; he is idealistic. We demand independence and sovereignty; he demands equal rights.”
Most interesting Shikaki says the backing for one state among Palestinians under 45 is “solid” and that they “cannot be satisfied by a two-state solution.” Seems like it might be equal rights or bust.