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‘NYT’ covers Palestinian generational divide over the two-state solution

Israel/Palestine
on 21 Comments
Mahmoud Abbas listening to Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly in 2011. (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)

Mahmoud Abbas listening to Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly in 2011. (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)

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.

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21 Responses

  1. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 19, 2014, 5:31 pm

    This is where right meets left. I’m sure the devil is in the details, but Caroline Glick is in favor of annexing the West Bank and giving the people the vote. (I’m sure she has enough exceptions to prompt a fit from the true hearted egalitarian, but the basis is there.) There is a major divide between Glick’s idea and Abbas’s son’s idea: Gaza. (The attitude towards the refugees as well.) But this is where right meets left and Caroline Glick or the Bayit Yehudi (renegade) MK’s proposals for annexing the West Bank are essentially the same direction as that of Abbas’s son.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      March 19, 2014, 6:57 pm

      They are in no way related. Abbas clearly envisions a state which does not benefit Jews over Arabs. But, rather, a state in which all people are given freedom, equality, any human rights.

      Glick’s final solution to the Palestinian question is a divide and conquer strategy. She would continue the policy of turning the Gaza Strip into the Warsaw ghetto. Further, she believes that the number of Palestinians is less than that being reported. As such, if Israel steals the remainder of Palestine, the Jews will have a numerical advantage sufficient to have exclusive control over the government, continue the process of benefiting Jews at the expense of Palestinians, imposing their will on the Palestinians without giving them equal rights, or equal treatment and oppressing them as a matter of government policy.

      She envisions the continuing of the Judeo-supremacy has existed thus far and will eliminate the possibility of the Palestinian diaspora returning to its homeland; immigration to Palestine will continue to be for Jews exclusively.

      in short, nothing will change except, in Glick’s view, people can no longer say that the land is “occupied.” In other words, the Nakba will be completed.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 20, 2014, 12:13 am

        Woody T.- There is little doubt in my mind that what the junior Abbas advocates (at least in his heart) is one state between the river and the sea, including Gaza with an invitation to all the refugees to return. But we are not dealing with ideals and neither is he. The article states about him, “He believes that President Abbas should dissolve the Palestinian Authority, forcing Israel to take full responsibility for the West Bank, as a pressure tactic.” Well, pressure tactic or not, forcing Israel to take full responsibility for the West Bank would be accomplished by annexing the West Bank. This might not be what he really wants, but his tactic leads to the possibility that the annexation of the West Bank is the appropriate next step.

        Of course you want full justice, a full undoing of the Nakba. Yet, do you not admit that the Palestinian Israelis have far more rights than the Palestinians of the West Bank? Then how can you say that nothing will change. You say it because your objective requires such rhetoric and because you aim for x and not y. But in fact y (annexation of the west bank and granting Israeli citizenship to all those who reside in the west bank) would be a vast improvement over the current tense. (No longer would we hear about Palestinians from Jericho never seeing the Mediterranean for as citizens of Israel they would have the freedom to travel throughout Israel.)

        And if you and the junior Abbas envision a single state, how do you envision its evolution? If he says, no shooting, no killing, no hating, then of course he envisions an evolution that begins with something that does not require troops. Annexation is the obvious next step. Not obvious from your wishes, but obvious from his words:
        “If you don’t want to give me independence, at least give me civil rights,” “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.”

      • Ecru
        Ecru
        March 20, 2014, 4:47 am

        @ Yonah

        …do you not admit that the Palestinian Israelis have far more rights than the Palestinians of the West Bank?

        Yes they do on paper though they still have far fewer on paper AND in practise than the Jews residing in either. And that’s including the right to life.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 20, 2014, 6:54 am

        Fisrt, you are wrong; I’ve always said that the Palestinians in the pre1967 occupied lands are given more rights than in West Bank and Gaza. So what? They still face awful discrimination.
        Second, Who says that of there was such an annexation under the Glick plan that the West Bank Palestinians would be treated like the israeli Palestinians are today. It is just as likely or more so that she envisions that the rules, limitations, travel restrictions and bigotry faced by those in the West Bank would apply to all Palestinians, regardless of where they are and you would see Apartheid walls and check point in Galillee, for example. You have to recall that these people were under martial law for two decades after 1948, so their status as “israeli citizens” means nothing to the judeo-supremacists, like Glick.
        When someone of Glick’s type proposes something like this, only a fool woild not view it as a new offensive campaign against the Palestinian people.
        As for how I see it evolving, I think it will require a changing of the generations as the majority of zionists and israeli Jews are so damned racist that if there is a campaign for Palestinian dignity and rights, coupled with the old racists dying off that there would be a chance. And then both sides would be in a position to find a solution where all people have the vote, equality, and human, political and civil rights without regard for ethnicity or religion. But I have my doubts. Civil Rights in the US and the end of Aparteid in South Africa were accomplished in a key and irreplaceable part because there were whites in the power structure who found the oppression to be horrific and detestable. Finding the same among Jews with power is israel is like finding a needle in a haystack. They’re judeo-supremacist bigots from Netanyahoo on down. They can’t even fix the systemic bigotry in the state that the israeli Palestinians have inflicted upon them. I see no reason to think that they will auddenly wake up tomorrow and miraculously view their West Bank Palestian victims as equals when they’ve been marinading in their bigotry for so long.

    • talknic
      talknic
      March 19, 2014, 7:38 pm

      @ yonah fredman ” Caroline Glick or the Bayit Yehudi (renegade) MK’s proposals for annexing the West Bank …”

      Uh huh. Legal annexation under Customary International law requires an agreement with the legitimate citizens of the territory to be annexed. (sans illegal settlers/citizens of the occupying power)

      The US for example adopted the legal custom of having such an agreement in its annexation of Texas, Hawaii, even Alaska some time after it was bought. By adopting this legal custom as a method for acquiring territory, the US was instrumental in the legal custom passing into Customary International Law.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 19, 2014, 7:47 pm

        talknic- So if a referendum is held on the West Bank, “do you want to be annexed to Israel” and the referendum wins, then everything is hunky-dory?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        March 20, 2014, 6:55 am

        @ yonah fredman
        hunky-dory, sorta like Crimea?

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 20, 2014, 3:31 pm

        @ yonah fredman “So if a referendum is held on the West Bank, “do you want to be annexed to Israel” and the referendum wins, then everything is hunky-dory?”

        It’s called self determination and tho it doesn’t guarantee will turn out 100% as desired, it gives the majority of people the opportunity to set their own course. Did you have a point?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        March 20, 2014, 3:48 pm

        talknic- My question was based upon your knowledge of law and my lack of knowledge. We have not reached the point, or Israel has not reached the point where she is willing to offer annexation and citizenship to the West Bank Palestinians. But I am indeed intrigued by the idea that a vote held on the West Bank with the simple question. “Do you want the West Bank to be annexed by Israel?” might be held and a Yes vote might emerge and that the international community would not be able to object to the annexation in that case. (Intrigued and skeptical) (It is unlike Crimea that is claimed by Ukraine, the West Bank has been disclaimed by Jordan and is a law unto itself, although Gaza technically is one unit with the West Bank and for a vote to occur only in part of Palestine might be construed against the vote.)

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        March 20, 2014, 4:17 pm

        “We have not reached the point, or Israel has not reached the point where she is willing to offer annexation and citizenship to the West Bank Palestinians. But I am indeed intrigued by the idea that a vote held on the West Bank with the simple question. “Do you want the West Bank to be annexed by Israel?” might be held and a Yes vote might emerge and that the international community would not be able to object to the annexation in that case.”

        I think it would have to depend on the circumstances. Is the annexation part of a deal between people to generate a new state with full equality and justice for the Palesstinian victims of the zionists and a new dawn for both people or is this vote merely propaganda to cover more israeli land theft, continued Nakba and the same old Judeo-supremacy.

      • talknic
        talknic
        March 21, 2014, 10:44 am

        yonah fredman ” Israel has not reached the point where she is willing to offer annexation and citizenship to the West Bank Palestinians”

        The Zionist Movement’s http://pages.citebite.com/o2k0h7w9w5hix State of Israel doesn’t want any Palestinians anywhere, anytime, never has and never will. It’s a bile bucket, dripping with hatred for anyone who gets in the way of a Greater Israel. If it was a dog, it would have been shot decades ago for being rabid. If it was a human it would have been in a padded cell for the criminally insane. Its supporters are either insane, brainwashed or ignorant of the facts

        “But I am indeed intrigued by the idea that a vote held on the West Bank with the simple question. “Do you want the West Bank to be annexed by Israel?” might be held and a Yes vote might emerge and that the international community would not be able to object to the annexation in that case.”

        It’s called self determination

        “It is unlike Crimea that is claimed by Ukraine”

        There was a referendum, the people voted to become a part of Russia. Despite all the bullsh*t flowing from the great US wailgob, the same legal process was adopted by the US to annex Texas, Hawaii, even Alaska

        “the West Bank has been disclaimed by Jordan”

        Was never ‘claimed’ as Jordanian, it was protected under Jordanian sovereignty as a trustee only (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950). and at the time it was captured by Israel it was a part of a High Contractig Power and UN Member state, that’s why the UNSC must and has said GC IV applies.

        ” although Gaza technically is one unit with the West Bank and for a vote to occur only in part of Palestine might be construed against the vote”

        The West Bank could secede from Palestine, so could Gaza. The citizens of the territory to be annexed have the right to determine the fate of the territory they live in. For all we know one day Israel might be broken up by the same process, especially if Israelis begin to wake up to the ghastly Zionist rip off they’ve been subjected to

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      March 20, 2014, 6:49 am

      when the NYT is appluading Bin Abbas as a one stater then you know the fix is in, MW and Eectrnic intifada can announce victory, while every Israeli will havethe right to buy land anywhere in the WB, and under one dollar one vote democracy, Palis will have the same self determination as African Americans under Bloombergism in New York.

      Hooray.

    • libra
      libra
      March 21, 2014, 3:56 pm

      yonah, the West Bank might be where right meets left, but Gaza separates opportunism from justice.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    March 19, 2014, 6:38 pm

    >> Back home in Ramallah, Mr. Abbas’s own son has been telling him that last chance is already long gone, the negotiations futile.

    The greed and covetousness of Zio-supremacists has known and still knows no bounds.

    Mr. Abbas (fils) may very well be correct that a two-state solution is dead but, unfortunately, a one-state solution – which requires prising supremacist “Jewish State” from the “cold, dead hands” (to paraphrase Charles Heston) of Zio-supremacist Jews – seems just as unlikely.

    • eljay
      eljay
      March 19, 2014, 6:51 pm

      >>The greed and covetousness of Zio-supremacists has known and still knows no bounds.

      Correction: The greed and covetousness of hard-core Zio-supremacists has known and still knows no bounds. (The greed and covetousness of “Liberal Zio-supremacists” is more moderate.)

      • libra
        libra
        March 21, 2014, 3:24 pm

        eljay: (The greed and covetousness of “Liberal Zio-supremacists” is more moderate.)

        Further correction: The greed and covetousness of “Liberal Zio-supremacists” is only more moderate whilst “currently not necessary”.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 21, 2014, 9:10 pm

        >> Further correction: The greed and covetousness of “Liberal Zio-supremacists” is only more moderate whilst “currently not necessary”.

        I stand further corrected. :-)

        (Oh, and I just noticed that accidentally wrote “Charles” instead of “Charlton”.)

  3. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 19, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Very important articles and insight, both here and the NYT.

    I wonder what Rudoren’s motive was for probing this deeply into what Palestinians think. Her article seemed pretty straight forward and descriptive, but there’s an underlying sense of wistful urgency to it. A dire but subtextual warning (to Jewish-Israelis and supporters here in the US) about what is to come, given within a context that nothing will ever be tried to prevent it?

    Kind of an odd tone, imo. But realistic, for a change.

  4. JeffB
    JeffB
    March 19, 2014, 9:10 pm

    I’d be curious what is meant by “If you don’t want to give me independence, at least give me civil rights”. Civil rights imply citizenship and citizenship is a two way contract where the state (the sovereign) has obligations towards the populous and the populous towards the state. So far in general Palestinians (Israeli Arabs semi excluded) have firmly rejected accepting the obligations towards the state implied by citizenship.
    Certainly if there is a willingness to become Israeli then the deep issues disappear and all kinds of options for solution open up.

    So I’d be very curious what’s meant in some detail. I suspect it isn’t much more than a slogan. For example Israel is a global leader in agricultural research about low water usage for high crop yield. Would the New Israelis (i.e. the Palestinians post civil rights) freely give up their heavy water consumptive methods of farming and farm instead like Israelis? Or to be darker, the IDF is one of the central institutions of Israeli society. Are the New Israelis ready to go into Lebanon and kill Hezbollah forces on the orders of Israeli generals?

    If the answer is yes everything else is easily fixable. But I suspect the answer is no. That is they don’t want to be Israelis they want to a 5th column with voting rights and I can’t see how the state could permit that among millions more voters.

    But I’d certainly be interested in hearing what this next generation has to say. The two state paradigm was tired 20 years ago and I think Camp David proved it simply isn’t going to happen.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 20, 2014, 12:28 pm

      ”So far in general Palestinians (Israeli Arabs semi excluded) have firmly rejected accepting the obligations towards the state implied by citizenship.”

      I’ll say much the same thing here as I said about Scarlett Johansson on another thread: If you are not in fact stupid, you’re doing a pretty good job of pretending to be. So now people under military occupation have ‘obligations’ towards their occupiers? Are you being serious, or are you taking the proverbial? For the sake of your sanity, I’m hoping for the latter.

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