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The two-state solution is dead. Let’s start planning for the one state

Israel/Palestine
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In the U.S. political mainstream, expressing support for the “two-state solution” in historic Palestine has been routine for many years. But anyone who looks at the map of the settlements Israel has implanted into the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) has to conclude that withdrawing enough of them to provide territory for a viable Palestinian state is now politically impossible.  

The demographic egg in the West Bank has been thoroughly scrambled and cannot be unscrambled. This leaves diplomats around the world with two options. Either the project to establish a Palestinian Arab entity must be yet further truncated into, for example, creating a “necklace” of tiny Palestinian Bantustanettes in some of the “Area A” parts of the West Bank, and Gaza—a formula reportedly being considered by Jared Kushner. Or, the long-pursued project to build separate Israeli and Palestinian entities in historic Palestine should be ditched in favor of establishing single democratic state there in which all persons with a legitimate claim to belonging there enjoy full civic equality within it.

Everyone who believes in the equality of all human persons, including Palestinians, would surely opt for the second of those choices.

I’ll leave it to others to write a fuller obituary for the two-state solution My goal here is to explore what it would mean at the level of international diplomacy to leave behind the “two-state” model and start to pursue the one-state model instead.

The two-state model dates back not just to 1967, the year Israel’s well-honed military occupied the West Bank, Gaza, Golan, and a big chunk of Egypt. It dates to 1947, the year the British government, exhausted after World War II and seeing its global empire crumbling, summarily dumped the Palestine Question into the lap of the still-young United Nations.

“Partition” of conflict-plagued areas was enjoying quite a vogue in those years, for example in India and Germany. So without a lot of planning, the two powers then at the apex of the world system—the US and the Soviet Union—united around that formula for Palestine. (Interestingly, the Soviets were hoping Israel could be a thorn in the side of the British Empire, which still tightly controlled the governments of Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq… And for some years that did happen.)

When the United Nations was founded, just two years earlier, in 1945, its Charter staunchly proclaimed “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” But in Palestine and several other countries still under the yoke of the British or other European empires, those principles were set aside. In 1947, when the UN’s member nations voted 33 to ten, with ten abstentions, to partition Palestine, they rode roughshod over the aspirations of the more than two-thirds of the country’s population that was Arab, who strongly opposed partition. Instead, they privileged the desire of the less than one-third of the population who were Jewish, to have a state of their own.

(David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel’s first Prime Minister, privately told family members he saw having a Jewish-only state in just a part of Palestine as a stepping-stone to having one in the whole of the country.)

Ahead of the 2011 Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, a Palestinian shop sells coffee mugs displaying an the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. One cup reads: "The world wants a state of Palestine." September 15, 2011, Gaza (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

Ahead of the 2011 Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, a Palestinian shop sells coffee mugs displaying an the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. One cup reads: “The world wants a state of Palestine.” September 15, 2011, Gaza (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

The Partition Plan allocated a disproportionate amount of the land to the Jewish state. But even that was not enough for Ben-Gurion and his cronies. The UN passed the Partition Plan on November 29, 1947. It was not supposed to come into effect until the following May, but from November 29 onward the well-organized militias that existed in the Jewish community set about two tasks. They worked to expand the areas of Palestine that they controlled– and they worked to ethnically cleanse all those areas from the Arab residents who actually made up a majority of those areas’ population.

Those expansion and ethnic-cleansing operations continued from late November 1947 until early 1949 when all the Arab states bordering Israel signed longterm ceasefire (“armistice”) agreements with it.

During the fighting of 1947-49, the Palestinian Arabs had only weak and fragmentary means of self-defense. A decade earlier, they’d launched an uprising against Britain’s rule in Palestine which the British suppressed with great brutality. So in 1947-49 the Palestinians had no militias capable of matching the Jewish community’s Haganah, Palmach, and Etzel.

The nominally Arab armies of neighboring Egypt and Jordan were under still under tight British control. They stayed completely out of Palestine until after May 15, 1948 and even after then, they were careful not to provoke the Jewish/Israeli fighters. The King of Jordan showed his contempt for Palestinian self-rule when he annexed the West Bank in 1949. The King of Egypt was content merely to bring Gaza under “military occupation.”

It’s important to understand this history, because if we want to support the idea of a single democratic state in all of Palestine, we need to understand what it’ll take to achieve it; and it won’t be easy. It will involve ending the institutionalized privilege for Jewish people in Palestine (the vast majority of them colonial settlers) that the State of Israel has embodied ever since 1947. And at the international level it will involve persuading enough states in the United Nations that the partition of Palestine that the UN itself pioneered back in 1947 has to end.

There are some glimmers of hope. One of the other key partitions of the late 1940s has already collapsed: East Germany and West Germany peacefully reunited back in 1990. And just last week, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that a step that Britain took in 1965 to detach the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius, a few years prior to Britain “granting independence” to the thus-truncated Republic of Mauritius, was unlawful. Britain, the ICJ ruling said, should end that unlawful partition of Mauritius and hand the Chagos Islands back to Mauritius.

It’s true, that ruling was only an “advisory opinion” and, like the ICJ’s earlier opinion on Israel’s Wall in the West Bank, it is not self-enforcing. Still, reading some of the detail in the ICJ’s Chagos Islands ruling offers intriguing possible precedents for those seeking to challenge the legality of the UN’s partition of Palestine.

In late 1991, Israel’s rulers had an amazing opportunity to make peace with all their neighbors, including the Palestinians. That year, all those neighbors met Israel at the Madrid Peace conference with the common aim of winning a final peace based on the principle of “Land for Peace”. It would have been a “two-state” peace. Jordan had renounced its claim to the West Bank in 1988; Egypt had never claimed Gaza as Egyptian; and the PLO was clearly representing Palestinian interests there.

Since 1991, however, successive rulers of Israel from both major parties chose colonial aggrandizement over peace. And now, because of the success of their settlement-building project, the chance for a two-state solution is gone.

There is one respect in which winning a one-state solution should be easier than continuing to search for a two-state peace. In the context of any two-state-based negotiation, the matter of that large portion of the Palestinian people who were ethnically cleansed from their lands in 1947-49 was always extremely hard to address.

Under international law, these refugees and their descendants all still have the right to return to their original homes if they are prepared to live there at peace with their neighbors. No Israeli government since 1948 has been prepared to let that happen.

So long as “two-state”-focused negotiations continued, numerous conferences were convened were held with the goal of finding other outcomes for the refugees. But if we’re looking at a one-state solution, then anyone who supports the idea that Palestinians are fully human and that their rights actually mean something, will surely be out there loudly supporting the Palestinian refugees’ full right of return. These chronically vulnerable Palestinian families have been living in the squalor of refugee camps for more than 70 years; most of them are stateless; all have suffered greatly from political turmoil, in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, or Gaza, or the West Bank; and they’ve never had any capable state apparatus of their own to protect their interests or even their lives.

If, in the context of an egalitarian one-state solution, Jewish-Israeli settlers who live in settlements all over the country are allowed to stay and live in peace and equality with their neighbors, Palestinian refugees now barely surviving in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, or elsewhere should surely, finally, be allowed to implement their UN-sanctioned Right of Return? A one-state outcome could enable that to happen.

Helena Cobban
About Helena Cobban

Helena Cobban is the President of Just World Educational (JWE), a non-profit organization, and the CEO of Just World Books. She has had a lengthy career as a journalist, writer, and researcher on international affairs, including 17 years as a columnist on global issues for The Christian Science Monitor. Of the seven books she’s published on international affairs, four have been on Middle Eastern topics. This new series of commentaries she’s writing, “Story/Backstory”, will have an expanded audio component published in JWE’s podcast series. They represent her own opinion and judgments, not those of any organization.

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60 Responses

  1. mondonut
    mondonut
    March 6, 2019, 11:13 am

    Historical revisionism aside (what partition?), if the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank want a union with Israel, they only need to say so. Ask Israel to annex the West Bank with an offer of citizenship to any resident that wants it.

    And BTW, under international law the “refugees” and their descendants do not have the right to return to their original homes.

    • bcg
      bcg
      March 6, 2019, 12:12 pm

      @Mondonut: As to the right of return of Palestinians, I quote the Oxford Human Rights Lab:

      http://ohrh.law.ox.ac.uk/palestinian-refugees-and-the-right-of-return-in-international-law/

      “The Right of Return achieved customary status in 1948 when the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194(III) affirming the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to obtain restitution and compensation. Like never before in the history of the UN, Resolution 194’s consistency with international laws and instruments was reaffirmed by the UN more than 135 times. In the same vein, Resolution 2535 recognized “that the problem of Palestine Arab refugees has arisen from the denial of their inalienable rights under the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Other seminal UN resolutions include 393, 2452, and 3236, which further strengthen the Right of Return as “indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine.” In fact, Israel’s admission as a member to the UN was made conditional on its implementation of resolution 194, which it has disregarded on the basis that, according to the Israeli government, compliance would undermine the Jewish character of Israel.”

      So Jews all over the world have the right to settle in Israel because it’s their ‘ancestral homeland’, but a Palestinian whose grandfather was born in Hebron has no claim – have I got that right?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 2:12 pm

        @bcg

        Loureen Sayej’s personal opinion notwithstanding – the UN General Assembly does not and can not create laws or rights, UNGA194 is at best a recommendation. Nor was Israel’s admittance to the UN conditional, that nonsense has been fisked repeatedly.

        And no, you do not have it right at all. The Jewish people have a right to settle in Israel because Israel is a sovereign state that is entitled to set their immigration policy as they choose – a right afforded to all sovereign states. If and when Palestine becomes a sovereign state, they too will have the same power. And if Palestine exercises sovereignty over Hebron, they can make their own decisions on your grandfather problem.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 6, 2019, 2:56 pm

        || mondonut: … The Jewish people have a right to settle in Israel because Israel … ||

        …is not the secular and democratic Israeli state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; but, rather,
        – is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israel Jews.

        || … Israel is a sovereign state that is entitled to set their immigration policy as they choose – a right afforded to all sovereign states. … ||

        Yup. And if it weren’t a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” its immigration policy would correctly favour people up to n-generations removed from Israel.

        But Israel is a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” and its immigration policy reflects its supremacist nature.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 6, 2019, 3:49 pm

        Mondonut , the Irish Catholic boy turned zionist oppressor.

        He defends the most vile actions of the Apartheid State .

        Can,t imagine his Catholic tutors schooled him in such behaviour but judging by the nutters tenacity for turning a blind eye to injustice , he was most likely “sent down”.And just look how far he has fallen.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 6, 2019, 5:47 pm

        mondonut: “The Jewish people have a right to settle in Israel because Israel is a sovereign state that is entitled to set their immigration policy as they choose – a right afforded to all sovereign states.”

        You confurse a lot of things, mondonut. I hope that you don’t confuse “return” with “immigration”, too. And no state has the right to expell people or keep them expelled. Not even a self declared “Jewish state”.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 6, 2019, 6:23 pm

        mondonut: “The UN General Assembly does not and can not create laws or rights, UNGA194 is at best a recommendation.”

        Do you suffer from memory loss? We allready talked about how customary law can be created by the international community and the recommendation in 194 is not the right to return, but how and when it should be implemented.

        But since you are so interested in law. Which law enables a state to expell parts of its population and to keep them expelled in the case of 1.) Nazi Germany (pre 1945 international law) and 2.) Israel (post 1945 international law).

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 6, 2019, 6:25 pm

        “Mondonut , the Irish Catholic boy turned zionist oppressor.” “amigo”

        If you want the clod for the Old Sod, you can have him, but I’m pretty sure “Mondonut” said he was an American, of Irish-Zionist-Catholic extraction.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 7:24 pm

        @Talkback You confurse a lot of things, mondonut.

        I am not the one confusing an entirely legal immigration policy with the demands to a non-existent Right of Return

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 7:28 pm

        @Talkback, We allready talked about how customary law can be created by the international community…

        Yes, customary law can be created by the customs and practices of the international community. It cannot however be created by the UN General Assembly.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 8:34 am

        mondonut: “I am not the one confusing an entirely legal immigration policy with the demands to a non-existent Right of Return.”

        Oh, so you are confusing two things. That someone who wants to return to his country needs to apply for immigration. And that the right of return doesn’t exist in international law allthough it is multiple international treaties and even in the definition of the Crime of Aparheid.

        “Chapter 1, paragraph 6 of the UNHCR Handbook states that “the right of refugees to return to their country of origin is fully recognised in international law. … UNHCR‘s Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for determining Refugee Status provides in paragraph 184: “If the head of a family meets the criteria of the definition, [for refugee status] his dependants are normally granted refugee status according to the principle of family unity.”

        And according you your second lie every time someone wants to return to his country he needs to apply for immigration. ROFL. Do thewy pay you to come up with this stupid nonsense?

        mondonut: “Yes, customary law can be created by the customs and practices of the international community. It cannot however be created by the UN General Assembly.”

        Can it get more stupid? The resolutions of the General Assembly reflect the customs and practices of the international community. They reflect opinio juris.

        “It is, first, entirely uncontroversial to say that the General Assembly can contribute to the formation of customary law. The resolutions of the General Assembly and the statements of representatives in the course of debates can (but will not necessarily) express the opinio juris of States. When such an opinio juris reaches the required standard of virtual uniformity paired with appropriate State practice, a customary law norm results.”
        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwihzr7JlPDgAhVO16QKHe-RBeQQFjAAegQIAxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.federalism.eu%2Fassets%2F2016%2F10%2FUN-Charter_The-UN-General-Assembly.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2HtWBLGhdiHkfRKnHdlo_f

        Please answer my questions: Which law enables a state to expell parts of its population and to keep them expelled in the case of 1.) Nazi Germany (pre 1945 international law) and 2.) Israel (post 1945 international law)?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 11:31 am

        @Talkback, That someone who wants to return to his country needs to apply for immigration.

        The Right of Return does indeed exist in International Law, what does not exist is the Palestinian’s version of the RoR. The RoR in customary law did not exist in 1948, nor did the UNHCR, nor did the handbook you quote. The right is not retroactive to 1948 and the right is not afforded to non-refugees (citizens of Jordan) and multiple generations of descendants. Nor does the right apply to anyone who is internally displaced (everyone in Gaza). Further, anyone who is not a citizen of Israel is not returning to their country, so of course they are subject to immigraton policy.

        As for your opinion on GA Resolutions, you have merely restated my opinion. GA Resolutions can contribute (not always), but do not constitute and do not create law. UNGA 194 was non-binding and did not create a right.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 2:47 pm

        mondonut: “The Right of Return does indeed exist in International Law, what does not exist is the Palestinian’s version of the RoR. ”

        What a racist comment. Nothing indicates that the right of return in international law excludes Palestinians or anyone who became a refugee before this right was internationally recognized or became customary law.

        mondpnut: “The right is not retroactive to 1948 …”

        Woh says so? Not al most every UN member state that constantly reafirms this right. They are still refugees. And as refugees they have a right to return.

        mondonut: “… and the right is not afforded to non-refugees (citizens of Jordan)”

        It is irrelevant, if they are citizens of Jordan or not as long as they have a refugee status.

        mondonut: “… and multiple generations of descendants.”

        We allready discussed that how the refugee status is passed on unto the descendants to keep refugee families together. And it is not their fault that the racist state of Israel is denying generations of Palestinians to return.

        mondonut: “Nor does the right apply to anyone who is internally displaced (everyone in Gaza).”

        Nonsense. Someone who was expelled OUTSIDE of Israel is obviously not INTERNALLY displaced. About 1/4 of Israel’s Nonjews are INTERNALLY displaced and are not allowed to return to their homes or regain their property, too.

        Mondonut: “Further, anyone who is not a citizen of Israel is not returning to their country, so of course they are subject to immigraton policy.”

        Your arguments become more and more absurd. It doesn’t matter which states has souvereignity of this part of their home country now. They have a right to return to their home country. It’s the same country. Israel is only a successor state.

        Even better. They should have been Israeli citizens from the get go. The transfer of nationality to the nationality of a succesor state had allready become customary law. Not only the Palestinian nationality of 1925 reflected this, but also the partition resolution. I can’t recall any other country which was created after 1945 which didn’t gave its nationality to everyone habitually resident within its new territory.

        You are claiming that Jews don’t have a right to return to Germany, because it is not longer the third reich and they are therefore a suibject to immigration police. How can you even confuse someone who is a native and was forced to fled his country with someone who voluntarily leaves his country, because he wants to live in another? That’s absolutely ridiculous. Which Zionist moron feeds you with this idiocies?

        mondonut: “As for your opinion on GA Resolutions, you have merely restated my opinion. GA Resolutions can contribute (not always), but do not constitute and do not create law. UNGA 194 was non-binding and did not create a right.”

        No I haven’t. You are just repeationg the same nonsense over and over again no matter how many sources I provide. General Assembly resolutions can become customary law. In this case they did, because the Palestinians right to return has been constantly reaffirmed by the overwhelming majority of the UN members for DECADES. That’s the opinio juris: It is an inaliable right.

        Ethnic cleansing is complete if people are prevented from returning. Ethnic cleansing is prohibited. Therefore there is no right to prevent people to return no matter how you need to twist it in your one racist, monstrous and ridiculous way and contrary to the world opinion.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 2:50 pm

        mondonut: “And no, you do not have it right at all.”

        Oh yes he did. Your claim is that Jews all over the world have the right to settle in Israel because it’s their ‘ancestral homeland’, but a Palestinian whose grandfather was born in Hebron has no claim. You just don’t up to your racist Apartheid view.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 4:07 pm

        mondonut: “Further, anyone who is not a citizen of Israel is not returning to their country, so of course they are subject to immigraton policy.”

        Like I said before. Your argument is absurd.

        “According to the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s authoritative interpretation:

        The scope of “his own country” is broader than the concept “country of his nationality”. It is not limited to nationality in a formal sense, that is, nationality acquired at birth or by conferral; it embraces, at the very least, an individual who, because of his or her special ties to or claims in relation to a given country, cannot be considered to be a mere alien. This would be the case, for example, of nationals of a country who have been stripped of their nationality in violation of international law, and of individuals whose country of nationality has been incorporated in or transferred to another national entity, whose nationality is being denied them.

        and

        The right of a person to enter his or her own country recognizes the special relationship of a person to that country… It includes not only the right to return after having left one’s own country; it may also entitle a person to come to the country for the first time if he or she was born outside the country.[10]”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_return#Legal_understanding_of_the_right

        Who knows what else besides “retroactive” and other idiocies you are going to invent to endorse your inhumane and disenfrenchasing agenda.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      March 6, 2019, 12:24 pm

      “Historical revisionism aside (what partition?)”

      What historical revisionism? Palestine was split into two parts by Jewish seperatists and terrorists in 1948.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 2:17 pm

        @Talkback, Palestine was split into two parts by Jewish seperatists and terrorists in 1948.

        The claim in the story above was a UN partition.

        … the ICJ’s Chagos Islands ruling offers intriguing possible precedents for those seeking to challenge the legality of the UN’s partition of Palestine.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 6, 2019, 6:09 pm

        mondonut: “The claim in the story above was a UN partition.”

        That’s splitting hairs. Without the UN owning up to its recommendation of partition and the creation of a state within Palestine without the consent of its majority would not have been recognized and Israel would have not been accepted by the UN but ended like Rhodesia.

        It would be more interesting to debate the illegality of enforcing this recommendation through war and expulsion.

        In evaluating the situation, Robert McClintock, a special assistant to Dean Rusk, then director of the Office of UN Affairs, deliberated over the implications of these developments. It may well be, he speculated, that Washington would soon be confronted with a situation created by Jewish military forces, including the Haganah, the Stern Gang and Irgun, in which it would have to determine whether a “Jewish armed attack on Arab communities in Palestine is legitimate or whether it constitutes such a threat to international peace and security as to call for coercive measures by the Security Council.”15 Washington would face what McClintock called an “anomalous situation,” in which “the Jews will be the actual aggressors against the Arabs. However, the Jews will claim that they are merely defending the boundaries of a state which were traced by the UN and approved, at least in principle, by two-thirds of the UN membership.”
        http://mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/us-policy-israel/palestine-1948?print

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 7:21 pm

        Talkback That’s splitting hairs.

        No. It is not. An explicit claim was made of a UN partition, and its the basis of much that was written. Stop trying to defend patently false historical revisionism.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        March 6, 2019, 10:08 pm

        mondonut: The claim in the story above was a UN partition.
        ————————————————————–

        Mondonut is right on that point. I was quite surprised to see Helena Cobban making such a obvious error.

        Cobban writes:

        It’s true, that [Chagos Islands ]ruling was only an “advisory opinion” and, like the ICJ’s earlier opinion on Israel’s Wall in the West Bank, it is not self-enforcing. Still, reading some of the detail in the ICJ’s Chagos Islands ruling offers intriguing possible precedents for those seeking to challenge the legality of the UN’s partition of Palestine.

        There are two problems with that statement. First, there is no UN partition of Palestine to legally challenge. Second, and more importantly, the ICJ “Wall” opinion (2004) absolutely affirmed Israel’s right to continue existing on it’s own territory just as it affirmed the Palestinians’ right to self-determination on its own territory, the boundary between those territories being affirmed as the 1967 “Green Line” (putting aside the question of Jerusalem). The ICJ “Wall” opinion provides no legal basis whatsoever for challenging that division of territory, although it does, of course, clearly affirm the illegality of the Wall and the apartheid regime in Palestinian Occupied Territory.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 8:21 am

        mondonut is right on the point, but it’s just splitting hairs. Of course it wasn’t the UN or UN forces which enforced this partition. This was done by Jewish Zionist and terrrorist contrary to the inten of the partition plan and actually breaching it for many reasons.

        But without this plan and the UN’s approval of Israel to the UN, because it was created within borders of the plan there wouldn’t have been a partition. Period. Israel would have not been recognized and wouldn’t have become a UN member.

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      March 6, 2019, 1:49 pm

      mondonut: “And BTW, under international law the “refugees” and their descendants do not have the right to return to their original homes.”

      1.) They have a right to return to their country which is enshrined in international law for anyone who has refugee status.

      “Chapter 1, paragraph 6 of the UNHCR Handbook states that “the right of refugees to return to their country of origin is fully recognised in international law. … UNHCR‘s Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for determining Refugee Status provides in paragraph 184: “If the head of a family meets the criteria of the definition, [for refugee status] his dependants are normally granted refugee status according to the principle of family unity.”
      https://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/features/exploding-myths-unrwa-unhcr-and-palestine-refugees

      2.) And if Israel wouldn’t be an Apartheid state they would also have the right to reclaim their homes like it allows Jews to do.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 5:47 pm

        @Talkback, UNHCR Handbook states…

        Interesting that you would choose to quote the UNHCR as a source of rights, but as the UNHCR did not even exist until 1950, the handbook is certainly not referring to 1948 refugees.

        And BTW, under UNHCR rules dependents of refugees are eligible for (not automatically) derivative status. Derivative status does not pass between generations.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 6, 2019, 8:05 pm

      “if the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank want a union with Israel, they only need to say so. ”

      That’s what they were saying before 1948 and up until the “two-state solution” became fashionable. They wanted a single, unified, state in Palestine with equal citizenship for everybody. The Zionists rejected the idea, and you had conniptions at the very thought of it.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 7, 2019, 10:11 am

      @mondonut

      “And BTW, under international law, the ‘refugees’ and their descendants do not have the right to return to their original homes.”

      Reality:

      On 11 May 1949, the General Assembly passed Resolution 273 granting Israel admittance to the UN (after being rejected twice.) As a pre-condition, Israel formally agreed at the UN to obey General Assembly Resolution 194. Along with Arab states and Palestinian representatives, Israel also signed the Lausanne Protocol at the 1949 Lausanne Peace Conference to the same effect.

      Israel’s pledge to abide by the terms of Resolution 194 was made legally binding by incorporating it into Resolution 273 (11 May 1949) granting Israel UN membership: “Recalling and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by [Israel]…in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions, the General Assembly… decides to admit Israel into membership in the United Nations.” Israel is the only state admitted to the UN on the condition that specific resolutions would be implemented.

      Needless to say, given its failure to comply with Resolution 273, Israel should have long since been expelled from the UN or as happened with South Africa, had its membership suspended.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 11:05 am

        @Misterioso On 11 May 1949, the General Assembly passed Resolution 273 …

        You might want to try actually reading that resolution, nothing that you claim is in it.

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 7, 2019, 2:16 pm

        “You might want to try actually reading that resolution, nothing that you claim is in it.”.mononutter

        mondo nutter stop trolling and wasting honest people,s time.Do you have a problem understanding English in addition to your many other faults.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_General_Assembly_Resolution_273

        Full text of the resolution
        “Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,[1]

        Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

        Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the general Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

        Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it “unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a member of the United Nations”,[2]

        Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947[3] and 11 December 1948[4] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel[5] before the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

        The General Assembly,

        Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

        1. Decides that Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

        2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations. ”

        According to your twisted logic (paid for by the zionists) all of this agreement was built around a nation without defined borders.

        Stupid is , as stupid does –I guess.What colour is the sky on planet zio.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 2:40 pm

        @amigo , mondo nutter stop trolling and wasting honest people,s time

        So you actually believe that “recalling” something, in the preamble no less, constitutes both a pre-condition and Israel’s formal agreement? That one single word “recalling” does all that you imagine?

        How about the part “taking note of the declarations and explanation” where Israel specifically and unambiguously denies what you claim?

        https://web.archive.org/web/20120203124136/http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument#Mr.%20EBAN%20(Israel)%20understood%20tha

      • amigo
        amigo
        March 7, 2019, 4:06 pm

        Interesting you quote UNISPAL .

        Here is what they have to say about Palestinian ROR.

        “In 1975, by its resolution 3376, the UN General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), and requested it to recommend a programme of implementation to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination without external interference, national independence and sovereignty; and to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced. The Committee’s recommendations were endorsed by the General Assembly, to which the Committee reports annually. The Assembly established the Division for Palestinian Rights as its secretariat and, throughout the years, has gradually expanded the Committee’s mandate.”UNISPAL

        “That one single word “recalling” does all that you imagine?”nutter.

        “Recalling “is simply reiterating what has already been stated or agreed to.

        “How about the part “taking note of the declarations and explanation” where Israel specifically and unambiguously denies what you claim? “nutter

        What about it.Israel would deny anything that gets in the way of facts.I read that zionist screed many times before and it contains the usual zionist denial and long since “Fisked ” claims .

        “Noting” is simply admitting Israel,s declarations and explanations, (at last we have found the genesis of Israeli HASBARA.) into the record.It is not accepting them as fact.

        Put the shovel down mnutter.

  2. Helena Cobban
    Helena Cobban
    March 6, 2019, 3:44 pm

    It is truly mindblowing that “Mondonut” in their 11:13 am comment feels they can just simply blow off the fundamental human rights of the 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza and those of the 5-10 million Palestinians living in exile outside their homeland. The racism in their argument is unbelievable.

    “Mondonut”, do you truly believe that people who are Palestinian have none of the human rights that are recognized for every member of humankind in the world? On what basis would you seek to strip these people of their rights? These include, under both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 13/2) and UNGA Resn 194 (III), Article 11, the right to return to their family’s earlier homes in Mandate Palestine provided they’re ready to live at peace there with their neighbors.

    Full references on these rights are here.

    • gamal
      gamal
      March 6, 2019, 3:49 pm

      “provided they’re ready to live at peace there with their neighbors”

      I reckon that should be appealed, there are no real conditions on their rights to their lives and property, when have settlers ever lived in peace with anybody? It should be re-thought, don’t you think, maybe not just settlers can have those real spiffing actual inviolable unconditional Human Rights, don’t you think?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 6, 2019, 6:11 pm

        gamal , I reckon that should be appealed…

        You want to repeal a non-binding GA Resolution? In the absence of UNGA 194, what would the phony Palestinian claim to a RoR rest on?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 3:37 pm

        mondonut: “In the absence of UNGA 194, what would the phony Palestinian claim to a RoR rest on?”

        It is only phony in your Kahane continuum. In this universe the right to return is recognized international law for everyone who has refugee status as the UNHCR puts it. You allready know that, but want to deny this in the Palestinian case and I told you that if you repeat your nonsense I will call you a racist bigot Zionist liar.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 7:13 pm

        @Talkback, if you repeat your nonsense I will call you a racist bigot Zionist liar.

        AGREE WITH ME OR I WILL CALL YOU NAMES!!. Ha Ha! Too funny. It’s like a Monty Python skit.

        For the record, the Palestinians want nothing to do with how the UNHCR defines refugees. It would among other things understand the difference between refugee and internally displaced (all of Gaza), end status of everyone who has taken citizenship with a state (nearly everyone in Jordan), and no longer automatically grant status to dependents.

        Basically under UNHCR the Palestinian “refugee problem” would pretty much go away.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 8:48 pm

        mondonut: “AGREE WITH ME OR I WILL CALL YOU NAMES!!. Ha Ha! Too funny. It’s like a Monty Python skit.”

        Nope. Repeat your same racist lies allthough they have been debunkend and I will call you a racist liar.

        mondonut “For the record, the Palestinians want nothing to do with how the UNHCR defines refugees.”

        Your ludicrous claim is irrelevant. They were expelled, they have refuge status and this status was transfered unto their children who were born in refugee campes, because the Apartheid state of Israel needs to keep them expelled for demographic reasons.

        mondonut: ” It would among other things understand the difference between refugee and internally displaced (all of Gaza),”

        If they have refugee status they are refugees and have a right to return no matter how much you psychologically need to make a racist excemption.

        mondonut: “… and status of everyone who has taken citizenship with a state (nearly everyone in Jordan)”

        If they have refugee status they are refugees and have a right to return no matter how much you psychologically need to make a racist excemption.

        mondnut: “… and no longer automatically grant status to dependents.”

        If they correctly acquired refugee status they are refugees and have a right to return no matter you like to twist this.

        mononut: “Basically under UNHCR the Palestinian “refugee problem” would pretty much go away”

        Another repeated lie, because Palestinians who have refugee status are counted as refugees in the UNHCR statistics, too.

        Any other racist lie you need you repeat?

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      March 6, 2019, 5:59 pm

      @Helena Cobban, “Mondonut”, do you truly believe that people who are Palestinian have none of the human rights that are recognized for every member of humankind in the world?

      What utter nonsense, I said nothing even close to what you claim, nor is making an argument contrary to your opinion racist just for being contrary to your opinion.

      For the record, the Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world. What they are not entitled to is the invention of human and political rights unique unto themselves. They are not entitled to elevate non-binding GA resolutions into binding International Law. They are not entitled to declare binding law retroactive to whatever year suits their purposes and they are not (or should not be) entitled to their very own definition of refugee.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 7, 2019, 2:46 pm

        || mondonut: … For the record, the Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world. … ||

        For the record, every person in the world who has chosen to be Jewish is also entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world.

        || … What they are not entitled to is the invention of human and political rights unique unto themselves. … ||

        Right, like the Zionist invented “right” of “self-determination” for people who have chosen to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish, a “right” which Zionists say entitles them:
        – to Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of (geographic) Palestine; and
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

        I agree with you that the Palestinians:
        – should not emulate Zionists and fabricate similarly unjust and immoral “rights”; but, instead,
        – should demand that their human rights be upheld and defended and that international laws be enforced.

        I believe that all Jewish people should do the same.

        You may agree with me on the former but, because you are a Zionist, you will necessarily disagree with me on the latter.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 3:18 pm

        mondonut: “For the record, the Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world.”

        You don’t really mean that, do you?

        The Declaration of Human Rights:

        “Article 13.

        (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

        “Article 15.

        (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
        (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”

        mondonut: “They are not entitled to elevate non-binding GA resolutions into binding International Law.”

        They don’t have too. The right of return is customary law which was also created by countless GA resolutions reaffirming this right.

        mondonut: “They are not entitled to declare binding law retroactive to whatever year suits their purposes …”

        They don’t have to retroactively do that. Do they have refugee status? If yes, they have a right to return.

        mondonut: “… and they are not (or should not be) entitled to their very own definition of refugee.”

        They don’t. They are also refugees according to the UNHCR which publishes the same number as UNWRA.

        What you are claiming is that Holocaust surviving Jews never had a right to return to their European home countries. That’s how f***ed up your solely private, distorted and perverted misinterpretation of this right is.

        It’s not opinio juris, but psychopathic.

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 7:04 pm

        @Talkback The Declaration of Human Rights: “Article 13.

        Once again, and again and again…

        GA Resolutions are neither binding nor treaties, they do not and cannot grant or establish rights. The same applies to GA Declarations that are not treaties, they do not create create rights or laws. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was foundational in subsequent international law but did not create rights or law itself. And it does not serve as the basis of the Palestinian claim to a RoR for that very reason.

        The same goes for your belief that “countless GA resolutions” create customary law. They do not. Nor is that simply my opinion, the UN GA Handbook states on page 53: “With the exception of decisions regarding payments to the regular and peacekeeping budgets of the UN, GA resolutions/decisions are not binding for Member States.”

        And yes, how the UNRWA defines refugees is considerably different than the UNHCR. Which is why the UNHCR strives to reduce the number of refugees and the UNRWA seeks to increase the count.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 9:11 pm

        mondonut: “Once again, and again and again…”

        Of course. You can’t even refute that the UNHCR has stated that the right to return is recognized international law. You are just running in circles, becasuse you have to make a racist excemption for Palestinan refugees.

        And it was you who claimed that the the Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world. The Human Rights are listed in the declaration of Human Rights. Do you need to make a racist excemption now that you have realized that you made non racist statement?

        mondonut: “GA Resolutions are neither binding nor treaties, they do not and cannot grant or establish rights. The same applies to GA Declarations that are not treaties, they do not create create rights or laws.”

        GA resolutions can create customary law. See below.

        mondonut: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was foundational in subsequent international law but did not create rights or law itself.”

        Again, it was you who claimed that the Palestinians are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in the world.

        mondonut: “The same goes for your belief that “countless GA resolutions” create customary law. They do not.”

        That is not my believe. It is entirely uncontroversial. I quote again:
        “It is, first, entirely uncontroversial to say that the General Assembly can contribute to the formation of customary law. The resolutions of the General Assembly and the statements of representatives in the course of debates can (but will not necessarily) express the opinio juris of States. When such an opinio juris reaches the required standard of virtual uniformity paired with appropriate State practice, a customary law norm results.”

        This is exactly what happens when virtual any UN member states reaffirms the Palestinian’s “inaliable right to return”. It is just your lonely believe that they can’t and you have no proof of that and you won’t be able to counter this. That is exactly the reason why you keep repeating the same lie over and over again.

        mondonut: “And yes, how the UNRWA defines refugees is considerably different than the UNHCR. Which is why the UNHCR strives to reduce the number of refugees and the UNRWA seeks to increase the count.”

        Again, the same lie over and over again. The UNHCR has exactly the same statistics regarding the number of Palestinian refugees. The number of refugees would be even more under UNHCR, because Palestinians have only refugee status in countries where UNWRA operates.

        What is going to be your next repeated lie?

  3. bcg
    bcg
    March 6, 2019, 3:56 pm

    @Mondonut: “Israel is a sovereign state that is entitled to set their immigration policy as they choose…”

    Israel is a sovereign state because other states choose to recognize it, and other states may believe that the sovereignty it enjoys depends on it fulfilling certain obligations with regard to international law and commonsense human rights considerations – that’s what we’re really talking about.

    • mondonut
      mondonut
      March 6, 2019, 6:04 pm

      @bcg, that’s what we’re really talking about.

      No, what you were talking about was this:

      So Jews all over the world have the right to settle in Israel because it’s their ‘ancestral homeland’, but a Palestinian whose grandfather was born in Hebron has no claim – have I got that right?

      And to further compound your wrongness, Israeli sovereignty is not dependent on the recognition of other states.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        March 7, 2019, 10:15 am

        @mondonut

        And precisely what are sovereign “Israel’s” borders agreed to as such by the international community?

      • mondonut
        mondonut
        March 7, 2019, 11:06 am

        @Misterioso, And precisely what are sovereign “Israel’s” borders agreed to as such by the international community?

        Where do you get the idea that borders have to be agreed to by the international community?

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        March 7, 2019, 4:13 pm

        it’s the ‘ cranky scold’ school of diplomacy they get it from

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        March 7, 2019, 9:37 pm

        mondonut: “Where do you get the idea that borders have to be agreed to by the international community?”

        ROFL. Please repeat the question with a heavy German accent, including a rolling “r” sound.

  4. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    March 6, 2019, 4:57 pm

    While naming those institutions who need to be convinced to back a one state plan, the writer forgets to mention two Palestinian parties: Hamas and Fatah, who both oppose Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza. When this small detail of Palestinian cooperation with her plan comes to pass, then we’ll be talking about something with some more practicality.

    • bcg
      bcg
      March 6, 2019, 6:04 pm

      @Wondering Jew: 99% of everything that comes out of the mouths of human beings is an initial negotiating position. We’ll only know what Hamas and Fatah will settle for if Israel or the international community makes a proposal and engages in negotiations with them.

    • amigo
      amigo
      March 6, 2019, 7:33 pm

      “Hamas and Fatah, who both oppose Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza. When this small detail of Palestinian cooperation with her plan comes to pass, “WJ aka Yonah Fredman

      Yonah , when it it comes to pass that you have grown or somehow acquired a brain , you will be aware that Hamas has long since agreed to accept any agreement made by the Palestinian people.

      Why shouldn’t,t they oppose Israeli Sovereignty (oppression, theft and murder) over their land but the main point goes right over your head .The idea of a single state is to end Israeli sovereignty ( oppression,theft ,murder ) and have equal rights for all—not just Jews.

      You got a problem with that .

  5. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    March 6, 2019, 7:51 pm

    Old news – Palestinians killed off this prospect long long ago. They had their opportunities and they walked away from them. If you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 7, 2019, 10:52 am

      @Mayhem

      It’s you and your racist Zionist ilk who have “made your bed” and will be forced to lie in it. While Jewish emigration from Israel is soaring and immigration is in the toilet, the Palestinian population between the River and the Sea is rapidly growing. Inevitably, like the Crusaders you will be swallowed up.

      BTW, as I’ve suggested before, if you are still reasonably young and live between the River and the Sea and do not already speak it, you should start learning Arabic. You’re gonna’ need it.

  6. James Canning
    James Canning
    March 7, 2019, 11:46 am

    The mere fact Jews are living illegally in the occupied West Bank need not require the removal of those areas of illegal settlement from Palestine. Let the Jews stay, as residents of Palestine.

  7. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    March 7, 2019, 12:12 pm

    @James Canning

    That is the only fair and reasonable solution. There’s no way Israel would ever accept it though.

    I am fully in favour of 67 lines with minor land swaps of equal value land and resources.

    The overriding principles should be the freedom and right to self determination of the Palestinians and that Israel should not profit from it’s ongoing criminal enterprise.

    Ma’ale Adumim would make a lovely Palestinian town.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      March 7, 2019, 5:52 pm

      @oldgeezer

      Good points. Why should Israel think that wherever Jews settle, however illegally, this fact should change the borders of Israel? The answer, obviously, includes Israel’s calculation it can get away with it.

  8. dgfincham
    dgfincham
    March 7, 2019, 12:49 pm

    A two-state solution in which the Palestinian Arabs are limited to the West Bank and Gaza, 22% of former Palestine, is not viable with, or without, the settlers. Currently the numbers of Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs within former Palestine are almost equal at around 8 million(?) each, and there are also 5 million Palestinian Arabs who have a right of return to former Palestine. It is not physically possible for the majority population to create a viable state in 22% of the land. It would be possible to create a two-state reality if there was a more equal distribution of the land. Fortunately, there is spare land available in the Negev, which is within Israel, but has a low population density. (This idea of transferring land in the Negev to the Palestinians was first suggested in 1949 by President Truman and by the UN Conciliation committee).

    I see the creation of a two-state reality as an interim step towards a one-state solution. This is because there already are two recognized states, Israel and Palestine, so a one-state solution can only come about by an agreement between Israel and Palestine to unite to form a single sovereign state. There is an interesting precedent: in 1707 the two independent states of Scotland and England decided to unite to form a single sovereign state called Great Britain. But they still exist as two distinct nations, with their own legal, educational and religious systems. There is a defined but open border between them.

    The One-State-Two-Nations Proposal applies this idea to the Israel-Palestine situation. Please take a look at http://www.religion-science-peace.org/2017/10/07/the-one-state-two-nations-proposal/

    Under the one-state solution proposed by this author and previous writers the Jewish nation in its national home would cease to exist. There is absolutely zero possibility that Israeli Jews would accept this. It’s a pipe dream.

  9. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    March 7, 2019, 5:59 pm

    Professor Norman Finkelstein speaking at a University in Dublin several years ago had this to say on why many people in the Solidarity Movement had gone to a one state solution…”If you can’t get half a loaf why not ask for the whole loaf? If it seems two states is not within reach, which many people feel is not within reach, why not ask for one state, I can understand that reasoning, the logic of it, but you have to convince me of two things, number one, that two states is not within reach, and you have to convince me that one state is more within reach than two states. I think neither of those propositions is true, I think the second proposition is positively insane, if Israel will not abandon the West Bank [that claim] Israel won’t withdraw, so if that is true do you think it is going to be easy to get Israel to give up a Jewish state? Does that make any sense? If two states is remote, one state is another time warp”.
    In my opinion Israel will only agree to the Palestinians having their own Bantustans as described by Naftali Bennett in a NYT article a couple of years ago, this would enable Israel to keep sovereignty over the West Bank, enable the Palestinians to govern themselves [sort of] without any representation in the Knesset, with funding from the US, EU and Gulf states, he also hinted that if the Palestinians refuse, they will be compelled to accept. Everyone must acknowledge that all problems sometimes have no solution, hence the build up of missile systems in Iran and Syria with Hezbollah alone having 120,000 missiles aimed at all regions of the postage stamp sized Israel, many highly accurate.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      March 7, 2019, 11:24 pm

      ” Everyone must acknowledge that all problems sometimes have no solution”

      This doesn’t make sense. Some problems may have no solution at some times, and some problems may never have a solution. But this certainly doesn’t apply to all problems. Some of them have a solution all the time.

      I suspect that you have accidentally combined two sentences into one.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw
        March 8, 2019, 11:04 am

        RoHa, of course you are correct, I do apologize, I hope you got the gist. It does distract somewhat from the other parts of my comment, which are masterpieces of literary prose and political acumen, just like your comments in fact.

      • dionissis_mitropoulos
        dionissis_mitropoulos
        March 9, 2019, 8:22 am

        Roha, I thought Harry meant to write “some problems”, instead of what he wrote, i.e. “all problems sometimes”. Which delivers the truth: “Some problems have no solution”.

        If i ever become dependent on charity, i won’t hold my hopes high that you will deliver financial aid. You are an unprincipled man 😊

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 9, 2019, 10:20 pm

        “You are an unprincipled man 😊”

        On the contrary, I am much worse than that. I am a strict adherent to the principles of pedantry.

        But I will, as an act of charity, check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of your “Will work for food” sign.

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