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Will Israel now ban supporters of the two-state solution?

Opinion
on 10 Comments

Yesterday Israel barred US Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ihan Omar from entering Israel since they support Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. “We won’t allow those who deny our right to exist in this world to enter Israel”, announced Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely. 

But then there’s some less noted news relating to BDS, and it came in a little earlier in the week.

Twenty-one Israeli right-wing lawmakers sent a letter to US congress, expressing grave concern over a recently-passed anti-BDS resolution. At first this may sound counterintuitive. Their concern was not the Congressional condemnation of BDS – but rather that the resolution contained talk of a “two-state solution”.  

“We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS,”

Signatories include Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (United Right), Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud), and MK Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) – the latter is number 5 on the Likud slate. The letter was promoted by settler-council leader Yossi Dagan.

That “two-state” talk in the anti-BDS House resolution was what got a lot of Democrats on board, ending up with 175 Republicans and 174 Democrats supporting it. Although in its essence the bill violates the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, its formulation with that “two-state” mentioning seemed to sweeten the pill for many liberals. But the Israeli lawmakers are saying to the US, no thank you! To wit:

As politicians, we understand that these resolutions are accompanied by many compromises along the way in order to reach a language agreed upon by a majority. However, the affirmation of support for establishing a Palestinian state is so dangerous that we respectfully request that you take that into consideration, and in the future avoid determining that establishing an additional Arab state on territory that is the Land of Israel is part of the solution to the dispute.

The letter emphasizes that “the establishment of an additional Arab (so-called Palestinian) state in the region would severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States”, and that “such a state would undoubtedly be a dysfunctional terrorist state”.

Settler-leader Dagan emphasizes that the two-state concept is not the policy of Israel nor the US, and he also openly criticizes AIPAC for promoting it:

AIPAC portrays the two-state concept as an Israeli interest to elected officials in America and as the official position of the Israeli government, even though this is untrue. The two-state concept is not the policy of the current government coalition, nor is it stated policy in the agreements between the coalition partners. Furthermore, this is not the policy of the Trump administration, which has even removed it from the National Security Strategic Report.

So, talk of a two-state solution is no longer allowed. But, the BDS movement is also often being chided for its supposed support of a ‘one-state solution’, although it is officially agnostic on the question. In fact, this criticism was seen in AIPAC’s condemnation of Omar and Tlaib from yesterday:

“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution”.

So a “one-state solution” should not be talked about, or even suggested, when it involves equal rights to Palestinians – that’s considered “anti-Israel”. In return, politicians will often then repeat the “two-state solution” talk, because they think it makes them liberals, and it’s the standard fig leaf when you vote against BDS – Germany used the same trick in its recent anti-BDS resolution.  

But now, Israeli lawmakers are saying they don’t want that talk anymore — it’s even more dangerous than BDS itself!

Israeli politicians are saying that they don’t mind walking the talk naked, they don’t need that fig leaf and they don’t want it. They want the talk to shift to an absolute support for the One State – the one state of Israel, on the whole “Land of Israel”, which is implicitly an Apartheid state.

Tzipi Hotovely said back in 2015:

This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that. 

And that’s becoming the new Israeli talking point – stop apologizing with your “two-state” talk, nobody needs it anymore, and it doesn’t even help Israel.

Some of us have been saying that a Palestinian state was always to remain fiction for Zionists. Some have apparently found maintenance of the illusion useful. Now the staunchest Zionists are saying they don’t need or want that illusion maintained anymore, and that it’s dangerous.

Maybe, before long, Israel will upgrade the danger assessment on such talk as a “strategic threat”, like it did with BDS in 2015. Before we know it, Israel may update its 2017 ban on BDS supporters from abroad, to include supporters of a two-state solution. I can imagine the interrogations at Ben Gurion Airport:

“Do you support BDS?”… “No way!”… “Ok, do you support a two-state solution?”… “No way – only a one state!”… “You mean, a Jewish state, yes?”… “Yes, only Jewish and democratic!”… “OK, OK, you can pass – but don’t worry about the ‘democratic’, we’re not so strict on that one anymore” . . .

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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10 Responses

  1. brent on August 17, 2019, 2:53 am

    This turn of events means it is time for the PA to get its act together and engage a savvy Public Relations Firm, preferably a Jewish one…. and then pay attention. Beats the current path…. indicating to the world it’s not to be trusted to run a state in this volatile circumstance. If the PA can’t take what is rightful, they likely won’t get it.

    If the land usurpations and settlements haven’t determined its already one state, then this letter from Israel is a wake-up call and the two-state fiction is over. If it has to be one state, the question becomes will/can Palestinians work together toward building political support needed to achieve human rights?

    • Misterioso on August 17, 2019, 10:39 am

      brent

      “…preferably a Jewish one….” I don’t think so. If such a Public Relations Firm could be engaged, by using threats and intimidation, Zionists would soon crush it.

      In the long run, while there are many hoops to jump through, one state is inevitable. For several reasons, Zionism is entering its death throes.

      And yes, Palestinians are fully capable of working “together toward building political support needed to achieve human rights.”

      • brent on August 18, 2019, 2:38 am

        Misterioso….Breaking the Silence, Jewish Voices and Mondoweiss are going strong. The engaging of consultation services is an acknowledgment of the centrality of politics, of working the system, competing for an outcome and creating the political ground for MC to move to.

        Arafat always looked down on the idea of PR and refused to listen to the advice he was given from the firm he reluctantly hired. Raja Shehadeh regretted he was never able to influence the struggle. Glubb Pasha’s writings suggested working together was not a strong suit. Recent history has not been particularly encouraging. Let’s hope you are correct. The rude rebuke of Trump was not necessary or wise.

        With the barring of MC and the public renunciation of the two-state concept by Israeli politicians and encouraging Congress to do the same, the ground has shifted. Options have opened up and we are suddenly in new territory.

      • Mooser on August 18, 2019, 4:11 pm

        “The engaging of consultation services is an acknowledgment of the centrality of politics” “brent”

        In that case, “brent”, would you like to recommend a few reputable “Jewish Public Relations firms” for the campaign.

        Wait, let me Google that and see what we come up with. Well what do you know, there’s lots of them. Which one do you think will take on the job?

    • CigarGod on August 17, 2019, 11:17 am

      What a BS comment.
      Israel has been slaughtering, imprisoning, torturing, knee-capping, starving, and travel-restricting every Palestinian leader they can get their hands on for decades…including the brightest and most passionate children.

      Those darn Pals just can’t “get their act together” and pretend the playing field is level/on par with the Israeli’s. What is wrong with those emaciated, one-legged Palestinian soccer players…why can’t they get their act together and put one in the net???

    • Mooser on August 17, 2019, 12:18 pm

      “This turn of events means it is time for the PA to get its act together and engage a savvy Public Relations Firm, preferably a Jewish one…”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Why take half-measures? What about the PA’s accountants, lawyers, and psychiatrists?

      • CigarGod on August 17, 2019, 12:48 pm

        Ha!
        Why not someone from the Palestinian Space Agency?
        I’m sure they can find a kid with a Superman comic.

      • echinococcus on August 17, 2019, 1:34 pm

        In fact, why maintain some aboriginal parasites as middlemen? Replace the PA people by the Jewish personnel of the Ziionist Military Kommandantur. Brent is right: nobody does PR better.

  2. Ossinev on August 17, 2019, 2:57 pm

    ” I can imagine the interrogations at Ben Gurion Airport:”

    Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of BDS ?
    Are you now or have you ever been Non- Jewish ?
    Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of equal citizenship rights for all human beings ?
    Are you now or have you ever been a Muslim ?

    To think of just a few likely questions before entry refusal on the grounds of being a “security
    threat”

  3. Elizabeth Block on August 28, 2019, 6:03 pm

    Ben Gurion? How about Kennedy Airport. And Pearson, in Toronto.

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