The Great Return March, which began on March 30th, was an attempt across a broad spectrum of Gazan society to mount a peaceful action that world could not help but recognize as such. After 6 months, the March has largely dropped from the headlines, even though the death toll continues to climb. But the March has nevertheless continued and some of the seeds it has planted are already bearing fruit.
Category Archives: One state/Two states
Many people are convinced that a ‘two state solution’ is a reasonable compromise that would bring peace to Israel-Palestine. But considering Zionist aims and history, partition really just means more colonization of Palestine.
Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday in New York. While Netanyahu spent most of his speech boasting of Israel’s raid on an alleged secret Iranian nuclear facility, railing into the Obama-administration’s Iran deal, and criticizing Iran’s influence in Syria and Lebanon, Abbas presented a lackluster criticism of Israel, the Trump administration, and the international community.
Nidal al-Azza, 50, is a Palestinian activist and leading advocate for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. Al-Azza sat down with Mondoweiss to discuss the current US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine, and the effects of Trump’s political decisions on the Palestinian people, Palestinian leadership, and the future of the Palestinian cause.
Palestinian author Reja-e Busailah says he loves the United States although he has witnessed Islamophobia here for 60 years, going back to an ad on a NY radio station, “Give a dollar and kill an Arab.” At 89, retired in Indiana, he reflects on the Nakba that deprived him of his home, and on what terms he would return to the land of his birth. Spoiler alert: Equality.
As the US declares it will stop assistance to UNRWA, the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem was fraught with worry. “Do you think the kids will go to school tomorrow?” a woman asked. “May God help us,” another could be heard saying.
Awad Abdelfattah, an organizer with the One Democratic State Campaign, explains there is an immediate need for a bold alternative to the two-state solution, which was dealt a deadly blow by the Trump administration when it moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak loved Donald Trump’s warning that in a one-state solution, the Israeli Prime Minister would be named Mohammed. It goes to show that liberal Zionists are just as racist when it comes to Palestinian rights as rightwing Zionists are.
Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the original founders and organizers of the Great Return March, writes: “The idea of One State is aligned with the spirit of our time. The global consciousness has evolved away from the idea of nationalism toward one of citizenship. Millions of Arabs today are citizens in Europe and America who enjoy the same rights as all other citizens of those countries. Why can’t Jews live in Palestine in exactly the same way – on the basis of citizenship and not of Occupation?”
The One Democratic State campaign will launch in the Fall, a groundbreaking alternative to the stagnation of the two-state solution. Here is a behind the scenes look at how organizers debated their political positions and hashed out practical steps to to move idea of a democratic solution to the center of political discourse.
Naji El Khatib and Ofra Yeshua-Lyth respond to a recent essay where Jeff Halper outlined the contours of a possible one state solution in Palestine. They say it is essential to advocate for a secular and democratic state, not a bi-national state: “We see it as essential that the One Democratic State take a new path, towards the creation of an entity that unifies its citizens under one cohesive identity. This alone gives us a chance of lasting future resolution.”
Retired Israeli general Amiram Levin is regarded as a liberal Zionist and is a strong supporter of Labor leader Avi Gabbay. In an interview, he says “Palestinians deserved the occupation” and Israel should give Palestinian leadership “a carrot in the form of a state, and if it doesn’t want it, we’ll tear it apart…. if they violate agreements, the next time we’ll fight here they will not remain, we will toss them across the Jordan…. We were way too nice in ‘67.”
In an interview with the “burning Zionist” Jonathan Møller Sousa on Danish media, non-Zionist Jonathan Ofir shows that the two-state solution has been made impossible by Israeli colonization of occupied territories, and that occupation is actually manageable. All because the international community does nothing to enforce its demands.
A lightshow in Jerusalem on the 50th anniversary of the Jewish conquest in 1967 weaponizes the walls of the city in a triumphalist expression of the glory of religious nationalism. Goosebumps or shudders, see for yourself.
A Palestinian state is anathema to Zionism – and must therefore be kept in the realms of fiction
Donald Trump’s ambivalence over the one-state or two-state solution is a supremely clarifying moment. Both Israelis and Palestinians must now define what it really wants to fight for: a fortress for their tribe alone, or a shared homeland ensuring rights and dignity for all.
“After 24 years the flag of Palestine has been lowered and taken down from the post, to be substituted by the flag of Israel,” Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett proclaims
The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”
Historian Avi Shlaim reveals a shift in his thinking on Israel and Palestine: Zionism was a colonial project well before 1967. And the US and Britain have traded roles as mother country.
“We will soon be the majority!” says a huge billboard in the heart of Tel-Aviv. Written in Arabic and showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags it is meant to frighten Jewish Israelis into supporting a two-state solution. The Israeli press is reporting that many Israelis “erroneously thought this to be a hostile takeover of the media by Palestinian terror organizations,” but the campaign is actually the work of a ‘liberal’ organization from the center of Israeli politics.
Is a two-state “solution” still possible? Or is it time to push for one state with equal rights for all? Palestinian youths speak out.
A central question of the Middle East Peace Process remains: can the two-state solution be saved? On Sunday, a conference in Paris will try to relaunch the moribund peace process and the French Initiative has been warmly received by the Palestinian leadership as a final chance to save the two-state-solution: “Two states today is possible. Tomorrow, it might be too late” warned Muhammad Shtayyeh, Fatah Central Committee Member, who nevertheless remains optimistic. “The reality on the ground, the demography on the ground, the geography on the ground, shows that a two-state solution is still possible today”. However, Palestinian public opinion no longer reflects this official position. A recent poll shows that 65% of Palestinians no longer believe the two-state solution is viable due to ongoing settlement expansion. “The more people think the two-state solution is no longer viable, the more likely they it is that they will shift and support a one-state solution” explains Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.
At least 72 countries are set to meet on Sunday in Paris for the most recent effort in reaching a two-state solution in Palestine and Israel, neither of which are expected to be represented at the meeting. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly criticized the conference, while Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah reiterated his support for negotiations of a two-state solution saying he believed “only a negotiated two-state-solution will lead to an end of occupation and an agreement on all final status issues.” But Hamdallah’s sentiment does not seem to be echoed on the Palestinian street, where confidence in the two-state solution has taken a drastic hit.
On Sunday, January 15, members of the international community will convene in Paris for the “Middle East Peace” conference, which seeks to “fully [end] the Israeli occupation that began in 1967.” Al Haq’s Shawan Jabarin writes, “Tried and tired approaches will not yield new results. With the occupation entering its 50th year, it is time for the international community to learn from the failures of previous peace and negotiation processes that have facilitated Israel’s continued violations of international law and denied Palestinians their fundamental right to self-determination. It is time to take concrete actions that will stop Israel in its tracks.”
In his recent speech ‘Remarks on Middle East Peace’ John Kerry misrepresented a central issue: The wish among Israelis and Palestinians for a one-state solution.