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David Gerald Fincham

Dr. David Gerald Fincham is a retired academic scientist from the United Kingdom. He now writes about the relationships between religion, science, and peace. His website is


Showing comments 369 - 301

  • One Democratic State: an ongoing debate
    • A peace agreement requires the consent of both peoples. I understand that there was no legitimacy to the creation of Israel, either legal or moral. Nevertheless, the State of Israel exists and, by virtue of its recognition by other States and by its membership of the United Nations, has a right to continue to exist. The same applies to the State of Palestine, which has already recognized the right of Israel to exist in peace and security. The main log-jam in the peace process has been the failure of Israel to reciprocate and recognize the right of Palestine to exist in peace and security.

      I do not say that 'the Jews' constitute a nation, nor that there is an Arab Nation. I say that Jewish Israelis constitute a nation, as do Palestinian Arabs. See the definition of 'nation' in my reply to Mooser. Israel IS the homeland of Jewish Israelis, most of them have been settled there for at least a generation, or else born there. You say that 'the Arabs' will not accept the permanancy of the Israeli Jewish community in Palestine. I do not accept that. The PLO has accepted it, Hamas has sort of accepted it by offering a long-term truce with Israel, and most Palestinians are sufficiently intelligent to realise that there is no way that Israel could be forced to disappear.

      The reason for the continuation of the conflict, is that there are two nations in Palestine, but they both want sovereignty over ALL the territory of Palestine. The one-state-two-nations proposal (please read it) solves the conflict by giving each nation sovereignty over all of Palestine, on a shared basis, through the parliament and government of the United State, while allowing the Israel and Palestine nations to continue their national lives and identities under their own parliaments.

      NOTE FOR Echinococcus. You say: So a “long-term solution” is one that is monstrously unjust to one side and gives an unearned advantage forever to the other."

      The one-state-two-nations proposal treats both nations on an equal basis. Please read it carefully before jumping to condemn it. I know the extent of the injustice that has been done to the Palestinians, and they need to be recompensed for that. That recompence should occur in the process leading up to the final settlement.

    • In the one-state-two-nations proposal the state is secular, democratic, respects equality, human rights and international laws. The two nations are democratic, respect equality and human rights, and have complete freedom of religion. It is a pity you did not read it.

      You and the authors have failed to understand the positive role that religion can play in national life. It is not about the imposition of religious law. The model for the one-state-two-nations proposal is the union of England and Scotland. Both nations have established churches. In the days before Scotland gained its own parliament, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, attended by the monarch or her representative, acted in many ways to influence the UK parliament on issues relevant to the Scottish people. I remember the time when the House of Lords, including some of the bishops of the Church of England, provided the only effective opposition to the government of Margaret Thatcher.

    • OED definition of 'nation': A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory. How big is 'large'?

    • Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs will never abandon their national identities and characters in favour of an amorphous "seculardemocracyness". The bi-national state idea was accepted by the Zionists in the 1921 Carlsbad Resolution and is implicit in the Mandate. In my view it is the only possible long-term solution. Would readers please search for "the one-state-two-nations proposal". I would much appreciate your comments, either here or there.

  • Literary hero Yossi Klein Halevi says anti-Zionist Jews aren't Jewish
    • "Occupied" in this context refers to territory, outside the borders of a State, which is under military control by the armed forces of that State. East Jerusalem is under military occupation by Israel: West Jerusalem is not. That does not mean that West Jerusalem is part of Israel. On May 14, 1948 Israel declared the borders of its territory to be those specified in the UN partition plan. All of Jerusalem is outside those borders, as are Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Nazareth, Ramle, Beersheba, and Lydda. The 1949 Armistice agreements make it clear that the Armistice line is not a political or territorial boundary. The permanent border between Israel and Palestine can only be determined by agreement between the two States. West Jerusalem is only de facto part of Israel until there is a peace agreement.

  • 'The open wounds of the conflict owe very much to Deir Yassin': 70 years since the Deir Yassin Massacre
    • "several dozen Palestinian Arab villagers were killed"

      According to the Wikipedia page on the subject the Red Cross representative counted over 200 bodies: the Irgun commander claimed 254 were killed: a figure of 107 came from an interview with survivors 20 years later, which is likely to be an under estimate.

  • US vetoes UN resolution on Jerusalem, as Muslim states recognize East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital
    • TallBack: It was not the State of Israel that obtained control of territory within the partition borders, because the State of Israel was not declared until the Zionists had obtained control over it. They did so by highly illegal means: a campaign of wholesale terrorism, in the words of the British government. There was no legal or moral justification whatsoever for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. The Zionists did not have a right to create Israel, but Israel was created and it was recognized by other states. As such, it has a right to continue to exist. But it does not have a right to continue its illegal behaviour, and the next step towards peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians is for the world to put pressure on Israel to come into line with international law, and end the blockade of Gaza, and the occupation of the West Bank.

    • Reply to Mooser and echinococcus of 19 December.

      1. Legality

      Despite its many crimes, Israel exists as a state because it satisfies the requirements of the Montevideo Convention. It has a population, a defined territory, a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states, as demonstrated by its recognition by other states. There is no concept in international law of an illegally existing state. But there is certainly a concept of illegally acquired territory which, as you say, applies in Israel's case to all territory it has acquired outside the partition plan borders it declared on 14 May 1948.

      2. Palestine.

      The State of Palestine was created in 1988 by the same process of declaration and recognition that created Israel. Although its government controls only a part of its territory, the rest being under Israeli military occupation, that has not stopped other states from recognizing it. It has as much right to exist in peace and security as does Israel.

      3. Physical Destruction of the Occupier

      I am not sure what you mean by this phrase. The State of Israel is not a physical object. The buildings and people are physical, they could be destroyed with a nuclear bomb, but that would also destroy the Palestinian people as well. So I suppose you mean that Palestinian armed resistance could end the occupation (of all of former Palestine?). This is a pipe-dream. The PLO tried it from 1964 to 1988 and got nowhere. Hamas tried it from 1988 onwards, and has got nowhere. Israel has the big guns, and will always win in an armed conflict. It was non-violent resistance that got black people their civil rights in the USA, and non-violent resistance that overthrew the white colonial rule in South Africa.

    • Mooser and Ossinev: I have long argued that a two-state solution is undesirable and impractical. But the two states already exist as legal entities. Neither is going to announce that it no longer exists. A one-state solution can only come about by an agreed union of the two existing states. There can be no such agreement until Israel has recognized Palestine, halted the settlement program, and ended the occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza, so that Palestine has gained its freedom. That is, a two-state reality is a necessary step on the way to a one-state solution. What will be the nature of that state? Please read the link in my comment.

    • In my view, the reaction to Trump's statement has been over the top. Jerusalem is the declared capital of Israel and also its defacto capital. The possibility that Israel will move its capital anywhere else is zero. Recognizing that reality does not alter the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem. It was the wrong thing to do, because it could be thought to imply that Trump is recognizing Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, but it doesn't explicitly say that: if it had such a strong reaction would have been justified.

      I am much more angry at the declaration by the Muslim nations that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. The Palestinian Declaration of Independence says that Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine; it was the capital of Palestine under the Mandate; and before that, under Ottoman rule, it was the major administrative center. The idea that Jerusalem could be permanently divided is an insult to the Palestinians, to the Israelis, and to all Christians, Muslims and Jews around the world who regard it as the Holy City.

      If there is to be a two-state solution, the only acceptable status for Jerusalem would be joint sovereignty and administration by Israel and Palestine. Hopefully, co-operation between the two peoples in the administration of Jerusalem could lead to a degree of reconciliation and the possibility of a union of the two states: see

  • Arthur Finkelstein ruined Israel, says Ehud Barak
    • Pdxmuscle: I disagree. There is an excellent movie, "A few good men", in which two US Marines are on trial for the murder of a colleague. They explain their honor code: the Unit, the Corps, God, and the United States of America. If someone puts their duty to the state above their duty to God, they are fascists, not leftists.

  • How Avi Shlaim moved from two-state solution to one-state solution
    • Mooser, it might well have Kazachstan written all over it. And a Palestinian Arab's DNA might well have "Jew" written all over it.

    • The root of the conflict is the fact that both the Israeli-Jewish people and the Palestinian-Arab people claim all of the land of former Palestine. Irrespective of how valid or invalid these claims may be, they are firmly ensconced within the minds of both peoples, and a peaceful future will require a political arrangement which respects both claims. This can be achieved by a union of the State of Israel with the State of Palestine to form a single sovereign state, the United State of Israel and Palestine (Usip) in which Israel and Palestine retain their national lives and identities with a defined but open border between them. See for more information.

  • 'A blot on Judaism, Jewish history and ethics' -- British Jews regret the Balfour Declaration
    • Yes, but Britain gained the right to implement the Jewish National Home when the Ottoman Empire capitulated to the Allied Powers, and they assigned the Palestine Mandate to Britain, and the League of Nations approved it. However, it was a violation of the League's own Covenant, which said that the territories should play a part in choosing their Mandatory power. The Palestinians preferred the USA or France as Mandatory, which were not committed to the Jewish National Home policy. Also, the Covenant said that the Mandated territories should be developed for the benefit of their inhabitants, not for immigrants from far away. Whether the Covenant of the League is legally binding upon subsequent actions of the League is a legal question I am not qualified to judge.

    • It is instructive to compare the version of the Declaration proposed by the Zionists:
      "His Majesty’s Government accepts the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people. His Majesty’s Government will use its best endeavours to secure the achievement of this object and will discuss the necessary methods and means with the Zionist Organization."

      with Balfour's version:
      "Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

      The first is unequivocal: Palestine is to be changed from whatever it is now, into a Jewish National Home (effectively a Jewish State) with no thought given to the existing inhabitants, (who the Zionist leaders intended to expel or exploit).

      The second is quite different: a Jewish National Home is to established within the existing Palestine, while respecting the rights of the existing population.

      This final version was influenced by British Jewish leaders (who when originally approached by the Zionists said they wanted to have nothing to do with Jewish nationalism), in particular by Edwin Montagu, a member of the British Government.

      The writer complains about the phrase "existing non-Jewish communities" and the failure to recognize them as a nation. But the communities were diverse: Arab Jews, Christians and Muslims; Druze, Circassians, Bedouin etc. Although there has been a Palestinian national identity for over a thousand years, this was a Muslim identity, and would not have been embraced by the other communities at the time.

      Remarkably, the first recognition of the existence of an Arab nation within Palestine was by the World Zionist Congress in its 1921 Carlsbad Resolution:

      We do thereby reaffirm our desire to attain a durable understanding which shall enable the Arab and Jewish peoples to live together in Palestine on terms of mutual respect and co-operate in making the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which will assure to each of these peoples an undisturbed national development."

      This was quoted by Churchill in his 1922 White Paper explaining the intentions of the Mandate. Although the preamble seems to be all about the Jewish National Home, the Articles make clear that Palestine is to be a bi-national State where Jews and Arabs are to be treated as equal citizens.

  • Moshe Machover and the battle for the soul of British Labour
    • JeffB: you say "Make it stronger and say Zionism is based on ethnic cleansing and it becomes false. Phrase it as offensively as possible so as to whip up hatred of Jews and it becomes antisemitism". No, if it was offensive enough to whip up hatred, it would be hatred of Zionists, not of Jews. It is anti-Zionist, not anti-semitic.

  • The United State of Israel and Palestine
    • Nathan

      "Arabs rejected the very idea that Palestine is the homeland of the Jews, and hence they regarded the immigrants as a foreign invasion."

      The immigrants were a foreign invasion, imposed on the territory by the might of the British Army against the wishes of its existing inhabitants.

      "The Arab community would continue to maintain that the Jewish presence in the country is illegitimate".

      They do not maintain that. The PLO has recognized the right of Israel to live in peace and security. Hamas wants to eliminate Jewish sovereignty over Palestine, not to expel the Jews (see Article 31 of their 1988 covenant).

      The Zionist idea that all the Jews in the world have a right to go and live in Palestine on the basis that 2 thousand years ago there was a Jewish kingdom in Palestine does not make sense.

      Whether the Jews of today's world think of Israel as their homeland is up to them. The evidence is that most of them don't, otherwise they would go and live there. See also my reply to JeffB at September 1, 2017, 5:53 pm.

      "Your belief that England and Scotland “provide a striking parallel with Israel and Palestine” is incredibly naive and incorrect."

      I listed several parallels: England and Scotland have different legal systems; they have different educational systems; they have different established religions: they both have national sports teams playing in international competitions. The same remarks apply to Israel and Palestine.

      After a history of conflict, England and Scotland decided to unite to form a single state, while retaining their own national lives and identities.

      It was these parallels that led me to the idea of the One-State-Two-Nations solution. The important question is not where the idea came from, but whether it is a good idea or not, and whether it has a better chance of working that the current two-state or one-state proposals.

    • DaBakr: thank you for commenting.

      No, I do not understand that I am writing ridiculous things that make no sense. It would be helpful if you could explain what ridiculous things I have written and why they make no sense.

    • DaBakr: thank you for commenting.

      No, I do not understand that I am writing ridiculous things that make no sense. It would be helpful if you could explain what ridiculous things I have written and why they make no sense.

    • JeffB, in reply to yours of September 2, 3:03 pm:

      "every inch of Hebron is Israeli territory and subject to Israeli law. as the sovereign power the government of Israel alone will decide who lives there and who doesn’t."

      Israel has legal sovereignty only within the borders it declared on 14th May, 1948, and on which it was recognized by other states. Hebron is outside those borders. The Armistice agreements of 1949 gave Israel de facto rule of territory within the Green Line, pending a peace agreement. Hebron is outside that line. Israel is the occupying power in the West Bank, and can only legally do what is allowed by the laws of war. However, it may well be that a court would decide that the return of Israeli citizens to a place they had previously inhabited and from which they had been expelled by the hostile nation was not a breach of the 4th Geneva convention.

      These types of problem are automatically solved by the One-State-Two-Nation proposal. There is a new border determined under certain principles, which as I explained would result in a significant part of the West Bank ending up in Israel, and I did suggest that Hebron might be an example. Furthermore, there is an almost free right to change residence from one nation to the other.

    • Scotland is a nation, Britain is a nation-state and a nation-state is itself a nation. People can be Scottish and British at the same time. In medieval times the Palestinian battle cry was "For Palestine, for Syria, for Arabia" - Syria, because Palestine was a district of Syria, Arabia meaning the Arab nation i.e the Arabic speaking world.

      It is more complicated than citizenship = nationality

    • JeffB. I have not made Israel abandon its mission: I have said that all immigration should be done in a practical way that avoids economic chaos.

      Anyway, most Jews outside Israel do not regard themselves as exiles. If you look at he statistics for Jewish immigration under the Mandate, they were well below those expected by the Zionists. The figures peak at times when Jews were being persecuted, but otherwise they tended to be much lower. In 1928 net Jewish immigration into Palestine was 10 families. Another feature of the figures is that quite a high proportion of the immigrant Jews later left the country. Today I read that there are a million Israeli Jews in the US. There are more Jews outside Israel than there are inside Israel. They support Israel as a place of refuge in times of persecution, but do not consider it their homeland to which they want to return. it will not be a problem.

      After the end of occupation, the creation of new settlements will not be illegal. But the injustice and harm done by the previous settlement program to the Palestinian people remains. Let me quote you what I said: "there must be a reconciliation and reconstruction process in which settlements and their neighbors agree to live together peacefully, harm done is remedied, and serious crimes are punished". That is not ethnic cleansing. "In cases where no agreement is possible, the settlers should return to Israel" It is not ethnic cleansing to remove by force people who are illegally occupying someone else's land, if they refuse to leave voluntarily. They won't be moved by soldiers with heavy weapons, but by police officers.

      Now, about change of residence. Citizens are free to change their nation of residence. The first proviso is that this applies to individual families and not to organized nationalist groups. The second is that a nation can petition the State parliament to allow it to restrict incomers from the other nation if they feel that the number of such incomers is beginning to change the character of their nation. There is nothing unfair or rascist about this, it works both ways. It is just a precaution to prevent attempts at large scale movement from one nation to the other.

    • Danaa,

      I know very well that Israel does not behave as a rational entity. But there are many, many intelligent, rational, and humane Israelis. It has one of the world's leading universities. Gideon Levy of Haaretz is, in my opinion, a great writer: he must be having an impact. One thing is certain, if we do not hope we will achieve nothing. We have to hope that with pressure from outside, and pressure from inside, the structure of Zionism will start to show some cracks.

    • No, I have just moved home to Wales. They are lovely people. The lady at the supermarket checkout always says "hello, my lovely". I will steer clear of the Northern Irish though.

    • Nathan, replying to yours of August 28, 2017, 10:05 pm
      My apologies for taking so long to respond.

      The exchange of letters was necessary for the process to start. Palestine recognized Israel, but Israel did not recognize Palestine. For that reason I say that the subsequent process was invalid. Anyway, the first agreement included a withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Jericho area and Gaza, but Israel did not comply with that.

      "In Israel, the perception of self-determination is that all the Jews are a single people, and the Land of Israel is their homeland." That is because Israeli Jews are subjected to Zionist hasbara from cradle to grave, as I point out in the article. It is a nonsensical idea. The right of self-determination is not a right to determine that someone else's homeland is your own homeland and that you can go there and subjugate or expel the existing inhabitants. Anyway, the original homeland of the Jews was Judea, only a fraction of Palestine.

      Currently the Israeli-Jewish nation has a right to self-determination (to rule itself) within the State of Israel. My proposal extends it to the whole of former Palestine, shared with the Palestinians at the sovereign state level. What's not to like?

      "Anyway, if you envision an end of the Law of Return” I do not, I include it.

      The origin of the conflict is Zionism.

    • Zaid:

      "I misunderstood you , but the impression i had is that you think that Palestinian refugees should be absorbed in the stat of the west bank and not their original cities and towns."

      There is no such thing as the West Bank in my scheme. There are two nations, Israel (mainly Jewish) and Palestine (mainly Arab) with an open border between them. The line of that border is yet to be determined. Palestinian refugees will be admitted first to Palestine and establish their citizenship in the United State. If they then want to move to their original towns, and those towns are in Israel, they can do so, providing they do it as individual families, not as an organized nationalistic group.

    • JeffB "immigration should be limited to the rate at which the immigrants can be absorbed."

      "By whom? Who is setting the limits?" The department of the State government that deals with matters of citizenship and immigration.

      "Jewish residency is illegal settlement while Palestinian residency is a right." Currently, under the fourth Geneva convention, the program of the Israeli government to establish settlements of its citizens in occupied territories is illegal. That has nothing to do with their Jewishness, but as a matter of fact they are all Jews. They are therefore in a different category to those Jews who currently reside in the area of Israel's recognized control within the 1949 Green Line.

      "Once you add, ” subject to a few provisos” that’s going to kill the deal." I think those provisos are reasonable and in fact necessary. What is your objection to them?

    • You are confusing two different concepts.

      Scotland and England are nations. Britain is a nation-state. Britain has citizens. Scotland and England have residents. For Scotland and England read Israeli-Jewish nation and Palestinian -Arab nation. For Britain read the United State of Israel and Palestine (USIP).

      On Union Day, when USIP becomes a nation-state, and Israel and Palestine cease to be nation-states, all the citizens of Israel and all the citizens of Palestine become citizens of USIP. They remain residents of the nation in which they reside. (This may differ from their current area of residence if the new boundaries are established before the Union).

      Whatever citizenship people had in 1925, or at any time before or since, before Union Day, is completely irrelevant.

    • Hello JeffB, thank you for commenting.

      You say "the residents hate each other and don't want to live together." I don't believe there was or is personal hatred between Jews and Arabs. People tell me that Jews and Arabs have very good relationships in Haifa. There are Arab-Jewish schools in Israel, an Arab-Jewish orchestra, Arab-Jewish businesses, there is an Arab-Jewish political party, there are interfaith groups. The two peoples are not fated to continual conflict.

      What the Arabs of Palestine hated was not the presence of Jews, but the Zionist program of mass immigration of alien Jews from far away who were coming to take over their homeland. The Zionists did not hate the Arabs, they saw them as a problem, an obstacle to their plans, to be subjugated or expelled.

      Yes, today there is a great deal of hostility between Arabs and Jews in the occupied territories, resulting from the occupation. The mechanism to change that reality is truth, reconciliation and restitution.

      I did not say that Palestinians would have control over Jewish immigration. I said that immigration should be limited to the rate at which the immigrants can be absorbed. This is a common sense policy almost universally applied, except in the European Union (which is the reason for Brexit).

      Israeli forces initially entered Lebanon to counter Palestinian terrrorism. I don't know what the other wars were about - surely not just the Shebba Farms? Why on earth is the United State of Israel and Palestine (Usip) "going to have regular military conflicts". With what motive? Anyway, I did not say Usip would be defenceless, just that its present military strength could be wound down.

      "Jews have the right to live where they are in Palestinian territory provided their neighbors agree to let them stay." This applies only to the Jews currently illegally settled in the West Bank, and I give my reasons for that. Any Usipian has the right to live in any part of Usip, subject to a few provisos which I describe.

      "Your peace is considerably more negative for them (Israelis) than the current situation." How do you come to that conclusion? What is the value for Israelis of running a brutal military occupation and illegal colonisation project that is making them despised by the whole world, when my proposal allows any Jew in the world to settle anywhere within former Palestine, subject only to certain reasonable provisos.

      Please remember that these are just my ideas of how the one-state-two-nation idea might work out. It is of course up to the two peoples to agree on the details.

    • Hello Zaid, thank you for commenting.

      The conflict will be over when both peoples agree that it is over.

      I say that the refugees should be able to make their own choice about their future, and helped to achieve it. How is that giving them the middle finger? I am really distressed you should make such a remark. Please explain what you mean?

    • Jon66: a pity you did not say swimming against the tide, then I could have said "the tide will turn". Trends in history are not laws of nature. They can change.

      Israel-Palestine differs from the examples you give: they cannot separate because they both claim the same territory. See what I say in the section WhyOneState? Partition could never could have worked and never will work.

    • Amigo: thank you for commenting. You say

      "The only way forward , IMHO , is for the international community to put sufficient pressure on Israel to force it to end the occupation and give the Palestinians their rights, either in a State of their own or in a bi national State as equal citizens."

      A bi-national State of equal citizens is exactly what I have proposed. Within that State, the two nations will have autonomy over matters of importance to their national identity. What's not to like?

      I don't agree with you about the future of Scotland, but let us not get involved with that.

    • wdr: there is nothing in my plan that involves Israeli suicide. In my plan the Israeli-Jewish nation obtains sovereignty over all of Mandatory Palestine, which will be shared with the Palestinian-Arab nation. Neither nation has to surrender any territory, neither has to abandon its national life or identity. What is not to like?

    • Talkback, reply to yours of August 29, 2017, 5:20 am

      I don't know why you say (Muslim) "Arabs". The Palestinian nation has always included Jews, Christians and Muslims, and probably other smaller groups which I do not know much about. It is an Arab nation because Arabic is its common language. It existed long before 1925 - Haim Gerber's book traces the development of a Palestinian national identity "back to the Crusades, and beyond". Palestine became a nation-state in 1922 under the Mandate, and 1925 I suppose was when it established a citizenship law.

      Over the last 70 years the Jews who migrated to Palestine under the banner of Zionism, and their descendants, have constituted themselves as a nation, and are recognized as a nation state. There are no grounds for saying they are not a nation - see the dictionary definition. Within Israel there is a substantial minority of citizens of Palestinian Arab descent. A recent survey said that about 2/3 of these put their Palestinian identity before their Israeli identity, the other 1/3 put their Israeli identity before their Palestinian identity. They have the right to choose which nation they belong to.

    • gamal, reply to yours of Aug 28, 2:09pm

      The Zionists as part of their principles say that all Jews in the world have an obligation to go and live in Israel. You seem to be introducing a similar obligation on all Palestinian refugees to return to Palestine. Such an obligation would be a denial of their human rights: Universal Declaration "Everyone has a right to leave their country and return to their country". Some of them are employed in their host country: perhaps they would like to continue with that work. There are many Palestinians in Britain, the US , Chile and elsewhere. Perhaps some of them would like to go to those places. They have a right to make those moves, and they should be helped to do so.

      Your nasty remark about my bombing refugees is unworthy and you should apologize for it.

    • Thanks a million (not literally) for that, mysterioso. Very useful information, saved for reference.

    • echinococcus in reply to yours of Aug29, 8:28

      I will not repeat the very nasty remark you made about my honesty, but I think it is quite unworthy of you and you ought to apologize.

      How can Israel be made to disappear?

      If Algeria has disappeared, you had better inform Google Maps

    • Yes there are other monotheistic faiths, but probably not in Palestine. Actually, the Quran recognizes also the Sabians. (Quick look on Wiki) These may have been Jews who remained in Babylon. Today there are some people called Sabians in Iraq, who follow John the Baptist

      In Christian circles we call them the three Abrahamic faiths.

    • Wdr:

      There are similarities and also differences between my proposal and that of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union, as I mention in my conclusions.

      Ben Gurion said he accepted the Plan, but was of course lying: he never had any intention of sticking to the borders of the Plan.

      Israel was not invaded by 5 Arab armies. Only Egyptian and Syrian forces entered Israeli territory. Most of the fighting was outside the borders of Israel. The Israel Air Force bombed Amman, so in the conflict with Jordan Israel was definitely the aggressor.

      The State of Palestine exists. Its territory is occupied by Israel. According to Resolution 242, Israel forces must withdraw from those territories.

      My article is not about creating a Palestinian State. It is about a union of the State of Israel and the State of Palestine to form a united democratic state with equal rights for all. Within that state there will be semi-autonomous Israel-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab nations.

    • Request to commenters.

      No-one so far has commented on the main substance of the article, which is outlined in the first paragraph: "A solution of two nations united within a single state, along the lines of the UK/Scotland/England relationship, would enable the two peoples to share the land while retaining their national life and identities."

      Mooser said he would need to read the whole article twice to grasp it. I think he is too pessimistic.

      All the comments so far have been about the preliminary part of the article, ending the occupation. Mondoweiss has a set of intelligent and knowledgeable commenters, and I always learn something from them. Please continue to help me on this one.

      I suggest you start at the subhead "Why One State?" and continue from there to the conclusions. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

    • Thank you rosross for commenting. I agree with what you say. My article is about a proposal as to how the 'indigenous' and the 'colonist' could share one state in a manner which protects their individual national lives and identities.

    • Bont Eastlake,

      Thank you for commenting. I agree with everything you say except the last sentence. Despite its criminal behavior Israel is a recognized state and a member of the United Nations. There is no way to make it disappear.

      My proposal does not require Palestine to cede any territory to Israel. The Palestinian-Arab and Jewish-Israeli people will have shared sovereignty over the whole of former Palestine as citizens of the United State with full democratic rights for all.

      In my proposal Israel will be forced to accept international law, and will make restitution for the past, for example by removing the structures of the occupation.

    • Nathan, Thank you for commenting.

      I talk about the Israeli-Jewish nation. In my conclusion I say that my proposal would achieve "self-determination for both the Israeli-Jewish nation and the Palestinian-Arab nation, within their shared homeland of Eretz-Israel, Palestine, The Holy Land". The PLO accepted this right when they said "the State of Israel has a right to exist in peace and security". It is now up to Israel to reciprocate and recognize the right of the State of Palestine to live in peace and security.

      The State of Israel is not "the Jews" nor a representative of "the Jews" . The Jews outside Israel-Palestine do not have a right to self-determination within Israel-Palestine.

      In the Quran "non-believers" are generally the polytheistic religious leaders who persecuted Mohammad and his followers and drove them out of Mecca to Medina. Jews and Christians are "People of the Scriptures", not to be troubled or converted; 2:62 "The [Muslim] believers, the Jews, the Christians and the Sabians - all those who believe in God and the Last Day and do good - will have their rewards with their Lord. Unfortunately some of the Jews of Medina joined the polytheists in attacking the Muslims, thereby making themselves enemies of the Muslims. When you read bad things about Jews in the Quran, it applies to these Jews.

      "The Jews" are not the enemy of Hamas, their enemy is the Zionist Jews who came to Palestine, backed up by the might of the British Army, to take away their land.

      In the one-state-two-nations solution, Hamas will be out on a limb. They will not be able to complain that they are ruled by Jews, which they would really hate, because within Palestine the government will be mainly Arabic, and the State government will have representatives from both nations. Nor will the Jews be under Islamic rule, which is what they think should happen, but there is not much they could do about it. I think they will eventually accept the situation.

    • Mooser, replying to yours of Aug 28, 11:17 am

      Please read the article from beginning to end, and you will find out what the substance is. If you require clarification of any specific points, please let me know.

    • Annie, replying to yours of 27 Aug, 9:11 pm, 10:55 pm, and Aug 28, 10:36 a.m.

      I am talking about an interim period in which the occupation comes to an end. There can be no negotiations on the final status issues during this phase, for two reasons: first, that Israel will just carry on delaying, that is why the Oslo process failed; second, because the final-status issues are dependent upon each other, and their resolution will be entirely different in a two-state solution as compared to a one-state-two-nations solution.

      Israelis and Palestinians will need to work together on the mechanics of ending the occupation. There will be a joint civilian police force to keep the peace in area C. The IDF forces remain beyond the formal end of the occupation to carry out an act of restitution, demolishing the Wall etcetera, so that it can be seen that Israel is putting right the wrong it has done.

      How am I going to get the security council to pass those resolutions? I am not, Annie, YOU ARE: I mean the American people. Everyone in the world knows that the settlements are Illegal; every one in the world knows that 242 said "a just and lasting peace REQUIRES Israel forces to withdraw from territories occupied". You could get UNSC resolutions along those lines tomorrow if there was no US veto. The only reason for that that veto is that American politicians are totally corrupted by Zionist money.

    • Strange coincidence: Sigman has just this minute invited me to 'connect' with him on LinkedIn. What's your advice, should I accept?

    • Hello Annie. I AM proposing a one-state solution. The title I gave to Phil was "the One State Two Nations Solution. I did not propose a continuation of the occupation, I proposed a temporary joint civil administration, and gave my reasons for it. I am sorry if that is not clear.

    • Curatica, thank you for commenting, but your remarks do not address the substance of my article.

    • vacy, read the next paragraph. Of course they have a right of return if they want to. All I am saying is that they should be helped to move elsewhere if that is what they want. Recent history has shown that many displaced Arabs prefer going to Europe.

    • Hello, AddictionMyth, thank you for commenting, though I do not think your comment addresses the substance of my article.

    • Hello Seth, thank you for commenting.

      There was indeed a minority report of the committee which proposed a federation of two provinces, similar in some ways to my proposal, which differs because th two entities have the status of nations rather than mere provinces.

  • Charlottesville is moment of truth for empowered U.S. Zionists (who name their children after Israeli generals)
    • Nathan, you are quite right to point out that the conflict can only end when there is a 'solution' that both sides can agree upon. I do not believe that both sides will agree on either the one-state or two-state solutions as currently envisaged. But there is an alternative 'solution' and I have an article about it coming up on Mondoweiss this week. Please look out for it, and be sure to comment. I will value your input.

    • Bumblebye; Jack Green; Jon 66

      "The Palestinians could NOT have declared independence in 1948 because half their allocated territory was OCCUPIED by zionist forces. In order to declare independence a state must be in control of its territory."

      This is desirable, but not compulsory. The Montevideo Convention says that states SHOULD have a government (i.e one which governs its territory), not MUST have. It uses this terminology because the decision of one state to recognize another is a sovereign decision of that state. For example, the modern State of Palestine was declared in 1988 and is recognized as a State by a majority of the other states of the world, and by the United Nations, although it does not control all of its defined territory.

      The Palestinians DID declare all of Mandatory Palestine to be a State in September 1948, and set up the All-Palestine government in Gaza, under Egyptian protection. It was recognized by the states of the Arab League, except TransJordan. It ceased to exist in 1959.

    • Jack Green:

      "In 1967, Jordan (which included the West Bank Palestinians) attacked Israel.
      The occupation of the West Bank was the result."

      The war started when Israel destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground in response to Egypt's closure of the Tiran Strait, and the movement of Egyptian troops into defensive positions in Sinai. Egypt asked its allies Syria and Jordan to join in the fight. The war aim of Israel was to capture territory from these neighboring states and incorporate it into Israel. This is PROVED by the fact that almost immediately after the war Israel began to build settlements of Jewish Israelis in the four captured territories: Gaza, Golan, Sinai and West Bank, knowing that these were illegal in international law, as advised by Israel's Attorney General.

    • Jack Green:
      "Almost every Israeli has a friend or relative who was killed or injured by an Arab."

      Highly unlikely: Evidence please.

      If you look at the statistics, you will find that in every stage of the conflict from the Arab revolt of 1936 onward the number of Arabs killed by Jews has been 5 to 10 times the number of Jews killed by Arabs, and 20 times in the 1967 war.

  • Uncritical Jewish identification with oppressive Israeli policies fuels anti-Semitism -- Klug
    • Da Bakr: "It can be proven so many times over that the Jewish state had done more to improve Palestinian lives than any other Arab/Muslim state."

      Could you please provide details of some of those many proofs?

    • Qur’an: 2:62 The believers [i.e Muslims], the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians – all those who believe in God and the Last Day and do good, will have their rewards with their Lord. No fear for them, nor will they grieve.

      Hamas Charter, article 31. The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts. Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other.

  • Bill making it a federal crime to support BDS sends shockwaves through progressive community
    • Jon S:

      "And many of those lobbies raise lots of money for their causes and play hardball politics . I don’t see what makes Jewish lobbies unique."

      No, they are not unique, but they are the most effective because they have the most money. What I am really complaining about is the corruption of the democratic process in the US that makes this possible. Here, in the land of the Mother of Parliaments, politicians are not allowed to take money from lobbyists: political parties are not allowed to buy TV advertising; other advertising is limited; candidates are strictly limited in the amount of money they can spend on their campaigns.

    • "Jewish money" is a reality. (As I understand it, from my schoolboy days), the Bible forbids usury, the lending of money at interest, I suppose because it leads to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. In medieval Europe, on the base of the Bible, it was illegal for Christians to lend money at interest. However, the Jewish theologians decided that although it was forbidden for Jews to lend to Jews, but they could lend to non-Jews. This is how Jews became the bankers, and some became very rich indeed. Christians who wanted to invest in business had no alternative but to go to the Jews for money. This tended to cause some resentment.

      Whether or not my history teacher was correct, it is certainly true that Zionist money is being used to corrupt the democratic process in the USA by the large amounts given to the election campaigns of politicians willing to support their cause.

    • "Monsanto surely causes more death, suffering and destruction by 10 to most of the world then the relatively small i/p conflict."

      Can you please explain how Monsanto causes so much death, suffering and destruction? I only know it from its product 'Roundup' (glyphosate). It is a herbicide which kills plants very effectively by intercepting an enzyme pathway that occurs only in the vegetable kingdom. It is harmless to animal life. Suppression of weeds is essential to productive agriculture. I use gallons of the stuff on my land. If glyphosate was banned, there would be famines across the world.

    • "we can either have international law or we can have Israel" The best way to deal with Israel's violations of international law is to enforce international law. That is a job for the Security Council. There is no 'death penalty' in international law: if a state is recognized by other states then it exists and no-one can make it go away.

      "Removing racist colonial settler invaders is easy". You can describe those who arrived in Palestine before May 15, 1948 as racist colonial settlers, as well as those who have settled in Palestine, outside the borders of Israel, since 1967. Those who migrated legally into the recognized State of Israel are not racist colonialist settlers. Neither are any of those born in Israel who have stayed there.

  • Thousands in Jerusalem protest abduction of Yemenite babies following disclosure some were experimented on
  • Trump's not moving the embassy, and AIPAC and Netanyahu are disappointed
    • “Jerusalem is absolutely central to the history, culture and identity of the Jewish people” says J Street. Absolutely correct, and no educated person, Palestinian or otherwise, would deny it.

      But the State of Israel is not the same thing as the Jewish people. That is the point that we should constantly emphasize.

      The Declaration of the State of Israel does not mention Jerusalem. On 14 May 1948 Israel declared its borders to be those specified in the UN Plan of Partition with Economic Union. Jerusalem is outside those borders. Israel's Declaration said it is based "on the strength of the UN resolution (UNGAR 181, the Plan of Partition). In the Plan Jerusalem was to be internationalized, not part of either the Jewish or the Arab State.

      Israel gained de facto sovereignty over West Jerusalem in the 1948-49 war. There was no peace agreement at the end of that war, so Israel's de facto sovereignty has not been legalized. Israel gained military control of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. East Jerusalem is outside the 1949 Armistice Line, and so part of the occupied West Bank territory from which Israeli forces are required to withdraw under UNSCR 242.

      Israel's peace treaty with Jordan did not pass Jordanian sovereignty over the West Bank to Israel. Jordan held the territory in trust for the Palestinian people who have a right to self-determination within mandatory Palestine. In 1988 Jordan passed its sovereignty over the West Bank to the PLO as representatives of the Palestinians. Since the 1988 declaration and international recognition of the State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, legal sovereignty over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, belongs to the State of Palestine.

      The State of Israel does not have legal sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem.

  • Pro-Israel group bullies Church of Scotland over its 'sensitive' commemoration of Balfour centenary
    • "The framers of ‘Balfour’ deliberately left out ‘political’ and ‘national’ rights for the indigenous Arab inhabitants – that was only for the Jews."

      I don't see any distinction between civil rights and political rights. The declaration makes no mention of Jewish political rights in Palestine. Its objective is to establish a Jewish National Home IN Palestine: this does not necessarily imply that the existing population do not constitute a nation. Indeed, the 1921 Carlsbad Resolution of the World Zionist Congress proposed that Palestine should be the COMMON HOME of TWO nations, Jewish and Arab, with PERFECT EQUALITY between Jews and Arabs. (Rather like the United Kingdom is the common home of three nations: English, Scottish and Welsh.)

  • New charter, old politics
    • "The invaders would not be leaving Northern Ireland" ???????

    • It is strange that the author has not given a link to the new Document of General Principles and Policies, or quoted directly from it. Here it is:

      To my mind, it is a beautiful and moving document, with the exception of article 25: " Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance, which is regarded as the strategic choice for protecting the principles and the rights of the Palestinian people."

      Yes, armed resistance is legitimate. But adopting it as a strategic choice is foolish. Israel has a mighty military machine up to and including nuclear bombs. Armed resistance will achieve nothing except more dead Palestinians. South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Civil Rights in the USA have shown that non-violent resistance is much more effective.

  • Passover in the era of permanent Jewish occupation
  • Open Letter to Theresa May: On 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration recognize an independent Palestinian state
    • Mooser: Nothing to do with his Atomic Theory, it's his General Theory of Relativity which says that the gravitational forces generated by large masses can twist space itself. If all the Jews in the world went to Palestine, and took all their gold with them, there might have been enough mass to do the trick.

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