The 1 State Solution is 1-Side Solution  (Israel-Palestine)


Stuck between a rock and hard place, what’s a liberal Zionist to do? One-Staters like Philip Weiss want the 2-Staters to give up the ghost finally, now that it’s perfectly clear to that there’s no Israeli partner for a 2 State Solution. The problem with the Electronic Intifdah-Mondoweiss crowd is not that they don’t recognize “the Jewish State.” Given the current morass, I think there are a lot of people like myself who could in theory get behind the idea of a single democratic state in Historical Palestine, a bi-national state perhaps. The problem is that the Electronic Intifadah-Mondowess crowd doesn’t recognize history. Theirs is a 1 Side Solution. The only thing they can say about Zionism is to tag it as settler-colonialism.

Some advice to the people over at Electronic Intifdah and Mondoweiss: If you want liberal Zionists like myself to join the 1 State Party, it’s time to knock off the jargon and recognize what it is that has attached and has brought so many Jewish people to this place. Give people like me something to work with, a sense that you understand that from the other side of coin that there were compelling political and historical interests to create a “Jewish national home in Palestine.” Otherwise I can’t see what’s in it for the Jews. Speaking as an American, if all we’re going to hear is “settler colonialism,” if all liberal Zionists are going to get is more of the ridiculous Max Blumenthal and Nazi propaganda at Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine, well, then you can forget about the 1 State argument getting very far.

Anti-Zionism deserves the same clear cold look that Zionism deserves. Let’s set aside the immediate suspicion that, practically, such a constitutional conglomerate in Israel-Palestine would most probably look dysfunctional like Lebanon. The idea itself as currently formulated is dead on arrival. It too suffers its own internal contradictions, starting with this one. You can’t advance a political solution based on equality of rights when you don’t recognize equal rights. Not “settler colonialism” and postcolonial agitprop, what we need are better models based on mutual respect and mutual recognition.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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6 Responses to The 1 State Solution is 1-Side Solution  (Israel-Palestine)

  1. dmseattle says:

    May boil down to the same thing, but I think that Palestinian leadership also don’t want a two state solution. If they had real interest, they would have been talking (to USA, EU, Russia, China, India etc etc) for the last 5 years to revive the Olmert Plan as a basis for discussion. There is NEVER going to be a better deal for the Palis than what Olmert offered.

    Otherwise I agree with most of what you say.

    • zjb says:

      Yes, we agree. If I were a Palestinian, I’d think that time was on my side.

      • dmseattle says:

        For what reason do they think time is on their side? Sheer numbers of Moslems?
        Pressure by liberal American Jews to force Israel back to 67 borders? and USA will give plane tickets to Israeli Jews to Poland? Who knows. Things change. Israel is deepening relationships: Russia, India, China. USA may have less influence in 10 years. I know that my personal support for Israel is in fact strengthening.

        The reality is that the world doesn’t care about the Palestinians. How do the Egyptians — historically — treat the Gazans? Palestinians best ally is liberal (usually) American Jews…the Phil, Weiss, Michael Lerner, Judith Butler, Jenny Diski crowd: Useful idiots.

      • zjb says:

        You might very well be right, but I think it has to do with demographics, which the pivot to Russia or China will do nothing to settle if and when Israel loses the EU (its biggest trade partner) and U.S. liberal opinion, upon which I think the country actually depends. It will be a bad day indeed when U.S. support for Israel turns into a partisan divide. Mondoweiss et al aren’t the issue. We can both agree as to our low opinion regarding them. The bigger problems are structural.

  2. zeev says:

    The only solution is to build some sort of federation model that will allow for a wide national expression to all. it is something that is difficult to see happening, but till it does there is real danger that it will become more and more difficult to find a solutions. so the earlier the better. And it is not only the Israelis who don’t have a partner.

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