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.