Two States One Homeland Initiative

two states one homeland

As the occupation enters into 50th year, the Two States One Homeland is a new intiative that might be of interest to some. An odd hybrid, it looks a lot a two-state bi-national solution to ending the 1967 occupation. Based on the principles of self-determination and mutual recognition, perhaps its most radical component part concerns the right to free domicile. Israelis can live in Palestine and Palestinians in Israel as mutually agreed.  The website is here. The full text I’m pasting below:

Two States One Homeland, Together and Separate:

One Land, Two states New horizons for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

We, a group of Israelis and Palestinians, propose here a new horizon for reconciliation between the two peoples, based on the establishment of two sovereign states in one, open, land.  Eretz Israel / Palestine is a shared homeland for two peoples – the Jews and the Palestinians, and both peoples are attached to the land by profound historical, religious and cultural ties. All those who live in this shared homeland have equal rights to a life of liberty, equality and dignity, rights that must be guaranteed in any future settlement.

The Israeli Palestinian conflict is at a dead-end. Instead of moving towards an arrangement, the two nations return time after time to rounds of violence and bloodshed.  We are certain that in order to bring about reconciliation and an end to the conflict, a new vision is necessary; a vision that must be based on equality in a shared land, and on mutual respect and recognition of the identity, spaces and political rights of both peoples.

Our vision is also based on the belief that Jews and Palestinians have in common aspects of culture and identity; a reconciliation between the two peoples will require openness and connection to the greater space.

On this basis we have arrived at a set of agreed principles, which can be summed up as “Together and Separate”, or “One land, two states”. They include:

Two states, one homeland

Palestine / Israel constitutes a historical and geographical unity from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, which should consist of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine. In these states, the two nations will realize their right to self-determination, and the border between them will be based on the 4 June, 1967 lines and a total cessation of the occupation.

Democracy, human rights and the rule of law

The two states would be democratic; their regime would be founded on the principle of the rule of law, on the recognition of the universality of human rights as recognized in international law, on equality, and on the inviolability of life and liberty;

Immigration and naturalization

Both states will have the right to define their own laws of immigration and naturalization within its boundaries. The State of Palestine would be at liberty to naturalize Palestinian refugees as it sees fit, and the state of Israel will be at liberty to naturalize the Jews of the diaspora, as it sees fit.

The Open Land vision

a. The two state would be committed to a vision of one land, within which the citizens of both states have the right to travel and live in all parts of the land;

b. This right will be extended to all those who would become citizens of the two states: refugees in Palestine, and Jews in Israel;

c. The two states will work toward full realization of this vision in several stages, mutually, and each step will require the agreement of both states;

d. From this first stage, both states will recognize the right of their citizens  to move, travel, visit, work and trade in all parts of the land;

e. At the same time, both states would agree on a proportional number of citizens of the other state who would live in their territory and would receive the status of permanent residents. This agreement  would allow Israeli citizens, including those living today in area allocated to the Palestinian state, to receive  a  status of permanent residents in Palestine, provided they agree to live peacefully with their neighbors under Palestinian sovreignty. This agreement would allow Palestinians, including those who will be naturalized in Palestine, to have a status of permanent residents in Palestine,  provided they agree to live peacefully with their neighbors under Israeli sovereignty.

f. The permanent residents who will live in the state which is not their state of citizenship, would be obliged to respect the law of that country, live in peace with their neighbours, and avoid actions that threaten the security of their state of residency or the safety of its citizens;

g. The Israeli permanent residents in Palestine will implement their right to vote for parliament in Israel and the Palestinian  permanent residents in Israel  will implement their right to vote for parliament in Palestine


a. Jerusalem will serve as capital city for both states; Palestinian residents will become Palestinian citizens and Israeli residents will become citizens of Israel.

b. Jerusalem would be one city, shared and open to the citizens of both states; a special municipal regime would be established to administer the city jointly and equally between the two peoples, together with representatives of the monotheistic religions and the international community;

c. The holy sites will be manage jointly by representatives of the different religions and the international community, while guaranteeing freedom of worship to members of all faiths.


a. Both states will commit to solving all conflicts between them in peaceful ways,and will act against any manifestation of violence and terror.

b. Each state would be sovereign with regard to public order in its territory and the personal security of its inhabitants. Armed militias and unauthorized organizations would be decommissioned;

c. The two states would establish de-militarized zones and a defence treaty against external threats. No foreign army will enter either state without joint permission;

d. A supreme joint security council will monitor and take decisions on security matters of common interest. The council would operate a joint force with the agreement of both states, to protect the external perimeter borders of the two states;

Joint institutions

a. The two states will have the following joint institutions: Joint Court for Human Rights, which will be authorized to act as a supreme and judicial authority  in the following cases:

– Appeasl of non-citizen residents against the country of residense claiming violations of their rights.

– Conflicts between the two states regarding the rights of their citizens residing in the  other country or any other issue related to the one homeland vision.

b. Joint institutions to guarantee a minimal economic safety net for all residents of the land, Palestinians and Israelis;

c. A dedicated authority for the management and development of the economy of the land, including institutions for economic co-operation, co-ordination of custom duties, movement of workers and goods, labour migration, development of infrastructures,and local and international investment. The economic institutions would strive to bridge the inequalities among regions and ethnic groups;

d. Institutions for co-operation on matters relating to water, environment and minerals, based on a just sharing of resources and committed to the development of the land and its resources for the benefit of all its inhabitants;

e. Any other institutions which would be required for the carrying out of the “one land, two states” vision;

f. The two peoples would be equally represented in all joint institutions;

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship

The Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel would enjoy the rights of a national minority, civil equality, proper representation in government bodies, fair distribution of the state resources and proper representation in the joint Israeli-Palestinian institutions; To the extent that there exists a Jewish minority inside Palestine, it will enjoy identical rights.


A joint mechanism will be established to return lost property that was confiscated as a result of the conflict, or compensation in the event that reinstatement is not possible. The principle of return or compensation of property will be determined by agreement, with the aim of achieving the greatest possible justice for those harmed by the conflict. Past injustices will not be resolved by causing new injustices.

Israel and Palestine will call upon the countries of the Middle East to compensate Jews for their lost property and will allow anyone interested to return to their homes, in the event that it is possible.


Joint mechanism would be established to achieve reconciliation, including joint committees of reconciliation that would enable profound and comprehensive discussion of past injustices on both sides. The two states would formulation of joint programs to promote reconciliation at community level, in the education system and in cultural institutions.

The international dimension

a. For the purposes of realizing this reconciliation agreement, an international body will be established in accordance with the agreement of both sides. Among other parties, the body will represent the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations, who will be involved in the implementation process of “Two states, one homeland,” and will provide diplomatic, legal and economic backing.

b.The vision “Two states, one homeland,” will become the basis for the integration of the two independent states into a framework of a peace agreement with the countries of the Middle East.

Who we are

The “two states, one homeland”  Initiative,  was born from a series of meetings three years ago between Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian political activist Awni Almsni. Meron Rapoport, born in Tel Aviv, is a journalist and translator who worked for Yedioth Ahronoth, “Haaretz” and for the Israeli Educational Television and and still writes to various media outlets in Israel and abroad. Awni Almsni, born in Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem, is a political activist at the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, a graduate of Bethlehem University and a columnist in the Palestinian press.

To those meetings have joined several Israeli and Palestinians activists, among them the poet Elias Cohen from Kfar Etzion, Munir Alabosi from Tulkarem, Limor Yehuda from nataf, Mohamed El beyrouti from Bethlehem, Avi Daboosh from brorhail, Thabet Abu Rass from Kalansawa, Burhan al Saadi, from Tulkarem, Moriah Shlomot from Tel Aviv, Issa Abu Aaram from Ramallah, Prof. Oren Yiftachel From Be’er Sheva, Nidaa Khoury from Haifa and many others.

By numerous meetings between Israelis and Palestinians and within the groups themselves we have reached a document of principles agreed upon all parties. We see ourselves as one joint movement, divided into two separate movements. Jointly and separately.

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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1 Response to Two States One Homeland Initiative

  1. ej says:

    Here is a fascinating video by a Syrian architect on how to rebuild the Syrian cities that have been destroyed that echoes and adds depth to the core idea of Two States One Homeland. Inspiring!

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