Monday, September 07, 2009

Two-state solution or one-state solution to the Palestine problem?

The argument regarding the so-called middle east peace process appears to centre around the premise that a two state solution is the best and only feasible alternative and that a one state solution is unthinkable because it would mean that the state of Israel would cease to exist due to demographic reasons. However, If you think about it, the existing situation is already a one-state situation. By refusing to recognise borders, by its seizure of legally owned lands for settlers, by refusing to accept the legitimacy of Palestinian claims to the land, and by controlling the whole of the territory in Palestine ( land, sea and air including Gaza ), Israel has in a meaningful sense imposed a one state solution already. The problem with this Greater-Israel state are apartheid policies, lack of democratic rights, legal discrimination and state terrorism against the Arabs whether they have Israeli identity papers or not. Arabs with Israeli identity are also not immune from the racist whims of the state and continue to suffer from discrimination, demolitions and settlement activity. The assumption that the one state solution means the disappearance of Israel is mistaken. It assumes that discrimination would automatically disappear and democratic rights would prevail. A single state can still subjugate and discriminate against a section of the population. This is the case in many states across the world.

The two state solution is really a mirage. It allows the Israelis to give the impression that they are allowing a viable state for the Arabs, but in practice they will never concede any kind of control over the borders, air space or waters of the whole of the territory. Any rump Palestinian state will have limited economic freedom, limited or no defence capability, and no control over their own airspace and borders. Realistically, that would not be a state at all but rather a a semi-autonomous enclave/province subject to Israeli control. The Palestinians would only have nominally more freedom than they have now.

The problem as I see it is perception rather than reality. As long as they can continue to sell the perception of a possiblity of an an autonomous Palestinian state, the Zionists are content to let things drift along and continue their racist policies. The Western states are happy to go along with this and sell this perception to their own public.

Many Israelis would prefer a final solution that involves expulsion of the Palestinians into Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. However, they realise that international outrage makes this scenario difficult so they prefer a slow genocide/ethnic cleansing whereby they allow the Arabs limited ability to fight back so they can claim to be fighting 'terrorism'. By subjecting the Arab population to state terror they hope that most will leave of their own accord.

Debate in the West about which solution is preferable is ironic since the West hold the key to the solution. If they were not conniving with the Zionists, they would have long ago isolated the zionist reshime, stopped funding it and arming it. That is the only way that the politicians and public of Israel will be forced to accept that Arabs too have a right to democracy. They also must have rights to security, to land, to fresh water, to gas off the coast of Gaza, to fishing, to travel without restriction, to play football and take part in the other activities that are available to free people.


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