The “two state solution” (TSS) mantra has become the accepted wisdom in the Israel-Palestinian conflict as the only route to bring about a peaceful agreement. However there is growing resistance to the TSS idea since many Israelis believe it will bring about the end of Israel, either by war or by turning Israel into “a state for all its citizens” (as if it isn’t that already!), i.e. the One State Solution. Moreover, one of the states in this “solution” – Palestine – demands to be Judenfrei, and yet no one in the international community objects or seems to think this is either unreasonable or even – yes – antisemitic and racist. There have been no condemnations of the Palestinians for this racism. Imagine if the roles were reversed.
What exactly is the One State Solution, a “State for all its Citizens”? The Palestinians hope that every resident of Israel, whether Israeli or not, will receive Israeli citizenship and thus the Palestinians can overrun Israel by pure demographics. This last point is debatable (see the Ettinger Report about the falsity of the Arab demographic threat), nevertheless, the malign concept behind the One State Solution, of overpowering Israel demographically, cannot be ignored.
Furthermore, an insidious lie that creeps in behind the One State Solution proposal is the implication that Israel is not democratic.
Addressing this issue, here is Asher Cohen‘s Facebook post (h/t Ido), who plays on the Talmudic adage of “10 measures of beauty came down to earth. Jerusalem took 9 and the rest is for the rest of the world”. His Hebrew text is followed by my English translation (and emphases):
עשרה קבין של מדינת כל אזרחיה ירדו לעולם, תשעה נטלה ישראל ואחד כל העולם כולו. כולם מכירים את המושג ‘מדינת כל אזרחיה’. רובם משוכנעים שמדובר במושג אוניברסלי/מדעי/אקדמי מתחום הדעת שרק תורגם לעברית. אז זהו, שלא. חפשו ב google scholar, היכן שמרוכזים כל המאמרים והספרים האקדמיים באנגלית, את המושג “a state of/all its citizens” ותגלו יבול של כ-650 תוצאות במשך 25 שנים. וכאשר תחפשו את המושג עם התוספת + Israel תגלו שכתשעים אחוזים (תשעה קבין…) עוסקים בישראל… ועשרה אחוזים בלבד בכל שאר העולם. המושג הומצא בישראל והוכנס לשיח הפוליטי ומשם ללימודי האזרחות כדי לנגח את מדינת ישראל כמדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית. לא צריך לומר כלום: מעצם העובדה שמישהו אומר שהוא רוצה שישראל תהיה ‘מדינת כל אזרחיה’ משתמע מכאן שישראל כביכול איננה של כל אזרחיה אלא רק של חלק מהם ולכן איננה דמוקרטית. את התרגיל הזה צריך לעצור: ישראל היא מדינה של כל אזרחיה ומדינת לאום של הרוב היהודי ובכך היא מגשימה את הזכות הדמוקרטית המוכרת של כל עם להגדרה עצמית.
Ten measures of the “State of all its citizens” came down to Earth, and Israel took nine, while one was left for the rest of the world. Everyone knows the phrase “a State of all its citizens”. Most of them are convinced that it is a universal /scientific/academic concept in the field of humanities that was simply translated into Hebrew. But it’s not. Search on Google Scholar, where all the English-language articles and academic books are concentrated, for the term “a state of all its citizens”, and you’ll find a crop of about 650 results from over 25 years. But when you search for the concept with the addition “+ Israel” you’ll find that that about 90% (nine measures) deal with Israel…and only 10 percent with the rest of the world.
The term was invented in Israel and inserted into the political discourse, and from there into civics studies in order to slam the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic State. There is no need to add anything: the very fact that someone says he wants Israel to be a “State of all its citizens” implies that Israel is supposedly not of all its citizens, but only of a part of them, and therefore is not democratic.
This trick must be stopped: Israel is a State of all its citizens and is the nation State of the Jewish majority, and thus it realizes the recognized democratic right of all every nation to self-determination.
As for the vaunted and much-discussed Two State Solution, former Defence Minister Moshe Arens launches a blistering attack on the proposal in his Haaretz article “Two States for Two Peoples? When pigs fly!“:
But the bottom line, the be-all and end-all of the suggested agreement, is that once implemented there will be three Palestinian states without a single Jew in any of them: East Palestine (Jordan), West Palestine (Judea and Samaria), and South Palestine (the Gaza Strip). The exclusion of Jews from these territories is, of course, not one of the principles listed in the framework agreement, but it is the basis without which, as things stand at the moment, that agreement falls apart. Call it “two states for two people” until you’re blue in the face and pigs can fly. But it’s four states for two people – three without Jews and one whose population is 20-percent Arab.
Why the Jordanian attempt to destroy the State of Israel in 1948 should become the basis for Palestinian territorial claims is an issue Kerry prefers not to address; he simply expects Israel to swallow it.
Kerry may not be aware of the fact that the territory of all three Palestinian states, together with that of today’s Israel, was intended to constitute the territory of the Jewish state, in accordance with the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, bestowed upon Britain after World War I. One of the provisions there was that Jewish settlement on the land was to be encouraged by the Mandatory power.
Kerry’s framework agreement in effect implies that Judea and Samaria – before becoming a third Palestinian state – be cleared of all Jews. This position is hardly consistent with the principles of democratic rule, and is not likely to be supported by most people in the democratic world.
While I agree with everything written here, I disagree with this last sentence highlighted above. I don’t think the rest of the world has the slightest problem with territories becoming Judenrein. If they did, they would have opened their mouths before now because it is hardly a secret that the Palestinians object to any Jewish presence at all in what they hope will become their state. Mahmoud Abbas has stated so openly and publicly. I’m surprised at Moshe Arens’s naivete here. Other than this caveat though, his article is enlightening and alarming. It should be a must-read for Israel’s diplomats and foreign service and should entail a serious rethink of our foreign policy.
An alternative idea to the one/two state solution or to land swaps was proposed last week by Avigdor Liberman: to move the border, not the people. Again, this was suggested in order to accommodate the Palestinians’ demand not to have a single Jew defile their unholy state. Unsurprisingly this idea was slammed by Israel Arabs who demand to retain their Israeli citizenship. This despite some serious incitement and hatred emanating from their leaders.
Khaled Abu Toameh details the objections of the Israeli Arabs (emphases are mine):
The new-old proposal has been strongly rejected by leaders of the Israeli Arabs, who expressed outrage over the idea.
It was hard this week to find even one Israeli Arab who publicly supported the proposal.
“This is an imaginary proposal that relates to the Arabs as if they were chess pieces that could be moved around according to the wish of the players,” said Ahmed Tibi, an Arab member of the Knesset.
Another Arab Knesset member, Afu Ighbarriyeh, said, “Citizens of a democratic state are not tools or hostages in the hands of their government.”
Both Tibi and Ighbarriyeh are from towns in the triangle area; Taybeh and Umm al-Fahm.
But what the Arab Knesset members are not saying openly is that they do not want to wake up in the morning and discover that they are citizens of a Palestinian state. It is much easier for them to accuse Israel of racism than to admit that they do not want to be part of a Palestinian state.
A public opinion poll conducted by the Arab Center for Applied Social Research in November 2007 found that more than 70% of Israeli Arabs are opposed to any proposal to annex towns and villages in the triangle area to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for the annexation of the settlements to Israel.
The poll also showed that over the past ten years, Israeli Arabs have become more extreme in their views toward Israel and its Jewish majority.
… Some of the Arab parliamentarians have over the past two decades acted and spoken in a way that has caused damage to the interests of the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel.
They are first and foremost responsible for radicalizing a large number of Israeli Arabs and turning them against the state.
These parliamentarians have, in fact, spent more time defending the interests of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip than those of their voters.
If the Arab Knesset members are so worried about becoming citizens of a Palestinian state, they should be working toward integration into, and not separation from, Israel. The Arab parliamentarians need to listen more to what their constituents are telling them and not to the voices of Fatah and Hamas.
Wise words as always from Khaled Abu Toameh.
How will all these different interests play out in the actual negotiations? Will anyone, on the Israel side or the international community, finally stand up and object loudly to the racist demand for a Jew-free Palestinian state?
I admit that the future of our country under either a “Two State Solution” or a “One state solution” terrifies me. The constant “peace” negotiations with the idiotically naive John Kerry shuttling back and forth alarm me even more. Does anyone on the Israeli or the American side quite know what they are doing? Arlene Kushner describes the feeling perfectly: “Pit of the stomach anxiety“.