Democratic One-State Solution (Unitary State, Bi-National State) For Post-Apartheid Palestine By Gideon Polya

22 December, 2018 — Counter Currents

The ethnic cleansing of 90% of the land of Palestine means that the 2-state solution dishonestly espoused by Apartheid Israel and its pro-Apartheid US Alliance supporters is now dead. Further, it is clear that the racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel are locked in to continuation of Jewish Israeli domination of all of Palestine, with the boundary prospects of endless Apartheid or complete ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  It is becoming blatantly obvious to decent observers that a democratic one-state solution (unitary state, bi-national state) is the compelling humane solution. What better time to espouse this than at Christmas, the traditional birthday of the wonderful Jesus Christ and the time for peace and love for all.

A democratic, one-state solution for an independent Palestine was espoused by both the British  occupiers and  Indigenous Palestinians back in the 1930s, but the Zionist minority were opposed because they had an often enunciated agenda of ultimate domination of all of Palestine [1, 2], an agenda that was partly realized in 1948 (with Israeli occupation of 78% of Palestine and expulsion of 800,000 Indigenous Palestinians) and fully realized in 1967 (with Israeli conquest of all of Palestine plus parts of Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, and expulsion of a further 400,000 Arabs from the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights) [3-6].

The ongoing, Zionist-imposed Palestinian Genocide is an immense and continuing crime against humanity. In 1880 Palestine contained about 500,000 Arab Palestinians and about 25,000 Jews (half of the latter being immigrants). Genocidally racist  Zionists have been responsible  for a Palestinian Genocide involving successive mass expulsions (800,000 in 1948 and 400,00 Arabs expelled in 1967) , ethnic cleansing of 90% of the land of Palestine, and in the century since the British invasion of Palestine in WW1 about 2.3  million Palestinian deaths from violence (0.1 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation  (2.2 million). Presently there are now 8 million Palestinian refugees, and of 14 million Palestinians (half of them children and three quarters women and children) about 50% (7 million) are forbidden to even step foot in their own country on pain of death, only 1.8 million  Palestinian Israelis  (13%) are permitted to vote for the government ruling all of the former  Mandated Palestine, and 5.0 million Palestinians  have zero human rights as Occupied Palestinians in West Bank ghettoes or mini-Bantustans (3.0 million) or in the Gaza Concentration Camp (2.0 million). The “lucky”, circa 2 million  Palestinian Israelis are Third Class citizens subject to about 50 Nazi-style discriminatory laws. Indigenous Palestinians now represent 50% of the population of the territory ruled by Apartheid Israel (Jewish Israelis represent 47%) but of these Indigenous Palestinian subjects, 74% are excluded from voting for the government ruling them –  in a word, Apartheid. The per capita GDP (nominal) is a deadly $3,000 for Occupied Palestinians  as compared to $40,000 for Apartheid Israel. Over 4,000 Occupied Palestinians die avoidably from imposed deprivation each year  with an average of about 500 being killed violently by Apartheid Israel each year  [3-9].

Notwithstanding the appalling dimension of the ongoing Palestinian Genocide, the “two-state solution” has been a convenient fig-leaf for pro-Apartheid Western dishonesty and inaction over Palestine.  The Zionist ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine has rendered the “two-state solution” dead but the continuing obscenity of a grossly human  rights-abusing  Apartheid Israel is intolerable to decent people around the world [7, 10-14].  However the racist Jewish Nation-State Law makes it abundantly clear that the racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel are resolutely committed to a neo-Nazi Apartheid State and endless, deadly subjugation of the Indigenous Palestinians with the ever-present threat of 100% ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The world must resolutely act over Apartheid Israel, as it successfully did over Apartheid South Africa, with Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all its racist supporters [12].

A clear, humane solution  to the continuing human rights catastrophe in Palestine is a unitary state (one-state solution, bi-national state) as in post-Apartheid South Africa that would involve return of all refugees, zero tolerance for racism, equal rights for all, all human rights for all, economic decency for all, one-person-one-vote democracy, justice, goodwill, reconciliation, airport-level security, nuclear weapons removal, internationally-guaranteed national security initially based on the present armed forces, and untrammeled access for all citizens to all of Palestine [15].

Increasingly impelled by the sheer impossibility of a just 2-state solution in a presently 90% ethnically cleansed Palestine, numerous  anti-racist Jewish Israeli, Palestinian and other writers, scholars, leaders and activists argue the compelling case for  urgent replacement of grossly humane rights-violating, international law-violating, nuclear-armed, state terrorist, race-based, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel in Palestine with a unitary state  (bi-national state, one-state solution) involving peace, equal rights for all, economic justice for all, democracy and return of all refugees [16]. Below is set out a range of expert opinions of humanitarians advocating a democratic, one-state solution for Palestine.

  1. Awad Abdelfattah (secretary-general of the National Democratic Assembly Party, which is represented in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, by three members;  journalist for an English language Palestinian newspaper for 10 years; member of  Abnaa al-Balad (a small Marxist nationalist movement), which has advocated for a one democratic state in all of Palestine and was co-founder of the National Democratic Assembly party (NDA)) on one-state (2018): “The idea of a one democratic state in historic Palestine is not a new idea. It’s an old one. Also this is not the first attempt to organize and build a framework to promote an egalitarian political entity as an alternative to the excising Israeli brutal colonial apartheid regime. The Palestinian national movement, and the then predominantly communist national liberation league, had advocated an equal unitary state, before the Nakba of 1948. Even before that there was the Jewish Brit Shalom, led by Yehuda Magness and other Jewish intellectuals, who called for a binational state, and argued against a Jewish state in Palestine. In the last decade, especially after the crushing of the second intifada, and the failure of the two state option, the idea of a one state has re-emerged again, in the form of an academic and intellectual debate, and followed by attempts by former political, young and old, activists and leaders to build popular movements. The debate has expanded, and started to penetrate into the society, but none of the movements that were launched have turned into effective and popular ones. Their membership has remained very small. Given this background, and out of our principled belief in one state, we have thought it’s time to launch an initiative to unite all those who endorse this noble idea” [17].
  2. Ali Hasan Abunimah (a Palestinian-American journalist and  leading American proponent of a one-state solution) on Apartheid Israeli rejection of a democratic unitary state (2018): “In a one-state solution, Palestinians and Israelis would have equal political rights in a single country with a modern democratic constitution. The solution would require decolonization policies to repair and make restitution for the effects of decades of Israeli land theft, expulsion and economic and social disadvantage perpetrated against the indigenous Palestinian people… All such two-state proposals are predicated on preserving Israel as a “Jewish state” by physically and politically segregating the Palestinian population because Israel considers them a “demographic threat” to Israeli-Jewish dominance. This would necessitate abrogating the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees solely on the racist  grounds that they are not Jews, recognizing Israel’s “right” to be a racist Jewish state, and confining Palestinians to a mini-state on fragments of historic Palestine under overall Israeli control – similar to the bantustans of apartheid South Africa” [18].

Ali Abunimah on Twitter (2018): “You can quote me: I call for the full liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, an end to the Israeli Zionist system of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, and its replacement with democracy, equality and justice for Jews, Palestinians and all in that land” [19].

  1. Arab League  Council  on Palestine as a unitary state (1946): “(i) Palestine should be a unitary State. (ii) It should have a democratic constitution, with an elected legislature. (iii) The constitution should provide guarantees for the sanctity of the Holy Places, covering inviolability, maintenance, freedom of access and freedom of worship in accordance with the status quo. (iv) The constitution should guarantee, subject to suitable safeguards, freedom of religious practice in accordance with the status quo throughout Palestine (including the maintenance of separate religious courts for matters of personal status). (v) The law of naturalisation should provide amongst other conditions that the applicant should be a legal resident of Palestine for a continuous period of ten years before his application… ” [20].
  2.  Omar Barghouti (leading Palestinian human rights activist and scholar  who has advocated for the secular democratic state solution for more than three decades) on a one-state Palestine solution based on equal human rights (2013): “Other than being the right thing to do per se, an ethically consistent struggle in line with international law and universal principles of human rights will encourage Jewish-Israelis to join in “co-resistance” which is the most assured path to ethical co-existence…  By emphasizing equal humanity as its most fundamental principle, the secular democratic state promises to end the fundamental injustices that have plagued Palestine and, simultaneously, to transcend national and ethnic dichotomies that now make it nearly impossible to envision ethical coexistence in a decolonized Palestine, based on equality, justice and freedom—a truly promising land” [21].
  3. George Bisharat (Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law) on a unitary state “solidly based on the principle of equal rights” (2012): “As it stands, there is one effective sovereign between the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the Jordan River to the east: Israel. It is the Israeli government whose actions most impact the lives not only of its 7.6 million citizens, but also of its 4.3 million subjects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As this functionally unitary state will not be divided, the question that looms is: on what principles will it be organized, ethnic privilege for Jews, as it is now, or equal rights? Ethnic privilege for Jews is currently institutionalized not only in the segregated Jewish communities Israel has established in the West Bank, but also in more than 35 laws within Israel that bestow benefits exclusively to its Jewish citizens. A growing number of forward-looking Palestinians and Israelis are rejecting Jewish ethnic privilege as both ethically insupportable and politically unsustainable, and are opting for equal rights. That is the position of a number of the participants in a “one state” conference held recently at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School. Recognizing that Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs are destined to live together, the conference participants were seeking ways to share power equitably between the two communities… By abandoning the still-born two-state solution, the emerging Israeli and American conservative advocates of one-state achieve a form of progress. But real, on-the-ground progress will follow only if the state that ultimately emerges is solidly based on the principle of equal rights. Inequality, in contrast, is a formula for perpetual conflict” [22].
  4. Professor Peter Boyce AO  (adjunct professor in the University of Tasmania’s Politics and International Relations Program and immediate past President of Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) Tasmania) on a 1-state solution (2018): “14 May 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of Israel’s proclamation of independence, and May 15 will solemnly recall the Nakba (“catastrophe”) that saw the displacement of some 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from Israeli territory. The extraordinarily successful achievement of Israeli state-building since the promise of a Jewish homeland—first issued by imperial Britain during the Great War (without moral or legal authority)—must be measured against the heavy price paid by the nearly 5 million Arab Palestinians who remain under Israeli occupation or blockaded in Gaza. The elaborate 1947 UN-sponsored plan for a Jewish state to co-exist alongside a Palestinian state was shattered by Israel’s sensational victory in the six-day war of 1967 and, despite repeated international endorsement of the “two-state solution”, we can now fairly confidently conclude that the two-state concept will not materialise… If it is now too late to persevere with the two-state formula, the only alternatives appear to be either a unitary state or a confederation of two self-governing polities which remain economically linked. But unitary status would annul any claim by Israel to be a Jewish state, because the Arab population is almost equal to the Jewish population and predicted to eclipse it by 2020. Moreover, Israel could no longer lay any claim to being a democratic state if it failed to accord equal rights to Palestinians. Israel’s proud [but utterly false] boast of being the only democracy in the Middle East has long been a cherished plank of its vigorous public diplomacy” [23].
  5.   Avraham Burg (former Jewish Israeli speaker of the Knesset, the Apartheid Israeli parliament) (2018): “ So what an irony that today I find myself charged with the difficult task of telling Israel and the world something else that it doesn’t want to hear: that the two-state solution is dead. A quarter of a century on from the Oslo Accords, the two-state solution lies in tatters. There is no peace process. There is very little hope left. And yet somehow, we must still find a way for Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side, with equal rights within a single international border. It is time for a progressive one-state solution” [24].
  1.  Diana Buttu (a lawyer specializing in international law; former adviser to the negotiating team of the Palestine Liberation Organization) condemning the failed 2-state solution (2018): “Yet, once again, Abbas failed to deliver. His “historic” speech turned out to be more of the same: a call for the world to salvage a two-state solution that died years ago, systematically destroyed by Israel as a result of its relentless construction on Palestinian land of settlements deemed illegal by the United Nations… For five decades, as Israel has built and expanded settlements and trampled on the rights of Palestinians, the world has done little more than issue empty condemnations declaring how “unhelpful” Israel’s actions are to achieving a two-state solution. Israel has not faced meaningful sanctions, it is recognized in international forums and Israel’s leaders have not been shunned – although they should be. Rather, largely as a result of Abbas’ dual demands – recognition and negotiation – Israel continues to reap the benefits of seeking peace while sowing the seeds of its own version of apartheid… With the Trump administration firmly on side with Israel, and with the vast majority of Palestinians no longer supporting the negotiation process, it is past time for bold moves by Abbas: to make it clear that our rights are not negotiable; to promote support for the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement; to push to hold Israel accountable; and to make it clear that Palestinians will press for equality” [25].
  2.  Jonathan Cook (Israel-based humanitarian  journalist) on US attitudes to the 1-state solution (2018): “The American public is now evenly split between those who want a two-state solution and those who prefer a single state, shared by Israelis and Palestinians, according to a survey  published last week by the University of Maryland. And if a Palestinian state is off the table – as a growing number of analysts of the region conclude, given Israel’s intransigence and the endless postponement of Mr. Trump’s peace plan – then support for one state rises steeply, to nearly two-thirds of Americans… All of this is occurring even though US politicians and the media express no support for a one-state solution. In fact, quite the reverse.The movement to boycott Israel, known as BDS, is growing on US campuses, but vilified by Washington officials, who claim its goal is to end Israel as a Jewish state by bringing about a single state, in which all inhabitants would be equal. The US Congress is even considering legislation to outlaw boycott activism… Americans, like other westerners, are waking up to this ugly reality. A growing number understand that it is time for a new, single state model, one that ends Israel’s treatment of Jews as separate from and superior to Palestinians, and instead offers freedom and equality for all”  [26].
  3. Mohammed Dahlan (former Palestinian Security Services head and political opponent of Palestinian Authority  head Mahmoud Abbas) on the 1-state solution (2018): “Our bigger dream is, of course, an Independent Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. But the United States will never agree to it, and Israel is opposed as well. Instead of nurturing illusions that will never be fulfilled, we should start internalizing the notion of one state for two nations, and demand full rights for the Palestinians. The ‘deal of the century’ that the Americans speak of as a solution to the Palestinian problem is a total disaster. And I do not see the two-state solution happening as well. That is why I come with a new proposal: to establish one state, where Palestinians can run their lives without being dependent on Israel” [27].
  4. Uri Davis (anti-racist Jewish Israeli member of Fatah) on the multiracial One Democratic State (ODS) in Palestine (2017): “[ODS means change] from the current state of affairs into a single Palestinian sovereignty (stretching) from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River under a liberal-democratic Palestinian Constitution; single Palestinian citizenship; and a single Palestinian currency, hopefully leading to a socialist democratic Federal Republic of Palestine” [28].
  5.  Saul Erekat (Palestinian negotiator) on 1-state solution (2018):“The two-state solution is over. Now is the time to transform the struggle for one state with equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine, from the river to the sea” [29].
  6.   Professor As’ad Ghanem (anti-racist Jewish academic, University of Haifa, · School of Political Sciences) on the Bi-National State solution (2009): “In recent years, following the evident impasse of other solutions, the B-National State (BNS) alternative has once again become part of the political discourse among Israelis and Palestinians. The failure of the [2-state]  peace process, the decades-long Israeli refusal to even consider a return to the 1967 ceasefire lines, the second Intifada (October 2000), and the even more pronounced applied instruments of occupation have convinced scholars and those in public affairs to again consider the One State (OS) solution. Although not regarded since 1948 as a viable scheme by the Jewish and Palestinian mainstream, the Bi-National (BN) concept was developed dutng the British Mandate among a few Jewish and Palestinian community leaders. It remained on the agenda until Israel gained its independence; in its aftermath it has all but disappeared. Following the 1993 Oslo Accords the BN idea, albeit low key, has reemerged [due to Israeli instransigence]” [30].
  7.  Antonio Manueal Guterres (UN secretary-General) on his strong belief in a democratic 1-state solution (2018): “I’m a strong believer that a one-state solution, of course, is theoretically possible if it is the democratic solution, but I don’t think Israel can accept it. And all other situations would be a terrible violation of human rights or to put into question the democratic nature of the State of Israel. So, I’m a strong believer in the two-state solution” [31].
  1.  Jeff Halper (anti-racist Jewish human rights activist, Israeli Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) ) on the One Democratic State Campaign, (ODSC) (2018): “Any possibility of a viable [2-state-based] Palestinian state in the OPT has long been buried under the massive “facts on the grounds.” Israel’s Matrix of Control has rendered its control over the entire country permanent. The two-state solution nonetheless continues to be the solution-of-choice of governments. It provides a perfect vehicle for endless conflict management…  The time is far overdue to begin formulating a genuinely just and workable political settlement, then follow it up with an effective strategy of advocacy within Israel/Palestine and abroad. Over the past year I have been engaged with a number of Israeli Jews and Palestinians over the formulation of a one-state program. We call ourselves the One Democratic State Campaign, (ODSC). Over the past year I have been engaged with a number of Israeli Jews and Palestinians over the formulation of a one-state program. We call ourselves the One Democratic State Campaign, (ODSC), and among are members are Awad Abdelfattah, a founder of the Balad Party and its long-time Secretary General; Ilan Pappe, the well-known Israeli historian; Diana Buttu, the well-known analyst and Palestinian activist; Daphan Baram, a lawyer, comedienne and the Director of ICAHD UK; As’ad Ghanem, a professor of Political Science at Haifa University; Siwar Aslih, a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology; Nadia Naser-Najjab, a doctoral student; Shir Hever, a political economist; Muhammad Younis, a high-tech engineer; Yoav Bar, an Israeli activist; Mohamed Kabha, a student; Sami Ma’ari, a professor of economics; and others, including myself… The ODSC promotes a one-state concept that is both democratic and just but that also acknowledges the multicultural character and the collective rights of the peoples living in the country, Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews…  Key to any solution is the return of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants, or compensation and resettlement for those who choose not to return… This ties into yet another issue: how do we prevent the refugee population, traumatized, impoverished, severely under-educated and unskilled, from becoming an underclass in their own country?” [32].
  2.  Dr Rumy Hasan (Senior Lecturer, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK; PhD in transition economics, Oxford) on creation of a single, unitary, democratic state (2009): “This paper utilises a comparison between Apartheid South Africa and Israel to argue that Israel, from its inception, has been an apartheid state, albeit different in form to the South African variety. The fundamental proposition is that only the dismantling of the Zionist legal code, the constitution and discriminatory state structures will ensure the end of apartheid in Palestine–Israel. The sine qua non for this is the creation of a single, unitary, democratic state. Accordingly, the goal of the Palestinian liberation struggle should decisively shift away from the ‘two-state solution’ in favour of a ‘one-state solution’. To this end, six theses are presented” [33].
  3. Tikva Honig-Parnass (anti-racist Jewish Israeli socialist writer) on the 1-state solution (2009):  “The very struggle for a one-state solution constitutes a challenge against the imperialist order in the Middle East, of which the Zionist colonial state is its cornerstone. Hence, as socialists, we cannot stay neutral to the issue of the resolution of the conflict. Joining the movement for one secular democratic state in Historic Palestine should be perceived as part and parcel of our struggle against US imperialism and the Zionist settler state of Israel, and for socialism in the Middle East” [34].
  4.  Cherine Hussein (Egyptian deputy director and research fellow at the Council for British Research in the Levant’s Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem) on the re-emergence of the single state solution in Palestine/Israel (2015): “Since then [Oslo Accord 1993] , the two-state solution has continued to both dominate and frustrate the official search for peace in Palestine/Israel. In parallel to this, however, a more obscured struggle of resistance- centred upon  the single state idea as a more liberating pathway towards justice – has re-emerged against the hegemony of Zionism and separation, and the shrinking territorial space for a viable two-state solution in the contested land” [35].
  5. Radi Jarai (Fatah member and spokesperson for the multiracial One Democratic State (ODS) in Palestine founded in March 2013) (2018): “We need to make the idea [One Democratic State (ODS) in Palestine] understandable to the common person so that it begins to gain traction… There are Israeli Jewish groups that support our goal but have chosen not to join us at the moment… Their [most PLO supporters]  minds are still set on the two-state solution and they use the one-state idea as a threat. That includes President [Mahmoud] Abbas who wants to change the international sponsors of the peace process, not understanding that Israel doesn’t want peace, regardless of who the sponsors are” [28].
  6. Iqbal Jassat (chairperson of Media Review Network  in Pretoria, South Africa) reviewing “The One-State Solution” by Virginia Tilley  (2005): “As Israel’s apartheid wall colonizes 30-40 percent more of the 22 percent of Palestine that remains, an increasing number of analysts, activists, and academics have begun to challenge the two-state solution designed to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Palestinians eventually ending up with only 12-15 percent of their land, made up of disjointed ghettoes over which they will have no sovereignty- a single, secular polity that would encompass both Israel and the Occupied Territories is looking increasingly attractive. “The One-State Solution” written by Virginia Tilley, associate professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, lucidly demonstrates why the two-state model “is an idea whose time has passed”.[36].
  7.  Dr Garda Karmi (Palestinian academic and writer; research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK) on a unitary state for Palestine (2011): However, changes on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1993 threraten to make such a [2-state] solution unlikely, if not impossible. The Israeli colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has so advanced as to make questionable the logistical possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state on the territory that remains. Yet there is an extraordinary reluctance on the part of most politicians concerned with the conflict to look the facts in the face and draw the obvious conclusion: A two-state solution that complies even with the minimalist Palestinian requirements cannot emerge from the existing situation. Rather like Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of the emperor’s new clothes, none of them is willing to see the naked truth. As the feasibility of a two-state solution recedes, the debate has turned to the one-state alternative, often as an undesirable outcome of last resort failing implementation of the [2-state] preferred option. Both sides have used it as a threat against those standing in the way of the two-state solution” [37].

Dr Garda Karmi  on an equal rights for all, 1-state solution (2008): “ A UN resolution is the logical next step, underlining the issue’s global importance and exposing the inequity and dishonesty of the two-state solution, to replace it with something fairer and more durable. It would be encapsulated in the following clauses, part of the draft UN resolution for a one-state solution, which has been under discussion for six months. Its principal authors are my fellow Palestinian Karl Sabbagh and myself: “The general assembly notes the failure of recent efforts made by regional and international parties to resolve the conflict through the creation of two states; Recalling the recent history of the former [Palestine] Mandate territory as a land where Arabs and Jews shared equal rights of habitation; Reviewing Israel’s non-compliance with UN Resolution 194, requiring Israel to repatriate the Palestinian refugees, and its illegal conduct in the occupied territories., Calls upon representatives of Israel and Palestine to agree on behalf of their peoples to share the land between the Mediterranean and the river Jordan … by setting up a state which is democratic and secular, in which the rights of all people living within its borders to freedom of worship, security, and equality under the law are enshrined in a new constitution, to replace the separate forms of government that apply currently in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza… A unitary state is inevitable. Establishing an exclusive state defined along ethnic-religious lines and excluding its previous inhabitants was unjust and ultimately unsustainable. No political acrobatics will alter this. The sooner the UN, which unwisely created Israel in the first place, takes charge of the consequences, the better it will be for Palestinians, for Israelis and for the region as a whole” [38].

  1. Marc Lamont (African American journalist sacked by CNN for supporting a free Palestine and Palestinian resistance to the ongoing Palestinian Genocide (2018): “We must advocate and promote nonviolence at every opportunity, but we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing… a free Palestine from the river to the sea” [39].
  2. Antony Loewenstein (anti-racist Jewish Australian writer; of “My Israel Question”) reviewing  “The re-emergence of the single state solution in Palestine/Israel” by Cherine Hussein (2015): “The death of the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine has been a long time coming… The unspoken reality, however, has always been that a two-state arrangement, if it ever came to fruition, would disproportionately discriminate against Palestinians, including Palestinian citizens of Israel. Moreover, a true democracy doesn’t divide itself along ethnic or religious lines unless it wants to resemble apartheid South Africa or the Jim Crow south in the United States.In today’s Jewish state and even more so in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli violence against Palestinians isn’t an aberration but a deliberate policy of control… How to mainstream the one-state solution, to generate widespread support among Palestinians in the diaspora and in Palestine itself is a key question without any set answers… Deepening Israeli racism, occupation and intransigence are arguably the best weapons one-state advocates have and there’s every indication Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will continue delivering on that front” [40].

Antony Loewenstein (2012): “In a new book I’ve edited with Ahmed Moor, “After Zionism”,  we explain both the justice and sense of imagining a one-state future. A one-state equation isn’t about dismissing or ignoring Jewish history, but recognising the land is shared between two peoples and a soon-to-be minority Jewish population has no legal or ethical right to control a majority Arab people.On its current path, despite some mainstream Israeli politicians advocating the illegal annexation of the West Bank to create an indefinite apartheid state, Israel will become increasingly ghettoised and militarised, convincing once-proud diaspora supporters to decide between their morality and Zionist loyalties. The time for a one-state solution has surely come” [41].

Antony Loewenstein and Ahmed Moor on their book “After Zionism. One state for Israel and Palestine” (2012): “We come together on this book [“After Zionism. One state for Israel and Palestine”] not because we agree on everything – we don’t – but because of a shared belief that Jews and Palestinians are destined to work together, whatever our differences in background, ideals and daily life. We are connected with our desire to see peace with justice for our peoples” [42].

  1. Professor Rima Najjar (a Palestinian activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank) on an eventual  an exodus of Jews from Palestine and a unitary state in Palestine (2018): “Israel cannot survive as a Jewish state without a constant influx of Jews as immigrants to keep the Jewish majority it created by denying Palestinian right of return and blocking Palestinian aspirations to self-determination in their own homeland. Today, thanks to BDS, we are no longer trapped in the language of “disputed territory” or dual “narratives”. It’s finally clear that the demise of the Jewish state is inevitable, leading  to an exodus of Jews from Palestine … The time has finally come for Zionist chains to be broken and for self-determination, dignity, and transformative justice for Palestinians to spring forth across synagogues, churches and mosques worldwide. As Dr Gideon Polya eloquently put it in “Palestinian Me Too: 140 Alphabetically-listed Zionist Crimes Expose Appalling Western Complicity & Hypocrisy”: “A peaceful , humane solution that would be of enormous benefit to all the world, to all the Jewish Israelis and to all the Indigenous Palestinians, would be a unitary state in Palestine with return of all refugees, zero tolerance for racism, equal rights for all, all human rights for all, one-person-one-vote, justice, goodwill, reconciliation, airport-level security, nuclear weapons removal, internationally-guaranteed national security initially based on the present armed forces, and untrammelled access for all citizens to all of the Holy Land. It can and should happen tomorrow” [43].
  2.  Ilan Pappe (anti-racist Jewish Israeli director of the European Centre of Palestine Studies, University of Exeter, UK; author of  15 books on the Middle East, including “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”) on “one democratic state”) (2018): “A new-old thinking about Palestine is needed. We should aim to create one democratic state and a decolonisation process of the Zionist ideology in Palestine, though this is not going to happen tomorrow. It would be deluding people by telling them it would happen tomorrow or that it is an easy road. No, it is a very difficult road giving the American support for Israel and the American ideology, coupled with the Arab world’s disunity and the disunity in the Palestinian camp… The Jews in Palestine are six million people and they are a third generation of settlers. In other parts of the world, third-generation settlers, like in [formerly Apartheid] South Africa, are entitled to have their ethnic and political rights, only if they are not at the expense of the indigenous population… Look, I am an Israeli Jew who was born in Israel. I care about the people. My family is there. I am doing it because I mainly believe it is morally just, but I also think it is for their future” [44].

Ilan Pappe on pre-WW2 British and Palestinian agreement on a unitary state (2007): “Until 1937, the British were still visualizing the future with a one state paradigm… In a country that had a majority of Palestinians (85% of the population), the British must have felt triumphant when they succeeded in persuading the Executive Committee of the Palestine National Council… to share land with Jewish settlers. The idea was to build a state on the basis of parity… It was a concept of a unitary state that was accepted by the Palestinian leadership in a rare moment of unity..  But the Zionist leadership refused to partake in such a solution… the Zionist leaders preferred the idea of partition, with the hop of annexing more of Palestine when favourable conditions for such expansion would develop” [and realized in1948 and 1967] [45].

Ilan Pappe (2018): “In April this year, a new initiative was launched in Israel-Palestine entitled the ‘Campaign for a One Democratic State’. It was a Palestinian initiative supported by progressive Israeli Jews. The aim of the initiative is to try and organise under one umbrella all the groups and individuals who support the idea inside and outside historical Palestine… The research under taken by supporters of this project, and the numerous conferences on the one-state solution, helped the movements on the ground that support the idea to highlight the link between the nature of the conflict in Palestine and the only viable solution to the problem. The analysis points clearly to the conflict as a struggle between a settler state and the indigenous population. An accurate diagnosis is the first step on the way to a successful prognosis. The research juxtaposed constructively the various models that are on offer for a one state solution; a secular democratic state, a bi-national one, an Islamic state or a socialist one. The new initiative reported in the beginning of this article is now looking for the points of agreement between its various members in order to create a ‘broad church’ among those who believe in this vision. This is not an easy enterprise, but it is a necessary one and the initial attempts so far have been very encouraging. Another challenge for building the movement on the ground is how to involve more women and young people in leading it. It is a long journey ahead, but finally the direction seems to be the right one” [46].

  1. Miko Peled (anti-racist Israeli-American activist and author) on 1-state solution (2017): “The demand for a democracy with equal rights over all of historic Palestine must be made loud and clear by all people of conscience and by the international community. Israel must make way for a political reality where the voices of all people are heard and the rights of all people are guaranteed. This is what has inspired the BDS movement, whose demands include ending the military occupation, granting equal rights, and allowing the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and their land. If we can learn anything from the examples set by the non-violent resistance to end apartheid in South Africa through BDS, then supporting a one-state solution is precisely the right answer and the right action with which to confront Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and Israel’s occupation of Palestine” [47].
  2.  Dr Gideon Polya (anti-racist Jewish Australian scientist, writer, artist and humanitarian activist; formerly Associate Professor  in Biochemistry, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) on unitary state (“one state solution”) for Palestine (2018): “The “two-state solution” has been a convenient fig-leaf for pro-Apartheid Western dishonesty and inaction over Palestine.  The ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine has rendered the “two-state solution” dead but the continuing obscenity of a grossly human  rights-abusing  Apartheid Israel is intolerable to decent people around the world.  However the racist Jewish Nation-State Law makes it abundantly clear that the racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel are resolutely committed to a neo-Nazi Apartheid State and endless, deadly subjugation of the Indigenous Palestinians with the ever-present threat of 100% ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The world must act over Apartheid Israel as it did over Apartheid South Africa. A clear, humane solution  to the continuing human rights catastrophe in Palestine is a unitary state (a “one state solution”) as in post-Apartheid South Africa that would involve return of all refugees, zero tolerance for racism, equal rights for all, all human rights for all, one-person-one-vote, justice, goodwill, reconciliation, airport-level security, nuclear weapons removal, internationally-guaranteed national security initially based on the present armed forces, and untrammelled access for all citizens to all of Palestine. It can and should happen tomorrow” [15].
  3. Professor Andrew Rigby (Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies, Coventry University, UK) on the 1-state solution (2017): “So there are in fact two versions of the one-state solution: a democratic bi-national state where Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs enjoy equal rights of citizenship, and an apartheid-like state within which Palestinians would remain as they have been throughout much of their history – an occupied people without basic human or civil rights” [48].
  4. Danny Rubenstein (formerly on the editorial board of the newspaper Haaretz, author and specialist on Arab and Palestinian affairs; academic at Ben Gurion University and The Hebrew University in Jerusalem) on one-state solution (2010): “It would not be a great exaggeration to assert that the new Palestinian generation in the West Bank (less so in Gaza), who know Israel so well, would prefer to fight for equal rights in a single binational state rather than continue a struggle that seems almost hopeless—to establish an independent state. This is not a casual suggestion or a guess. In the past few years, Palestinian figures have talked about ending the discouraging struggle to create Palestinian rule in the territories. Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University, once suggested, with a degree of cynicism, that the Palestinians should demand total annexation so that they could receive the same rights as Israelis in the common homeland. Ali Jirbawi of Beir Zeit University has raised the possibility of a voluntary dismantling of the Palestinian Authority. In international diplomacy there is a pervasive idea that it is possible and necessary to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that will exist side by side with Israel. Many Israelis and Palestinians want this and believe in it. But the forces working against this possibility are many and powerful. Israeli governments have enabled the settlement of over half a million Jews beyond the 1967 borders. This represents almost 10 percent of the Jews in Israel. About 300,000 of them live in settlements in the West Bank and about 200,000 are in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. There are those among them who will fight with all their strength to prevent an Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a Palestinian state. But what is no less important is that on the Palestinian side as well a new situation has emerged. National unity has dissolved, the national movement has atrophied and declined, and the idea has become acceptable that if there won’t be two states for two peoples, it is better that there be one state” [49].
  5. Uri Savir (Israeli diplomat and politician) on Palestinian Authority  and the one-state solution (2018): “A representative of the Israeli Civil Administration recently presented the Knesset with demography statistics that indicate there are more Palestinians than Jews (by a very small margin) between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. The numbers presented March 26 stipulate that 6.8 million Palestinians and 6.5 million [Jewish] Israelis live on these lands. Now that these numbers were recognized by Israel, the option of a so-called one-state solution is gaining momentum in the Palestinian Authority (PA). A senior PLO official, close to President Mahmoud Abbas, told Al-Monitor that for the foreseeable future, the two-state solution is off the table for several reasons” [50].
  6.  Barry Sheppard (socialist and human rights activist) on  the 1-state solution (2017): “In the preparation of our  [US Socialist Workers Party] 1971 convention, I and Gus Horowitz (who knew a lot more about Jewish and Israeli history than I did) drafted a resolution on Israel that included support for a democratic, secular Palestine. This resolution was adopted by the SWP at the convention… How the situation on the ground has evolved in the decades since , with Israel becoming a fully-fledged apartheid state, has not only made the arguments for a democratic single state more glaringly obvious, but a burning necessity. The only realistic solution, as [Saul] Erekat said, is a single state with equal rights for all. This position is gaining ground among Palestinians, as the two-state option fades into oblivion” [51].
  7. Colin Shindler (first professor of Israel Studies in the UK and is emeritus professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) on a bi-national unitary state (2017 ): “Given that the Arab birth-rate is higher than the Jewish one, if voters vote according to their ethnic origin, then this [unitary state]  means the end of Jewish self-determination in their own nation state. Some on the Israeli far-right favour either a full or partial annexation of the West Bank while restricting democratic rights for the Palestinians. Meanwhile, an interim solution of a bi-national state would see both national groups working constructively within the same state, but one which offers protection for their political and legal rights and preserves their national identity. Nationalism however has proved to be a powerful force in recent times with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia into individual nation-states – and some have argued that while a one-state solution is logical in a theoretical sense, the national enmity between Israelis and Palestinians would produce an unworkable entity” [52].
  8.  Gregory Shupak (media studies academic at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, Canada) on media censorship of  the one-state solution (2018): “The one-state solution is the idea of bringing justice and peace to Palestine/Israel by having all inhabitants of historic Palestine — the land that includes Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza — living in one, binational country, where everyone has equal rights and political matters are settled on the basis of one person, one vote. This arrangement differs from the two-state solution, which would partition historic Palestine into two states divided along ethno-religious lines, and contrasts with present conditions, in which Palestinians live as second-class citizens inside Israel, and under Israeli occupation in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — the last of which is subject to a merciless siege. The one-state option is gaining traction, but media coverage consistently suggests that the only possible scenarios for Palestine/Israel are either the two-state solution or the continued regime of Israeli occupation, colonization and apartheid” [53].
  9.  Virginia Tilley (associate professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges;  author of “The One-State Solution”) arguing for a democratic one-state solution (2010): “The resulting [2-state] Palestinian statelet would be blocked off physically from the Israeli economy, its major cities would be cut off from each other, and its government would be unable to control the territory’s water resources, develop its agriculture, or manage its trade with neighbouring states… [a] sealed vessel of growing poverty and demoralization…  Looking to the South African experience for guidance or inspiration [for a 1-state solution] will avail little unless policymakers also adopt the [anti-racist and democratic] principles, standards and values that guided that struggle: that is, that ethnic supremacy is illegitimate and cannot generate a just political system” [54].
  10. Rashida Tlaib (first Palestinian-American  elected to the US Congress) on a 1-state solution (2018): “One state. It has to be one state. Separate but equal does not work. I’m only 42 years old but my teachers were of that generation that marched with Martin Luther King. This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work” [55].
  11. Donald Trump (US president) on one-state solution (2018): “If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me. If they want two states, that’s OK with me. I’m happy if they’re happy” [56].
  12. UN Sub-Committee on the proposals of the Arab States regarding the future constitution of Palestine made to the British Government in 1946 and early in 1947 (1947): “83. It would thus appear that the partition proposal is legally objectionable, politically unjust, and economically disastrous; in short, it is utterly unworkable. The Sub-Committee is therefore compelled to reject partition as a solution of the Palestine problem, and considers that the constitution and future government of Palestine must be based on the fundamental principle of a unitary State… (a) Palestine shall be a unitary and sovereign State. (b) It shall have a democratic constitution, with an elected legislature and an executive responsible to the legislature” [57].
  1. Ben White (UK journalist specializing  in Palestine/Israel) on a humane, equal rights one state solution  (2018): “For now, the ‘two-state solution’ remains the dominant paradigm for a long-term solution, even as Israel consolidates its de-facto, single state between the River and the Sea. But for how much longer? Other futures are coming into view, including those proposed by Israelis who seek a defiantly apartheid, single state. But there is also an opportunity to suggest something different; a rupture with the settler colonial past and present, where the return of Palestinian refugees is liberatory rather than destructive, and where Jewish Israelis and Palestinians relate to each other as equal citizens in a shared home. The idea of a single democratic state is not new, but it is now being explored, returned to, and revived. Dismissed as ‘utopian’ by its opponents, a single democratic state in Palestine/Israel is, in fact, a realistic and vital alternative to both formal apartheid and doomed attempts to accommodate settler colonialism through ethnic partition” [58].
  2.  Wikipedia on the one-state solution (2018): “The one-state solution, sometimes also called a bi-national state is a proposed approach to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Proponents of a unified Israel advocate a single state in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with citizenship and equal rights in the combined entity for all inhabitants of all three territories, without regard to ethnicity or religion. Some Israelis advocate another [race-based] version of the one-state solution in which Israel will annex the West Bank but not the Gaza Strip and remain a Jewish state with a larger Arab minority. While some advocate this solution for ideological reasons, others feel simply that, due to the reality on the ground, it is the de facto situation. Alternatively, supporters of a united Palestine wish for a single state without regard to ethnicity or religion. Such a state would be similar to pre-World War II Mandatory Palestine, which is sought out a wish to forgo Israeli occupation, as well as 19th and 20th-century Zionist settlement, widely viewed among supporters as a form of colonialism Though increasingly debated in academic circles, this approach has remained outside the range of official efforts to resolve the conflict as well as mainstream analysis, where it is eclipsed by the two-state solution. The two-state solution was most recently agreed upon in principle by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the November 2007 Annapolis Conference and remained the conceptual basis for negotiations proposed by the administration of U.S. president Barack Obama in 2011. Interest in a one-state solution is growing, however, as the two-state approach fails to accomplish a final agreement” [59].

Wikipedia on UN General Assembly Resolution 181 and Indigenous Arab objection to Partition (1947): “The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a proposal by the United Nations, which recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181 (II)… The Plan also called for Economic Union between the proposed states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights… The Plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, despite its perceived limitations. Arab leaders and governments rejected it  and indicated an unwillingness to accept any form of territorial division,  arguing that it violated the principles of national self-determination in the UN Charter which granted people the right to decide their own destiny.  Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented” [60].

40.  Abdul Yousef  (Masters thesis author, City University of New York) on the one-state solution (2012): “The debate for a two state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been ongoing for decades. However, given the current circumstances and realities on the ground, this approach has become more implausible with each passing day. Therefore, many have come to argue the real solution would be a single state that would afford equal rights for both Israeli and Palestinian citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion, or racial background. Considering the troubled history of the region, many would view a state where Israelis and Palestinians living together, sharing land, and engaged in a peaceful democratic process to be an unattainable fantasy. This paper does not purport that a single state is a guaranteed solution to the problem. Rather, it attempts to show that a one state solution is the most practical and pragmatic approach for a peaceful resolution. The one state solution is not necessarily what both parties are willing to accept, but considering the circumstances it is an alternative proposal which at the very least must be acknowledged, discussed, and examined. This proposal is not about what can be solved in the present, but rather what can be achieved in the future. Taking into account the current political climate, it would be irrational to believe creating a single state would automatically unite Jewish and Arab citizens and erase over half a century of troubled history. But what a secular, non-sectarian, democratic state can do is begin to lay a workable political framework for the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians. Hopefully, this study will add positively to the discourse in better explaining and understanding the task which lies ahead” [61].

Final comments.

The fundamental problem in Palestine that is utterly ignored by Apartheid Israel and its racist, pro-Apartheid, US Alliance supporters is denial of all human rights to the Occupied Palestinians. The ethnic cleansing of 90% of the land of Palestine has made the much-vaunted 2-state solution dead and buried. Decent Humanity utterly rejects the gross human rights abuse, apartheid and ongoing genocide inflicted on the Palestinian people. Decent people everywhere will urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Apartheid Israel and all its racist supporters until the present deadly apartheid  regime is replaced by a just and  democratic unitary state in Palestine.

References.

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[59]. “One-state solution”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-state_solution .

[60]. “United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine .

[61]. Abdul Yousef,  , “The one state solution. An Alternative Vision for Ending The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, CUNY Academic Works, 2012:
https://academicworks.cuny.edu/cc_etds_theses/111 .

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript

) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/  .

One thought on “Democratic One-State Solution (Unitary State, Bi-National State) For Post-Apartheid Palestine By Gideon Polya

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