Is a one-state solution possible in Israel?
Ali Abunimah is the leading American proponent of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which calls for a shared democratic state of Israel. Abunimah’s popular Chicago-based website, The Electronic Intifada, is a not-for-profit, independent online publication which covers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a Palestinian perspective.
The “one-state solution” refers to the creation of a unitary, federal or confederate Israeli-Palestinian state, which would include all of the present territory of Israel, the West Bank, and include East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The idea would be to have a state in which all residents of Israel and its occupied territories enjoy equal rights and obligations.
Abuminah states: “The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status.”
Most of the arguments against the idea seem to focus on the fact that the “Jewishness” of Israel would be taken out in favor of majority Arab rule.
“In other words, the elimination of the self-determination of the one state that Jews have anywhere in the world,” states Stephen Kuperberg, executive director of the Israel on Campus coalition.
Abunimah’s belief in a one-state solution is rare, but not unheard of.
Peter Hain, British Minister for the Middle East from 1999-2001 also argues for the one-state solution and has had doubts about a two-state solution.
“But I am increasingly unsure about whether (the two-state solution) is still achievable – mainly because, as time has marched on, and successive negotiating initiatives have come and gone, the land earmarked for a viable Palestinian state has been remorselessly occupied by Israeli settlers,” stated Hain.
Hain claims that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British First Secretary of State William Hague have also speculated that “the window for a two-state solution” is closing.
According to the New Statesman, a one-state solution has long been the favored option of many secular Israelis and Palestinians for reasons of principle. Soon it may be not only the most principled, but also the most realistic.