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A one-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis

If the aim of the peace process is to resolve the conflict properly, then only this approach tackles the root of the problem.

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In 2005, I was invited to do something most Palestinians can only dream of: visit the house from which my family had been driven in 1948. Of all people, a New York Times correspondent discovered that his apartment was built over my old home.

When I met him there, the Jewish occupants who showed me around were almost apologetic, perhaps aware how that incident encapsulated the central story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the expulsion of Palestinians and their replacement by Jews. Yet when I asked the reporter how he could still write articles that betray this reality, he was evasive.

His evasion is part of an industry of denial called the Middle East "peace process." This industry feeds the current international consensus on the two-state solution as the only "comprehensive" settlement to the conflict. But there's a better solution, one that's slowly picking up steam among Palestinians and Israelis: a one-state model.

The two-state approach is flawed on two major counts. First, Israel's extensive colonization of the territories it seized in the 1967 war has made the creation of a Palestinian state there impossible. Israel was offering nothing more than "a mini-state of cantons," as Palestinian Authority negotiators recently complained. This leaves Israel in control of more than half of the West Bank and all of East Jerusalem. With the Israeli position largely unchallenged by the international community, the only route to a two-state settlement will be through pressure on the weaker Palestinian side.


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