Sunday, August 1, 2010

Imagining the One-State Solution

There's an interesting article by Ahmed Moor at Mondoweiss, in which he asks himself what the Right of Return to a bi-national state might really mean. Moor is the grandson of Palestinian refugees, who probably lives in the US (I'm not enough of a regular at Mondoweiss to know all the details). For whatever reason, he seems to think that BDS is steadily making the One-State resolution of of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict very likely, so he takes a stab at the practicalities.

On the one hand, it's startling how very little animosity he generates towards the Israelis. He seems truly to think that once Zionism is made to disappear, Jews and Arabs will mostly live happily ever after in their bi-national country. It's an article of faith with him that the Zionists alone created and maintained the conflict and the Palestinians are simply the hapless victims, with no gray zones at all, but since he's envisioning a post-Zionist era, he's willing to put that in the past and assumes everyone will. On the other hand, even as he assumes Jews will continue to live in the new state, he doesn't show the faintest hint of understanding of who the Jews are, what it means to be one, why they might feel their national expression to have any importance, why they might have come to the land in the first place - nothing. The Zionists escaped the Nazis, they brutally imposed themselves on the poor Palestinians, but once they're willing to move over and share, there will be a matter of material restitution and then everything will be fine.

I doubt such a description fits Palestinian nationalism or any other form of yearning for communal expression, but who am I to say; it has nothing to do with 3,000 years of Jewish identity.

The funniest part of his article is at the single moment when he passes in the general area of Jewish identity: he takes a swipe at Peter Beinart, of all folks, for engaging in chauvinistic jingoism (my terminology).

It's an exercise in other-worldliness; a weird combination of total rejection of Jewish identity and self determination (and probably Palestinian ones, too) with a benign, almost wistful hope for a future when everyone simply gets along with their private matters, irrespective of any higher identity.

On another matter - which may well be the same matter: Gallup has a set of data about how Americans see Israel and the Palestinians. The support for Israel is near an all-time high. This in spite of the very different picture in many other parts of the world. It may be that most Americans have a higher opinion of national expression and identity than the folks at Mondoweiss.


NormanF said...

Ya'acov, the point about Arab egocentrism has been noted before. They are incapable of looking at the world from the viewpoint of any one but themselves and realizing that the other side too, has an identity and rights of their own that deserve recognition.

As long as they don't understand the legitimacy of non-Arab viewpoints, we're not going to see any real progress towards peace in the Middle East in our lifetime. The Ahmed Moors of the world who represent the vast majority of Arabs, will ensure there will be no end to the Arab-Israel conflict.

Avigdor said...

G-d bless America.

lalala said...

Ya'acov, have you written at all on what you think a one-state solution would look like, on here or anywhere else? I'd like to know what you think.

Lee Ratner said...

A one-state solution would not work. What the one-state side is advocating is that the Israeli Jews submerge their identity into a large Palestinian entity and forget that they to have a culture, customs, ethics, festivals, history, languages, and literature of our own. The one-state people want the Jews to accept their consumption by the Palestinians.

The one-state people want a country that follows a Christo-Muslim or Muslim worldview, it varies between which faction the one-stater belongs to. Anything Jewish would be excluded from the national narrative and the national life. They do not believe that our worldview, Zionist or not, is legitimate.

His fantasy of everybody getting along till the Zionists came is common among the idiots who idolize the Dhimmi system. Damn, dirty Zionists not accepting second-class citizenship status under a benevolent Christo-Muslim dictatorship.

Anonymous said...


if you honestly want to know about one state idiocies go and read Tony Judt at

if you just want to create a bit of a ruckus let me know I can point you to sites where you can have some serious fun while seriously discussing the subject.


Raed Kami said...

A one state solutin will be more simple than Ahmed describes. Returning Palestinians will vent their just anger at the israelis. Since the isrealies have no historic claim to the land, they will promptly flee to places that they have a true historical claim too. Palestine will not allow Jews to enter, so they dont cause any further mischief. The Romans had it correct when they established Aelia Capitolina to halt Jewish mischief, and we will follow the same model. You can turn Ukraine, Belarus, and Vegas to starup nation

Avigdor said...

Raed, you contradict yourself in the same paragraph.

1. isrealies have no historic claim to the land

2. Romans had it correct when they established Aelia Capitolina to halt Jewish mischief

Don't worry. With a little practice, you'll selectively ignore history with the best of them. That's about the same time you Arabs were worshiping the Moon, or some asteroid, in the sand dunes from whence you come. Keep the caravan moving, nomad.

Anonymous said...


I've recently learned that some stuff from the Neanderthals survived - it also said that they were very robustly muscled.

Do you think that with Raed we have the honour of encountering a living specimen?

How exciting if that proved to be true, it would also explain his precarious understanding of history.

or do you think he is like Fake Ibrahim of the 1,55 m physically unthreatening kind and has to make up for it via vacuous rhetoric?


Lee Ratner said...

Victor, Read is being an idiot but not necessarily contradicting himself. In the usual Palestinian mythology, the Palestinians are descendants of the rightful inhabitants, the Cananites and Philistines while Jews are descendants of the invading and colonializing Israelites. This is really erroneous history, archeology and genetic science revealing that Jews are descendants of the original inhabitants and most Palestinians are to with different mix and matches from different outside groups for both Jews and Palestinians.

He does illustrate why the one-state solution won't work, it'll be a blood bath like Bosnia. More than a few Palestinians would try to act as Read would want but the Israeli Jews have enough weapons to oppose them. The difference would be that the violence would cover a wider area than it does now.

Two-separate states is the best solution and the only one capable of ending the issue with any sort of finality beneficial to both sides.

AKUS said...

One of the strangest things about the supporters of the one-state solution is that they seem to regard Israel as an empty space available to be filled with Arabs "returning" to wherever they felt their grandparents lived. It never seem to dawn on them that there is possibly a 20 story building filled with Israelis living there and they are not likely to move out so a hundred Arab families can move in.

They clearly simply try to wish Israelis away - they will simply disappear to some unknown place, or, as Helen Thomas suggested, Germany.

Avigdor said...

1948 was the One State Solution, working itself out. I just finished a battery of books, one of which was "1948" by Benny Morris (highly recommend).

Arabs like Raed have been predicting a Jewish slaughter in Israel for nearly a century. Yet, Palestinian society is arguably as weak or weaker than that which faced the Hagannah in 1948. Think of it! Roughly 80% of Israeli Jews, men and women, have undergone basic combat training. A mere fraction had any training, much less reliable weapons and sufficient ammunition in 1948.

Raed, you're living a pipe dream. The same political situation in 1948 is repeating itself today. The Palestinians haven't even gotten a state yet, and they are already violently split on dividing the spoils (WB-Gaza).

In any replay of 1948, the Palestinians would melt like butter. Forget a civil war. Take a look at what happened in Gaza less than two years ago. We're all so focused on the media battle, I don't think the extend of Palestinian weakness and defeat has been appreciated. Within two or three days, the IDF put 30,000 troops in the center of Gaza, surrounded every population center and had free reign in the air, sea and electromagnetic spectrum, and kept it all in place for three weeks, at a cost of 11 soldiers, 8 of them lost in friendly fire. More soldiers than that have been known to die in training accidents!

This chest-beating heroism they teach Arabs in schools is beyond nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Moor also does not understand the deeply-rooted obsession with "humiliation" and violent revenge that pervades Palestinian opinion about Jews and Israel.

Herculean efforts were made for decades to embed this obsession in the minds of Palestinian Arabs (and Arabs and Muslims in general); and since these efforts have born fruit, it will take centuries to change this mindset.

A one-state solution would not change this mindset; it would simply create an even less stable Lebanon-like train wreck, a country in which a significant percentage of the Arab population ignorantly believed itself to have been the victim of "genocide" and was obsessed with the genocidal slaughter of the Jewish population.

The result would be a civil war that would make the Lebanese civil war look like a country picnic. The neighboring Arab regimes would interfere, just as they do today in Gazastan and Lebanon, and ultimately, they would invade, precipitating an incredibly bloody war.

Only a madman would support a one-state solution.

Anonymous said...

That was me.


Anonymous said...

ending the issue with any sort of finality beneficial to both sides

Did this idea that it was possible to draw borders with any finality stem from Versailles?

It hasn't even held in poster-child of peace post-WW2 Europe all that well
(East-German border gone, Chekoslovakia split up, Slovenia came into being, not to mention the rest of the Yugoslav split up, Belarus, Ukraine, lots of minority squabbling at borders all over the place in Eastern states. All that makes me wonder what would blow up once prosperity should start to lag seriously - but maybe it wouldn't be them, the traditional areas of European conflict may become again livid just as well)

and creating a new state in the volatile middle east without any serious attempts of peace education is to solve something with any sort of finality?


Lee Ratner said...

Another thing, we lost both the Great Revolt and the Bar Kochba Revolt against Rome but we are able to give Rome serious trouble. In both Revolts, Legions had to be called from all over the Empire, even from Roman Britain, to crush them. They were not easy things for Rome.

Anonymous said...

The cognitive dissonace in that article is astounding. It is as if Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups who explicitly want to kill Jews, not just Israelis, simply do not exist.

The good thing is a complete fantasy that the one state solution will never happen in a million years.