US Moves Embassy to Jerusalem
This post shall discuss the Israel and Palestine’s one state solution in light of the current events, name the US move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s recent move to move the U.S. Embassy to East Jerusalem has caused the predicted repercussions. The UN rebuffed the move. The Palestinians have no trust left that America can be a co-operative partner in any peace-process. In this political debacle, many journalists and pundits have advocated the abandonment of the two-state solution, and instead, espoused the one-state solution. But is the one-state solution even viable?
The Argument for the One-State Solution
The argument for the one-state solution goes as follows: the two-state solution is impractical since Israel will not respect the Palestinian borders, and will not give up the land that Israeli illegal settlers have taken. It is more practical for the Palestinians to admit that there is only one state, the state of Israel, and to become citizens of this state and engage in non-violent protests to get their rights as a citizens of a democratic state.
Palestine Has no Sovereignty Whatsoever
Let us first acknowledge the truths in this argument. Palestine is not a country any more but, in Chomsky’s words, is
“the world’s largest open-air prison”. Also, it is true that Israel will not respect the United Nations’ decree with regard to Palestinian lands. The two-state solution, thus, does indeed seem a bleak option, if not an impossible one. But is the one-state solution any more practical?
The Impracticability of the One-State Solution
The logic that shows the two-state solution to be impractical also shows how the one-state solution is even more impractical. Israel with impunity does not follow the UN. Does it seem realistic to expect that Israel will deal fairly with the Palestinians if they engage in non-violent protests as Israeli citizens? Or will Israel ignore their legal protest as it ignored the UN? It seems rather unwarranted to say that people whose lands have been illegally occupied should accept the occupation as legal just because the occupiers wont leave the land. It must be stressed that the very UN sees have labeled these settlements as illegal. The one-state solution basically asks the Palestinians to deny any right they have to their land.
One-State Solution is but Dust in the Eye
Many people, Palestinians and others, have a suspicious feeling that the one-state solution is a bait. Once the Palestinians relinquish all rights to their own land, any form of resistance to occupation will have evaporated. Can the Palestinians then ask the world to help their cause? Or will the very label “Palestinian” be a word pointing at no object? The closest analogy I can think of, is if employees agree with their employers for job contracts where the employees would not be considered as employees. How then will the employees beseech the worker’s union for aid when the employers get thuggish?
Why Palestinians Will Never Really Have a Say in a ‘Jewish’ State
If the two-state solution seems dubious, then the one-state solution seem Utopian. It assumes that Israel will be willing
to build schools and hospitals for its new Arab citizens and will provide them with proper water and electrical infrastructure. Anyone who tunes into the news will see Israeli forces bombing hospitals, schools, and shattering Palestinian infrastructure. Then think about voting. Without the contraceptives of bombs and bullets, the Palestinian population will exponentially grow. Would Israel be willing to let all these people vote on an equal basis with Israelis. To put it in clearer terms, will the Arabs be given the same rights to vote as Jews? Or will we see some pseudo-intellectual justification for neglecting Arab votes (the usual creeping shariah conspiracy theories, etc)?
The Obvious Solution to the Problem
No, the one-state solution is no more practical than the two-state solution. Many advocates of the one-state solution are Palestinian activists. Their recourse to this solution is a reflex action due to their depression regarding the peace-process. So if the two-state solution doesn’t work, and if the one-state solution won’t work, what will? A three-state solution? I find it perplexing that many commentators do not see an obvious solution to this dilemma. The solution: both the Palestinians and Israelis must adhere and respect the United Nations’ decree. The International Community must not allow Israel to flout the United Nations with such scorn. Recently Netanyahu called the UN a “house of lies”.
The Palestine issue is not an issue just for Palestinians, or just for Arabs, or just for Muslims. It is an issue for the world. If a country, like Israel, openly neglects following the UN, this paves the way for other countries to sneer on international law and engage in whatever illegal machinations they have in mind. True, international law is not perfect. But it is something. And if it were not adhered to, there would be far more bloodshed than we see today.