A week ago, Richard Baehr wrote a long article explaining the current situation in Israel. Today, he examines the two most popularly proposed solutions (two separate and equal countries or one federalist style country), and concludes that neither is feasible. I found especially interesting his discussion of a single bi-national state interesting, a part of which I quote from here:
No one who cares about the future and security of Jews in Israel has ever supported the concept of a single bi-national state. That is because the very concept is absurd on its face. Historian Ton Judt, who may be a serious historian but is not a serious analyst of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, has admitted that Jews might not be safe in such a state, though he has thrown his support for the concept. Judt, however may now be safe at Upper West Side cocktail parties attended by the likes of Eric Alterman, Philip Weiss and their ilk.
The real support for the single binational state has come from passionate Israel haters such as Ali Abunimah. Abunimah likes to use the South African model in two ways to support the concept. Israel, he charges, is an apartheid state today. But in a bi-national state there will be reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, as occurred in post-apartheid South Africa.
Abunimah pretends to have been a supporter of a two state solution. His two state solution would have been a West Bank and Gaza Palestinian state free of all Jews, and Israel itself overwhelmed with 4 or 5 million returning “refugees” (really non-refugees) exercising their right of return. Two Palestinian Arab states in other words, which would in time find no reason not to merge and form a single state without Israel.
Abunimah says that Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank has ended the chances for a two state solution. This is nonsense. Since Israel offered to withdraw from more than 95 % of the West Bank, and abandon all interior settlements at Taba, exactly how did settlements prevent a settlement?
The recent developments in Gaza are also clarifying as to the single state approach:
1. Hamas, to whom Abunimah is much more sympathetic than to Fatah and Abbas, has just shown what it thinks of reconciliation. Are these supposed Nelson Mandela acolytes who at some point will put their grievances behind them to start fresh with their former enemies? Silly question. Hamas has just mass murdered about 200 Palestinian Arabs, whose crime was to be from the wrong anti-Israel party. At the moment, it is impossible to see them reconciling with Fatah or Fatah with them. And neither party will reconcile with Israel’s Jews at a point in time when power in a bi-national state beckoned. There is a reason why Israeli Arabs, despite their sympathies for the Palestinian national movement and grievances about unequal treatment within Israel, have never shown any interest in being ruled by Fatah or Hamas. Who wants the non-law of the jungle to replace a state that is part of the civilized world?
As you can see, Baehr’s post is interesting on its own terms. It’s also interesting because I read it after reading this at LGF — a post that will clarify just how silly the one state solution really is.