Know More About Palestine

Friday July 30, 2010 8:39 PM (EST+7)
OPINION: Calls for one state from the Israeli right

Read more: One state solution, One state, settlement movement, settlers

RAMALLAH, July 30 (JMCC) - Calls for a one-state solution between Palestinians and Israelis has never been the rallying cry of the Israeli right wing, until now.

According to the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland the top echelon of Israel's settlement movement is now endorsing a one-state solution, but for all the wrong motives.

The most prominent to break cover was Moshe Arens, who served as both foreign and defence minister in the Begin-Shamir era two decades ago. He wrote last month that it was time for Israel to look at another option, one that would see a single state on the land that is now Israel and the West Bank. The Palestinians who live there would, wrote Arens, no longer be a people under occupation but full citizens. As Haaretz has reported, its editorial jaw dropping, the former minister has been joined by an array of rightist eminences, including a founder of the settlers' organisation, Gush Emunim, a former chief of staff to Binyamin Netanyahu, a senior Likud member of the Knesset, and the parliament's current speaker.

To understand quite how taboo-busting this is, recall the case of the scholar Tony Judt. In 2003 he too floated the notion of a single state to be shared by both Arabs and Jews. Judt's essay was instantly denounced as anti-Zionist heresy; among many Israel supporters he was rapidly ostracised. Thereafter Judt was identified as firmly on the radical left of the Israel-Palestine debate. Yet now those same thoughts are aired on the radical right.

For all that, it is not so hard to see why this once forbidden notion now appeals to Israel's nationalist camp. The two-state solution may be conventional wisdom across the globe, endorsed by almost all democratic governments, but for settlers and their allies the very idea reeks of trauma: any division of the land is assumed to entail the dismantling of the towns and villages they call home. For the devout, this means leaving places they regard as part of the ancient biblical homeland. Some threaten armed resistance; rightwing soldiers warn they will refuse any order to evacuate settlements. But if there's a single state, all that trauma can be avoided. It's preferable for the Palestinians to become citizens of the state than for us to divide the country, says Knesset speaker and Likud MK Reuben Rivlin. What's more, there would be no place for the current wall, or separation barrier, that some rightists believe disfigures and artificially divides what should be the sacred, and whole, Land of Israel...

Read more at the Guardian...






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