“I believe the vast majority of Palestinians would accept equal rights and one person, one vote in one state with alacrity. I certainly would were we to reach such a day.” Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian National Initiative Secretary General and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
A 43-year military occupation, violence, expulsions, destruction and injustice. That is a toxic dead end, a problem that requires a solution. Within Israel, discrimination and repression intensify. And it’s getting worse by the day.
For 20 years, the “two state solution” has given Israel a win-win dual strategy: Plan A, play for time, destroy what’s left of Palestine to abort and prevent a state; Plan B, if in the end it has to withdraw its army, it will leave behind the ghost and travesty of a state: fragmented, walled in, waterless, powerless, its population impoverished and systematically depleted, surrounded and controlled by Israel.
This scorched earth “solution” will satisfy neither the aspirations for justice nor the most basic daily needs of the Palestinians, and will inscribe anger, instability, violence and possible catastrophe into the future of the region for generations to come.
Yet few agencies, campaigners or leaders will contemplate the wholly viable alternative vision of one democratic state which can genuinely create a new start.
This is a solution with no territorial issues, no re-drawing of maps or population “transfers”, no security zones, access tunnels or supervised corridors. It addresses Israeli anxieties and redresses Palestinian wrongs. But it must be embarked upon with willing consent and optimism: a sea-change in attitudes is needed so that a majority of Israelis and Palestinians will choose to coexist and collaborate in a modern-day multicultural and democratic country.
Despite polls showing up to a third of Jewish Israelis already accept One Democracy in principle, there is a general insistence that Israel will never ever contemplate it and that even the case for this solution should remain off the agenda. Thus the warning that we can’t talk about it because it is a non-runner becomes self-fulfilling. There is no Plan B, no safety net for when the Two State myth is finally laid to rest.
It is our aim to remove the taboo and help the case to be heard.”The real issue for the international community now is to look the one-state solution full in the face, and sort out its obstacles” – Virginia Tilley