Palestine Internationalist, Volume 3 Issue 1 (Sep 2007)

One State or Two? Revisiting Self-determination


With the increase in attacks on Palestinian territory, the future looks bleak and grim and is enveloped in a dark cycle of violence and death. This comes as the Defense Minister of Israel announces the Israeli military is going on a large scale incursion into Gaza. In the past few months, the reluctance of the United States and Israel to recognize Hamas has allowed Fatah back in power. Nowhere in the world has a party which had won a landslide victory in the elections been replaced with the losing party. Anywhere else this might have been labeled as undemocratic and unjust but in Palestine it’s called Parliamentary Democracy! The reign of Hamas was brought to an end and the consequence is this present unstable situation where death, conflict and crisis are the norms of the day.

It is plainly obvious against the backdrop of events in the distant past as well as present that the 2 state system i.e. a Palestine for Palestinians (Muslims and Christians) and Israel for the Jews (with minority Arab Muslim population) is not working. Incursions of the Israeli military upon Palestinian territory continue every couple of months if not weeks; mass kidnappings, assassinations and other criminal activities or state sponsored terrorism occur regularly.

That the establishment of Israel in 1948 had arisen due to political maneuvering by the Zionists in the face of Arab and Palestinian opposition is exposed critically by Dr Ilan Pappe (reviewed here by Mohamad Nasrin Nasir); Dr Ilan continues in a separate paper to argue for a one state solution where Palestinians and Israelis can co-exist and share together equal rights and opportunities to prosper. Arzu Merali however is skeptical at the beginning of her review of three connected works on the discussion of one or two state solution. Echoing one of the writers, she does not believe that Israelis are capable of giving equal rights to those who are not Jews; however she does note that these Jews are Zionist in their ideology for real Jews follows the path of Moses and Moses had upheld the law of God in equality for all. The real enemy is not the Jews but Zionism which is a political ideology bent on conquering the entirety of the Holy Land for itself and relegating the non-Jewish population to second class status. Thus Dr Chandra Muzaffar outlines the need for a concerted effort against the Zionists and a need to expose the plight of the Palestinians and how Israel is not interested in the two state solution in any matter as it will not allow Jerusalem to be the capital of Palestine. Also in his paper he outlines the role Asian states can play in pressuring the West to move towards a just solution to the ongoing conflict. We at the Palestinian Internationalist dream of a united Palestine where Jews, Christians and Muslims can live together in peace and harmony. We would like to end this editorial by quoting a poem regarding peace:

Elusive Peace
By Dr Mary Erthridge

Peace, a wonderful dream,
sought after, desired,
and fought for
Peace, to die for, pray for,
write for, and even
perchance negotiate for
Peace, an elusive thing,
ethereal in substance,
always just out of reach
Peace, blasted away
by an uncaring bully
or occupying force
Peace, a part of the dream
of every man, woman and child

[courtesy Ramallah Online]

Mohamad Nasrin Nasir

Arzu Merali

Fahad Ansari

September 2007

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source: Volume 3 Issue 1 (Sep 2007),
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