“What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm” was initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace as an investigation into the current state of thinking about one state and two state solutions, and the collection has been further expanded by Mondoweiss to mark 20 years since the beginning of the Oslo peace process.
1. Even one state may not be enough, by Noura Erakat
2. Unlikely, unrealistic, or unimaginable?, by Joel Beinin
3. Working without a political framework, by Nadia Hijab
4. The Jewish/Palestinian Diaspora, by Marc Ellis
5. We need a rights-based movement with a political vision, by Haidar Eid
6. Once the one-state reality in Israel/Palestine is recognized, the basis for a comprehensive peace will be clear, by Chris Toensing
7. Rights, not ‘arrangements’, by Phyllis Bennis
8. A secular democratic state in historic Palestine – a promising land, by Omar Barghouti
9. A manifesto for the Jewish-Palestinian Arabic-Hebrew state, by Udi Aloni
10. If the goal is to change U.S. policy, American Jewish opinion can’t be ignored, by Norman G. Finkelstein
11. A new generation will rise to inspire, unify and liberate, by Abir Kopty
12. The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel, by Noam Chomsky
13. Strategy before solutions, by Mouin Rabbani
14. We must enter a new Israeli discourse based in equality, justice and freedom, by Avraham Burg
15. We need the courage to do away with existing institutions, policies, and paradigms, by Dinna Omar
16. The musings of a Two-Stater, by Peter Weiss
17. The future bends toward equal rights, by Ahmed Moor
18. Why secularism fooled me into thinking the two-state solution was likely (and ironically, why religion could make it so), by Michael Desch
19. One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State, by Emily W. Schaeffer
20. Struggle, or solutions?, by Max Ajl
21. Liberating Israelis and Palestinians, by Mazin Qumsiyeh
22. A one-state reality and a two-state discourse, by Noam Sheizaf
Original article in Mondoweiss
Israel has been poisoned by the psychosis of permanent war. It has been morally bankrupted by the sanctification of victimhood, which it uses to justify an occupation that rivals the brutality and racism of apartheid South Africa. Its democracy—which was always exclusively for Jews—has been hijacked by extremists who are pushing the country toward fascism. Many of Israel’s most enlightened and educated citizens—1 million of them—have left the country. Its most courageous human rights campaigners, intellectuals and journalists—Israeli and Palestinian—are subject to constant state surveillance, arbitrary arrests and government-run smear campaigns. Its educational system, starting in primary school, has become an indoctrination machine for the military. And the greed and corruption of its venal political and economic elite have created vast income disparities, a mirror of the decay within America’s democracy.
And yet, the hard truths about Israel remain largely unspoken. Liberal supporters of Israel decry its excesses. They wring their hands over the tragic necessity of airstrikes on Gaza or Lebanon or the demolition of Palestinian homes. They assure us that they respect human rights and want peace. But they react in inchoate fury when the reality of Israel is held up before them. This reality implodes the myth of the Jewish state. It exposes the cynicism of a state whose real goal is, and always has been, the transfer, forced immigration or utter subjugation and impoverishment of Palestinians inside Israel and the occupied territories. Reality shatters the fiction of a peace process. Reality lays bare the fact that Israel routinely has used deadly force against unarmed civilians, including children, to steal half the land on the West Bank and crowd forcibly displaced Palestinians into squalid, militarized ghettos while turning their land and homes over to Jewish settlers. Reality exposes the new racial laws adopted by Israel as those once advocated by the fanatic racist Meir Kahane. Reality unveils the Saharonim detention camp in the Negev Desert, the largest detention center in the world. Reality mocks the lie of open, democratic debate, including in the country’s parliament, the Knesset, where racist diatribes and physical threats, often enshrined into law, are used to silence and criminalize the few who attempt to promote a civil society. Liberal Jewish critics inside and outside Israel, however, desperately need the myth, not only to fetishize Israel but also to fetishize themselves. Strike at the myth and you unleash a savage vitriol, which in its fury exposes the self-adulation and latent racism that lie at the core of modern Zionism.
There are very few intellectuals or writers who have the tenacity and courage to confront this reality. This is what makes Max Blumenthal’s “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” one of the most fearless and honest books ever written about Israel. Continue reading
Chen Alon from Combatants For Peace will be on tour in Australia in April 2014.
The “Combatants For Peace” movement was started jointly by Palestinians and Israelis, who have taken an active part in the cycle of violence; Israelis as soldiers in the Israeli army (IDF) and Palestinians as part of the violent struggle for Palestinian freedom. After brandishing weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapon sights, we have decided to put down our guns, and to fight for peace.
WE BELIEVE that only by joining forces, will we be able to end the cycle of violence, the bloodshed and the occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. We no longer believe that it is possible to resolve the conflict between the two peoples through violent means; therefore we declare that we refuse to take part any more in the mutual bloodletting. We will act only by non-violent means so that each side will come to understand the national aspirations of the other side. We see dialogue and reconciliation as the only way to act in order to terminate the Israeli occupation, to halt the settlement project and to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, alongside the State of Israel.
More information about Combatants For Peace.
The “Panel for Peace II – Dialogue on Peace and Theatre” is a live interactive panel. Combatants For Peace were invited to participate, on the 26th of September 2013. Eight members from the Tel Aviv-Tulkarm based group joined the panel which was hosted by Luc Opdebeeck of FORMAAT in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Original video on Youtube
By Uri Avnery, 09 November, 2013.
On my 16th birthday, in 1939, I rushed to the district registration office of the Government of Palestine to change my name officially. I shed the German name I was given at birth and adopted the Hebrew first and surname I had chosen.
It was more than a mere change of names. It was a declaration: a divorce from my past in the Diaspora (“exile” in Zionist parlance), from the tradition of my German-Jewish forebears, from everything that was “exilic”. “Exilic” was the worst insult you could throw at anyone at the time.
It said: I am a Hebrew, a part of the great adventure of creating the new Hebrew nation, the new Hebrew culture, the future Hebrew state that was to come into being once we had driven the British colonial regime out of the country. Continue reading
By Jonathan Cook, Nazareth
Yes, I know. Uri Avnery has achieved many great things as a journalist and a peace activist. He has probably done more to educate people around the world about the terrible situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, and for longer, than any other single human being. And, to boot, he’s celebrating his 90th birthday this week. So best wishes to him.
Nonetheless, it is important to challenge the many fallacious claims Avnery makes to bolster the arguments in his latest article, dismissing the growing comparisons being made between Israel and apartheid South Africa.
There is much to criticize in his weakly argued piece, based on a recent conversation with an unnamed “expert”. Avnery, like many before him, makes the mistake of thinking that, by pointing out the differences between Israel and apartheid South Africa, he proves that Israel is not an apartheid state. But this is the ultimate straw-man argument. No one claims Israel is identical to South Africa. You don’t need an expert to realize that.
When people call Israel an apartheid state, they are referring to the crime of apartheid as defined in international law. According to the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, apartheid comprises inhumane acts “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”. Continue reading
By Noura Erakat, in AlJazeera
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have intensified in recent days. The talks, facilitated by US Secretary of State John Kerry, have resulted in 13 meetings between the two delegations to discuss issues of mutual concern. Yet in the midst of the current flurry of activity aimed at saving the two-state solution from the shelves of rich archival libraries, three-time Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is insisting that the conflict is not a political one at all.
To the contrary, at a recent talk delivered at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu explained that the conflict is about Palestinian hatred for Jews as a people. There is, he maintains, a cultural malaise inherent to Palestinians that is not connected to Israeli military and structural violence against a dispossessed and stateless people. His diagnosis leaves little in the way of possible remedies, aside from cultural sensitivity trainings (for Palestinians, mind you) or, more realistically, the indefinite subjugation of an entire people – billed to US taxpayers.
The hawkish leader’s analysis is contingent on the belief that Palestinians are not rational actors, but emotional ones impervious to reason. Netanyahu’s analysis is fundamentally racist and flawed because it ascribes to Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine an innocuous character it has never possessed.
Israel’s establishment as a homeland for a Jewish majority in a land where a Palestinian-Arab majority existed has necessitated the on-going forced removal and subjugation of the non-Jewish Palestinian population – not simply in the Arab-Israeli War or the Six-Day War, but into the present day. Continue reading
By Nabeel Kassis for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse
Anyone who honestly seeks evidence that the Palestinian leadership is serious about its pursuit of a peace settlement with Israel is bound to find more than enough of that. In fact, there is so much evidence that it may cast the Palestinian position as one of weakness and desperate eagerness. That would be a misreading of a responsible and principled position based on what the Palestinian leadership thinks is in the best interest of the peoples of the region, the Palestinian people foremost.
Further testing and continuously raising the bar, by insisting on unreasonable demands to check Palestinian intentions, is counterproductive and threatens what could be the last opportunity to achieve peace based on a two-state solution. Putting demands on the Palestinians that are tantamount to asking them to accept Zionist credos cannot be taken seriously. A case in point is the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Despite the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization has recognized the state of Israel for more than 20 years — with no reciprocal recognition by Israel of the state of Palestine — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now added the issue of recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” as a precondition for any agreement. He is the first Israeli prime minister to make such a demand, and it has largely been recognized for what it is — an attempt to undermine the negotiations and ensure that no agreement is reached. Continue reading
Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land, produced by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal.
Blumenthal explained to Consortium News how The New York Times commissioned the 11-minute video, but after the paper’s editors saw it, refused to publish it: “I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world. We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of course it was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. I sent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.”
Originally submitted by Ali Abunimah to The Electronic Intifada