Weekly Commentary: Thinking About The One State Solution
Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 21 January, 2010
A growing number of Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria have been
advocating a “one state solution” in which their Palestinian neighbors
become voting Israeli citizens with Gaza’s final disposition unclear.
While the proposition certainly highlights the fact that the so-called
“demographic problem” is a red herring – and ever more so if we are only
counting the Palestinians residing in the West Bank, those promoting the
move need to walk through how such a plan might actually play out.
The efficacy of the proposal hinges on retaining the asymmetric application
of “right of return” that is the very hallmark of Israel being a “Jewish
State”: Jews from the Diaspora can continue to immigrate to Israel and
become citizens while Arabs with ancestral ties to Israel (we are now at the
stage that most “Palestinian refugees” are actually the progeny of refugees
born overseas) cannot exercise the “right of return of refugees”.
To what extent would not “resolving” the “refugee problem” destabilize the
region or is the Palestinian assessment, as expressed in most polls, that
the Arab world really doesn’t care that much about them, correct?
What happens with the security arrangements within the Arab areas? Do the
local PA cops simply trade badges or what?
We have a generation of Palestinians brainwashed by their schools and media
to hate Israel. Does granting them citizenship simply click this off? If
it doesn’t then how will this hatred impact the outcome?
Are all travel and other security-related restrictions simply dropped
overnight and if not, how does this work given that we are talking about
Israeli citizens? Granted, during the early years of Israel there were
restrictions on Israeli Arabs, but it is hardly clear that such arrangements
would pass the muster in the 21st century.
What would the Knesset and, in turn, the ruling coalitions look like under
How would the “one state solution” be received locally and overseas?
The Arabs could certainly excuse acceptance of the arrangement by explaining
that they are simply transferring the venue of the “struggle” from the
battlefield to the maternity ward but would they?
Would granting Israeli citizenship knock the wind out of the sails of our
foreign critics? Or would they simply shift their focus, seeking out
evidence of discrimination against Arab Israeli citizens to justify their
ongoing opposition to Israel?
These are but of few of the many questions.
Is a “one state solution” really the answer – or do we need to think more
about how best to pursue the autonomy concept?
Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
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