CONCERNS ABOUT THE ONE-STATE SOLUTION
Based on the e-mails we are receiving, the primary concern with a One-State Union among Israelis is that Palestinians will ultimately overpopulate them, gain control of the government, and bring about a system of revenge similar to the Nazi Holocaust. This is acknowledged as a legitimate concern. However, the plan being put forward (that of One-State ~ Two-Nations) makes such a scenario impossible. We had planned to publish the following article, written by Kamal, on week five (May 9th), but have decided to present portions at this time.
“…During the Clinton Administration, the Palestinians and Israelis spent nearly ten years trying to hammer out a deal based on the two-state solution. That peace process ended in total failure…. What caused the failure of the peace talks may be the solution itself, rather than the parties. The consequences of creating two separate nations by dividing Israel and Palestine were, and still are, difficult pills to swallow for both Israelis and Palestinians…. In light of these facts, some may think that a solution to this conflict is impossible. Not true…. [T]he solution is not in separating, but in coming closer together. Many Israelis and Palestinians seem to agree that the land they call Israel/Palestine is indivisible. Thus, the solution lies in keeping the land that Israelis and Palestinians call home as one nation, while at the same time, providing each side with the security and the individuality the parties would have if they had their own separate nations.
“What is being proposed here is a Two-State ~ One-Nation solution based on equality, freedom, and civil rights for both Israelis and Palestinians. The idea behind this solution is that there will be two sovereign states similar to New York and New Jersey that together make one nation similar to the United States of America. However, rather than being a federation, it would be a confederation. The essential difference between a federation and a confederation is that the states in a confederacy have much more sovereignty than in a federation.
“[This] is not entirely new. What is new about the Two-State ~ One Nation solution is that is achieves the benefits of being one united nation while reserving for both Israelis and Palestinians, the security and independence of being two separate nations…. Israelis were afraid of a demographic problem. The Israelis feared that if they gave the Palestinians equality and political and civil rights that the Palestinians may one day outnumber the Israelis and vote Israel out of existence…. [T]hose Israelis who fear giving the Palestinians equality and civil rights assume that they cannot give the Palestinians equality and, at the same time, have a Jewish state. This is a false assumption. The territory that includes Israel and Palestine can be one nation, where the Palestinians have equality, political and civil rights and, at the same time, be a safe haven for Jews from all over the world.
“Creating a confederation of two-states united by a federal-type government with limited powers can do this…. [W]e can avoid the demographic consequences of the migration by having their [individual] votes count in their respective state, regardless of where they live. This approach will totally avoid the demographic fear that Israelis have by making certain that migration of people does not dilute the political power of Jews or Palestinians in their local and state politics.
“As to the national government, Israel and Palestine shall each contribute 50% to the national parliament, regardless of their populations. With this solution, the Israelis do not have to fear political dilution from potential demographic changes and the Palestinians do not have to fear political dilution from the Israelis.
“… [T]he President or Prime Minister of the national government of the United States of Israel and Palestine … should be elected by the national parliament. Being that the parliament is divided 50/50, no Palestinian or Israeli can win without support from parliamentarians of the other side. This will guarantee that no Palestinian or Israeli extremist can become President of the United States of Israel and Palestine.
“Initially, the national government should have limited powers similar to the United States government in the early days of the Union…. On economic matters, Israel and Palestine shall act as one nation, with no exception. They shall have the same currency, no tariffs, and complete free trade. The early days of the national government or confederation shall be to bring jobs and economic prosperity to both Israelis and Palestinians. This should be an easy task. A peaceful Israel and Palestine acting as one nation would be a goldmine the likes of which the world has never seen. A nation that is the birthplace of western civilization and immensely revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims; religious tourism, alone, will guarantee a healthy economy in perpetuity.
“A nation of Palestinians and Israelis at peace with their neighbors shall have unlimited opportunities. The technical know-how of Israel, the available capital in the Arab world, and geography that is at the intersection of three continents can produce an economic powerhouse that is second to none on a per capita basis. Moreover, a peaceful nation made up of Palestine and Israel at peace with their neighbors, will not only bring economic prosperity to that nation, but also to the entire Middle East….
“This solution will basically take Israelis and Palestinians back to the time before the first intifada [uprising] began in 1987, with the only difference being that the Palestinians will have rights and equality that they never had under the occupation. As proof that this solution can work is the fact that ISRAEL HAS ONE MILLION PALESTINIANS WITH ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP AND THEY ARE NOT DEMONSTRATING, THROWING ROCKS, OR BLOWING THEMSELVES UP. WHY IS THIS? The only difference between Palestinians who are citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza is that one group has freedom, political and civil rights, while the other has nothing….”