The debate over the solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict continues. One side of the debate calls for a single-state solution whereby Palestinians and Israelis live together in a single secular democratic state with totally equal rights in a multi-cultural society.
The other side to the debate is the so-called two-state solution in which Israelis live separately in their own nation and Palestinians live separately in theirs. Proponents of both arguments are currently debating fiercely over which would be the more acceptable and, more to the point, why the other won’t work.
Those proposing the two-state solution argue that the one-state solution is just a utopian dream that, because of decades of entrenched and pent-up animosities, could never be realised, while those arguing for the one-state solution say that the two-state solution could never work because each side will have large elements of their population that simply will never accept or be satisfied with their lot.
For the right-wing Zionist Israelis there will never be a Palestinian state. Their idea of a ‘one-state solution’ is where Israel has conquered and settled all of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, annexed the Shebaa Farms, and, they hope, south Lebanon up to the Latani River, just as they have in the Golan Heights. All the Palestinians in these places will then have been transferred to the Sinai and/or Jordan. Welcome to Greater Israel. Their dream is for Iran and Syria to have had ‘regime change’ and Hamas, Hezbollah and all other Arab and Palestinian enemies destroyed.
The current so-called peace talks between Abbas and Olmert which Condoleeza Rice is trying to broker are a complete waste of time and are designed more as an ego trip for the outgoing Bush administration in order to score a few brownie points for the Republican presidential candidate John McCain – it makes them look like they are doing something toward ‘peace’ which they hope will translate into a few more Jewish-American votes who traditionally vote Democrat.. The hypocrisy is in the fact that the US continues to supply arms and armaments to the IDF so that they can continue to oppress the Palestinian people.
For years successive US Presidents, Israeli Prime Ministers and Palestinians have talked of peace. There has been Camp David Summits, Oslo Accords, the Madrid Conference, Nobel Peace Prizes awarded but after sixty years the two sides are about as far away from peace as they ever were. And the reason is; the right-wing Zionist Israelis do not want peace until every Palestinian has be driven from the lands that they covet for their dream of a Greater Israel – its as simple as that.
There is, however, another way.
Just as the UN created the state of Israel, so the UN could create a state that enforces a one-state solution upon the Palestinians and the existing Israelis.
Of course, the Palestinians would have a clear advantage in this, or indeed any other one-state solution model, by simple virtue of overwhelming numbers in the new State – but hey, that’s democracy for you. It’s also the reason why the Israelis are so dead set against a one-state solution that includes Palestinians.
So, how does one go about enforcing the creation of a bi-national single-state? First, one needs a United Nations that is willing to see the futility of the current situation and understand that the reality is; there will never be a solution unless it is enforced by the rest of the world community. Hell will freeze over before Olmert and Abbas come to anything like an idea that they can even agree on between them, let alone become a permanent solution.
However, while there are still the ridiculous veto powers of the permanent five of the Security Council the UN will always be ham-strung by the US, especially in matters relating to Israel. The veto power should be limited to a majority power of the permanent five where the veto power will exist only when at least three of the five wish to veto. Two permanent members voting against a resolution that otherwise has the full support of the Security Council would, under modified rules, not be enough to overturn any resolution. Under present arrangements, an enforced one-state solution would almost certainly be vetoed by the US.
But let’s assume that the UN is empowered with the ability to enforce a one-state solution; how then would it proceed? Apart from the Zionist extremists that would take to the hills, it would, if it had got to the stage where the world demanded it after listening to all of the objections from the extremists, proceed fairly quietly. It’s not something that would have been decided upon overnight and by the time it was actually about to happen the vast majority would have by then accepted the situation as fait accompli. Palestinians would be more than happy with the idea of being able to return to their own local homelands and there would be many Israelis also willing to want to live in peace with the Palestinians. The extremists would be marginalised and resistance would diminish until entirely disappeared. No doubt many of them would head off to the US where they would set up a mini Israel-in-exile or some such, just as the Cubans did in Miami, where they would live out their days dreaming of what could have been had there been a Greater Israel.
But, just as many Israelis may feel they are unable to live in such a State, there may well be many Jews throughout the Diaspora that would now feel quite comfortable living within the new State and choose to migrate there. So too might many Palestinians that are scattered throughout the world.
The new State being nuclear armed would not be acceptable so the nuclear arms that Israeli has now would be removed as would its chemical and biological weapons. The new States sovereignty would then be protected by UN guarantees. Trade and commerce could then function within the normal framework of the global economy with the advantage of not anymore having to expend vast treasure on arms and armaments. After a while the other big nations around the new State will see the merit of not having to compete militarily with each other and want to join in the prosperity that peace would bring while still maintaining their own governmental styles.
While all this may sound as much a dream as what we have now is a nightmare then one needs to wake up the reality that there will only ever be one alternative to the dream and that, of course, is another sixty years of death and misery for both sides.
If the world wants to see peace in that part of the world, then there is only the dream. There is NO alternative.