Two months ago I enthusiastically wrote a short piece with the title “Sensational news – the Palestine Authority abandons the ‘two-state solution’ in favour of the one-state binational solution”. I wrote it based on an article that appeared in the ‘Jerusalem Post’ which told of a:
“…plan, drawn by Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Fatah operative and Deputy Minister for Prisoners' Affairs in the Palestinian Authority, states that the Palestinians have decided to implement United Nations Resolution 194 regarding the refugees.
Article 11 of the resolution, which was passed in December 1948, says that "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."
The initiative is the first of its kind and is clearly aimed at embarrassing Israel during the anniversary celebrations by highlighting the issue of the "right of return" for the refugees.
Entitled "The Initiative of Return and Coexistence," the plan suggests that the PA has abandoned a two-state solution in favour of one state where all Arabs and Jews would live together.”
The article went on to explain how the “…plan calls on the refugees to return to Israel on May 14, 2008 with their suitcases and tents so that they could settle in their former villages and towns. The refugees are also requested to carry UN flags upon their return and to be equipped with their UNRWA-issued ID cards.”
Well, I guess it was too much to ask for this to actually happen and, of course, it didn’t and, in retrospect, I should have realised that the article was in all probability simply an outrageous piece of propaganda from the Israelis designed to belittle such notions. However, the notion of a ‘one-state binational solution’ hasn’t died with the fantasy of Palestinian refugees turning up in their droves at Israeli airports.
As the failures of Bush’s efforts to establish a Palestinian State as part of a two-state solution become obvious and it becomes increasingly apparent that it is never going to happen, so more and more people throughout Palestine, both Palestinians and Israelis, are coming round to the idea that the one-state binational solution is, indeed, the only solution. A Palestinian State emerging on terms dictated by the Israelis and the US will never be accepted by the Palestinian people and, if it were to be enforced upon them, there would be, at worst, all out war between the Palestinians and their allies and the Israeli state, and, at best, simply more of what is happening now going on for more decades to come; a war that the Israelis cannot ever win.
Western leaders now need to recognise that the one-state solution can be the only viable long-term solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. The quicker this is achieved the better for both the Palestinian and the Israeli people. It is imperative that the peoples of the world support the call for a one-state binational solution in Palestine and insist that their leaders push for such a state through the United Nations.