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There is No Israel Without a Two-State Solution

Yesterday marked the first full day of the new Israeli government with Prime Minister Naftali Bennet. This unprecedented unity coalition between right, left, centrist, and Arab parties mark the end of two years of countless elections all in the pursuit of ending the 12-year reign of Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime minister. While this new government has been dubbed “the change coalition” ironically, while the social policies of the coalition are promising, given the wide scope of its members I am not confident in their ability to make any real and substantial “change” other than unseating Bibi. This comes at a time when Israel is approaching a breaking point in its most existential problem, one that is being virtually ignored by our politicians. The ongoing occupation of Area C of the west bank.

To save anyone who isn’t already familiar with this issue a history lesson from me, you can read a basic explanation of the post ‘67 occupation and Oslo Accords here.

For Bibi’s entire term his Likud party continued to push active settlement of Area C, and this past year even drew up plans to annex areas of the Jordan Valley region. As it stands, it appears that Bennet has no plans as PM to curtail settlement. This issue is a powder keg that has been growing in size for 53 years and is just about ready to burst. The fact of the matter is, that the more that settlement of area C is pursued the harder it will be to draw the borders of a future Palestinian state. While some might be content with this meaning that a one-state solution is much more likely going forward, I urge those people to consider what a one-state solution truly looks like for the State of Israel and the Jewish People.

In a one-state solution, there would be no justification to continue the IDF occupation of Area C or entertain any other clauses of the Oslo Accords. With the Oslo Accords sufficiently dead and the West Bank annexed into mainland Israel, Israel is now obligated to provide full democratic rights and citizenship to the 4,780,978 Palestinians living in the West Bank. This means that as the current population stands, the demographics of Israel would be about 6,829,000 Jews and 6,670,978 Israeli Arabs. To put this in the context of an election, (assuming voting is done on religious lines), 59 of the 120 seats in the Knesset would go to Muslim politicians in the only Jewish country in the world. If all of this sounds crazy to you, that's because it is.

While I am all in favor of putting aside our differences to live in one state, in harmony, with equal rights for all, the one-state model totally extinguishes the entire point of Zionism in the first place, to have Jewish self-determination. If we are being governed by a near Muslim majority, then it is clearly no longer self-determination. Hence the idea that there is simply no Israel without a two-state solution.

At this point, I want to acknowledge that there is a growing number of people in Israeli society and the Jewish Diaspora who believe in a plan to annex the West Bank and withhold democratic rights from Palestinians in order to maintain a Jewish majority. To be clear, if a plan like this were executed it would undoubtedly be an indefensible, racist, system of Apartheid. There will need to come to a point when Israeli political institutions realize the facts of the numbers and stop pretending that we can continue with the occupation of area C for another 50 years.

Before any meaningful change happens we will also need to see leadership changes within the Palestinian Authority’s monarchy that pretends to be a democracy. When we talk about a two-state solution there needs to be not only a plan to have a functional government in a Palestinian state but also a true partner for peace. After rejecting a number of incredibly reasonable plans for statehood in the past 30 years, it is hard to feel sympathy for a Palestinian Authority that is content with maintaining the status quo of watching their people suffer in Areas A and B while they pocket international aid money to build mansions in Ramallah (Mahmoud Abbas’s Mansion). Before any serious movement is made towards self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people, Palestinian voters need to free themselves from Fatah and Hamas as their leaders and embrace a government that will bring them the prosperity they deserve. That is if they ever actually have an election, something that hasn’t happened for the PA in almost 17 years, the most recent one having been canceled this spring.

I would be doing a disservice to the reader if I failed to mention a few other ideas; Such as a three-state solution with Jordanian annexation of the West Bank and Egyptian annexation of Gaza. Or The Federation Plan, drawn up by three former Israeli politicians. Both of these being interesting, albeit unlikely alternatives to the binary one-state vs. two-state discussion.

At the end of the day, it is clear that the ball in Israeli society is rolling towards a one-state solution. This is exemplified by Israeli kids starting to learn Arabic and more integration

being seen in many communities. In all political situations, it is incredibly hard to change the course for the future, however, if we want to see an Israel that represents true democratic values, the only practical way is to continue the advocacy of the two-state solution.

It's been months since my last blog but I am glad to have started up again. I will be beginning my service in the IDF in about a month and a half which surely will bring new perspectives to the complex issues that I try to tackle on this blog.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments and please fill out the subscription form on the home page to get notified when I post a new piece.


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