I know I might be judged for what I am going to write, but that is the consequence that comes with expressing ones ideas and feelings. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been a thorn in the international plains’ side. Those are the words that we usually hear when speaking about this conflict, or adjectives like the “unresolved” conflict or the “everlasting” conflict. Nonetheless, I have lived all my life amidst that conflict and I can tell all of you that nobody wants to see that conflict resolved, more than the people that are living it.
I am writing this article with the intention to talk about a, relatively, new “solution- or way of resolving the issue. But while reading this article I ask the readers to try to put aside the current status quo of the peace negotiations and the demands of the governments. While doing that, try to imagine how all of the stakes would change on the negotiation board if this was considered: a ONE STATE solution. Yes, I was born and raised in Palestine or/and Israel and I want a possibility of peaceful advancement side by side.
It was during the year of 1999 that the one state solution was beginning to echo on the corrupt bureaucratic halls of the Israeli and Palestinian governments. Edward Said, a Palestinian literary theorist and professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University (and ex-member of the Palestinian National Council), stated in that same year that: “… after 50 years of Israeli history, classic Zionism has provided no solution to the Palestinian presence. I therefore see no other way than to begin now to speak about sharing the land that has thrust us together, sharing it in a truly democratic way with equal rights for all citizens.”
A poll on the Palestinian-Israeli issue was conducted in the US and the results were staggering. “GfK (a polling company in association with Associated Press) found that U.S. popular support for a two-state solution is surprisingly tepid. What’s more, if the option is taken off the table, Americans support the creation of a single democratic state — in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories — in which Jews and Arabs are granted equal rights. The GfK survey consisted of 1,000 interviews conducted through an Internet panel and was weighted to ensure that the results were consistent with several demographic variables, such as age, education, and income”.
After reading that and thinking of a conflict which has lasted for 66 years, I began to ask myself a few questions; why haven’t we learned? Why haven’t we applied what other nations have learned the hard way? Why can we not apply a South African model? Are our wounds so deep that we would prefer to fall in the abyss together, instead of working for advancement? Those are all questions that only time will be able to answer.
The fact is that I realize very well that a one-state solution is an utopist idea, but I close this article with the hope that I have, in my generation and the generation that has come after us, the ability of being more open-minded, forgiving and responsible. Utopist or not I leave you with this:
“THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
(From the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel; May 14, 1948)