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December 12, 2003


I'm not advocating a one-state solution for Israel (I'm pro-Israel for practical and personal reasons here), but when folks compare the situation there with that in South Africa, for example, it becomes difficult to draw a distinction between the Afrikaners and the Israelis.

Just for my own education, can anyone who understands the details explain how that comparison falls apart?

IMHO, the "one-state solution" would be a negotiating tactic by the Pals.


Within Israel proper, Israeli Arabs have the vote and full civil rights.

The Occupied Territories are just that --- they are in a legal/political limbo. And, so far, are NOT part of the state of Israel.

All of that may be a "slim reed" but, in essence, that's the Israeli legal position.

IMHO, the "one-state solution" would be a negotiating tactic by the Pals.

I agree.

Commissar, I think the reed can be greatly strengthened if need be.

Mandatory Ammons (Small Song):

The reeds give
way to the

wind and give
the wind away

-- I wish the Palestinians had had a Mandela.

Incidentally, if Matt is reading this, I'm strongly pro-Israel, but I often feel uneasy about others on my side. Check out the fourth paragraph under Update here (warning, extremely partisan sites linked to and referred to).

Who was there first. Israel or Palestine? I mean look at a map.
Like mice homesteading in a land of cats.

I agree that a one-state solution is hardly possible now. It might have been, if Israel had immediately annexed the territories instead of occupying them -- with a generation or two of bad blood built up, there's no way Israelis would feel safe without a majority of the electorate, nor should they.

Which leaves us back where we started -- the only reasonable options when occupying a populated territory are (a) pulling out, (b) annexation, or (c) ethnic cleansing. The only reasonable option is (a) -- withdraw to defensible boundaries, defend them, and cut the territories loose -- but I think that some in the Israeli right are still hoping for (c). Hence the settlements.

It should be noted that, according to Oren's _Six Days of War_, the Israelis did try a) after the '67 War, but there wasn't anyone to give the authority to who wanted it. Also note that "defensible boundaries" depend on the local environment - one good thing about Gulf II is the sense among Israelis (including on the right) that the West Bank is less important now as a buffer. This last according to Tom Friedman, whose latest seems to be from the sane side of his brain.

I'm not sure if I understand your point, Judson -- but perhaps that's because I'm reading too much into it. Depending on the definitions employed, either Palestine or Israel might be considered to be the "first" to be present in the relevant geographical location.

Like mice homesteading in a land of cats.

Is that a reference to Maus?

I.F. Stone wrote some interesting stuff in favor of a one state resolution way back in the day. That was a very long time ago, of course, before all the suicide bombings and some of the wars and perhaps before it was clear that Jews would be so outnumbered. It's now quite obvious to me that it would be a disaster. But it was definitely sincere, he was quite pro-Israel if incurably lefty idealistic. (He placed a lot of blame on the West for making promises it couldn't keep to both sides.)

I am not someone who likes to talk about parallels between Israel and South Africa. For a long time I wrote them off as anti-semitic nonsense. And certainly it matters how we got to this point, and that there's no Mandela to work with, and Israel's never done anything close to the disgusting "destabilisation" policy. But it's gotten to the point where I can't entirely dismiss them. This current situation cannot go on, and I don't really know what Sharon's plan is.

It should be noted that, according to Oren's _Six Days of War_, the Israelis did try a) after the '67 War, but there wasn't anyone to give the authority to who wanted it.

Hrm, I'm not sure I get what you mean here. The Israeli military wanted to pull back, but the Israeli government wouldn't authorize it?

Zrblm, Oren says it's documented that the Israeli govt gathered the leading elders in the West Bank after the war and said, Hey - you want this land? and they said, Thanks but not thanks - our neighbors would rub us out.

Later this let's-dump-this-extra-land sentiment (which was espoused publically at the time by Ben Gurion) evaporated for a variety of reasons.

I only repeat what I'm told.

Launching active advocacy for one democratic secular state for ALL its people...

Movement for One Democratic Secular State

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