Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Myth of the Two-state Solution

John Kerry is headed back to the Middle East, trying to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.  Since Bibi Netanyahu just visited a West Bank settlement to cut the ribbon on a new school that just happened to be named after his father, the symbolic handwriting is on the wall.  Maybe it wasn't as bad as when he announced 1000 new units of settlement housing while Joe Biden was in Israel trying to restart talks in 2010, but Bibi seems unable to resist tweaking America's nose.

There never will be an independent Palestinian state, because there is no way to make it happen — not as long as American politicians are so terrified of AIPAC, Americans are convinced that "Arab" and "terrorist" are synonymous, and the region remains in an uproar everywhere from Mali to Afghanistan.  Even in the unlikely event that the "Arab Spring" turns out to be something positive, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank will continue to live under apartheid.

Personally, I favor a one-state solution — end the apartheid, give the Palestinians Israeli citizenship, and integrate them into the Israeli economy and society.  Oops!  I forgot!  Israel is a "Jewish State," and its existing Arab citizens have never been fully integrated.

Well, if Jews can have their own state, why not Sunnis, Alawites, Druse, Maronite Christians, and Kurds?  But don't stop there!  Why not let every little sect, wherever in the world it happens to be concentrated, have its own state?  Before we knew what hit us, Vatican City could be a superpower.

I understand that Jews had special circumstances following World War II, because, in truth, nobody really wanted them anywhere.  Well, that was over sixty years ago.  Israel really is no longer a "Jewish" state, it is a secular state, finally taking steps to integrate its ultraorthodox Jews and Arab citizens into the mainstream.

Maybe the notion of a Jewish state should be a thing of the past.

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