two-state solution: catch-22

It really is a quagmire! Even innovative and refreshing candidates for President like Howard Dean are forced to fall back to boilerplate statements of support for the two-state solution to the Israeili-Palestinian conflict.

I don't favor a two-state solution. The reason is because the two over-riding rationales driving it are mutually exclusive in the context of a two-state solution. These requirements are: 1. A realistic guarantee of security for Israel and 2. A true measure of sovereignity for the Palestinians.

I firmly believe that the only solution is a re-unified state, modeled along US governmental lines. As long as demographics and ethnic/religious criteria dominate the nottions of citizenship and nationhood, the Catch-22 will dominate. Both the "transfer" solution advocated by the right and the "separation" solution advocated by the left are founded in the same language of demographics that are ultimately the source of this paradox. This is ironic, given that the very concept of Jewish demographics is an artificial construct as applied to the current Israeli nation (and not at all congruent with the classical, well-defined Jewish identity in the context of culture and religion).

And as I have pointed out before, the single-state solution neatly solves these paradoxes, by rejecting the limitations imposed by demographic concerns. The neoconservatives who normally advocate democracy for all, and security for Israel, should logically prefer the binational, reunified state as a solution. The scale is certainly smaller and less ambitious than the current rhetoric about remaking the entire Middle East. Let's start with Israel-Palestine.

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