Readers of political commentary on the Middle East will frequently see reference to the ‘one-state solution’ in relation to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What perhaps is often not sufficiently clear is what lies behind that particular political ethos, exactly who is promoting it and why.
Advocates of the ‘one state solution’ are, by definition, opposed to the two-state solution – i.e. the creation, as a result of negotiations between the relevant parties, of a Palestinian State which will exist side by side – hopefully in peace and good neighbourly relations – with the Jewish State of Israel. This has been the premise behind the entire peace process since 1993. It is the basis upon which the Oslo Accords and later the Roadmap were built. It was the logic behind Israel’s agreeing to the PLO being allowed to establish the Palestinian Authority and Israeli concessions on areas A and B. It is also the concept upon which all diplomatic efforts to bring peace to the region have been – and still are – based.
That’s by way of introduction, and though it is a longer essay, with much relevant detail, here is the essential point, about the nature of the Hamas rejection of the two-state solution and unacknowledged but unavoidably fundamental alignment between Hamas and other – so-called, again – human rights advocates of the one-state idea.
Many in the West (though by no means all) are able to recognise the rejectionist Hamas stance for what it is because the religious rhetoric and medieval-style language employed by its leaders to state the Hamas case is easy to identify as being rooted in Islamist theology and little attempt is made to hide the anti-Semitic attitudes behind the political-theological stance according to which, Jews must not be permitted to have their own state in the Middle East.
Less easy for many Westerners to understand is the similarity between the Hamas stance and that of advocates of the ‘one state solution’. One reason for that is because its advocates steer clear of religious rhetoric; instead they present their case clothed in the language of human rights; making reference to international law, justice, democracy, secularism and equality – all concepts with which it is significantly easier for the Western mind to connect and empathise.
However, the bottom line of the one-state proposal in fact differs little from that of the Hamas ‘solution’ to the problems of the Middle East in that both see the eradication of the Jewish State as the answer to the conflict.
Curiously, enough, in contemporary contrast, few seem to have any philosophical difficulty with the recent creation of South Sudan. Marxist-inspired and other partisans of consigning nationalism to the trash bin of history – and who appear to find the creation of Israel alone anathema, among the scores of nations created since World War II – have not found their voice over South Sudan. There is no call, among differing and violently antagonistic ethnic and religious groups, for a counter-intuitive one-state solution to Sudanese conflict. Perhaps because we all know how well such a solution worked in the former Yugoslavia, or how, after over seventy years of being yoked together, the ethnically diverse republics of the former Soviet Union longed still to be one people.
PA official Abd Al-Rahman, Director General of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ office, accused Israel of being involved in a conspiracy to divide Sudan, saying that “there are other conspiracies which the occupation (i.e., Israel) plans so as to cause a decrease [in attention] to the Palestinian cause and to turn it into a secondary matter with no priority, such as… the division of Sudan.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 4, 2011]
But, then, much as secular proponents of the end of Israel make common cause with the anti-Semitic terrorist organization Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, in its illiberalism, comfortably aligns itself with actual perpetrators of genocide.
In a letter to President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who is accused of responsibility for the genocide in Darfur, Abbas expressed his support for the President and stated that the Palestinian people and leadership “have complete faith in the wisdom of President Omar Al-Bashir” and that they “support the unity of the land of Sudan and its people.”
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 28, 2010
The PA is at least consistent – consistent in what, we may conclude from the above. And those who make common cause with Hamas for the end of Israel – what are they?
- Framing Israel (sadredearth.com)
- A Lesson in Slanting on Israel & the Palestinians (sadredearth.com)
- A Profile of Contemporary Antisemitism (sadredearth.com)
- Institutional Antisemitism (sadredearth.com)
- The Moral Pathology of the UN Human Rights Council (sadredearth.com)
- Reasoning Gone Off the Rails: Jerusalem’s Light Rail Project (sadredearth.com)
- The End of Memoir II: Allison Benedikt and Life before Thinking (sadredearth.com)