Israeli and Palestinian One/Two State Arguments

A friend recently asked if there existed a one-page summary of the major positions on a one versus two state-solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. So I penned this:

Israeli Jewish arguments for a one-state solution: Israel from the sea to the river

This land is ours, God gave this land to me and/or this is the only way to ensure Israeli security and survival. Jerusalem is our eternal, united capital. At most, the Palestinians, whose leadership has always rejected our presence as well as any compromise, can stay. They can have autonomy but not a foreign policy, sovereignty, independence, or armed forces. Maybe West Bank Palestinians can be citizens of Jordan (after all, Jordan is Palestine); they will not vote in Israeli national elections. The settlement project is irreversible; you will never get the Israeli settlements out of the West Bank.

Israeli Jewish arguments for a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine

We need to separate from the Palestinians. The occupation leads to human rights violations, corrupts Israel morally, gives fuel to our foes across the region and world, and leads to international pariah status. The IDF should be focused on protecting the state, not guarding the settlements. The settlements suck up too much in Israeli resources. Given the faster Palestinian demographic growth, we will have to either sacrifice Israeli democracy or Israel’s Jewish identity; only a two-state solution lets us avoid this problem. The United States and the international community are fully behind a two-state solution.

Palestinian arguments for a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine

Palestine is our historic homeland. We deserve justice for the wrongs done to us in 1948 and thereafter. We will never get everything and are ready for compromise. Israel is stronger than us; it is here to stay. The United States and the international community are fully behind a two-state solution. With a sovereign, contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, we can take control of our destiny and economy, establish our capital in (East) Jerusalem, ensure access to our holy places, and provide some sort of solution to Palestinian refugees. We can live normal, secure lives.

Palestinian arguments for a one-state solution: A Bi-national State

All of Palestine is our historic homeland. We deserve full justice for the wrongs done to us in 1948 and thereafter. The settlement project is irreversible; you will never get the Israeli settlements out of the West Bank. Our best hope now is to pursue full equality inside a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the holy land. In the past, we have lived side-by-side with Jews and can do as again when we gain our full democratic rights. The Israeli state as presently constituted is unacceptable because it is premised on the supremacy of a single ethno-religious group, the Jews. We need a shared state where every citizen is equal regardless of ethnicity or religion. In this state, we will have full access to Jerusalem and our refugees may finally return home.

Or…stick with the status quo…

What arguments would you add (or subtract)?

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2 thoughts on “Israeli and Palestinian One/Two State Arguments

  1. You’ve omitted:

    ‘Palestinian arguments for a one-state solution: One Palestinian State’ (see the Palestinian National Covenant)

    ‘Palestinian arguments for a one-state solution: An Islamic State’ (see the Hamas Charter)

    Both of these, I would argue, currently have more legitimacy among the Palestinian population than the idea of a ‘bi-national state.’

  2. If you poll Palestinians, you’ll find the most popular line of reasoning is:

    This land is ours, from the river to the sea. It is a Muslim land and has been for over 1300 years, with a brief interruption in the past by the crusaders and now by invading European Jews. Because armed struggle — though just — has failed, we must make a negotiated settlement. In that settlement, we will establish a Palestinian state in what is now the West Bank, Gaza and Al-Quds. From this state we will evict all Jews whose families were not in this land prior to the middle of the 19th century. Additionally, we demand that all refugee Arabs (and their families) who were evicted from or forced to flee their homes in what is now Israel proper be allowed to return to their homes in the Zionist state.

    God willing, with justice and democracy, the native inhabitants of this state will obtain control of this state and will likewise evict the Zionist invaders, granting full citizenship rights to native Jews, as in the West Bank/Gaza/Al Quds state. Native Jews’ rights will be respected. Jews descended from European invaders can move to Canada, the U.S. or return to Europe. Jews descended from Arab countries and Iran will be returned to their homelands, where their rights will likewise be respected. The two native Palestinian states will merge.

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