Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


One state

One person, one vote, one state.
Originally uploaded by noaman

The current war in the Gaza Strip is making me more and more convinced that the only feasible long-term solution is one state rather than the ubiquitous two-state solution.

It’s clear that Israel won’t accept rocket attacks from Gaza or the West Bank (and rightly so – no country would), but it’s also clear that the hate that many Palestinians feel to Israel is so great that there will often be Palestinian governments that won’t crack down on militants, so any two-state solution is likely to lead to frequent invasions of Palestinian territory by Israel.

Also, the fact that Gaza and the West Bank are separated by Israeli territory and are probably too small to be a feasible state doesn’t make it better.

The single state I have in mind would look like this:

  • A state where anybody who has ancestors that lived there has the right to live, whether Jewish ancestors two millennia ago or grandparents in living memory.
  • A state that is fully bilingual (Hebrew/Arabic).
  • A state that has full religious freedoms, in the same way as the USA.
  • A state that guarantees the same rights to all its citizens.
  • A state that is fully democratic, but that has a constitution that can only be changed with such a large majority that it effectively guarantees full rights for Israelis and Palestinians in perpetuity.

I’m not entirely sure whether the best solution would be a unitary state, or whether a more federal solution – perhaps a bit like Switzerland – would work better.

But that’s the kind of details that can be worked out once the one-state principle has been agreed on.

Update (15/1): See this blog posting in the NY Times.

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