November 29, 2007
The One State Declaration
For decades, efforts to bring about a two-state solution in historic Palestine have failed to provide justice and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli Jewish peoples, or to offer a genuine process leading towards them.
The two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false parity in power and moral claims between a colonized and occupied people on the one hand and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. It is predicated on the unjust premise that peace can be achieved by granting limited national rights to Palestinians living in the areas occupied in 1967, while denying the rights of Palestinians inside the 1948 borders and in the Diaspora. Thus, the two-state solution condemns Palestinian citizens of Israel to permanent second-class status within their homeland, in a racist state that denies their rights by enacting laws that privilege Jews constitutionally, legally, politically, socially and culturally. Moreover, the two-state solution denies Palestinian refugees their internationally recognized right of return.
The two-state solution entrenches and formalizes a policy of unequal separation on a land that has become ever more integrated territorially and economically. All the international efforts to implement a two-state solution cannot conceal the fact that a Palestinian state is not viable, and that Palestinian and Israeli Jewish independence in separate states cannot resolve fundamental injustices, the acknowledgment and redress of which are at the core of any just solution.
In light of these stark realities, we affirm our commitment to a democratic solution that will offer a just, and thus enduring, peace in a single state based on the following principles:
- The historic land of Palestine belongs to all who live in it and to those who were expelled or exiled from it since 1948, regardless of religion, ethnicity, national origin or current citizenship status;
- Any system of government must be founded on the principle of equality in civil, political, social and cultural rights for all citizens. Power must be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all people in the diversity of their identities;
- There must be just redress for the devastating effects of decades of Zionist colonization in the pre- and post-state period, including the abrogation of all laws, and ending all policies, practices and systems of military and civil control that oppress and discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion or national origin;
- The recognition of the diverse character of the society, encompassing distinct religious, linguistic and cultural traditions, and national experiences;
- The creation of a non-sectarian state that does not privilege the rights of one ethnic or religious group over another and that respects the separation of state from all organized religion;
- The implementation of the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 is a fundamental requirement for justice, and a benchmark of the respect for equality.
- The creation of a transparent and nondiscriminatory immigration policy;
- The recognition of the historic connections between the diverse
communities inside the new, democratic state and their respective fellow communities outside;
- In articulating the specific contours of such a solution, those who have been historically excluded from decision-making -- especially the Palestinian Diaspora and its refugees, and Palestinians inside Israel -- must play a central role;
- The establishment of legal and institutional frameworks for justice and reconciliation.
The struggle for justice and liberation must be accompanied by a clear, compelling and moral vision of the destination a solution in which all people who share a belief in equality can see a future for themselves and others. We call for the widest possible discussion, research and action to advance a unitary, democratic solution and bring it to fruition.
Madrid and London, 2007
Carlos Prieto del Campo
The London One State Group
Summary of discussions of Israeli academics from 'Challenging the
Boundaries: A Single State in Palestine/Israel' conferene
17-18 November, 2007
Organized by the London One State Group
With the support of
SOAS Palestine Society
Hosted by the London Middle East Institute
School for Oriental and African Studies
University College London
Professor Ilan Pappe now in the History Department University of Exeter. Author of The Modern Middle East (2005), The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006).
This is a cheerful occasion which contests the rogue State in Palestine. BDS campaign (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) is more important than the mountain of scholarly books. He denounces the cancellation of the debate that was planned with Finkelstein among others at Oxford
University. At the end of the Ottoman Empire the matrix of influences reformulated the Empire according to proto-nationalist ideas recognizing distinct groups of people. Palestine was more distinct as a social cultural entity than either Lebanon or Iraq, which were composed of various autonomous groups. Palestine was well-known as a distinct entity in the 19th century it was not treated as such. Even in 1872 the
independent province of Jerusalem was created in the Ottoman Empire as coherent geo-political unit. Had the Zionist movement not appeared on the shores of 1882 it would have progressed to being an Arab State of
Palestine in itself. It should have happened it could have happened. The pan-Arabism concept contested the local national units as well. Most of the crucial decisions on Palestine were taken in London and not in Paris in terms of European colonialism. Even within the framework of this colonialism it had been projected that Palestine would become a distinct entity, possibly together with Jordan. However the Hashemite family from Saudi Arabia was granted the concession of Jordan instead. On November 2, 1917 Balfour turned to promise the establishment of the Zionist State. The two promises of Arab independence were contradicted by the promise to the Zionist movement during the First World War for the purpose of political strategic advantage otherwise known as divide and rule. The Zionist settler community, beginning in 1882, clung to urban centres rather than a turning to the land. Nonetheless the local inhabitants considered they were living in a common political entity even as a mandated authority. Thus the disparate Palestinian leadership could not accept the partition plan especially since there was a disproportionate allocation of land and it was known that the Zionist plan was to conduct an ethnic cleansing in any case. Since 1967 the “Russian Aparheid State of Israel (RUSI)” in Palestine existed. This regime is being legitimized by several outfits. We call for one person one vote in the whole land of Palestine. Gaza as an open air prison is also proposed for the West Bank by dividing it into two. He calls for one secular State in Palestine. The demographic proposal of the two-state solution is to be challenged by the One State proposal without getting into particular models. He refrains from defining the nature of the Israel Jewish population. A boycott of academic Israeli sources is not about academic freedom but has as its purpose the increase of freedom of expression and challenges the Israeli academia on its collaboration with occupation. It should have been a step taken against the German academia during the WWII. Not being very tall I see the half full glass from the perspective of the lower half. Existing tendencies in Israel lead towards a unitary solution in joint educational institutions and the fundamental proximity of interests. You do not target the white population of South Africa and you do not target the Israeli Jewish population necessarily but focus on the power sources that perpetuate this situation including those in the USA.
Ilan Pappe calls for a campaign to end the genocide in the Gaza and the ethnic-cleansing in the West Bank. The Apartheid State of Israel. The Zionist success is a consequence of among another factors the
fragmentation of the Palestinian movement. It is porposed to coordinate and reunite anti-Zionists both Jewish and Palestinian. Building a
liberation movement outside of the dispossed land as any other liberation movement. Despite that the Zionist project had international support militarily, economically, and politically, it has failed.
As’ad Ghaem, University of Haifa, Author of The Palestinian- Arab Minority in Israel, 1948-2000: A Political Study (2001) and The Palestinian Regime: A “Partial Democracy” (2002)
Speaking on a national vs a secular State, in order to gain momentum from the current state of affairs. We Palestinians live in a critical moment of history. We are in a much more historic period than 1967. We have a clear vision. We have four different options, 1) the right-wing settlement option of Lieberman, 2) Israeli official government option in Annopolis which may succeed unfortunately. The Olmert Sharon option moving away from Oslo on how to rule the Palestinians. The third option is the Islamic option that has a clear idea of what to do with all levels of life. The fourth is the Two-State solution which was never implemented according to the various plans. Israel succeeded in fragmenting the Palestinians into acting as different national groups with different programmes. The Israelis tend to agree with the two-state solution. It should be possible to convince them of the unitary proposal for a secular liberal state. We do not think that Israel is a democratic State. We want an equal
egalitarian society but we challenge the ethnic domination of the Jews. We are also Israelis who have a right to vote in the Israeli elections and the domination has got to change. HAMAS wants to replace the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian national movement. HAMAS has different ideas as to every single item in the life of Palestinians. Now there are two different national movements. The PLO Fatah side cannot achieve its purpose without the collaboration with Israel in order to achieve the minimal effort of a signed paper. We suffer from this condition and the One State movement has to have an answer to this division. It is not enough to talk about racism regime in Israel, refugees, Jerusalem but we should consider the Palestinians as one national group. It is much more difficult dealing within the Palestinians than it is dealing with Israel. It is time to deal in details as to what is our offer, our vision of Palestine. The Israeli national group should be recognized as being the product of the Zionist project. We must create a solution for this group is terms of security, identity, individual security, in detail as an answer to the Jews, as an alternative to the Jewish State.
Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, Ben Gourin University, Beer Sheva, Author of The Censor, the Editor and the Text: The Catholic Church and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon in the Sixteenth Century (2007)
He talks about bi-nationalism the rights of the Jews in any arrangement. It would seem to be simple in a one unitary State but bi-nationalism is a description of reality. It is a permanent struggle to achieve any
agreement for justice and equality with Justice in the rights of the refugees and equality in terms of civil and national equality on behalf of both parties. Palestinians should recognize the existence of the Israeli community. If we abandon the rights of the Jews it seems bizarre since they are the power but that is what bi-nationalism means; the
decolonization of the colonizers as well as the colonized. Israel
continues to make peace by dividing the Palestinians into ever smaller pieces. In Europe the Jews were considered to be Oriental while in Palestine they are considered to be Occidentals. Where is the idea of equality in the denial of bi-nationalism in rejection of the Palestinian right of self-determination while claiming the same right for itself, as a State? How can one deny the right of return? That denial is based upon the existence of the Jewish community. To distinguish nationalism from the State is difficult. To distinguish between the good secular and the bad religious Jewish Israeli population is false. The existence of the Mizrachi Jewish population challenges the premises of Zionism.
Amnon replies; differences are limited since Israeli Jewish rights are conditional on the liberation of the Palestinians. Nadim says; Self dertimination has different meanings but it should not be considered to be regardless of the rights of other groups. That is the old fashioned definition. Nobody here calls for the recognition of Zionism. The
de-Zionised Israeli Jewish population and its rights is not the same as Zionism. Omar calls for quality and opposes privileges for the Zionist settlers and equally opposes an Islamic State, and so is opposed to a Christian State i.e. opposed to any exclusivist State. The problem of Gaza cannot be resolved by a two state solution since so many of the population are refugees and require the right of return. The new concepts of
self-determination talk of rights but not to settler community. Calls for BDS campaign and congratulates the British union movement position. He does not call for a secular democratic Arab State. New Arabism is not a given and leaves it as a question and calls for full unmitigated quality against any kind of oppression.
Amnon says that Eretz Israel should not be considered a political term. Gaza was connected to Israel as in a unitary economy which was terminated by the 1993 peace process which divided it form Israel. This is Zionism.
Tikva Honig-Parness, Political Activist, Co-author of Between the Lines: Readings on Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. “War on Terror” (2007). The old new project is the fragmentation in the interests of ethnicity and clan. This has been done as a colonial power in the context of US
imperialism which participates in the destruction of the Palestinian people. It was form the beginning supported by the imperial forces. Moshe Machover already mentioned this is a conflict also between the whole Arab world and imperialism and the colonial reactionary regimes. Any solution of a one state only replicates the existing relationship of forces and is not a solution in itself. Bi-nationalism resistance to Zionism is
resistance to imperialism. This is the conflict itself. This is not a national conflict. To define it as such is the Zionist dialogue. The demand to be recognized as a national minority on the part of the
Palestinian Israelis challenges the Zionist State which does not recognize any other nation but the Israeli Jewish one. While we are in a liberation struggle calling for the two nations’ rights is a mistake. We are calling for a nationalism that is liberating is not the same as the nationalism of the colonizers. It is universal rights should be supported by any Jews without conditions. Equalizing the rights is essential nationalist and is not a factor for the resistance. What is implied in the call for equal rights is the notion that the rights are preconditions. The colonizer gives up part of their rights on the condition that it recognizes the aspirations of the Palestinian People.
(TAU PhD student) Omr Barghouti, Political Activist, Co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). The national rights of Jewish Israelis are a depressing idea. A secular democratic Palestine is to ethnically decolonize the right of
self-determination entails in the UN definition by UNESCO, the Kurby definition. Justice is a common historical cultural homogeneity, common economic life, the will to be identified as a People. This clearly does not refer to Israelis themselves but rather the Jewish Nation. Even the Supreme Court does not recognize the Israeli identity. The definition of the Palestinians applies as a Nation. The right of self-determination is a human right. It entails the de-Zionisation of Israel including the denial of refugee rights and the right of return, the status of Jerusalem, the racial discrimination inside Israel. Apartheid is regarded as an ideal in Israel and is regarded as a form of self-determination. As for Israeli democracy as it provides for Palestinian voting. This political vote means nothing within the constraint of Israel as a Jewish State. Democracy means oftentimes rule by the colonizer, as in South America. If these are the three forms of injustice can the 2-state provide for a solution. The alternatives are bi-national and secularism where the former is based on the Zionist moral claim for equal claim to the land or an equal right to self-determination. Lenin’s conception is understood to mean the right to a separate State. Colonial settlers are not considered to be a nation by this definition and so are not entitled to a State. Settlers are not entitled to self-determination. The basic provision for self-determination is the right to succession for all. Equal rights and self-determination must be compatible and if not then self-determination is annulled. The recognition of self-determination for Israelis would negate the
self-determination of the Palestinians. In 1993 the UN affirmed the rights of all people and in particular the indigenous Peoples. It is illegal to allow for the transfer of a People then occupy their land and then claim the right to self-determination on their behalf.
Self-determination may be defined as separation, integration. The acquired rights of the Israelis are a matter of civil rights but not
self-determination. Where there are Israeli Jews living in the lands of Palestinians the international law of post WWII is in place. The Zionist Law of Return must be annulled. The Arab Jews are entitled to the same rights as the Palestinians including the right of return. Jewish colonies on private Palestinian lands must be removed. How to convince Israeli Jews is impossible when it is so difficult to convince them of two-states. They should be hit on the head with BDS. Colonists have never given up without the price being so high that they have to reconsider. The Bir Zeit poll of occupied Palestinian result in 2\3 support one state, with1\3 support supporting bi-nationalism.
Louise Bethehem, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Co-editor of South Africa in the Global Imaginary (2005) and Violence and Non-Violence in Africa (2007).
Presentations of analogies to South Africa and Ireland.
Republicans are face with the same debate about partition of
the two-state solution. The society envisioned by the
republicans is one completely different from the south Ireland
while seeking to placate the Unionist or Zionist political
culture. (This is not to mention the initial settlement of the
former Irish Scottish colonialist in Northern Ireland. In the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.. Was partition of benefit? Was partition inevitable? Since partition did happen who is to blame? Why did
alternative progressive ideas put forward fail? In resolving Moslim-Hndu relations.. In the first case, it would have been better to remain united due to the costs of massacres of 100 of thousands of Hindu, Muslim, and Sighs leaving deep scars historically, leaving India
dominance over Kashmir. The two-nation theory over the
designation of two major nations broke down when Bangladesh
from Pakistan. In the second question, he says now. Bennet
Gordon’s works in 1977 interviewed members of major players in
Bengal asking about the likely independence of India and its
partition was that by the mid 1930’s it was evident that the
British would have to leave but partition was not evident
until 1946-7. Therefore partition was not inevitable and this
raises the question of who was to be blamed. The founder of
Pakistan was not a religious fanatic and was a process that
was generated over 7 years and may have been a bargaining
position for Muslim rights in India. But Gena let a genie out
of the bottle so to speak culminating in the partition in
1947. The India Freedom movement was led by the Congress Party
itself led by Ghandi. The Congress party was inclusive but did
not have a membership base in the Muslim population which was
substantial. The British colonial power favoured partition
deciding to divide and quit since ruling required Divide and
Rule. Colonialism allowed for separate electoral polls of
Muslim and Hindu since the 1030’s. In 1946 Calcutta was a
point of massacres between the Muslim and Hindu areas.
Violence on the ground made co-existence unreasonable. Most
people thought that partition would resolve the problem but it
resulted in increased violence in north Punjab. In West Bengal
the Muslim were 53% while Hindu were 43%. The united Bengal
plan the proposal for power-sharing was detailed allowing for
joining either one or the other State called
consociationalism. The criterion was concurrent majorities of
the two major communities. It failed due to lack of popular
support in 1947. Hindu-Muslim relations were embittered by
violence on the ground. The united Bengal concept was
isolated. Muslims were looked down upon as “peasants” and was
suspected as a means to bring more of Bengal into Pakistan.
Eyal Sivan, University of East London, Film Director of The Specialist (1999) and Route 181: Fragements of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2004).
Route 181 was a project with Palestinian filmmaker Michel
Fefe. There is a problem of discussing about the one state
since that is the current state of affairs under occupation.
It is not a revolutionary position for a one state but
proposes of the existing one state into a democratic state. We
do not distinguish between land, state and country. The sate
is not just a structure but an identity as in school children
who come dressed in blue pants/skirt and white shirt as if
they were a flag on the Zionist day of independence. There is
no Israel/Palestine, since it is Israel over Palestine. It
would be a good beginning to use a hyphen to join the two.
While the Ashkenazi Jews of Israel have history while the
Sepharade have only a heritage, like couscous. As such Israel
is defined as an Occidental phenomenon which transforms every
Israeli into a European by origin. This is tied to the
Holocaust as a rationale for the Sate in itself. The fear of
becoming a minority is based on the idea that the Palestinians
may do to the Jews what the Jews have done to the Arabs so to
speak. But in addition there is a further fear that being a
minority would render the Jewish population into the prior
European status. The Israeli youth is less Zionist than the
American Jewish youth for example. It may not yet be an
alternative to go for the right of return although security
for Israeli Jewish community is not offered security by the
Ste. In particular the Arab Jews do not have security in
terms of culture since it is basically Tel Aviv that is the
essence of what is meant by security. Security should be
defined in terms of the common life of both communities. There
is a film being made on the brand name of Jaffa which is a
Palestinian word that has become a Israeli word of
identification. Where there is the Rabin square now there used
to be the orchards of the village of Sumale where the oranges
were grown. Since 19th century this was a joint enterprise of
Jewish and Palestinian interests as well that denotes the way
of thinking together rather than separation. Every place that
we go in Israel we are walking over Palestine.
Eyal Silvan comments on memory refers to that which is denied and memory is a tool . There are examples in the Arab societies where denial of previous Jewish areas being denied and so behaving as Zionists which is done because it is beneficial to behave in that manner. Human rights and humanitarian considerations should be divided from politics. There are democratic practices of living together. Examples of bi-nationalism in criminal and marginal homosexual milieus as well as the diplomatic level where they converse together live together while denying same possibility for their own populations!
Eyal comments that memory of victims is not sufficient in that while the Nakba is acknowledged even in the Israeli media there is no mention made of who was responsible as if it were a Tsunami which none actually carried it out. He does not focus on the South African analogy. The class question reveals that 18 Israeli Ashkenazi families hold 80% of the Israeli economic power which puts the two communities on a common ground. The Nakba was done by the Zionist Left and not only but the Right-wing.