As the 2-State solution loses steam, a 1-state plan gains traction

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Israeli and American flags were projected on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem last month just before President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (photo: Uriel Sinai / The New York Times)

Absorbing the nearly three million Palestinians on the West Bank would either spell the end of a Jewish state or destroy Israeli democracy if Palestinians were denied equal rights.

By David Halbfinger | The New York Times | Jan 5, 2018

“If the two-state solution dies, it will be the responsibility of Israel, not the Palestinians. But if the Israelis kill it, which they’re in the process of doing now, unfortunately with the help of Trump’s administration, then the only option will be for us to fight the apartheid system and bring it down, which means one state with equal rights for everybody.”
— Mustafa Barghouti, a physician who sits on the P.L.O.’s central council


The Israeli right, emboldened by President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, is not the only faction arguing for a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Palestine Liberation Organization has also begun to ask whether that might not be such a bad idea, though it has a radically different view of what that state would look like.

As momentum ebbs for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both sides are taking another look at the one-state idea. But that solution has long been problematic for both sides.

For the Israelis, absorbing three million West Bank Palestinians means either giving up on democracy or accepting the end of the Jewish state. The Palestinians, unwilling to live under apartheid-like conditions or military occupation, have also seen two states as their best hope.

Now, for the first time since it declared its support for a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel in 1988, the P.L.O. is seriously debating whether to embrace fallback options, including the pursuit of a single state.

Continue reading “As the 2-State solution loses steam, a 1-state plan gains traction”

Did Trump kill off a two-state solution?

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Palestinians demonstrating in Jerusalem, Dec 7, 2017. (photo: Uriel Sinai / The New York Times)

A one-state solution may now be the only viable option.

By Mark Lander, David Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner | The New York Times | Dec 7, 2017


“They’ve left us with no option [except a one-state solution],” he said. “This is the reality. We live here. Our struggle should focus on one thing: equal rights.”
— Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization


President Trump, in formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, declared that the United States still supported a two-state solution to settle the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, provided it was “agreed to by both sides.”

For the first time in his 26 years as a peacemaker, the chief negotiator for the Palestinians did not agree.

Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a steadfast advocate for a Palestinian state, said in an interview on Thursday that Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “have managed to destroy that hope.” He embraced a radical shift in the P.L.O.’s goals — to a single state, but with Palestinians enjoying the same civil rights as Israelis, including the vote.

Continue reading “Did Trump kill off a two-state solution?”