Robert Wright’s bright idea

Robert Wright has discovered a third way to Middle East peace.

There’s always something seductive about a third way — the way between extremes; the way free of dogma traversed by pragmatists with flexible minds.

Wright’s third way breaks the impasse on the road to a two-state solution by co-opting the one-state solution as a means to mobilize Israeli centrists — Jewish moderates whose worst nightmare would be to live in a state where they shared equal rights with Palestinians.

It’s a strange political landscape where a revulsion for the dismantling of an ethnocracy makes someone a centrist, but I suppose that’s because all “center” really means is the portion of the political spectrum where the largest numbers can be found.

Even so, the center usually has an understated vanity which is that it sees itself as the wellspring of moderation. It’s where people don’t stay up late at night, pay most of their taxes, don’t take illegal drugs and don’t take too much interest in politics.

This is the silent majority whose voice doesn’t get heard because they’re too civil — or, truth be told, too comfortable.

“For a peace deal to happen, Israel’s centrists need to get jarred out of their indifference. Someone needs to scare these people,” Wright says.

And what’s the scariest thing they could face? A one-state solution.

Of course a one-state solution isn’t particularly scary if it’s unlikely to happen and so Wright envisages the Palestinians — as usual the Palestinians are merely supporting actors in this Middle East drama — mobilizing to form an internationally supported non-violent movement demanding just one thing: the right to vote.

The more successful this movement becomes, the more eager Israel’s “centrists” will become in pursuing the only means that could thwart the dreaded prospect of equality.

And so, just in the nick of time, the two-state solution would ride to the rescue and save the Jewish state.

As for the mass movement that coalesced around the compelling idea of equality in a pluralistic secular democracy — they’ll happily give up that idea, knowing it was just a pipe dream, and settle for a Palestinian state which, who knows, could even include East Jerusalem.

Whatever keeps the Zionists happy…

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3 thoughts on “Robert Wright’s bright idea

  1. estebanfolsom

    no no no and no

    the solution is for the interested parties
    [all of us] to realize- that every life
    is equal to the next

    we are all on the same planet
    and if there is a need somewhere
    someone has more than they need

    what the palestinians need- is a moses [ha]
    to lead them the hell away from that
    ‘promised land’

    it wouldn’t be the first time
    a ‘people’ has changed locations

  2. Christopher Hoare

    The concept of the centre presupposes a linear relation between two extremes. I think correspondents like Gideon Levy have pointed out that there is no ‘left’ in Israeli opinion to define what a centre might look like. If there is any difference in opinion held by a majority it would be much more complicated and multi-dimensional than Wright’s idea of it.
    The one state is not a ploy to manufacture an apparent peace — it’s an inevitability of political and demographic reality — however many decades it takes to develop.

  3. John Somebody

    But the one state ended up with, would heve to depend on racism to exist, and therefore would have no legitimacy, its supporters, with no right to a state, a society, or anything else.

    There’s real third possibility, is the only alternative to a lack of progress, for all of us – the no state solution. It’s called, “personal responsibility”. And also known as, Anarchism.

    What do you get without personal responsibility ? Chaos ? Who tells us that we have chaos if web have Anarchy? That would be those who want us, to delegate resposibility. . . . . to the systems and people that have delivered the planet, more than once, to the point of destruction. When will it end ? Destruction. . . . . ? Or personal responsibility ?

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