David Wearing writes: Obituaries for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are appearing with increasing regularity, with examples including recent pieces in the Guardian by Rachel Shabi and Ghada Karmi. Among supporters of the Palestinian national struggle, those now calling for a single bi-national state are clearly in the ascendency, but the view is not unanimous. People such as Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky continue to advocate the establishment of two states along the 1967 borders “subject to very minor and mutual adjustments”. The disagreement is over tactics and analysis, rather than politics or principle, but it is no less significant for that.
The case for a single, bi-national state is now reasonably familiar. Israel’s illegal settlements are so entrenched that uprooting them to make way for a viable Palestinian state has become impossible. We should therefore call instead for a single, democratic state in the whole of the former British Mandate for Palestine.
But the logic is incomplete. Declaring the two-state solution unrealistic does not, by itself, make self-evident the greater feasibility of one bi-national state. The latter would entail the end of Israel, and of Zionism, as we understand those terms today. Is this really a more likely scenario than the colonial infrastructure in the occupied territories being dismantled? Recent polls showing alarming levels of racism in Israeli public opinion, reflected in the new hard-right alliance between Likud and Yisrael Beitenu, suggest a polity that is not currently minded to dissolve itself under any amount of political pressure. [Continue reading…]