The International Inversion towards the Two State Solution

The International Inversion towards the Two State Solution refers to the danger that leading actors among the international community will abandon their support for the 'Two State Solution' and instead support the 'The One State Solution' on the basis of 'one man one vote'.

Definition

The concept 'The International Inversion towards the Two State Solution' refers to the danger that leading actors among the international community will abandon their support for the 'Two State Solution' (or any other option establishing the principle of separation between Israel and the Palestinians) and instead support the 'The One State Solution' on the basis of 'one man one vote'.

Background

'The Two State Solution' means that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will ultimately be achieved through the establishment of a Palestinian State alongside Israel in which the Palestinian right for self determination will be realized.

This principle was first established by UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (11/47) that called for the division of Mandatory Palestine into two states - Jewish and Arab.1 Whether implicitly or explicitly, the cornerstone of the political process between Israel and the Palestinians has been based on this principle since the Declaration of Principles (9/93).2

In recent years, in light of the political deadlock, continued violence and the rise of Hamas, the 'Two State Solution' has been an eroded. This comes against the backdrop of claims by various elements within the international community, that the intertwined nature of Jewish and Palestinian communities, the small size of the territory involved and the issue of water etc. does not permit the establishment of a viable Palestinian state.3

Even today, there are increasing calls by intellectuals within the international community to adopt the principle of 'One State' 4 based on the argument that it presents the only solution which is both moral, just and achievable. (See Promotion of the 'One-State Solution').

The international inversion towards the 'Two State Principle' is the danger that leading states and central international bodies will abandon their support for the 'Two State Solution', or any other solution promoting separation between Israel and the Palestinians, and will instead adopt the 'One State Solution' on the basis of 'one man one vote'.

The official inversion of the international community would occur with a UN resolution contradicting or even canceling Security Council resolutions 181 (The Partition Plan) and 1397 (that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel), and instead focusing on the establishment of one state in the area of former mandatory Palestine on the basis of universal suffrage.

In recent years, several trends have developed which may accelerate this inversion: Basic De-Legitimization of Israel, the Palestinian inversion towards the occupation and the increasing criticism towards the issue of Israeli Arabs.

Basic De-Legitimization of Israel

Basic De-Legitimization of Israel refers to the convergence of seemingly unrelated movements and associations into a coalition that fundamentally de-legitimizes the Jewish character of the State of Israel. While the negation of Israel's right to exist was always present in some international public discourse, it is now moving from the margins and taking center stage (see Anti Zionism). 5

Different Anti Zionist elements (made up of Muslim states and movements, left wing activists, third world countries and Anti-Semitic organizations) have made De-Legitimization of Israel central to their activities. Their discourse has similar characteristics:

  • The use of liberal political theories - Using liberal theories, various elements negate Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and claim that Zionism is a colonialist enterprise undermining the human rights of the Palestinian People.

  • The use of apartheid terminology - There are elements which equate Israel's policy in the occupied territories and its policy towards its Arab minority to the policy of the South African apartheid regime.6 This comparison intensifies the De-Legitimization of Israel and encourages economic and academic boycotts of Israel.7

The Palestinian Inversion towards the Occupation

The Palestinian inversion towards the occupation is the increasing perception among Palestinians that the Israeli occupation serves their interest. Therefore, factors within Palestinian society are working to prevent any plan to end the occupation, since they estimate that its political, economic, military, administrative and demographic burden may lead to Israel's collapse (see the Logic of Implosion). 8

The Palestinian inversion is an expression of the trend of erosion of the 'Two State Solution' and the political deadlock. Hamas' electoral victory (1/06) and its take over of Gaza are effectively advancing the One State idea among the Palestinians.

The greater the Palestinian inversion towards the occupation becomes evident (it would peak in an official demand by the Palestinian national movement9 to establish one state), the greater the danger of an international inversion towards the 'Two State Solution'.

Critique of Israel's policy towards Israeli Arabs

In recent years, the issue of the relations between Israeli Arabs and the State of Israel has undergone a process of internationalization: International actors criticize Israel's policy towards its Arab minority, thereby challenging Israel's position that regards these relations as an internal matter (see the Internationalization of the Issue of Israeli Arabs).

This trend of internationalization has intensified in light of the growing tension between Israeli Arabs and the State of Israel.10 'The Future Vision of the Arab-Palestinians in Israel', published by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, goes as far as challenging Israel's definition as a Jewish state. 11

The combination of the growing tension between the State of Israel and its Arab minority coupled with internationalization of the issue of Israeli Arabs, is likely to intensify the critique against Israel and its definition as a Jewish state, and may influence the inversion of the international community towards the 'Two State Solution' to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 12



1 The first report calling for Partition was the 'Peel Committee' in 1937. The report was written against the backdrop of the Arab rebellion (1936-39) and the confrontations between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. The Committee's recommendations called for the establishment of two states in Mandatory Palestine - a Jewish state in a limited area and an Arab state in the rest. Both the 'Yishuv' and the Arab leadership rejected the Committee's recommendations, while the British later renounced its ideas in the MacDonald 'White Paper' (5/39).

2 For example:

  • The Oslo process - Within the framework of the Declaration of Principles (9/93), the sides agreed that the political process first established at Camp-David in 1978 would become the basis of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. (The Oslo Process). According to its structure, the interim period (5/94-99) was due to be followed by a Permanent Status Agreement (hereinafter PSA) which would ultimately lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

  • The Clinton Peace Plan (12/00) - According to the peace plan of the former US president, a Palestinian State was supposed to be established alongside Israel as part of the PSA.

  • The Bush Vision for the Middle East (6/02) - The vision called for the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders (hereinafter PSPB) whose final borders would be agreed upon several years after the establishment of the State.

  • The Roadmap (4/03) was based on the Bush vision and called for the establishment of a PSPB during the second phase of the plan. During the third stage, the parties were due to attend an international conference and negotiate the PSA on the basis of the 'Two State Solution'.

  • UN Security Council Resolution 1397 called on Israel and the Palestinians to renew negotiations in order to reach a two state solution.

3 The concept "Viable Palestinian State" has recently been adopted by major actors in the international arena and attained the status of a precondition for the establishment of a Palestinian state. However the lack of mutual understanding regarding its meaning may become a source of future friction and an obstacle for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 'Two State Solution.'

4 See for example: Said Edward, From Oslo to Iraq, 2004; Tilly Virginia, The One State Solution, 2005; Asad Ghanem, Ha'aretz, 6/12/07 (in Hebrew).

5 The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, claimed that it would have been better if after the Holocaust Jews would have moved to the US or England and the State of Israel would not have been established. Nevertheless, since Israel exists, Livingstone sees the 'Two State Solution' as the most appropriate paradigm for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. See Tony Bayfield, "The Politics of Despair" The Guardian, 25/07/07.

6 For example, although not negating Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, former president Jimmy Carter harshly criticizes Israel's policy towards the Palestinians. See Carter Jimmy, Palestine Peace not Apartheid, 2006; in a 2005 survey, 45% of Europeans compared Israel's treatment of the Palestinians to South-Africa's treatment of its black citizens. See "In Europe the Stereotype that Attributes Dual Loyalty to Jews is getting stronger", Ha'aretz, 18/07/07.

7 The boycotts, mainly of commercial, academic and labors unions in England, help make Israel an 'international leper' in the eyes of the international community. See "Responses in Israel to the Attempts to Boycott it" Alondon, 6/06/07. (In Hebrew).

8 According to some estimates, the Arab population in the West Bank and Gaza will double within 20 years. According to this prognosis, in the year 2020 the proportion of the Arab population in former Mandatory Palestine will be 54%. See "Daniel ben Simon, "The dark statistic future of the Jewish majority in Israel", Ha'aretz, 30/8/04. (in Hebrew).

9 See Crisis of the Palestinian Representation.

10 This tension reached its peak during the October riots of 2000 in which 12 Israeli Arabs were killed. During the riots the Arab Higher Committee published strong press statements against Israel's actions. See the Or Committee Report, chapter 5, 2003. Click here for the full report.

11 The Future Vision document published by the Arab Higher Committee and the Committee of Arab Local Council Heads was the first attempt of its kind to challenge the status of Israeli Arabs in the Jewish state. Alongside demands of economic and social equality, the document consists of a demand to abolish Israel's definition as a Jewish state and establishing a consensual democracy that will allow Israeli Arabs to veto national decisions. Click here for the future vision document.

12 For claims that Israel is an ethnic democracy and how to deal with them see Rubenstein and Jacobson Israel and the Family of Nations, pp 15-18 (In Hebrew).