Promotion of the 'One-State Solution'

This concept represents a form of Anti-Zionism that relies on political theory, coupled with current demographic trends, to deny the right of Jews to self-determination in their own state.

Definition

The concept of The Contemporary One-State Argument represents a form of Anti-Zionism that relies on political theory, coupled with current demographic trends, to deny the right of Jews to self-determination in their own state in the area of Mandatory Palestine. The Contemporary One-State Argument is part of the dynamics of the One-State Threat.

Background

  • Formal Argument

The Contemporary One-State Argument claims to operate by way of reasoned principles. Its formal argument may be summarized along the following lines:

  1. States founded on religious or ethnic principles are improper;
  2. Only states founded on democratic, pluralistic principles are proper;
  3. Israel is a state founded on religious and/or ethnic principles and therefore is improper;
  4. Israel as it currently is constituted therefore needs to be dismantled;
  5. There is a fair way to do so: Creation of a unitary, democratic, pluralistic Arab-Jewish state in the entire area of Mandatory Palestine;
  6. Such a state will allow Jews to remain where they currently reside within the areas currently under the control of the State of Israel (i.e., in Israel Proper, as well as in East Jerusalem and in the Settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip);
  7. At the same time, such a state will restore Arab rights, which Israel has infringed.
  • The Demographic Component

The animating force behind the Contemporary One-State Argument is demographics. According to current projections, the Arab population soon will exceed the Jewish population in the area of Mandatory Palestine. Once that happens, assuming a democratic unitary state in the area of Mandatory Palestine, the Arab population, as the majority, will rule.1

  • Noteworthy Characteristics of the Contemporary One-State Argument

Two characteristics of the Contemporary One-State Argument are noteworthy:

  1. It is willing to accept that Jews may remain in the area of Mandatory Palestine. The traditional Palestinian and Arab position was that only Jews that came to Mandatory Palestine before 1947 could remain. The Contemporary One-State Argument accepts, and sometimes even encourages, that all Jews currently in Israel, including in the settlements in the occupied territories, may stay.
  2. It does not endorse the use of force as a means of eliminating Israel as a Jewish state. The Contemporary One-State Argument recognizes time and demographics, not force, as its weapon. Assuming a unitary, democratic state in the area of Mandatory Palestine, the Arabs, as the eventual majority, will achieve their end through non-violent means.2


1 DellaPergola, S. “Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects, Policy Implications”, IUSSP XXIV, General Population Conference, Salvador de Bahia, International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, 2001.2 As Yasser Arafat is reputed to have said: “The womb of the Arab woman is my best weapon”. Quotation from Peter Hirschberg, "Hello, I’m Israeli-Palestinian", Inter Press Service News Agency, 2004.

More Sources

For several articulations of the Contemporary One-State Argument, see:

  • Tarazi Michael, “Why Not Two Peoples, One State?,” New York Times, Oct. 3, 2004; “Kicking the Beehive”, Ha’aretz, Oct. 20, 2004.
  • Ahmad Samih Khalidi, “A One-State Solution,” The Guardian, Sept. 29, 2003.
  • Jarbawi Ali, reported in Peter Hirschberg, “Hello, I’m Israeli-Palestinian” Inter Press Service News Agency, 2004.
  • Judt Tony, “Israel: The Alternative,” The New York Review of Books, Vol. 50, No. 16, Oct. 23, 2003.