Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest bold claim that if elected, ‘there will be no Palestinian state’ abjectly ignores the dynamics that a one-state solution would pose.
Bibi has made it clear – the reason he does not want to leave the West Bank and the reason he has continued to build settlements is because of a fundamental belief that the Palestinians have no right to any state, at all.
The reality is that whether he likes it or not, there are over 2 million Palestinians in the West Bank and 1.5 million in Gaza. A one-state solution means inheriting the Palestinians as an issue under the remit of the Israeli law.
There would be three broad options for Palestinians living in a potential one state.
Option one, join Israel’s 25% Arab population. This won’t happen, because even if Palestinians gave Israel the keys in the short term, adding millions of Palestinians into a Jewish state would compromise its Jewish character.
Option two, eviction, which would destroy Israel’s standing as a democratic state.
Option three, continue a system of two tiers of law, with Palestinians living in limbo in the West Bank, subject to military law. If this continued, Palestinians would continue on a path of hopelessness, radicalisation and extremism as they lose alternative options to violent resistance.
It would be naive to think Bibi’s ‘no Palestinian state’ remark will not come back to bite him on the backside.
Should Bibi return to power, whether as PM or not, people will now know what he really, truly thinks.
Who will now will trust him if there is any prospect of a peaceful two-state system?
Whereas before people suspected he did not support two states, the rhetoric was that it was the Palestinians blocking it. Bibi may as well now wear a large rosette proclaiming his true strategy.
The issues Israel currently faces, such as security, terrorism and most importantly, international legitimacy, are not going to be solved by one state. They will be exacerbated.
Bibi’s tactics are divisive and are intent on conflict and riling up tensions, to provoke a response and claim to be the victim. It’s time to stop this cycle of violence, separation and conflict.
A one-state solution will lead to the further delegitimisation of Israel, increased violence and distrust and the potential self-destruction of the Jewish state.