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Apartheid or what?

While Israelis by and large scoff at the Apartheid label that is being lobbed at us from more and more individuals and organizations the world over with ever increasing vigor and malice and the Jewish diaspora by and large avoids taking a clear stand and tries to stay out of the melee, Zionist organizations make considerable efforts to counter the accusations, largely by obfuscating the issues and claiming anti-Semitism. Rarely do they address the grim facts as they are on the ground, facts that unfortunately support much if not all of the Apartheid claim, primarily in Judea and Samaria a.k.a. the West Bank.

While this battle is being fought out in the public domain and in the media, there is literally no discussion in Israel nor is there any discernable interest regarding alternatives to the Apartheid reality which arguably is either already in place in Judea and Samaria and to a much lesser extent in Israel proper, or else, on the way to being implemented, here and there.

Ignoring reality is certainly an Israeli thing to do, after all we have ignored the occupation and the conflict in four election campaigns running. With only 9% of the electorate (KAN poll, July 3rd, 2022) voting on issues of peace, It looks like we are going to ignore them in the coming fifth election as well, endangering the  Jewish State by not seriously discussing what will become of it. The fact that we haven’t discussed our future in earnest for decades constantly reduces the options at our disposal to settle the conflict with the Palestinians – the reality on the ground, both the settlers and the settlements and the accompanying political picture determine our future, not wishful thinking and “like to have” or even “must”. We can regurgitate the term “two state solution” as the Israeli left and center are wont to do, from here to eternity – by now I have yet to hear a serious analyst telling us that it is still feasible.

So in order to give everyone a heads-up and let them know where we are heading let’s look at the three central options that really are on the table (with all due respect, “transfer” and “Jordan is Palestine” are not), with their respective advantages and disadvantages:

Main alternatives to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict

Two States: Separation into two contiguous sovereign states with agreed upon borders. Certainly the solution favored by many if not most with wide international support. Keeps most national interests of both sides.

Advantages: The default solution everybody knows, realization of most national aspirations of both peoples.

 Disadvantages: Marginal and continuously decreasing possibility of political implementation, limits both people’s free access to all the land, economically and security-wise problematic, requires resettling of more than 100,000 settlers.

Two States- confederation: Separation as in two states but free and mutual access to all the land and common institutions. This is the new and improved “Two-States” proposed by several groups.

Advantages: Addresses almost all issues, unlimited mutual territorial access, national aspirations met while maintaining joint institutions, no need for settlement or settler removal.

Disadvantages: Marginal and continuously decreasing possibility of political implementation of two states. Almost no precedent worldwide for a functioning confederation. If at all, confederations federate or break up.

One-State/hybrid Federation: Federating the whole area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, with or without Gaza (hybrid) under one federal government and a secular constitution in a civil state. The only rational approach under the  present circumstances.

Advantages: Proven model of governance with plenty of precedent, freedom of movement and access for all, considerable economic benefits, flexibility of implementation.

Disadvantages: Requires both sides to relinquish ethno-nationalism in favor of territorial nationalism (state of all citizens) and multi-culturalism, daunting paradigm shift from two-states to one state.

That about sums it up. For real. And the people of Israel are in total denial. There are those, mostly on the left and center who cling to the two state solution – see the first two above. There are those on the right who don’t worry about the future because things have turned out alright so far. But rest assured, this will not continue indefintely. South Africa managed until it didn’t. And whoever thinks we can continue as we do just because we managed to do so for 55 years and because we are Jewish and the world will let us get away with what we are doing because of the Holocaust, should think again. Things are changing around us and it’s not only the climate. It’s a one state paradigm from now on, like it or not.

 

 

 

About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is Vice Chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chairman of the Israeli-German Society (IDG), Co-Chair of the Federation Movement (www.federation.org.il), member of the council at israelimovement.co.il and author of "Identity: The Quest for Israel's Future".

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