The One State-Two State Solution

In my previous blog I stressed the importance of recognizing whether or not Hamas fighters were “Revolutionaries” or “Rebels.”  It is obvious what Hamas thinks they are: Revolutionaries.  But that has nothing to do with what Israel has to say about it.

I also suggested that Israel should see itself in the driver’s seat, and come to a consensus about what it should do about Palestinians. There are still millions to deal with  And the majority are not combatants. .

I suggested that Israel decide on a One State or Two State solution quickly, something that should form a vision to come out of this war.

But now I have abandoned this whole thesis.

After giving it some more thought, I have decided that the only answer for the Israel/Palestinian conflict is… both.

Yogi Berra’s statement: “If you come to the fork in the road…take it,” has come back to haunt me.

The fork in the road can and should be taken.

How is this possible?

A One State Solution first, where civil liberties are granted to all Palestinians, with an option for a Two State Solution later.

The advantages of a “One State Solution” first:

“Negotiations” could continue, but their failure would not breed the same kind of hatred, retaliatory strikes, and world disapproval–since civil liberties would have been mandated. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would not have the same time pressures.  This could allow for more creative, relaxed discussion.

Compromises on either side could be discussed with a lot less stress, since civil rights would not be riding on its outcome.  Major issues such as borders, right of return, would not become the “red herrings” to progress like they are now.  They might impede progress towards separate statehood, but not civil rights.

Israel could assess Palestinian “readiness” for separation through its careful analysis of incidences of violence–whether they are criminal and isolated in nature or representing a national threat. But civil liberties would be in place.

Problems in establishing civil liberties for Palestinians would no doubt arise.  Dealing with them would be part and parcel of the Israeli judicial process under rule of law.

Palestinians might not like this approach since it could easily be interpreted as “singing for one’s supper.”  They might not want to “make nice.”  Increased freedoms would no doubt be abused–but by how many? Would it necessarily create a security problem worse than what exists now? Could not the same security measures stay in place and then gradually relax or be transferred to the Palestinian Authority as it is now?

The Israeli political Right would initially rejoice, believing in a Greater Israel forever. They might look for reasons to distrust the Palestinians, pointing to incidences that may be criminal, but add to it a sophisticated insurgency component, examples for why Palestinians should not have their own state. These issues would be explored, shown to have merit or not.

In the meantime, the long term, the “subacute” humanitarian crisis of Palestinians–of not having civil liberties on par with Israelis–would be put down. How this could be achieved…that is for the experts.

The One State-Two State Solution






About the Author
Victor Salkowitz is a retired Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years experience in prisons, child welfare, and adult mental health agencies. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UC Davis and an MSW from UC Berkeley, becoming licensed in 1991.