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For a Unified, Democratic Palestine That Welcomes All Religions

May 11, 2005
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BY THE NEW ENGLAND COMMITTEE TO DEFEND PALESTINE (NECDP)

Why the “Two-State Solution” is No Solution at All

Can there be peace while an entire people remains dispossessed and oppressed? More than half a century of strife and conflict has shown that the answer is no.

We stand for a unified and democratic Palestine encompassing all the historic territory of Palestine with equal rights for all and where all religions would be welcome. We believe that the so-called “two-state solution” is no solution at all. In fact, it would only perpetuate the injustice that is inherent in Israel’s very existence. Why? Perhaps this is best explained through analogy.

The South African analogy

Consider South Africa. More than 5 million settlers of European origin have lived there for generations. During the struggle against apartheid in that country, no defender of the Black population of South Africa, no advocate for self-determination, proposed two states as a solution. No one raised the call for a white European state with guaranteed security that would abut a demilitarized, subordinate African state.

Yet, that is precisely what the “two-state” solution in Palestine proposes: a dependent Bantustan—the name given to the pseudo-independent rural areas where South African Blacks were forced to live—for Palestine alongside apartheid Israel. Such a solution is no less a mockery of justice and self-determination for Palestine than it was in South Africa.

The only genuine solution to the “Arab-Israeli conflict” is to eliminate that which created and fuels it—the existence of the Israeli state. There will be no peace so long as the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a return to their stolen homeland are not realized. The “two-state” solution does not achieve that realization.

Israel’s fundamental injustice

Israel’s history is one of continuous violence and injustice against the native people of Palestine. In the years between the UN partition and the official declaration of the Israeli state, Zionist paramilitary squads unleashed systematic terror, killing or driving more than 750,000 Palestinian Arabs from their lands, and razing some 400 villages.

Israel’s infamous “Law of Return” grants Jewish people born anywhere in the world the right to live and own land within Israel, while depriving native-born Arabs of these same rights. A “two-state” solution would perpetuate these injustices.

What would “two states” mean for the Palestinians?

Some proponents of two states argue that a division of land should be made according to borders held before the 1967 war. Others would base the division on the 1993 Oslo Accords. In either case, the “solution” perpetuates the colonization of an indigenous people, and fails to recognize the Palestinians’ right to return to their stolen lands.

The Zionist government has already demonstrated its true colors on this question. Consider occupied Gaza: 5,000 Israeli settlers control 40% of the fertile land and 60% of the drinking water. The 1.2 million Palestinians who live in Gaza get what remains.

A “two-state” solution establishes that the colonizer has a legitimate claim to the land and resources it has colonized. It requires that the history of Israel’s creation, the plight of the indigenous people, and what existed before be erased and forgotten.

No justice, no peace

Only justice will bring peace. And justice demands a unified and democratic Palestine for all—with the right to return for all those whose villages were razed and homes destroyed. This just solution is consistent with the true history of Palestine before the brutal Zionist colonization began in the late 19th century—a history of peaceful coexistence between people of diverse ethnicities and religions.

necdp@onepalestine.org

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