Palestine – The Death of Hope: The Case for One State

“How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?” – Bertrand Russell, 1970.

The dream of a “Palestinian state” lies shattered and torn, existing only in the imaginations of those who refuse to see how far we have fallen from the dream of equal rights for every man. In truth it died long ago, like an abusive stepfather forced onto its people, its shadow looming large over the Middle East, the scars it left in its wake so deep it will take generations to heal.

Nothing I have encountered in my life sums up hopelessness better than the abject suffering of the Palestinians. I have traveled the world and some of the dire poverty, war and destitution I have encountered has led me to believe that cruelty seems to be an inbuilt default setting for us as humans. It stuns me how often situations such as famine and poverty in the third world could be rectified with substantial investment and access to universal education and healthcare. US President Jimmy Carter has said “Palestinians are deprived of basic human rights, their land has been occupied, then confiscated, then colonised by the Israeli settlers,” and that Palestinians are “treated more like animals than human beings”.

However no amount of money or education can lift the Palestinians out of the catastrophic existence they find themselves subjected to. The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on Earth with a population of over 1.6 million people living in a space no larger than 360 sq./km and nearly 40% of that population living below the poverty line. They live under a blockade in what is essentially an open-air prison with no way of leaving; often areas have little or no access to electricity, clean water or basic sewage systems.

Photo from the 2008 war on Gaza – “Operation Cast Lead”

That is just the Gaza Strip; the people of the West Bank suffer a similar fate on top of having to deal with the daily humiliation of living under occupation. It doesn’t stop there, in Lebanon alone there are over 400,000 Palestinians living in refugee camps under similar conditions. The same is true of many of the neighbouring Arab countries. They live with no access to employment, education, healthcare or citizenship as they sit and wait for a dream of returning to a homeland most of them will never see.

There are 4.7 million Palestinian refugees living outside of the occupied territories registered with the UN. Most of them live below the poverty line in semi-permanent refugee camps. Quite frankly their situation is pretty bleak. Under international law they are all entitled to return home. Their population numbers are swelling and no Israeli government has remotely entertained the notion of ever allowing these Palestinians to return to the lands they were forcibly expelled from in 1948 and 1967.

The powers that be, largely successive US, Israeli and EU governments would have the world believe that a solution is close and on the table and these issues are all to be worked out in negotiations. Anyone close enough to the situation can tell you this is a total myth – this is bullshit. I will try to break it down to its most basic elements.

International law states that the Palestinians are entitled to a state with full control over its territory as defined by the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital city and full right of return for all the displaced refugees. This is what is known as the two-state solution. No Israeli government has ever supported this option despite the fact that it is what the Palestinians are entitled to under international law.

I don’t expect you to take my word for it, the Palestine Papers are a series of confidential diplomatic documents that were leaked to Al-Jazeera detailing the failed negotiations over the past 20 years, in them all the evidence is clear that none of the Israeli governments that have passed have ever been committed to creating a sovereign state of Palestine. The papers show years and years of Palestinian desperation, offering most of Jerusalem, dividing the West Bank into cantons and even sacrificing the right of return (something which the Palestinian Authority has no right to concede), maintaining Israeli control over any future state and yet the Israelis still said no. The two sides are engaged in endless inconsequential peace talks for the sole purpose of allowing the Israelis the time they need to fully colonise Palestinian territory as a land for all the Jews.

One look at a map of the West Bank alone will show the magnitude of the problem, there are 500,000 Jewish settlers illegally living there dotted all across the land. The land is entirely segregated, with highways only accessible to Jews which Israel claim is a matter of security. How any sane person can claim that a road can only be driven down if you are of a certain faith and then claim this is not a racist proposal is beyond me, but this is neither here nor there.

The facts on the ground are pretty clear – the settlements encroach deep into Palestinian territory and the Israeli government has invested billions of dollars in creating infrastructure within this territory and has never shown any intention of dismantling the settlements for the future of a Palestinian state. Quite the opposite, it continues to expand them. This is the key reason for the negotiations; they are being used as a stalling tactic so Israel can irreversibly change the facts on the ground to make a future Palestinian state completely unviable.

In fact, the official Israeli position is that the land is not even occupied, it is merely disputed. The recently published Levy Report is paving the way within Israel to completely legalise the occupation and approve the process of legitimizing Israel’s settlement expansion activities. This is based largely on the claim that Israel occupies land that had no sovereign claim over it. Many pro-Israel lobbies also use this argument, including the Anti-Defamation League, however international law is very clear on this issue. Under the law of occupation, it makes no difference whether or not Jordan had sovereign claim to the territory before it was occupied. The binding definition in the Hague Regulations of 1907 establishes that “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.”

The Israeli Prime Minister on countless occasions has also stated that Jerusalem will never be divided, despite the fact that East Jerusalem is considered by the international community to be part of a future Palestinian state. The Right of Return? Forget it, the Israelis will not accept any situation that allows an influx of Arabs that would damage its demographic hold over the land.

The violence between both parties has become so cyclical it shows no sign of stopping unless there is a radical change in dialogue between them.

Let’s also discuss the “security” argument. Despite Hamas being the elected government of the Gaza Strip, Israel will not have dealings with them because they consider them to be a “terrorist organisation”. What I’m sure many of you don’t know is that Israel was actually founded by similar terrorist organisations such as the Haganah and the Irgun, the latter of whom carried out the King David Hotel bombing in 1946 killing 91 people. Once Israel was established in 1948 these organisations were then assimilated into the Israeli Defense Force and became the country’s national army and one of its leaders Menachim Begin became the country’s Prime Minister. Also, Israel claims it separates the populations for this reason, but if this is true, why is it also approving of settlements further and further into Palestinian territory? And why does it allow its citizens to live in flashpoints like Hebron, deep in the heart of Palestinian communities, surely the most dangerous place for an Israeli to live? The truth is that Israel cares more about colonising land than it does the genuine security of its people.

On top of this, Israel states it cannot deal with an organisation that calls for its destruction and insists that the Palestinians accept Israel as a Jewish state. However, there are many elected members of the Israeli Knesset who openly go on record calling the Palestinians a “cancer” and many of them also wish to expel the Palestinian population in an act of ethnic cleansing similar to that of 1948 in which 500 Palestinian villages were raised to the ground. For those labeling Hamas extremists, you need to look no further than the current Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who even staunch Israel supporter Martin Peretz of the New Republic labels a Neo-Fascist and is known to publicly hold racist views.

I’m not by any means supporting the views of Hamas, I’m just saying that the view Israel wants to portray of a liberal society fighting against extremism is not an accurate portrayal of events. The violence and hatred between these two people is cyclical, one hatred cannot exist without the other.

The increasingly desperate situation for the Palestinians is that the two-state solution is now dead in the water. Despite the fact that Palestinians are pushing for it in the UN General Assembly and it is the only solution proposed by the international community, the facts on the ground mean that Israel can no longer step back from the precipice. It has no desire to dismantle its infrastructure in the West Bank and allow the Palestinians a right to self-determination. Let’s not even get into the difficulties faced by splitting a future state between two territories, Gaza and the West Bank.

The hopelessness of the Palestinian situation grows and their aspirations for self-determination seem further away now than they ever did before. Even in the event of the UN granting the Palestinians a state, what does it change? The settlers aren’t going anywhere. In a poll by the Truman Institute 21% of Settlers said that if Israel was to attempt to dismantle the settlements they would “resist it by all means”, presumably taking up arms. That doesn’t exactly bode well for the future of the two-state solution does it?

The truth of the matter is it is near impossible for a two-state solution to ever be approved by an Israeli government that is worryingly veering further and further to the right. Even if by some miracle a Palestinian state was pushed through the Knesset from pressure from the international community, it will most likely be a state with very little sovereignty, its security and resources still controlled by Israel, no right of return and very few settlements dismantled. Even then, the measure would result in many settlers taking whatever measures they considered necessary to hamper any attempt to dismantle their illegal settlements.

Far right Zionism is growing in Israel with parties like Yisrael Beiteinu leading by example

Just as a large portion of the Palestinian population becomes more religiously fundamentalist, so too does an increasingly large section of Israeli society. The Jewish right wing believe that Israel has been given to the Jews by God and no amount of international law will matter one fucking iota to them. Try presenting a creationist with years of documented evidence for evolution for similar results.

The two-state solution is dead. And I won’t miss it. I am an atheist, a secularist and a believer in civil rights for all human beings on this planet. The idea of a state founded on religion is abhorrent to me, whether that is Saudi Arabia, Iran or Israel or anywhere else. No one is saying the Jewish people do not deserve a place to live, but why should anyone be forced to accept that a country should discriminate against people based on their religion? The Law of Return grants any Jew the right to live and work in Israel, whilst at the same time Israel denies rights to millions of people born within the country for not having the same creed. What kind of justice is that? Why should the Palestinians be forced to live on their knees with no rights to self-determination? Anyone who truly believes in equality for all mankind surely cannot accept that.

The only solution on the table has been the two-state solution, it is the only matter ever discussed in the international community, but it is one that none of us will live to see established. Surely as humanity we should be striving for peace and equality. Surely the only justice would be a land that does not discriminate against people because of their religious beliefs. A land in which everyone is given a vote and an equal share. Democracy.

The problem for Israel is that no matter how much they build or how much land they annex, 5 million Palestinians won’t go away. In fact their population numbers are growing at rapid rate. That tends to be the problem populations living in abject poverty with little education or employment. Religious extremism grows rampant and people breed, having children is the only pastime for many of them. If the two-state solution is dead, then what is left?

Palestinians suffer daily humiliation at the hands of the occupation

Israel, whether it is ready to admit it or not, has essentially already annexed the West Bank. The land of Greater Israel is not so much of a Zionist dream anymore as the Apartheid reality on the ground. Israel fears admitting this reality the most because it spells the end of the idea of a Jewish state. Don’t take my word for it though; in October this year President Jimmy Carter said Israel had abandoned a two-state solution for a “Greater Israel” and that it was moving towards an “inevitable Apartheid”. Even Ari Shavit, who has referred to Netanyahu as a “visionary of the two-state solution” has also described the occupation as “intolerable” and referred to the settlements as a “disaster”

The recent report in Haaretz by Gideon Levy says it all, 58% Israelis polled believe Israel already practices Apartheid and 69% of the population oppose giving voting rights to Palestinians. If that isn’t Apartheid I don’t know what is.

We have seen it all before in South Africa. Before that we had the American civil rights movement. People without a voice demanding freedom and liberty. The reason Israel will not accept the Palestinian population is simple. Demographics – that is the key here. Israel exists as a Jewish state because of demographics.

There are roughly 6 million Jews living in Israel and roughly 1.5 million Israeli Arabs. There are roughly 5 million Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories. Add those populations together and you have your answer 6 million Jews against 6.5 million Arabs.

Millions of Palestinians live in appalling conditions and are utterly dependent on foreign aid.

What do we mean by a one-state solution or a bi-national state? Essentially a land of Greater Israel, with all the occupied territories officially considered part of Israel. As I have been arguing, this is pretty much already the case. The key issue is the Palestinian citizens of that land are not entitled a vote in order to maintain a Jewish majority and Jewish control over the lands. That cannot be considered to be justice in any sense of the word. Like the American civil rights movement and the South African struggle against Apartheid, all citizens of this world deserve a right to live equally and free from oppression.

Even high-ranking Israeli politicians agree that this is the eventual outcome of this situation. Israeli defense minister and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said as long as “there is only one political entity called Israel it is going to be either non-Jewish or non-democratic. If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an Apartheid state.”

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, “If the two-state solution collapses,” Israel will “face a South African-style struggle” and he said as soon as that happens “the State of Israel is finished.”

This does not mean for one second I agree with endangering the rights of Israel’s Jewish citizens either. More importantly they should have rights that equal those of their Palestinian neighbours. Everyone should have the right to freedom of religion (as much as I disagree with religion in the first place) and those freedoms should be constitutionally enshrined. However, as I said before, declaring a Jewish state or an Islamic state giving privileges to one group over another is amoral.

What faces the Palestinians in the one-state solution is pretty terrifying too. With Israel refusing to create a two-state solution, their opposition to allowing Palestinians to live and vote amongst them is even greater. If the past is anything to go by, there will only be more and more bloodshed as the dream of a Palestinian state flickers and dies and is replaced by a dream of living a life of equality.

A New Hope Rises from the Ashes

What amazes me is that despite Israel understanding this demographic threat to its “Jewishness” it is still moving full speed ahead to create a Greater Israel by annexing more and more of the West Bank whilst denying the Palestinians a “just” state and as John Mearsheimer puts it, its racist ideology is “effectively helping Israel commit national suicide.”

Sadly, as justified as this solution sounds in theory, in practice there will continue to suffer terribly at the hands of the Israelis for generations to come. However, eventually there is a hope that the Palestinians will eventually get their rights to self-determination, largely due to Israel’s unwavering desire for an Apartheid state has put it on course for total self-destruction.

Hopelessness describes the situation pretty well if you ask me. The only two options on the table are a crippled state forcing the Palestinians to stay living on their knees, or Apartheid with a civil rights struggle that will take decades. In any solution there will most likely be heavy casualties on both sides and what purpose does it all serve? There are those of us who live in hope of a day when all men can live side by side equally, in peace and with religious differences finally put to bed. But sometimes that road seems so long, and the light at the end of that tunnel is so far away that I don’t think any of us will ever live to see it.


  1. This touches and breaks my heart at the same time. My grandfather immigrated from Lebanon and I know I must have family there. This is similar to what we did to the American Indians. I am so ashamed.

    • Hey J Roycroft, thanks for such a thoughtful response. I think if you read my article you will see I make the point that both sides have their racist fascists hell bent on destroying one another. If you want to side with one bunch of racists over another then be my guest, but I’m in the business of trying to move past all the death I have witnessed throughout my life.

      As I said, there are plenty of Israeli Politicians who openly call for ethnic cleansing in Palestine, yet you are hung up on only on the Palestinians who call for the ethnic cleansing of the Israelis? I struggle to see your point but we live in a society where you are free to make it.

      • Oz, I think you are spectacular in your beliefs and your article demonstrates this. Do not let the likes of Roycroft make you lose hope. Sometimes all one can do is change the world one person at a time… if Roycroft has to be the last one to change then so be it.

  2. I don’t think anyone seriously feels hopeful about a 2-state or any solution anymore. Whether a 2-state solution might have been possible at one point is questionable–we saw a 2-state solution in action with half a million dead during Partition and the resulting, on-going hostilities between India and Pakistan as well as a perennially violent and unresolved Kashmir. However, whether it might have worked at one time in Palestine now seems irrelevant.

    A one-state solution seems equally hopeless, given the level of animosity between the two sides you so accurately describe.

    I wish there were a solution I could feel hopeful about. As it is, I don’t see any. I just see suffering.

    • I agree, I struggle to see any sort of hope within the next 20 years at least, mainly because religious belief lies at the heart of a lot of the hatred in this conflict.

      Jonathan Miller described Jerusalem as being the largest open air lunatic asylum he had ever seen. Until people can put those beliefs aside we will all struggle to move forward together in all walks of life.

      • I disagree that it is religious belief, however. I think it is about identity. Religious belief is easier to change. But when hostility becomes a part of who you see yourself as being, it is really difficult to modulate.

        Thank you for the insightful and balanced post.

  3. it is true that the Arabs living in Gaza are living in such deplorable conditions but don’t look to Israel, look to their fellow Arab brethren to blame. Israel in its peace agreement with Egypt offered the Gaza to Egypt, but Egypt did not want to take these poor people into it’s government, rather it remain a thorn in Israel’s side.

    Apartheid on the ground, you say? In Israel, Arabs vote, hold positions in the government, are Supreme court judges, can you tell me where else in the Middle east an Arab girl can vote or its mandatory for her to go to school?

    There are so many false statements in your blog, which I will send to Honest Reporting, but I don’t really have time to address them now.

    • I don’t understand how you cannot see that a blockade of the Gaza Strip is responsible for the humanitarian conditions there, nor Israel’s constant attacks on its territory.

      Why should Egypt be responsible for taking people born in Palestine into Egyptian care? That comment makes no sense.

      And Apartheid counts for all the people living within the land, not just ones you consider to be Israeli Arabs, besides, it also counts for the children of migrant workers who have been born and raised in Israel but are being deported because they are not Jews.

      If someone is born in England, they are allowed to stay in England, this is how you run a fair society that does not give one ethno-religious group privileges over another.

      In Lebanon Arab Women can vote and go to school, again, I don’t really know what point you are making at all.

    • So when there is a road that is purely for Israeli vehicles and another, much less direct route for Palestinians…that isn’t Apartheid? When there is a street with a small area sectioned off for Non Jews, that isn’t apartheid? Apartheid is a daily occurance out in Palestine. I find it dispicable that any human being regardless of religion and culture can treat another in this manner. (sorry for jumping in on your comments here Oz Katerji, but I do find it insulting how people can’t see what is happening out there)

    • I’m South African and Israeli Apartheid is far worse than what my country experienced. And a huge difference is that many other countries, their people and governments, stood up against the injustices in South Africa, so where are they now? And Ive lived in the Middle East, went to school there too,so where are you getting your information? Plus, Israel is only in existence because of the genocide that continues to this day concerning the Palestinians so how would they be a thorn in Israel’s side? It’s Palestinian land. Stolen land.

  4. Thanks for this. I am very, very tired of American Jews not understanding the situation and professing to love Israel (fine and good, I’m not judging that) but having no idea about any of the realities. When I was a wee politically minded undergrad, I went to several dialogues between Jewish and Arab students, and their ignorance about a country they pretend to love is staggering. There are too many people blinded by “but..but…push us to the sea…” and who refuse to see anything other than that. (YMMV. I’m not saying all American Jews have this blindness.)

      • Sorry, i read it to mean that you did not like being reduced to a footnote as in not being given a more active voice in proceedings. It’s been a long day and with Gaza escalating everyone is distracted right now by the humanitarian crisis that is guaranteed to follow.


      • No worries, man. I understand.

        …for the record, I was referring to the fact that we (meaning American Jews unsatisfied with the current state of affairs) are frequently reduced to innocuous quips and caveats following impassioned rants such as “YMMV. I’m not saying all American Jews have this blindness.”.

      • I’m trying to write this without sounding defensive, because that’s not my intent. I’m sorry I discouraged or offended you. This is just my observations from when I went to Hillel in college and law school and when I went to synagogue as an adult.

    • I am an American and Jew. I support the patriotic right wing in Israel. The rest of them deserve to be ‘pushed into the sea’ for supporting Israel’s enemies.

      • I’m an American and a Jew too. Good to know so many others like me want to push me into the sea because I disagree with several policies of one of Israel’s political parties. I’m sorry you confuse being informed with “supporting Israel’s enemies.”

      • Keep on trolling bro – you are losing the argument for your own side with comments like that. I have googled you and I know what your message is all about, you are the same side condemning Israel to its own destruction by refusing to consider peace with the Palestinians. I advise you to heed the warnings of your own political leaders.

        I am sure you won’t however and will keep posting borderline fascist comments. Calling me a Marxist and calling Obama a Muslim makes you sound pretty fucking insane.

  5. I applaud you for condensing one of the most important issues of our time into an extremely well articulated post. I was quite active around the issue in college, but lately I have felt so resigned, I have often lacked the strength to talk about something that, as you say, radiates nothing but utter hopelessness.

    I have often wondered about the wisdom of current Israeli policy in the West Bank myself, because it makes no sense. If they continue down this path, they will have to ‘formally’ annex the West Bank and absorb the Palestinian population, changing the demographics so severely that the Jewish nature of the state stands to be ripped from its foundation. So why do it? What’s the master plan?

    I found an answer a couple of years ago that may not be completely true, and it’s terrible in its simplicity. Israelis just aren’t thinking about that. A lot of them, especially those of Bibi’s generation (the mean age of the Knesset, if you will) still think in existential (and Biblical) terms. For them, survival is the holding of more land, especially if that’s Judea and Samaria. They’re not thinking long-term. Notwithstanding the emotional rhetoric, some of them actually believe Iran and Hezbollah are going to try to push them into the sea.

    The second answer is path dependency. Ariel Sharon gave back Gaza in 2005 (gave back a prison, i.e.) and lost at the polls the next time around. To reverse the settlement project is akin to political suicide, even for the more moderate members of parliament. It is the same problem that the GOP in America has suffered at the hands of the extreme Tea Party. So now, they’re stuck, incentivized to keep it up, just as they kept up their nuclear program without any clear vision of what the ultimate aim was.

    I’ve come to realize that even a country that has more PhDs per capita than any other country on Earth can be completely myopic in its outlook. Maybe there is no plan, except to keep doing what they’ve done since the days of Begin, i.e. to expel, hold and settle.

    Thank you for a great read.

    • I’m sure at times the civil rights movements in America and South Africa felt totally redundant and hopeless too, it takes a great deal of strength to keep on going, but when you consider the alternative we have little choice.

      I will be dead long before any of this becomes a reality, but there is a faint hope that it will and that seems as good a cause as any to dedicate a life to.

      Thanks for your response.

  6. Here is a youtube video of Hamas using it’s civilians, the ones you care so much about, as human shields. And about those jewish terrorist groups you mentioned, they issued many many warnings before they bombed the King David hotel to get the British out. And, most living in the West Bank and Gaza, about 70 percent, have Jordanian roots, they should perhaps look to Jordan for establishing them a statehood. The meaning of Haganah means defense, we use our force to defend Israeli civilians, you use your civilians as a shield so Hamas, which is a terrorist group, to purposely kill civilians.

    • The Irgun killed over 90 people in that attack, but you are justifying it? I think you are proving the exact kind of mentality I have been discussing. The Irgun were considered a terrorist group by the West too and it seems like you do not want to take that into account. I have at no point in my article attempted to justify the means that Hamas uses so I don’t know why you are suggesting that I am.

      Also, the IDF have on many occasions deliberately targeted civilians, you can read that in many human rights reports, not even foreign groups, B’tselem discuss it enough.

      You are wrong about the “Jordanian roots” of the Palestinian people and you know it, none of the people in that area were divided as such and if you knew history you would understand it. If a family lived in Jerusalem or Jaffa for 300 years, then were expelled during the Nakba, you think it is a justified statement to say well they are “Jordanian” or “Egyptian” so they should just get the hell out and let other Arabs deal with them?

      I am not a liar and I have not lied anywhere in this article, everything I have said I have backed up with sources, many of them come from respected Jewish authors and historians. Even Benny Morris does not deny the truth behind the Nakba.

      Posts like yours are meant to attack and delegitimise the fair statements that I have made, which is the Israeli tactic on all such matters. Rather than address the issue you would prefer to attack the author with different points.

      I am calling for fair treatment and human rights for all, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Everyone is equal and should be treated as such. Disagree with me all you want but I am not the one who sounds biased in this scenario.

      • that whole map thing, that is a lie. that was the proposed partition plan, there was a plan as early as 1917, before WWI for a partition plan. In your maps there is no mention of the 1947 UN resolution for the partition plan which the jews agreed to and the arabs declared war the minute the Jewish state was born.

      • I think that is a major stretch of the imagination to call that a lie, especially seeing as the partition plan is not the important part of that map, it is the continued colonisation of land considered by the international community to be Palestinian. Regardless of any of this, I am saying dispose of all of those maps and have everyone live side by side equally in a state of Greater Israel so again I fail to see your point.

    • And how do Israeli settlers teach their children to view Arabs? You are totally missing the point of everything I am saying… which isn’t surprising.

      I have acknowledged the racism inherent within the Palestinian side, you have not mentioned Israeli racism towards Arabs once in any of your arguments.

      No matter how you choose to hound and delegitimise my statements, I still wish for us both to live in peace and freedom alongside each other.

      Justice and liberty for all.

  7. Palestinians haven’t even been able to form one state between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and Fatah. Keep infighting for the next decades.
    I feel sorry for the Palestinians, but they have their own leadership to blame for having committed every mistake possible, from siding with the Nazis in WWII – – , Arafat’s continued thinking like a terrorist instead of a politician until the establishment of a religiously fanatic autocracy in Gaza.

    • I agree with you but the Palestinians are a broken people who live under occupation and mainly in abject poverty. Expecting them to organise politically is a bit of a stretch of the imagination, for that to happen it requires them to have decent education which they do not have access to, so religious fundamentalists fill the gaps as they do with all poorly educated societies

    • “The Arabs (Palestinians) never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” — Abba Eban

      President Clinton got Arafat the best deal he was ever going to get. And he simply walked away from it. Palestine-Arab leadership has stated openly to their own people that peace is a “tactic”. They refuse to accept the consequences of their past decision to reject peace and embrace war. And then later, to embrace terror. They want to live in the past, but the past is gone and it isn’t coming back.

      • Have you read the Palestine papers? I agree many Palestinian leaders live in the past, the whole purpose of this article is about ending those beliefs and embracing the reality that two people live together and deserve to do so as equal partners sharing the same land. This needs to be accepted by both sides.

      • Even though I strongly disagree with you about how good an offer was given to the Palestinians, let’s say for arguments sake I am on your side, are you then suggesting that Palestinians now do not deserve anything but a bantustan existence because of mistakes made by a leader who has been dead for 8 years?

        I have conceded that there are Palestinians that wish to inflict harm on Israelis, why is it so hard for people on the other side to concede that there is strong racist elements that govern Israeli society too? There are rabbis and religious leaders who openly call for wiping Palestinians off the map the same way Palestinian religious paramilitary organisations do, why is one hatred accepted over another?

  8. World leaders have never wanted peace in the region. But why? They certainly have the resources to create peace at any time that they so choose. So why haven’t they? The country of Jordan was originally created whereby the Palestinian majority was ruled by a small minority group. Can you connect the dots? Here’s part of the puzzle: Peace talks were never about peace; they were about chaos. I’ll let you figure out the rest.

  9. “Even though I strongly disagree with you about how good an offer was given to the Palestinians …”

    I didn’t qualify the offer as either good or bad. I only said I believed it was (generally speaking) the best offer the Palestine-Arabs were likely to ever get.

    “… are you then suggesting that Palestinians now do not deserve anything but a bantustan existence because of mistakes made by a leader who has been dead for 8 years?”

    I’m not a collectivist, so I don’t think the entire mass of Palestine-Arabs deserve anything — good or bad. I wish for them, as human beings, to have the opportunity to live lives of freedom, peace, and prosperity. I personally believe the best way to achieve this would be for neighboring Arab countries to offer them citizenship so they can stop dreaming about something that’s never going to happen (the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian nation) and move on with their lives.

    I believe there was a window of opportunity for a two state solution back in the 90s. The Israeli public was enthusiastic about the idea. But I believe that window has closed and the chance has passed.

    • So you believe the land that the Palestinians have lived on for generations should be ethnically cleansed so the Jews can inhabit all of the land for themselves.

      Why do you think that all Arab countries are the same? That all Arabs are the same people just because they speak the same language? If you have ever spent time in any of them you will realise that they are all culturally different to one another. What you are suggesting is no kind of justice whatsoever.

      I also don’t know how you expect any country to adopt 5 million Palestinians plus another 5 million from the diaspora. Why are you not suggesting that European countries adopt 5 million Jewish Israelis instead?

      Whether the Israeli public was enthused about the idea or not makes no difference, nor does it make a difference if you think it will happen or not. Even Israeli political leaders see a binational secular democratic state as an inevitability, 5 million Palestinians cannot just up and leave so you’d better start getting used to the idea of them staying and sharing the land that they have lived on for hundreds of years as equal partners for peace with their neighbours.

      As fucked up as this world is I do not expect it to stand by as Israel tries to ethnically cleanse 5 million people en masse.

  10. Very good post and one I wish I had the insight to write. I agree with you that the idea of the Jewish State (or any religious one) would be a bad idea even if there were no Palestinians to quarrel with. Look how well the solution worked in Ulster for so many years? Ironically, the same Mountbatten who introduced the plan to part Pakistan from India in the 40’s was killed by the IRA in the 70’s. Just another legacy of British imperialism (which I can’t help notice as a Brit). Good writer!

  11. I agree with myninjanaan above; this is one of the best articles I’ve ever read (and certainly on WordPress!) You basically summed up everything I think about the situation in Palestine. Have you ever read One Palestine, Complete, by Tom Sagev? It’s an amazing history of the country under British mandate (which I can only say, thank you naive sentimentale British officers who got carried away by mythicism and created the biggest political problem of the 21st century). The colonization of Palestine by the Jews was the same as the colonization of the Western powers of Africa, South America, Asia etc., with one big difference: there was no motivation for money or prestige.

  12. According To Historic A-rab Muslims, There Is NO “Palestine”

    “There is no such country [as Palestine]! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”
    – Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, to the Peel Commission, 1937

    “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”
    – Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, to the UN Security Council

    “You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian People, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the true representatives of the Palestinian people.”
    – Syrian President Hafez Assad to PLO leader Yassir Arafat.

    “There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity…. yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel.”
    – Zuheir Muhsin, late Military Department head of the PLO and member of its Executive Council (Dutch daily Trouw, March 1977)

    • Well for starters Hafez al Assad and Zuheir Mushin are Ba’athist… Imperialist Arabs who wish to control all of the land, so quoting them does your point no good. The Syrians conquered the land just as the Ottomans did, having a lang being controlled by an occupying force does not negate the people who live there’s right to exist.

      Secondly, historic Palestine does exist, whether Arab politicians or Jewish politicians disagree on the matter or not.

      Again, I bring you back to a point I made earlier, are you openly suggesting that you support the ethnic cleansing of the people that live in the West Bank and Gaza? Because saying they belong in Syria, Egypt or Jordan is exactly that. Whatever you want to call the land they lived on before 1948, those families lived there for generations on that land, farming, building houses, raising families and educating their children. However you seek to deny their existence, they deserve human rights as we all do.

    • Also, there was no state of Israel before 1948. The international community recognises it now, just as they recognise the Palestinians. Whatever quotes you wish to throw at me will not change the fact that the Palestinians are being denied their rights by a country that wishes to ethnically cleanse them from their lands.

  13. Genesis 32:28
    Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

    There is no palestine.
    Sorry about that.

    • Oh ok, you believe in fairy tales written by crazy people thousands of years ago, that makes sense. Well keep on doing what you are doing, we’ll let demographics do the rest.

    • You do realise you are proving my point about racism here? If you read my article you will see I detest religion, I desire a Muslim leader as much as I desire a Jewish one. You can keep your crazy beliefs to yourself, I only demand equality.

  14. You brought very important issue here on blog to the world people. True will always win. It always has a victory just take time. Thank you so much for represented for millions of Palestinians.

  15. Very moving. This post definitely informs readers about what is going on, and could also be offering a little bit of crisis communication of your own. Thank you for this. By representing the people of Israel and Palestine this American is a little bit more informed. Cheers.

  16. Reblogged this on Drivel and Dialectic and commented:
    This is an excellent summary of the reasons why the two state solution is dead. For more information, there’s always the Electronic Intifada by Ali Abunimah. Happy reading, or in this case, perhaps not so much.

  17. Good writing, this is a sad story, that the Israelis could/can do something like this after that the been saved from Hitler and got a piece of the palestinians land… But the most disturbing right now is that the US still is allies with Israel…

  18. “Israel has not stolen any land. There was never an Arab nation called Palestine in the history of the world run by a group of Arab people called Palestinians. And Israel does not deliberately kill Arab kids. Arab kids die when terrorists turn their neighborhoods and homes into ammo dumps,and use them to fire rockets into Israel,and terrorists use Arab kids when firing rockets into Israel.

    Israel also treats alot of the Arab kids who are injured in Israeli military operations in Israeli hospitals. Israel is far from perfect,and yes I am sure there are individual Israeli soldiers who have done bad things,but it is not the policy of the IDF to deliberately target civilians unlike Arab terrorists who break into Israeli homes late at night hold down screaming terrified children and babies and stab them to death in coldblood.” rachel rose

    ITA with this comment.

    Palestine was never a country but the name given to a large land including Syria and Jordan. The idea of a Palestinian state is an invention to have a pretext to attack Israel.
    People do suffer in those lands because of Islam and its leaders who use lies, ignorance and fear to manipulate them in order to destroy Israel.

    This land has been Israel for more than 5 000 years, it will always remain Israel no matter what Muslims try to do.

    To read the book : The son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

    To watch one interview of him :

    To watch this to understand about Jews who are only less than 0,3% of the world population.

    • What the fuck are you talking about? Where are Jewish children held down in their beds and stabbed to death? How many times has this happened in the last 60 years?

      I don’t understand where you people get your facts from. And I literally don’t care what you want to call the land or the people on it, there are 5 million people living in hell who deserve to be free. They are not just Muslims, there are Christians and Atheists living under the same conditions and all being treated by an Apartheid system for not being Jewish.

      Israel treats a lot of Arab kids that they injured in the first place? Well, again, if you knew your facts you’d also know that they often restrict the movement of ambulances and are quite comfortable with the idea of turning injured people away and letting them die. If you are going to start an argument do so with facts and figures you can back up with verifiable sources, not just spurious racist crap you find on the internet.

    • Dear Ibn, thank you for bravely speaking up and speaking the truth. It’s not about not having a state, it’s the fact that the Jews have come back to their homeland in the midst of living among so many Arab nations and have flourished there, we did not steal land, we bought land outright from absentee landlords and real estate speculators. There is also Mark Twain’s account from 1867 describing Palestine as a mostly barren land … I’m not typing the whole thing out b/c my fingers would tire. I suggest this blogger read The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz. May there be peace and understanding between Jews and Arabs in our lifetime.

      • absolute nonsense. Plus “The Case for Israel” has been widely discredited for being full of factual inaccuracies and plagiarism. Don’t take my word for it, Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein tears it apart. Even if I permit you to deny the Nakba happened, which I don’t, but for the sake of argument I will, that does not excuse the theft of land happening today in the West Bank. Stop reading just ONE side of things, do you think I’d have as educated an opinion as I do if I only read Arab news media? No, I read YNet and the JPost daily, as sickening as the racism inherent within those papers is. It saddens me how deep you lot propaganda rot your mind.

  19. I like that you are presenting this side of the story. I’m so behind reading FP, but I’m going to make a point to come back and read this more fully. Thanks for sharing.

  20. […] Again, one can’t over-emphasize that it is the citizens who suffer eternally in this despicable conflict, with Sky News claiming that over 20 Palestinians have been killed since Wednesday, with 3 Israeli deaths.  The reckless retaliation of Hamas to the initial Israeli attack a few days ago is certainly going to further harm the citizens of Gaza, whilst underground bunks are being prepared in Tel Aviv (a city which is very culturally developed).  These problems which I’ve outlined detail partly why this issue is so contentious; the war within the war in Gaza, the citizens of which are constantly punished and degraded at ‘home’ and in ‘Jewish’ territory – read Chomsky’s recent account[1] – the confusion over the Zionist conquest, who started the fight this time round, who is supplying all of the weapons, etc. It is a desperate situation which may require a desperate solution.  As someone I follow on WordPress stated a week before the latest outburst, ‘The violence between both parties has become so cyclical it shows no sign of stopping unless there is a radical change in dialogue between them’ ( […]

  21. I will admit that I did a quick skim of your post and I need to do a more thorough reading; but I did not see mention of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, where both Palestine and Israel were offered statehood. Israel accepted statehood at that time, but Palestine rejected the offer. The proposal would have given Palestine equal statehood, leaving the areas of Jerusalem and Bethlehem as an “international zone”.

    Now, this is just my opinion, being neither Jewish nor Muslim, but it seems to me if they’d have accepted this offer back in 1947 a lot of bloodshed could have been avoided. But that’s my .02, fwiw. :/

    • how genuine that plan was is neither here nor there really. Maybe it would have solved all the bloodshed, maybe both sides would have been happy under the partition. That was 65 years ago now and the people who made those decisions are dead and it is their descendants suffering for the mistakes of their elders.

      This article is meant to discuss the future rather than focus on the mistakes of the past. It is not impossible to imagine peace and besides, I think 2 people living in harmony in one land is a far more beautiful idea than any partition ever could be.

    • I have not said one pro-Hamas thing in my blog, nor have you found one lie in it. It was freshly pressed because I presented evidence for each of my claims, most of them coming from Israeli sources, a lot of them being from staunch Zionists. Good luck trying to disprove anything I have said.

  22. I am awed by your ability to respond to people in such a level-headed manner. Being part Palestinian, I found that I was compelled to keep reading on. I admire you for providing enriched opinions backing up both sides. In a world like ours, many people form biased statements without truly understanding events and history of the aspect or subject they put under their discrimination. Frankly and unfortunately I am not thoroughly educated about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however I have always been to determined to learn. You have reinspired me to search for the truth of the matter, and I thank you for that.

    All the best!

    • I second that. I too have a lot to learn, but Blind Freddy can see the injustices perpetrated toward Palestinians. So can lots of Israelis. For those who don’t know about B’Tselem ( ), please find out about them and consider supporting them in their struggle for justice.

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