What started as intercommunal violence between Israelis and Arabs in the 1920s evolved over the course of the twentieth century into a full-blown civil war and open conflict. After much bloodshed and the dawn of a new century, what would a solution to the Israel-Palestine situation look like? Is peace even a possibility for one of the world's longest-running conflicts?
A one-state solutionShow moreShow less
Israelis and Palestinians must be united under a single, binational state. Both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs would enjoy the same legal and civil rights and live under a government in which both religions are represented.
The Palestinians want to access and control the entirety of Israel, and Israel wants to be the sole policy determinant in the 'state'. Where both Palestinians and Israelis are voters and equal citizens, both autonomy and access are provided to all peoples.
If both Palestinians and Israelis make concessions to one another, equal rights are preserved and citizenship is granted to all, then it is likely that a one-state solution will resolve the conflict. Palestinian demands for a one-state solution include the granting of Israeli citizenship, equal voting rights, and equal representation in the Knesset. Israeli demands for a one-state solution include security considerations in Gaza and retaining an ethnic majority.
A plan for a one-state solution in which both sides agree on a policy that is favorable to Palestinians and Israelis requires a significant amount of participation and compromise. Currently, the interests of the Palestinian people are represented by the Palestinian Authority and their president Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas also chairs the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which recently broke off all diplomatic ties with the United States following the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The U.S. has been a key third party in peace negotiations. Any one-state solution would require cooperation from the PLO, which now seems vastly more difficult to obtain.
In a way, the current reality on the ground in Israel and Palestinian territory already constitutes a one-state solution. The region shares highways, the electric grid, and even recognizes international borders. But, while the physical situation may appear as a one-state solution, the social and cultural situation is far different and resembles anything but one state.
A one-state solution could mean Israeli domination in the region. Palestinians could be forcibly removed from Gaza and the West Bank.