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.
Current borders in the region have been determined on the ground by Israel alone or with the help of the United States. These borders were the main subjects left for final stage negotiations by the Oslo Accords and expected to determine the implementation of the grand Israeli–Palestinian peace. Almost twenty-five years later, these issues are not yet resolved.
At the heart of the Israeli-Palestine conflict is a territorial dispute. Who has a claim to the Holy Land? How should land be divided when two opponents lay equal claim? A one-state solution, if done correctly, could solve the long-lasting territorial disputes in the region.
The four main geographic regions of importance to a one-state solution are the units of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza and within these regions, the city of Jerusalem. From these geographic regions, there is a set of territorial disputes that emerge. The border between Israel and Gaza has been a fiercely contested region given the rise of Palestinian nationalism in Gaza and the corresponding security concerns in Israel. The West Bank, with the exception of East Jerusalem, has not been annexed by Israel although there has long been a fear that the annexation of the West Bank could spur a Palestinian uprising in the region and perhaps spark a third intifada. However, land within the West Bank is divided between full Palestinian control, joint Israeli-Palestinian control, or full Israeli control. Geopolitically, the region consists of a vast number of different religious and political groups. Nearly all ideological grounds are covered from radical Islamic groups such as Hamas and Salafi-Jihadis groups to orthodox Jews, to conservative political blocs, and to progressive liberal blocs. These geopolitical complexities are reinforced by border disputes and contribute to a lasting struggle for peace in the region.
A one-state solution would likely resolve these territorial disputes by creating a shared and open Holy City of Jerusalem, eliminating the fear of and need for annexation, and easing geopolitical tensions in the region. By addressing the core conflict of border disputes in a one-state solution, lasting peace in the region could be achieved.
Maintaining security and stability within the state would be impossible. Without clearly marked borders, a single state will have to spend astronomical sums of money on security forces and police to prevent violence between Arabs and Jews.