One State / Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine


In international diplomacy there is a pervasive idea that it is possible and necessary to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that will exist side by side with Israel. Many Israelis and Palestinians want this and believe in it. But the forces working against this possibility are many and powerful. Israeli governments have enabled the settlement of over half a million Jews beyond the 1967 borders. This represents almost 10 percent of the Jews in Israel. About 300,000 of them live in settlements in the West Bank and about 200,000 are in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. There are those among them who will fight with all their strength to prevent an Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a Palestinian state. But what is no less important is that on the Palestinian side as well a new situation has emerged. National unity has dissolved, the national movement has atrophied and declined, and the idea has become acceptable that if there won't be two states for two peoples, it is better that there be one state.