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The One-State Solution

A Breakthrough for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Deadlock

Virginia Tilley

Publication Year: 2010

“A clear, trenchant book on a topic of enormous importance... Overall this is a courageous plunge into boiling waters. If it helps propel forward a debate that has hardly begun in this country it will have performed a signal scholarly and political function.” —Tony Judt, New York University “. . . a pioneering text. . . . [A]s such it will take pride of place in a brewing debate.” —Gary Sussman, Tel Aviv University The One-State Solution demonstrates that Israeli settlements have already encroached on the occupied territory of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the extent that any Palestinian state in those areas is unviable. It reveals the irreversible impact of Israel’s settlement grid by summarizing its physical, demographic, . nancial, and political dimensions. Virginia Tilley explains why we should assume that this grid will not be withdrawn —or its expansion reversed—by reviewing the role of the key political actors: the Israeli government, the United States, the Arab states, and the European Union. Finally, the book addresses the daunting obstacles to a one-state solution—including major revision of the Zionist dream but also Palestinian and other regional resistance—and offers some ideas about how those obstacles might be addressed.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Title Page and Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. vii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

I owe innumerable intellectual debts for the contents of this book—written nineteen years after I first went to Jerusalem in 1985 (then entirely naive), on a study-abroad program from Antioch College. While living nearly two years in the Old City of Jerusalem, El Bireh, Ramallah, and Bir Zeit and working with Israeli and Palestinian peace groups especially in East and West Jerusalem, I had the...

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1. Facing Facts

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pp. 1-17

In the 1960s, U.S. intellectual Izzy Stone used to point out that simply reading the New York Times would lay bare the facts behind Nixon’s obfuscating murk about Vietnam. He would tear the broadsheet pages in half for easier reading, pull them out at restaurants and talks, and stun listeners with the political picture revealed to have been before their own eyes all along. Today, facts are again sitting right there in the mainstream news which signal that, while all the...

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2. The Immovable Object: The Settlement Grid

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pp. 19-50

Abasic misconception plaguing debate about Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories is that their withdrawal by the Israeli government, if attempted, would entail only a cluster of microstruggles—like those rare moments when Israeli authorities forcibly dismantle the trailers of some settlement “outpost” and zealot settlers are dragged off in theatrical confrontation. But the problem of Jewish settlements is not represented by a few clusters of trailers on...

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3. Passionate Intensities: or Why No Other Plan Will Work

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pp. 51-87

All diplomacy and debate about the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip mention their withdrawal or “dismantling” as a necessary measure for peace. But “dismantling” the West Bank settlements is a far more daunting prospect than most people realize. As described in chapter 2, the settlement grid is no bundle of temporary housing that can be taken down and carried off on trucks; it is a huge and deliberately sprawling network of modern cities and...

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4. Lacking All Conviction: The Key External Actors

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pp. 89-129

Israel’s annexation of the West Bank has an inexorable momentum. In the policy and practice of the Jewish-national institutions, Israel has indeed already annexed both East Jerusalem and the West Bank, holding the biblical territory (and its water) in an unshakable grip. And yet, as chapter 3 repeatedly indicated, one necessary condition has always enabled Israel’s latitude in pursuing this track: no external pressure. That condition requires explanation, for the Israeli-Palestinian...

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5. Tracing the Inner Threads of Zionism

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pp. 131-182

The crisis looming in the occupied territories obviously comprises a ruinous formula for Palestinians. But it also bodes very ill for Israelis, for the Bantustan plan will consign Israel’s Jewish population to a permanent state of threat. Withering in their walled enclave, the Palestinian people will continue to resist conditions of daily misery and political destruction. And as their population grows rapidly...

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6. The One-State Solution: The Expanding Debate

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pp. 183-234

After a century of dreams and con›ict, the Zionist dream has run on the shoals of its own contradictions. Israeli-Jewish, Israeli-Arab, and Palestinian populations are so interdependent and intertwined that their forced partition promises only a downward spiral toward disaster. Culture, ideology, and a century of con›ict divide them. But they are embedded in each other, inextricably linked—conjoined twins in a narrow and delicate landscape. Perhaps at some earlier time, two...

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Appendix A : One-State Proposals from the 1940s

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pp. 235-239

In 1939, alarmed by the con›ict they foresaw in the political Zionist movement to establish a Jewish state, a group of antistate intellectuals and activists in Palestine formed the League of Arab-Jewish Rapprochement and Cooperation. Rejecting both the Jewish state sought by the political Zionist movement and the Arab state proposed by a British white paper of 1939, the league proposed a binational formula—“ that the Palestine question [be] solved on the basis of economic advancement and freedom of national culture and social developments of both nations...

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Appendix B: Palestinian Public Opinion on the One-State Solution

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pp. 241-242

The Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre (JMCC) has conducted regular surveys of Palestinian public opinion since 1993. JMCC polling is done through face-to-face interviews of some twelve hundred people (selected through random sample) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (For complete information on methodology and distribution data, see the JMCC Web site at http://www.jmcc.org.) Since 2000, JMCC polls have included the following question regarding a binational state: “Some believe that a two-state formula is...


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pp. 243-260


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pp. 261-267


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pp. 269-276

E-ISBN-13: 9780472026166
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472034499

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2010