web analytics
April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Israeli Rightists Begin Push For One-State Solution


JERUSALEM – In one of the more curious twists in Israeli politics, prominent right-wing political figures in Israel have begun pushing for a one-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens with full voting rights.

The one-state solution previously had been the preserve of the post-Zionist left, Palestinian hard-liners and left-leaning European intellectuals who envisioned turning Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza into a single state in which the Palestinians soon would become the majority and assume the reins of government.

For the overwhelming majority of Israelis, the idea has been anathema because it seemed to spell the end of the Zionist dream of a sovereign Jewish state.

So what has changed? In a word: Gaza.

For the new Greater Israel proponents of a one-state solution, the 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which they opposed vehemently, suddenly has become a strategic game-changer.

The single state they envision includes only Israel and the West Bank – an area of about 5.8 million Jews and 3.8 million Arabs. Without Gaza’s estimated 1.5 million Palestinians, the Jews would constitute a 60 percent majority in that territory – enough to preserve an enlarged Israel as a Jewish majority state for the foreseeable future.

As these proponents see it, there are several advantages to this solution: The settler movement would be able to keep intact its West Bank settlements; Israel would not have to withdraw from territory and expose itself to the sort of rocket fire it has seen from Gaza; and the international community would not be able to paint Israel as an apartheid state because the annexation of the West Bank would grant full citizenship and voting rights to West Bank Palestinians, perhaps putting Israel out of its international isolation in a single stroke.

While support in the Knesset for the one-state idea is limited, if Israeli-Palestinian negotiations make headway over the next few months, the one-state model could surface as a ploy to torpedo Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the dismantling of dozens of Jewish settlements.

For now its most outspoken advocates in the Knesset are Speaker Reuven Rivlin and newcomer Tzipi Hotovely, both of the Likud Party.

“I would prefer the Palestinians become citizens of the state than for us to divide the country,” Rivlin declared in a recent meeting with the Greek ambassador in Jerusalem.

The one-state idea gained currency two months ago when Moshe Arens, a former defense minister and foreign minister from Likud, penned a column in Israel’s daily Haaretz asking “Is There Another Option?”

Arens argued that it is patently obvious that there will be no two-state solution with the current Palestinian leadership and that the Jordanian option – returning the West Bank to Jordan – no longer exists.

“Therefore, I say we can look at another option: for Israel to apply its law to Judea and Samaria and grant citizenship to 1.5 million Palestinians,” he wrote.

Israel already is a binational state, with an Arab minority of approximately 20 percent, Arens wrote. Therefore, in his view, Israel could have an Arab minority of 40 percent and continue to function as a Jewish state.

The pioneer of this sort of one-state thinking is journalist Uri Elitzur, a former chairman of the Yesha settlers council and Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau chief during his first term as prime minister. Elitzur argues that after more than 40 years of occupation, the international community is tired of Israel and no longer will accept the status quo. In his view, Israel needs to do something to break the deadlock or face the prospect of growing international isolation.

The two-state model won’t cut it because the obstacles to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are insurmountable, he says. Moreover, Elitzur insists, other one-state visions from Israel’s political right wing – such as annexing the West Bank and having the Palestinians who live there vote in Jordan, or according the Palestinians only limited voting rights for local government – will be rightly dismissed by the international community as occupation by another name.

That, according to Elitzur, leaves the unitary democratic state – with Israelis and Palestinians enjoying equal political, social and individual rights – as the only option.

There should be no misunderstanding, Elitzur cautions: He is talking about a Jewish state with a Jewish majority, like the Israel of today. That, he says, is the big difference between him and the left-wing “one-staters”: Where they see a Palestinian state with a Jewish minority, he sees a Jewish state with a Palestinian minority.

But what happens if and when the Palestinians, with their significantly higher birth rate, become the majority? Some suggest major modifications to the Elitzur plan to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Hanan Porat, a former Knesset member and leading figure in the Gush Emunim settlement movement, wants Israeli law applied gradually to the West Bank – first to areas with large Jewish populations, and a decade or a generation later to the rest. Even then, Porat would condition full citizenship for Palestinians on loyalty to the Jewish state perhaps expressed in military or national service. In other words, in Porat’s version of the one-state solution, very few Palestinians would have the right to vote, and only in the distant future.

“The attractive leftist vision of the one-state solution may grow up into a rightist monster,” observed critic Uri Avnery, one of the earliest and most passionate two-staters on the political left.

Hotovely, who organized a Knesset conference on “Alternatives to Two States” in May 2009, has been actively promoting the one-state solution over the last year; she is working on a major position paper on the issue.

She will have to address many questions concerning the one-state theory – for example, what to do about flags, anthems, school curricula, a constitution. There are larger questions, like how the state would manage the transition period from Israeli annexation to Palestinian citizenship, and how to deal with religion-state issues.

In addition, under the two-state solution, Arab refugees could return to the Palestinian state without harming Israeli interests. Where would they go in the one-state proposal?

The biggest problem, given the Palestinian birth rate and the possibility of international pressure for refugee return, is that the one-state dream could turn into a South Africa-style nightmare with a dominant Jewish minority under pressure to accept Palestinian majority rule.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership has shown no sign it is eager to surrender its vision of a Palestinian state. For now, the two-state model is the only goal of the recently restarted Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic talks. (JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israeli Rightists Begin Push For One-State Solution”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PM Netanyahu
Netanyahu Attacks the Iran Nuclear Deal as “Unconscionable” [video]
Latest News Stories
Missing Seder Table

A table was set up in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for all the Israelis who have gone missing.

They chatted a bit, Boehner congratulated Netanyahu on his election victory, and then the two went for lunch.

PM Netanyahu

As Iranian general calls for Israel’s destruction, P5+1 talks on concessions to Iran continue.

Anti-Semitism comes with a high price.

Belgian insurance companies refuse to insure Jewish kindergartens due to the risk of anti-Semitic attacks.

France has left the US-led nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, saying it will return when it is ‘useful.’

Obama finally stops punishing Egypt for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi

The IDF will have hard choices to make in the next war with Hezbollah.

Chaim Topol, has been awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.

The Knesset opening session was buzzing with new faces, as 39 new Members of Knesset joined their veteran colleagues in the swearing in ceremony.

The Temple Institute renacted the entire Pesach sacrifice ceremony.

“On days like today we want these children to feel the joy that any normal child experiences on their bar mitzvah.”

A family. 7 Children. An indescribable tragedy. How do they go on? How do we react? And what lessons are we supposed to learn?

More than 40 refugees were killed in a Saudi-led air strike while PA office accuses Israel crime by building homes.

The military implicitly admits to having improperly allowed a missionary group to indoctrinate soldiers.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

More Articles from Leslie Susser

JERUSALEM – For Israel, the popular uprising in Egypt against the Mubarak regime raises the specter of its worst strategic nightmare: collapse of the peace treaty with Egypt, the cornerstone of its regional policy for the past three decades.

JERUSALEM – Not so long ago, few Israelis had heard of Rabbi Chaim Amsellem, a soft-spoken Shas backbencher in the Knesset.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community.

JERUSALEM – Following reports of an unprecedented U.S. offer of a host of assurances in return for a 60-day extension of the settlement building freeze, some political analysts are wondering why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not grabbed the deal with both hands.

JERUSALEM – If the United States doesn’t attack Iran’s nuclear facilities within the next eight months or so, Israel probably will.

JERUSALEM – In one of the more curious twists in Israeli politics, prominent right-wing political figures in Israel have begun pushing for a one-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens with full voting rights.

JERUSALEM – -The showdown between the Israeli Supreme Court and the parents of students at a haredi Orthodox school found guilty of discriminatory practices against Sephardic girls has brought already strained secular-religious relations in Israel to a fever pitch.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/israeli-rightists-begin-push-for-one-state-solution/2010/08/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: