I support the one state solution because I don’t see any other solution. The situation of two people living side by side, while one is controlling the other and committing crimes against it, is unbearable and inhuman.
I support and demand equal rights for all human beings living here, without any segregation or separation, and dreaming of living in a place where Hebrew and Arabic are sharing the space once more.
I hope the One State Foundation and all other ODS groups who agree with the one-page Munich Declaration on ODS can work together in an umbrella group, and that we can all leave our egos at the door. I believe those of us working in solidarity should focus less on anti-Zionism, or on Israel and its sins, and frame the case positively, insisting foremost on all the rights of all the Palestinians, the realisation of which leads logically and rigorously to ODS and, as a side-effect, to the fact that the Zionist Entity will have to make way for a standard human rights-based democracy.
After reading several great books about the vision of a re-united democratic state with Right of Return, it was for me a no-brainer to try to support those Palestinians and Jewish Israelis who want One Democratic State. In 2012 I attended the Munich ODS conference, and a year later we formed ODS in Palestine Ltd to organise talks and try to lobby the UK Parliament. In 2015 I joined the Popular Movement for ODS, founded in May 2013, whose core membership is in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. For several years I was active in the Cambridge (UK) branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), bringing a motion (which failed) at one of its Annual General Meetings to lobby the UK Government to expel Israel from the UN, and later a successful motion to hold an all day conference on the Right of Return. I was also at the conference challenging Israel’s legitimacy which was banned at the University of Southampton but finally held in Cork, Ireland, in March/April 2017. There I argued that the legitimate citizenry of whatever state rules Palestine must include all Palestinians wherever they live, and that a state failing to do this is illegitimate.
I myself was a cabinetmaker, then an academic working on global environmental problems, when the slaughter that was Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09 shifted my interests, opening my eyes to the inbalance between Israel and the Palestinians and to the massive unredressed injustice done to the Palestinians although they had absolutely nothing to do with the anti-Jewish problems of Europe that unleashed Zionism in the first place. I live in Istanbul and have made three two-to-three-week visits to Palestine, with side trips to Jordan.
For me, the One State concept primarily means the capacity to discuss our rights freely as the citizens of Palestine within the 48 Borders (occupied Palestine), where we can all feel united and live as equals. One state for all its citizens, where people are free to define themselves any way they want, without being judged for their culture, identity, and diversity that each of us have.
Radi Al Jarai
I am a lecturer in political science at the Al Quds University, a former Deputy Minister for Detainees Affairs and one of the founders of the One Democratic State Movement. I believe that peace should rely on justice, humanity, ethics and equality among people, without discrimination of any kind. We are witness to a colonial apartheid regime in Palestine. It is not acceptable in the 21st century to tolerate such a regime. We are, in the Popular Movement of ODS, welcoming the initiative of The One State Foundation and ready to join the effort to create one inclusive movement for the noble purpose of creating one democratic state in Palestine.
I am happy to cooperate with any association that seeks to promote the concept of one democratic secular state in historic Palestine, with complete separation of religion and politics, free of ethnic or religious affiliation of its citizens. That country has room for Jews and non-Jews, including the descendants of Palestinian refugees who were expelled or fled in 1948.
My grandparents were Yemenite-Arab Jews who immigrated into Palestine at the turn of the 20th century. I have more in common with peace loving Palestinian Arab women and men than with zealots who terrorize and usurp the indigenous inhabitants using Jewishness as an excuse.
Ahmed Abu Artema
The power of the one-state vision is that it’s closest to reality. In practice, we live in a single state governed by a single government with real powers that practices racial persecution against a part of its population.
The Gaza Strip is a prison in the territory of this one state, whose people are struggling to break down the walls of that prison. The West Bank and the communities of the 48 people are ethnic enclaves within this one country where citizens are discriminated against.
One state does not call for the establishment of a new reality, but rather calls for the struggle according to the current reality in order to bring down walls and racial discrimination and achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all people. This is a more realistic task than calling for the annihilation of Israel or calling for a Palestinian state that Israel will never accept. One state is in the interest of all, since it will achieve the Palestinians’ natural right to freedom and the return of refugees, and will bring the Israelis real security instead of imprisoning themselves behind walls of fear, all this through the transition to a modern democratic state based on citizenship, not racial discrimination.
Seventy years of violence and conflict is enough for Palestinians and Israelis. I am convinced that there will be support for the vision of one state, based on justice and equality among many Palestinians and Israelis. I am delighted to be able add my voice of support to this initiative aimed at broadening support for the one state vision.
Danielle Alma Ravitzki
It took me a while to come to the realization that one state can truly work well for all. As I see it, one state means equality between two groups, Jews and non-Jews. Because Zionism is a colonialist movement, it is necessary to undergo a process of decolonization to demolish it, by reverting back to the pre-colonialist status. This includes naming the one state Palestine, accepting the Palestinian flag as its official symbol, and calling each city and village by the original Palestinian name. Jewish citizens can live freely in this Palestine, which will be a unified one state shared by the two groups, living together in equality.
Currently, the Israeli discussion regarding a one state is filled with fear. Jews are downright afraid of this one state option, because many of them wrongly believe in the misconception that does not differentiate between religion (Judaism or Islam) and ethnic identity (Arab). So they assume that this Palestine will necessarily be a religious Islamic state. Yet in this one state, Jews too can live as Palestinians, Palestinian-Jews, just like the indigenous people of the land.
I believe the way forward is one state, and Israeli Jews must let go of their misconceptions and understand that opening the borders will not only bring poetic justice and decolonization, it will actually create a democratic country that is free of any religious characterization, all the way from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
The only solution is a truly secular democratic state.
One democracy for one state, leave Zionism behind us, full equality of peoples(s).
I think the best solution will be one state . It needs trust building and abiding by the law for all. It needs time to get there but it can be done.
The “two-state solution” for the land of historic Palestine is no longer viable, if it ever was. It continues to serve as camouflage for the on-going expansion of the Israeli state and the militarization of Israeli society. It serves as justification for apartheid, the occupation of all of Palestine, and ultimately genocide. Many practical obstacles prevent creation of a separate Palestinian nation-state: the wall; the separate roads, water, and utility systems; the lack of viable land in Gaza and the West Bank; the theft of Palestinian lands and homes both within Israel and in the settlements; the denial of the right of return; and many others. Now we must create a new nation-state on the footprint of historic Palestine, replacing the Zionist state with a new nation that is secular, democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and committed to peace with its neighbors and equality at home. Israel must be disarmed and dismantled to win lasting peace.
Mohammed Al-Shaikh Ali
One state in Palestine for two nations means justice, equality and peace.
In medicine, you make the correct diagnosis after taking patient history and then look to offer additional therapies (beyond the most natural which is the body’s resistance), and finally can make a prognosis. The diagnosis here is so obvious: settler colonialism. Settler colonial entities societies evolve into one of three possible outcomes/scenarios: 1) the Algerian model (bloody >1 million Algerian natives lost their lives), 2) The native genocide model (USA, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea), and 3) the coexistence/one country model (most common and found in most of the world like countries in South America, Central America, Canada, South Asia, and South Africa). There is no fourth scenario (Apartheid will not work). My book “Sharing the Land of Canaan” explains in details and is found in its entirety here: http://qumsiyeh.org/sharingthelandofcanaan/
I do no longer believe in the two state solution with two independent states. Perhaps homogeneous ethnic states have never been a good idea. Going on with the two state solution hides the reality in Israel/Palestine. It is dangerous for Palestinians, for Israeli jews in the near future and also for the Middle East and Europe in the long run.
Once all concerned parties start the process of a one-state solution under a new state’s name such as (Israel-Palestine), the whole MENA-region would also enter a phase of prosperity, democracy, and human rights. There’d be no struggle for existence anymore, nor against the apartheid regime; it’ll be from the past. With “justice for all”, including the right to return for Palestinian refugees, stable economic relations would be established between the states as a result instead of serving war companies.
I support the one state solution, because as I see it, only once every person is granted equal rights and citizenship, with no discrimination whatsoever, will there be any movement towards reconciliation. It is my firm belief that every human being, regardless of gender, color, class etc. deserves to live a dignified life, to have full rights and control over his life, and not to be exploited in any way. Only a solution that offers absolute equality is one worth pursuing.
Naji El Khatib
I have been born into a stateless Palestinian refugee family in Lebanon. My first political engagement was nationalist, based on the question of the Right Of Return for all the refugees of Palestine and their descendants.
I still believe that the Right of Return is the founding stone for the resolution of the conflict over Palestine especially if it combines with a new post-nationalist vision of creating a secular and democratic one state in mandatory Palestine. A state for all its inhabitants, Palestinians (residents and refugees) and Israeli Jews without any distinction based on sex, gender, race, color, religion, language, nationality. A state of full citizenship, of rule of law for all.
For this reason, I support The One State Foundation, in parallel with my activities in the Popular Movement for One Secular Democratic State in Palestine (OSDS, for more information please check; www.osds-movement.net).
As an Israeli citizen, I regard my government’s policies towards the Palestinian people as nothing less than occupation, apartheid and colonialism. While Palestinians are the victims of all this, Israeli leaders and the Israeli public at large must realize that Israelis have no future here without treating the Palestinians as equal human beings. A one state solution addresses this fundamental issue by striving for equality, democracy and peace, rather than fear, separation and violence.
Kareem Abu Sharia
Palestinians have experienced very systemic ethnic cleansing but they are not the first and might not be the last people to go through such experience. Although acknowledging and repairing past injustices is crucial we at the same time have to focus on creating a new future as well. In order to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict we need to acknowledge that both people are sharing the same land and need to move to one state that gives all its citizens the same rights.
I am a Jewish Israeli critic and activist striving to bring about an end to the colonial occupation system the state of Israel imposes. This system is based on the realization of a dangerous racist fantasy: a state for Jews only, emptied out from its Palestinians inhabitants. When I think about what de-colonization would mean for my society in the future, I imagine it would require in positive terms a new energy, a new project, a new fantasy. In many ways I personally exemplify a major success of the Zionist fantasy: Hebrew is my native language and culture. I consider myself a native of the land (in Hebrew Bat Hamakom). I call it homeland even though I do not live there anymore. I identify myself without any hesitations as Israeli. But like any Israeli I know I carry the added layer: the deep imprint of our past; of our ancestors. The collapse of old Sephardic Jewish communities rooted in the Middle East and in the Balkans brought my ancestors to the shores of this land after 1948. This historical calamity and their difficult, not to say traumatic, circumstances before and upon arriving in Israel, cannot be ignored or rolled back. So we must remember the story that formed us as a society in this space, and what created this hybrid collective, the Israeli-Palestinian collective. We as Jews carry a collective memory of displacement, uprooting and racist absorption by Zionist agencies. The new story that we will tell about ourselves will take as a starting point the heroism and dignity of anti-colonial struggles. It will enable us a collective redefinition as something other than a settler-colonial society. It will turn us into citizens of a democratic state. Critical knowledge of our past, and our cultural memory will awaken in us our intimate knowledge of what it means to be a minority; what it means to struggle against dispossession; to experience the infinite danger of being refugee and to be natives of the Middle East region, for example. I believe Israelis already carry this DNA within them, that enables the emergence of a new collective identity through the process of de-colonializing our society. This new collective definition will foster human dignity and equality, cultural distinction, a peaceful sovereign coexistence, a shared governed space, with hybrid populations free of any restrictions of movement. Such a peaceful existence in one homeland with the Palestinian collective is a realistic possibility, a necessary one for the future of the country and for its future generations.
Israel dominates and governs in a de facto way the territory between the Mediterranean in the west and the Jordan river in the east. There is no indication whatsoever that its leadership is even considering, let alone preparing to retreat from those areas internationally considered as the basis for a future territorially contiguous, politically independent and economically viable Palestinian state. The political course followed by succesive Israeli governments for decades is in fact in the opposite direction. Current political discourse in Israel is about whether or not time has come to formally annex the area, and if so under what conditions, notably how to get rid off or subdue remaining Palestinians.
People living in the area between sea and river do so under various discriminatory rules and laws nowadays. There is a formal hierarchy of rights and obligations, Jewish citizens at the top, others below them, in various degrees. This in itself is a 24/7 breach of law, justice and human dignity, not to speak about international law and obligations based on international treaties. Occupation by its very nature means bureaucratic and physical violence over and against others. This situation is undesirable, unacceptable, unlawful and untenable. In the best interests of all people living in the area, equal rights for all should be the new paradigm. Future Israel could benefit from that as well, parading as a democratic state, which it is not at the present.
The only way forward to this goal of equality before the law is one state and one government for all. This is still no guarantee for formal equal rights and obligations, but an important step to that goal.
I therefore do wholeheartedly support the idea of promoting on the spot the concept of one state, with equal rights for all its citizens.
Born in kibbutz Gal-Ed I was raised on the liberal-zionist mindset, believing that we, the Jews, came to build and be build in the land that waited for us for salvation.
We are the good people who came with noble and peaceful intentions, and if only the mean Arabs would realize and accept this, paradise would be reached here in Israel, that is what we were told and what we believed without asking any questions. I had a vague wondering about being labeled as a Jew on my ID card; after all, Judaism is supposed to be a religion, I learned, not a nationality.
In the seventies I escaped the burden of social pressure in the kibbutz and the chronic feeling of insecurity in the Israeli air and settled in the Netherlands. The blood in me kept my passionate love for Israeli music and literature alive and I hoped that somehow all in Israel would turn out good, in the end. Instead, developments have taken direction for the worse.
Reading Israeli and Palestinian historians made me realize that we were lied to. Our intentions and our deeds were not honest and noble at all and our perfect PR machinery and a Western world filled with guilt assured us that the Palestinians had no chance of getting their rights respected or for a fair solution to materialize.
Given the current political and social climate in Israel, in which denial of Palestinian rights seems to be perceived as some historical Jewish right, it seems the situation will only worsen further before people are able to repent and come to terms with reality.
To reach paradise one has to head to paradise; to reach a just solution one has to walk the path to a just solution. Step by step but this is the only right way to go; a one state solution, with equal rights for all that live in Israel/Palestine.
One state for Israelis and Palestinians, including all the refugees who will wish to return, is a political frame which can allow for two main and essential principals: 1. Full equality for all; 2. No separation between the two peoples.
These two are not only opposite to the existing apartheid and colonial regime but are the ones that can ensure life in peace for all those wish to live in this country.
I believe that everyone that is against racism and supports equality and justice for the oppressed should acknowledge that what is going on in Palestine is colonialization and cleansing of the land of its native population. And because I am also a renounced jewish citizen of Israel I feel it is even my moral obligation that I speak up against zionism and its product, Jewish ethnocracy. I believe one democracy with equality and justice (right of return) is the only moral and justified solution. Sometimes I am really surprised that people object to the concept of equality. If you love your motherland surely you want it to be better and your children to grow up to be unprejudiced moral human beings?
My name is Ramsis Kilani and I am a German student of Palestinian descent. In 2014, my father and my five half-siblings from the age of 4 to twelve were killed by the Israeli army during their attack on Gaza. Still, I believe in the support and solidarity of decent people around the world who struggle for a dignified life for Palestinians and Jews in one state between the river Jordan and the sea which treats its citizens equally to end these kinds of crimes. I support a one state initiative because I believe it is the only way to ensure equal rights for all the people of the region including the Palestinian refugees ethnically cleansed from the land in 1948.
Willem Beelaerts van Blokland
Crossing the Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem as a young boy (1962-3), the son of a Dutch diplomat in Jerusalem, left an impression. The Israeli border guards were very friendly and, after passing through no-man’s land, their Jordanian counterparts even more so. At that early age, I of course understood there was a problem somewhere. But given the humanity and kindness shown to me and my family on both sides, it did not occur to me that they could possibly be each other’s enemies.
I returned more than 30 years later as a Dutch diplomat, in the heyday of the Oslo agreement. In those few early years (’94-96), I caught a glimpse of that same humanity and kindness which, given political will on both sides, could have delivered a positive outcome. It was not to be. What has followed -however awful- has not, however, destroyed my faith in the possibility of a peaceful settlement and that is why I am happy to support the “One State Foundation”.
Justice, peace and true co-existence can never be achieved in Israel-Palestine as long as that land and its peoples remain divided. What justice does a Palestine within the two-state solution offer to refugees from Yaffa or Simsim? No peace can hold when borders prevent refugees from seeing their homeland and Jews from visiting the Cave of the Patriarchs; two states will build only resentment between the people, not co-existence. One secular nation, with equal rights for all from the river to the sea, is the only option and the best hope for a solution that will outlast our grandchildren.
I used to subscribe to the orthodoxy of a ‘two state solution’, out from the notion which I was indoctrinated with from birth – the Zionist notion of a ‘conflict’ which we are still trying to ‘negotiate’ territorially.
It was first when I read Ilan Pappe’s Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine in 2007, and subsequently delved into a myriad of critical history concerning this ‘conflict’, that I had come to understand that what I was taught and indoctrinated omitted a vast narrative, which is often dismissively regarded as the ‘Palestinian narrative’. It further occurred to me that hiding this narrative, was but a part of the paradigm which I had been born into – one of settler-colonialism, and that Zionism is hardly alone as a colonialist venture in erasing its own traces of oppression, terror and ‘disappearing’ of the native population.
It occurs to me that this whole paradigm is simply wrong. It is in its very essence a crime against humanity. The notion of ‘partition’, in any of its historical forms, does not seek to address this crime, really. From the Zionist perspective it seeks to accommodate it, and from the Palestinian perspective it has always been a form of compromised subdual to Zionist demands.
Many have reached the one-state wish out from a negative standpoint – that reality (Israeli settlement etc.) has made a two-state scenario impossible. I have reached it from a more positive notion, that it is a healing of an institutionalized wrong. And it can be done, it has been done before. I truly want it to happen, and I know many others, Jews and Palestinians alike, who want it too.
After more than a century of colonization, 70 years of displacement, 50 years of occupation and judaization, and faced with the prospect of an interminable regime of apartheid and warehousing imposed by Israel over the entire country of Palestine/Israel, it is time to recognize that Israel has unilaterally and irreversibly created one country between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. Our task is clear: to transform that apartheid state into a democratic if multicultural state of all its citizens. I support the efforts of the One State Foundation to raise critical alternatives to the present untenable reality.
One state is not one of the solutions; one state is the only solution. The status quo only serves both leaderships while the one state solution would serve the interest of both peoples. We should stop wasting our time and the time of future generations and immediately start investing all our efforts in the only solution; the one state solution.
I believe borders hurt and that borders are violent. They are meant to keep people away from each other, they teach us to distrust and even hate each other. I want to share the space of Israel/Palestine with all those who feel it is their home. I don’t believe there is place for only one religion or only one ethnicity. There is only space for people who love and respect the land and their neighbours on it.
Broadening debate among Palestinians and Israelis on a one state solution is at the core of what we are trying to do as a foundation. Envisioning a true and all-encompassing solution is for many – understandably, given the reality – more difficult than embracing a form of ‘managing the conflict’. What I always keep in mind is that it is not practical impediments that make the realization of one state impossible. It is first and foremost a question of psychology and mindset. Can we make people, see, emotionally feel and rationally understand that a shared future in equality is in the end beneficial for all? That is the challenge we are taking on and I am happy and proud to take part in this effort.