In a few recent posts we’ve discussed the question of whether one state or two states is the most logical or possible resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (You can see my argument here.) A few days ago TPM Reader RC sent me this April Foreign Affairs article, Israel’s One-State Reality. It was written by three scholars at GW and another at the University of Maryland. The piece was interesting to me because it illustrates a lot of what the one state argument is really about. As the title suggests, the article is not so much an argument that one state in Israel-Palestine is a solution to anything but an assertion that it is the current reality.
In other words, Israel’s not a country that functions as a democracy while controlling occupied territories whose final status will be decided at some point in the future. It’s a single country in which all Jews have political and civil rights and most Palestinians have limited civil rights and no political rights. Given that the post-67 occupation has persisted for 56 years, this argument has many merits to it. But what is the import of that assertion? In itself it’s simply a definitional claim. That part comes next. It’s an argument for the withdrawal of US support and some escalating framework of sanctions to compel Israel to come up to international standards in which one ethnic group or most of it facing systemic legal discrimination just isn’t okay.