Robert Mackey of the New York Times’ Lede blog, which provided excellent coverage in the aftermath of the flotilla raid, gives the one-state solution in Israel/Palestine some ink, although he does not endorse it. Still, Mackey comes surprisingly close to one-state solution advocates’ idea that the partition of Israel/Palestine is unworkable and will end in terrible bloodshed, a point all the more prescient with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman pushing for “population exchanges” for Israel’s Palestinian citizens if a Palestinian state arises. Lieberman’s “population exchange” idea is really a euphemism for expelling the 20% of Israeli citizens that are Palestinian, as the Palestinian citizens of Israel are not going to voluntarily leave their ancestral homeland.
Mackey, in a post about what Gandhi would say about Israel/Palestine today, writes:
In light of the continuing effort by negotiators to settle on a map that satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians, it is interesting that what Gandhi and Buber apparently did agree on was their opposition to the essential logic of what is now called the “two-state solution,” the concept that partitions drawn along ethnic or religious lines would eventually resolve conflicts between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia and Muslims and Jews in the Middle East. As Mr. Mishra pointed out, “This post-imperial imperative of the nation-state was anathema to Gandhi, who saw India as host to many communities whose overlapping cultural identities could not be regimented into a single religion or ethnicity.”
From the perspective of 2010, it is easy to dismiss Gandhi and Buber — and contemporary activists who still advocate a one-state solution — as idealists, but, after six decades of violence following the partition of India that created Pakistan, and the still-to-be-completed partition of Palestine that created Israel, the idea that any amount of force will soon create two peaceful states in either part of the world is also looking less convincing by the day.
With everyone focused on a dead-end “peace process” that hasn’t gone anywhere over the past 20 years, it is refreshing to hear a mainstream journalist question whether the magical two-state solution everyone is supposedly aiming for is even possible. And as peace talks drag on, and more and more people recognize that the two-state solution is dead or that it was never even desirable, I wonder if we’ll see more questioning of the conventional wisdom that a re-partition of Israel/Palestine is the best way to end the conflict.