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Bi-Nationalism: The Logic of Reality

By Sherri Muzher | Palestine Chronicle | August 18, 2012

Regardless of the US presidential election results in November, Palestinians will be told to resume direct negotiations with Israel if they wish to see a state of their own.

Apparently, the old expression that ‘actions speak louder than words’ doesn’t apply. The continuation of Israeli settlements speaks volumes. Physical separation and lack of contiguity has nullified the hopes of two states living side by side.

Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University, co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, summarized direct talks in three points. 1) There is no sign that the Palestinians are willing to accept less than a viable, territorially contiguous state in the West Bank (and eventually, Gaza), including a capital in East Jerusalem. 2) There is no sign that Israel’s government is willing to accept anything more than a symbolic Palestinian “state” consisting of a set of disconnected Bantustans, with Israel in full control of the borders, air space, and water supplies. 3) There is no sign that the U.S. government is willing to put meaningful pressure on Israel.

In fact, the last U.S. president to put serious pressure on Israel was George H.W. Bush who withheld loan guarantees to Israel for its settlement policies back in 1991.

A decade earlier, President Reagan said in September 1982, “Indeed, the immediate adoption of a settlements freeze by Israel, more than any other action, could create the confidence needed for wider participation in these talks.”

But leaders from Labor, Likud, and Kadima have never taken a reprieve from settlement-building.

Numerous reasons have been cited by Israelis for the need to build Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, including the need for more housing to accommodate Jewish immigrants.

Jewish settlers will tell you that their presence in the West Bank, known as Judea and Samaria to religious Jews, is necessary because God said the land must belong to the Jews even if it means ridding the land of its inhabitants.

Some say that the settlements in the Occupied Territories are necessary to protect Israel’s security. However, Binyamin Begin, son of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin and a prominent voice in the rightwing Likud party stated that “In strategic terms, the settlements are of no importance.” Adding, they constitute an obstacle, an insurmountable obstacle to the establishment of an independent Arab State west of the river Jordan.”

But nobody expressed the objective of settlements better than Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who once urged that, “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements, because everything we take now will stay ours.”

That mentality has driven Israeli governments and hurt hopes for real peace. Short of removing 500,000 settlers from the Occupied Territories, there are still two chances for peace: 1) Jewish settlers can agree to become citizens of a future Palestine and abide under its laws or 2) agree to a bi-national state. Bi-nationalism is the idea of two national groups living in one nation as equals. The latter has picked up steam.

It is doubtful that bi-nationalism was in the cards either. Bi-nationalism is perhaps the greatest fear of those who wish to maintain the Jewish character of Israel since Palestinians would become the majority. But as Justice Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish justice on the Supreme Court once said, “The logic of words should yield to the logic of realities.”

And this much is known: Palestinians aren’t leaving and Israelis aren’t leaving. They share the same land and the same natural resources. Their economies are linked. Israeli settlements have made physical separation impossible. The only solution is a democratic bi-national state where Palestinians and Israelis live as equals and are forced to make it work.

Sherri Muzher is the author of Escape to a World of Palestinian Surprises. Visit: http://www.palestiniansurprises.com.

August 19, 2012 - Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , ,

19 Comments

  1. Obviously the author thinks that expressions apply ONLY to Israel… And she happily ignores inconvenient facts… If “actions speak louder than words” what exactly should Israel be hearing when the PA isn’t stopping murderous attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians?!… What exactly should Israel be hearing when the PA is constantly honoring those who commit murderous attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians?!…

    As for inconvenient facts, it’s now well known that both the Barak and Olmert offers did NOT consist of a symbolic Palestinian “state” consisting of a set of disconnected Bantustans…

    Furthermore, regardless of anything else, the ONLY option available to the Palestinians is one of a compromise based resolution of the conflict… And that can ONLY be had through direct negotiations with Israel…

    Pressure by the US or anybody else is NOT going to work as long as the Israelis aren’t convinced that their withdrawing from territories isn’t going to lead to a worsened security situation for Israel…

    The situation that arose in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal is unacceptable from Israel’s POV… The fact that the Moslim Brotherhood in Egypt is seriously discussing invalidating the Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty is NOT helping in making the Israelis feel confident enough to allow a compromise with the Palestinians…

    Like

    Comment by Bambi | August 19, 2012

    • “Murderous attacks by Palestinians on Israeli civilians?”

      Care to enumerate? Numbers? Dates? Provocative contexts?

      Your mythology here is as bankrupt as that in the balance of your comment.

      Like

      Comment by aletho | August 19, 2012

      • Do you wish to hold an honest exchange of views (even if you disagree with some of them) or do you just wish to preach to the choir?!…

        Like

        Comment by Bambi | August 19, 2012

        • Aletho News has a significant readership from the illegal colonies such as yourself, so the assertion that “you just wish to preach to the choir” is unfounded. Besides, the balance of the readers are extremely diverse relative to the norm.

          Like

          Comment by aletho | August 19, 2012

          • LOL… Thank you for confirming what I already suspected… Obviously you consider all of Israel as an “illegal colony”… As for “unfounded” I have rarely if ever seen pro-Israeli comments here… The comments regularly run the gamut from just “anti-Zionist” to the full blown antisemitic… I’d hardly call that “extremely diverse”…

            As for having an honest exchange of opinions, suppose some sort of compromise becomes possible, say something like the Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty, would you be in favor?!… And, assuming you would be in favor, do you think it’s a good idea for the Muslim Brotherhood to even consider abrogating the Israeli/Egyptian peace treaty?!…

            Like

            Comment by Bambi | August 19, 2012

            • “comments regularly run the gamut from just “anti-Zionist” to the full blown antisemitic… I’d hardly call that “extremely diverse”…”

              Out of 7 billion what percentage do you really think are Zionist?

              The “Egyptian” “peace” treaty was no such thing as it did nothing to force the resolution of the situation for the dispossessed Palestinians.

              I will turn the question around; do you prefer a South African solution or Algerian?

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              Comment by aletho | August 19, 2012

              • The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is between Israel and Egypt… Just like the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan is between Israel and Jordan… And, whether you like it or not, peace is what exists between Israel, Egypt and Jordan… Peace, even a cold peace, is better then the alternative… The Palestinians (even though they make up the majority of Jordan’s citizens) do not figure into either treaty…

                As for choosing between a South African solution or Algerian solution, I do not believe a South African solution is possible and the Algerian solution doesn’t apply… The Jewish Israelis by and largely do not have a “France” to return to… Furthermore, as Jews they’re far more connected to the region then the French were ever connected to Algeria…

                In addition, the Algerian solution didn’t work out that well for the Algerians… Yes, they got rid of the French but I don’t think they’ve had such a good existence since then… Are you really proposing that as long as the Palestinians get rid of the Israeli Jews (half of whom are “Arab Jews”) anything that follows would be better?!… Even if “anything” is decades of bloody conflict between extremist Muslims (Hamas & Salafists) and less observant Muslims?!…

                A far better solution to the conflict would be a Czechoslovakia solution… Where the Czechs and the Slovaks each went their own way… An even earlier example of this principle can be found in the India/Pakistan split… However, I guess that any solution that leaves an Israel in any form or shape is anathema to you…

                Like

                Comment by Bambi | August 19, 2012

                • Your “peace” with Egypt and Jordan is a “peace” in which one side only enjoys peace. The other side is routinely violated.

                  “Jews they’re far more connected to the region then the French were ever connected to Algeria…”

                  Hardly. The French had been in Algeria for 5-6 generations, triple the connection that your mostly Khazars have with Palestine.

                  The “Czechoslovakia solution” has been made impossible by your own leaders long ago already.

                  Should there be an “Israel”?

                  Should any modern nation state be a race based theocracy? Do you support a separatist White Christian nation for the North American Pacific North West? How about an African-American nation for the deep South? Perhaps Poland should expel Protestants? You really are a Nazi as far as ideology is concerned. That’s what Zionism is in actuality.

                  Like

                  Comment by aletho | August 19, 2012

  2. LOL… It took you all of 4 posts to turn nasty and personal… Let me give you a hint, when you’re holding an honest exchange of views it’s not necessary to like the other person or even to respect their opinion… What is required is to refrain from personal name calling…

    The fact remains that but for people like you the Jews wouldn’t feel pressed to have a state of their own… Something you don’t deny any other people on earth… But then again, double standards is what you do…

    I’ll be happy to give you another example of double standards you hold… According to you, alleged descendants of converts several centuries ago aren’t really Jews (never mind the fact that genetics prove you wrong) but you accept that a descendant of a Palestinian and a non-Palestinian is defined as a Palestinian… Never mind the fact that the Palestinian in question is defined as a person who can prove that he resided for 2 years in Palestine prior to 1948/1949…

    No doubt you’ll delete this post of mine and pretend I never existed…

    BTW, as far as “race” goes, there’s only one race – the human race!…

    Like

    Comment by Bambi | August 20, 2012

    • It’s not personal “Bambi”. In modern political movements Zionism is most closely related Nazism. One movement was intended to appeal to Germans, the other to Jewish adherents. It is not about you personally, it’s about the ideology you are choosing to defend.

      Your claim that it is all my responsibility is entirely without basis. This is another tired piece of rationalization dogma.

      You disingenuously attempt to conflate religion with nationality, two entirely distinct questions.

      The fact that many Jews have Khazar DNA does not prove me wrong in any way whatsoever. Palestinians are the actual descendents of the ancient Jews. It is you who attempt to deny them a state.

      How can you adhere to Judaism and believe that “there’s only one race – the human race!” ? You must not have studied the religion at all. I have read both Mein Kampf and numerous Talmudic passages, they are really quite similar though the latter is far more barbaric in tone and lacking in moderation.

      Like

      Comment by aletho | August 20, 2012

      • Yeah… Right… You calling me (personally) a Nazi isn’t personal?!… I guess you hold double standards on that as well…

        As for me holding you responsible for everything, that’s a strawman argument… I haven’t held you responsible for anything other then what I believe are your views…

        As for religion and nationality (ethnicity if you wish), it may be unconventional but Jewish religion and nationality (ethnicity if you wish) do go hand in hand… And the Jews are not alone in this… Certain native North American tribes hold identical convictions…

        As for me denying the Palestinians a state, nothing could be further from the truth… In fact, I have stated quite the opposite when I suggested that there is a 3rd option to the 2 you mentioned… The Czechoslovakia model… In other words, try arguing with me about what I actually say rather then what you imagine I say…

        As for DNA, remove your blinkers!… The DNA research available shows that European (allegedly Khazar converts) do not share that much DNA with their non-Jewish neighbors… That, indeed, they share more with each other then they share with their neighbors… Additional, recent, DNA research shows that North African a.k.a Sephardi Jews have more in common genetically with their European a.k.a. Ashkenazi (allegedly Khazar converts) brethren then they do with their neighbors…

        As for the Talmud, perhaps you’re unaware of it but the majority of Israeli Jews are secular and have never even read a single page of the Talmud… Be that as it may, the Talmud is written in a certain way and it’s easy to take passages out of context… And people with an agenda have done exactly that… I have no doubt that is what you have read…

        BTW, have you read the Quran?!… Are you aware that it contains racist passages?!… Oh, sorry… For a moment I forgot your double standards…

        Like

        Comment by Bambi | August 20, 2012

  3. 1) “but for people like you the Jews wouldn’t feel pressed to have a state of their own… ”

    2) “As for me holding you responsible for everything, that’s a strawman argument… I haven’t held you responsible for anything other then what I believe are your views…”

    Which is it?

    ~~~

    Ethnicity and religion surely do not go “hand in hand”. If they did the Palestinians would be Jewish and Europeans would all
    believe in Pagan gods.

    I guess you admit that the DNA shows no link to Palestine or any people indigenous to that place.

    ~~~

    Would you like a comparison between the Koran and the old testament regarding quantity of violent and or racist passages? I think you need to think your argument through. They are in altogether separate leagues.

    Like

    Comment by aletho | August 20, 2012

    • Which is it?!… You should learn comprehensive reading… Or, as I have put it earlier, try arguing with me about what I actually say rather then what you imagine I say…

      If it were only you who held the opinions you hold the Jews wouldn’t need to assure their own welfare… As I specifically stated, it’s “because of people like you”… In other words, it’s not because of you but rather because of all the others out there who hold the same opinions… Nothing in the above holds you personally responsible for anything…

      As for ethnicity and religion, you may disagree but you have no say in how people define themselves… It’s called self-determination!… It’s rather like me not having a say in who is a Palestinian… That’s for them to decide…

      As for DNA, this is now the 2nd time that you try to state my position for me… Grow up!… That’s no way to conduct a discussion… To answer you specifically, the DNA evidence that exists strongly suggest the following:

      1) Sephardi Jews and Ashkenazi Jews (allegedly Khazar converts) have more in common genetically with each other then they do with their neighbors…
      2) Jews, as a group, show the greatest genetical commonality indicative of Middle Eastern descend (and more specifically the Kurdish region)…

      Both of the above utterly demolish your claim of Khazar (converts) descend!… If you’d like to read up on the science here are a couple of links:

      * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews
      * http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1626606/posts

      As for the genetic makeup of the Palestinians, it’s really irrelevant because it’s your claim that the Jews aren’t really Jews which was being discussed… Having said that, the genetic evidence that exists strongly suggest that the Jews and large sections of the Palestinian population are related (see the first link)… As this too utterly demolishes your contention that the Jews are a foreign implant in the Middle East I’m pretty certain you won’t be happy with this data…

      As for the Quran and the Old Testament, the BIG difference there is whereas the Jews (as well as Christians) have gone through a process of inspection and change that the Muslims have yet to go through… To wit:

      Biblical punishments such as stoning or execution for such things as homosexuality and (female) infidelity have been effectively relegated to the past and you won’t find many Jews (or Christians) calling for their reinstitution… In fact, those that do call for that are a minute minority considered extreme fundamentalists… On the other hand, in Islam fundamentalism is very much the norm…

      Last but not least, a few minutes ago a friend reminded me of a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that I would like to share with you: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people…

      Like

      Comment by Bambi | August 21, 2012

      • “you have no say in how people define themselves… It’s called self-determination!…”

        So you have no problem then with a group defining themselves as having dominion over Jews then? God promised us Jewish hewers of wood and haulers of water? Any group could announce themselves as “chosen by god” to seize property and freedom from the savage Jewish brutes?

        ~~~

        Your conclusion about the Khazarian claim to Palestine is completely illogical, it is simply not shown that there is any connection. Even if you think that that is shown, the claim to Palestine would still be equally bizarre. For example many Americans have direct ancestry from Europe, shall they claim the area and drive the Europeans into Asia?

        ~~~

        “Jews (as well as Christians) have gone through a process of inspection and change that the Muslims have yet to go through…”

        Hardly! I suggest that you have a read of either Shas’ Rabbi Ovadia or the Chief Rabbi of the IOF among numerous others.

        ~~~

        As I identify your ideology with Nazism, I discuss “ideas”, your ideas yes, but still ideas.

        Like

        Comment by aletho | August 21, 2012

  4. Regarding self determination, how people define themselves obviously refers to how they define themselves as a group and has absolutely no relation as to how that group defines others… However, as is clear from several of your comments you seem to hold the antisemitic canard that Jews define themselves as being “better” then others… Specifically, your interpretation of the “chosen” is the antisemitic one and has no relation to how Judaism interprets the term…

    Regarding the Khazarian claim, you have been presented with the scientific evidence that shows that the claim that the (Ashkenazi) Jews are not really Jewish holds no water yet you prefer to completely ignore that evidence and persist in holding your warped (and scientifically impossible) view… You have even ignored the evidence that Jews and Palestinians are genetically related… Facts (especially scientific ones) can be quite pesky when they don’t suit your religiously held conventions… Just ask the creationists…

    As for Americans, nobody is persecuting them because they are Americans so I see no pressing reason for them to return to Europe… In fact, several European nations (e.g. France) have made it easier for Americans (to be read as citizens of any country on the American continents) to “come back home”… Another example would be the Netherlands which has recently changed it’s nationality law so that people who had a Dutch mother but a foreign father who until the late 60’s weren’t considered legally Dutch to get Dutch nationality via a simplified and fast process… This change applies to their descendants as well… I expect this trend to grow as European population falls…

    As for Rabbi Ovadia and others like him, you’re making my point for me… They are considered extreme fundamentalists by Israeli Jewish society as a whole and even (quietly) by some of their own followers… To restate my point, the whole Haredi (ultra orthodox) following in Israel is 9% of the total population… Conversely, their counterparts in Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood & Salafists) are the vast majority in the Egyptian population… The situation in other places (e.g. Gaza, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia) isn’t significantly different…

    Like

    Comment by Bambi | August 21, 2012

  5. Bambi you ashkeNAZI khazar don’t come across as if your an actual semite. You came in 1918 thanks to the british in the belfour delcaration you turned on your hosts and commited terrorism from you various european Jewish terrorist groups, irgun,hagannah,stern the modern IDF is the former terrorist group known as irgun. In the 1950s israel tried to cleanse over 110,000 mizharim jews through operation ringworm by radiating children on school trips, a mass murdering rapist thief has no right to no land especially when its stolen. Your fascist state controls more than 80% of historic palestine and still you want more your even occupying syria (golan). If you look at the dempgraphic’s of the region it doesn’t fit the the asheNAZI look because your khazars from georgia/russia. Palestine is for Muslims, christians and mizahrim jews who lived in peace for centuries until the mongol khazars like yourself arrived.

    Below zionist sources explain’s the askeNAZI hate for anything non khazar including arab jews.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/4838496/Israels-humiliating-discrimination-against-Arab-Jews.html

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/are-immanuel-parents-so-different-from-the-rest-of-israelis-1.297243

    Like

    Comment by Naeem | August 22, 2012

    • “Rabbi Ovadia and others … are considered extreme fundamentalists by Israeli Jewish society”

      Well, the Shas party seems to be the determinant of Israeli policy at the moment.

      ~~~

      “Haredi (ultra orthodox) following in Israel is 9% of the total population… Conversely, their counterparts in Egypt are the vast majority”

      Yet the MB aren’t pursuing genocidal and exclusivist policies.

      ~~~

      Your conclusion that, because they share some Turkic DNA between the two, North African Jews and Khazars are Palestinians is risible. Semites are not Turks. You may have some Turkic DNA. That does not make you Semitic. Again, even if it did it would not give you title to anyone’s lands, no matter how nonsensical of a “persecution” threat you claim.

      Like

      Comment by aletho | August 22, 2012

      • Holding political power in a multiparty democracy where a coalition is required to govern is not indicative of popularity… Take for example The Netherlands… The PVV was the 3rd largest party after the last elections… They weren’t even partners to the coalition but they were the tip pf the scale so to speak… Same thing holds true in Israel vis a vie Shas…

        If Shas had the power you claim it has transportation on the Sabbath and sale of non-Kosher products would be banned (among other things)… The fact is that they get thrown some minor bones and no more… It’s called politics…

        As for the MB, they are pushing for Sharia and world domination: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7OHC0QZ5nc Yes, the cleric claims to seek by way of peace but that’s like the Mafia peacefully asking you for your protection contribution…

        As for DNA, the science proves you wrong… Just admit it and seek another argument… As for me personally, I’m at least half Spharadi (literally) as my mother’s ancestors were Portuguese… And, there’s evidence to suggest that my Father’s ancestors were from Spain (the city of Navarro) so whatever I am, I’m not a Khazar…

        BTW, the DNA evidence I presented isn’t my conclusion… I’m an engineer and not a geneticist… I wouldn’t presume to make genetic conclusions… I leave that to the experts…

        Like

        Comment by Bambi | August 22, 2012

    • You should read the links I provided to our host… The whole Khazar theory has been debunked by science…

      That is if you can stop for a moment frothing at the mouth with your hate filled ranting…

      As for me, you have no clue about me other then that I’m a Jew… As for Ashkenazim and Spharadim in Israel, the fact remains that mixed marriages are more the norm then the exception… And and this mixing is to be found in all walks of life in Israel…

      I’d say come and visit to see for yourself but I’m afraid the mere thought of doing so would get you in another tizzy…

      Like

      Comment by Bambi | August 22, 2012


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