Is there any realistic alternative to a two-state solution?

Here are a few excerpts from remarks made by veteren Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery, taken from a transcript of a Gush Shalom debate about a One State vs. a Two State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

Avniery: “There are three basic questions about the one-state idea: First: Is it possible at all?
Second: If it were possible, is it a good idea? Third: Will it bring a Just Peace?

“About the first question, my answer is a clear and unequivocal No. It is not possible.

“Anybody who is rooted in the Israeli-Jewish public knows that this public’s deepest aspiration – and here it is permissible to make a generalization – the far far deepest aspiration is to make a state with a Jewish majority, a state where Jews will be the masters of their fate. This takes precedence over any other wish and aspiration, it takes precedence even over having a Greater Israel.

“You can talk of a Single State from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, define it as bi-national or supra-national – whatever the term used, in practice in means dismantling the State of Israel, destruction of all that was built for five generations. This must be said out loud, without any evasions. That is exactly how the Jewish public sees it, and certainly also a large part of the Palestinian public. This means the dismantling of the State of Israel. I am a bit disturbed by the fact that these words are not said explicitly.

+We want to change very many things in this country. We want to change its historical narrative, it’s commonly-held definition as ‘Jewish and democratic’. We want to end occupation outside and discrimination inside. We want to build a new framework in the relations between the state and its Arab-Palestinian citizens. But you cannot ignore the basic ethos of the vast majority of the citizens of Israel. 99.99% of the Jewish Public do not want to dismantle the state …

“There are those who say: it already exists. Israel already rules one state from the sea to the river, you only need to change the regime. So, first of all: there is no such thing. There is an occupying state and an occupied territory. It is far easier to dismantle a settlement, to dismantle settlements, to dismantle ALL the settlements – far easier than to force six million Jews to dismantle their state …

“There can be no doubt that the One State Idea gives its holders moral satisfaction. Somebody told me: OK, maybe it is not realistic, but it is moral, this is where I want to stand. I respect this, but I say: this is a luxury we can’t afford. When we deal with the fate of so many people, a moral position which is not realistic is immoral. Because the final result of such a stance is to perpetuate the existing situation.” Excerpts from Uri Avnery’s remarks in a debate with Ilan Pappe about a Two State vs. a One State solution.

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