"[A] Conquest may
be fraught with evil or with good for mankind, according to the comparative
worth of the conquering and conquered peoples."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
the scandalous Nusseibeh-Ayalon agreement to the irreparably flawed
Geneva Accords, the last true Zionists -- with the crucial help of
acquiescent Palestinian officials -- have tried their best to resuscitate
the two-state solution with the declared intention of saving Zionism. But it
is arguably too little, too late.
The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is really dead.
Good riddance! But someone has to issue an official death certificate before
the rotting corpse is given a proper burial and we can all move on and
explore the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful
coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state
Blinded by the arrogance of power and the
ephemeral comfort of impunity, Israel, against its strategic Zionist
interests, failed to control its insatiable appetite for expansion, and went
ahead with devouring the very last bit of land that was supposed to form the
material foundation for an independent Palestinian state. Since the eruption
of the second Palestinian intifada Israel has entered a new critical phase
where its military repression against the Palestinians in the occupied West
Bank and Gaza has reached new lows, and its flouting of UN resolutions new
heights, where its incessant land grab has led it to erect a wall around
Palestinian population centers, separating Palestinians from their lands --
thus dispossessing them yet again -- and where moral corruption and racial
discrimination have more lucidly eroded the internal coherence of Israeli
society as well as its marketed image as a “democracy.” As a result,
Israel’s standing in world public opinion has nose-dived, bringing it closer
to the status of a pariah state.
This phase has all the emblematic properties of what may be considered the
final chapter of the Zionist project. We are witnessing the rapid demise of
Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on
killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia. Going back to the two-state
solution, besides having passed its expiry date, it was never a moral
solution to start with. In the best-case scenario, if UN resolution 242 were
meticulously implemented, it would have addressed most of the legitimate
rights of less than a third of the Palestinian people over less than a fifth
of their ancestral land. More than two thirds of the Palestinians, refugees
plus the Palestinian citizens of Israel, have been dubiously and
shortsightedly expunged out of the definition of the Palestinians. Such
exclusion can only guarantee the perpetuation of conflict.
But who is offering the “best-case” scenario to start with? No one, as a
matter of fact. The best offer so far falls significantly short of even 242
-- not to mention the basic principles of morality. After decades of trying
to convince the Palestinians to give up their rights to the properties they
had lost during the Nakba (1948 catastrophe of dispossession and exile) in
return for a sovereign, fully independent state on all the lands that were
occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, Israel has shown that it really
never had any intention to return all those illegally acquired lands. From
Camp David II to Taba to Geneva, the most “generous” Israeli offer was
always well below the minimal requirements of successive UN resolutions and
the basic tenets of justice.  Admitting
that justice is not fully served by his government’s offer at Camp David,
for instance, former Israeli foreign minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami gave the
Palestinian a choice between “justice or peace.”
Peace decoupled from justice, though, is not only morally reprehensible but
pragmatically unwise as well. It may survive for a while, but only after it
has been stripped of its essence, becoming a mere stabilization of an
oppressive order, or what I call the master-slave peace, where the slave has
no power and/or will to resist and therefore submits to the dictates of the
master, passively, obediently, without a semblance of human dignity. As
Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote:
The strongest man is never strong enough to be
master all the time, unless he transforms force into right and obedience
into duty. ... Force is a physical power; I do not see how its effects could
produce morality. To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will; it
is at best an act of prudence. In what sense can it be a moral duty?
Well, the Palestinians’ “prudence” is running
out. The yielding of their official leadership to force merely led to more
colonization, and promises for yet more to come.
2. Relative Humanity and the Conflict
From the onset, the two main pretences given by the Zionists to justify
their colonization of Palestine were:
A) Palestine was a land without a people, an uncivilized wasteland;
B) Jews had a divine right to “redeem” Palestine, in accordance with a
promise from no less an authority than God, and because, according to the
Bible, the Israelites built their kingdoms all over the Land of Canaan a
couple of thousand years ago, giving them historical rights to the place.
Thus, any dispossession of the natives of Palestine, if they existed, was an
acceptable collateral damage to the implementation of God’s will. If this
sounds too close to Bush’s jargon, it is mere coincidence.
By now, both the political and the religious arguments were shown to be no
more than unfounded myths, thanks in no small part to the diligent work of
Israeli historians and archaeologists. 
Doing away with both political fabrication and Biblical mythology, Joseph
Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department in 1940,
explained the truth about how this “redemption” was to be carried out:
ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together
in this country. We shall not achieve our goal if the Arabs are in this
small country. There is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to
neighboring countries - all of them. Not one village, not one tribe should
be left. 
At the very core of the rationalization of
such an expulsion lies an entrenched colonial belief in the irrelevance, or
comparative worthlessness, of the rights, the needs and aspirations of the
native Palestinians. For instance, the author of the Balfour Declaration
The four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or
wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in
future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of
the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.
It is a classic case of what I call relative-humanization.
I define Relative Humanity as the belief, and Relative Humanization as the
practice based on that belief, that certain human beings, to the extent that
they share a common religious, ethnic, cultural or other similarly
substantial identity attribute, lack one or more of the necessary attributes
of being human, and are therefore human only in the relative sense, not
absolutely, and not unequivocally. Accordingly, such relative humans are
entitled to only a subset of the otherwise inalienable rights that are due
to “full” humans.
Perceiving the Palestinians as relative humans can explain why Israel --
supported by the US and in many cases by Europe too -- has got away with a
taken-for-granted attitude towards the Palestinians that assumes that they
cannot, indeed ought not, have equal needs, aspirations or rights to Israeli
Jews. This factor has played a fundamental role in inhibiting the evolution
of a unitary state solution, as will be shown below.
Besides relative-humanization, there are many impediments on the way to that
morally superior solution. Given the current level of violence, mutual
distrust and hate between the two sides, for example, how can such a
solution ever come true? Besides, with the power gap between Israel and the
Palestinians being so immense, why would Israeli Jews accept this unitary
state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority? Is Israeli consent
really necessary as a first step, or can it be eventually achieved through a
combination of intensive pressure and lack of viable alternatives, just as
in the South African case?
These concerns are indeed valid and crucial to address, but rather than
delving into each one of them, I shall limit myself to showing how the
alternatives to the one-state solution are less likely to solve the
conflict, partially because the principle of equal human worth, which is the
fundamental ingredient in any lasting and just peace, is conspicuously
ignored, breached or repressed in each of them. This in itself may not
logically prove that the one-state solution is the only way out of the
current abyss, but it should at least show that the it certainly deserves
serious consideration as a real alternative.
3. Paths to Ending the Conflict
At the time, and given the impossibility of achieving a negotiated two-state
solution that can give Palestinians their minimal inalienable rights, there
are three logical paths that can be pursued:
1) Maintaining the status quo, keeping some form of the two-state solution
alive, if only on paper; 2) “Finishing the job,” or reaching the logical end
of Zionism, by implementing full ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians out of
the entire Mandate Palestine. Since genocide of the scale committed to rid
America or Australia of their respective natives is not politically viable
nowadays, ethnic cleansing is the closest approximation; 3) Launch new
visionary and practical processes that will lead to the establishment of a
unitary democratic state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.
Let us explore each of the three options.
3.1 Maintaining the Status Quo
Above everything else, the status quo is characterized by three attributes:
Denial of the Palestinian Refugees’ Rights, Military Occupation and
repression in the West Bank and Gaza, and Zionist version of apartheid in
3.1.A. Denial of Palestinian Refugees’ Rights
Far from admitting its guilt in creating the world’s oldest and largest
refugee problem, and despite overwhelming incriminating evidence, Israel has
systematically evaded any responsibility. The most peculiar dimension in the
popular Israeli discourse about the “birth” of the state is the almost
wall-to-wall denial of any wrongdoing. Israelis by and large regard as their
“independence” the ruthless destruction of Palestinian society and the
dispossession of the Palestinian people. Even committed “leftists” often
grieve over the loss of Israel’s “moral superiority” after occupying the
West Bank and Gaza in 1967, as if prior to that Israel were as civil,
legitimate and law-abiding as Finland!
In a classic self-fulfilling prophecy, Israelis have always yearned for
being a normal state to the extent that they actually started believing that
it was.  It is as if most of those
Israelis who actively participated or bore witness to the Nakba were
collectively infected by some chronic selective amnesia.
This denial has its roots in the Holocaust and in the unique circumstances
created as a result of it, which allowed Israel to argue that, unlike any
other state, it was obliged to deny Palestinian refugees their unequivocal
right to return to their homes and lands. Preserving the Jewish character of
the state, the argument went, was the only way to maintain a safe haven for
the world Jewry, the “super-victims,” who are unsafe among the Gentiles, and
that of course was of much more import than the mere rights of the
Palestinians. Even if we ignore the compelling comparison between the safety
of Jews in Israel vs. in France, Morocco, Spain, the United States, or, for
that matter, Germany, we cannot overlook the fact that no other country on
Earth today can ever get away with a similarly overt, racist attitude about
its right to ethnic purity.
Besides being morally indefensible, Israel’s denial of the right of return
also betrays a level of moral inconsistency that is in many ways unique.
The Israeli law of return for Jews, for instance, is based on the principle
that since they were expelled from Palestine over 2,000 years ago, they had
a right to return to it. So by denying the rights of Palestinian refugees,
whose 55-year-old exile is a much younger injustice, to say the least,
Israel is essentially saying that Palestinians cannot have the same right
because they are just not equally human.
Here are some more examples of this moral inconsistency:
* Thousands of Israelis whose grandparents were German citizens have
successfully applied for their right to return to Germany, to gain German
citizenship and receive full compensation for pillaged property. The result
was that the Jewish population of Germany jumped from 27,000 in the early
90’s to over 100,000 last year. 
* Belgium has also passed a law "enabling properties that belonged to Jewish
families to be returned to their owners." It also agreed to pay the local
Jewish community 55 million euros in restitution for stolen property that
"cannot be returned" and for "unclaimed insurance policies belonging to
Holocaust victims." 
But the quintessence of moral hypocrisy is betrayed by the following example
reported in Ha’aretz:
More than five centuries after their ancestors
were expelled from Spain, Jews of Spanish origin . . . called on the Spanish
government and parliament to grant them Spanish nationality... Spain should
pass a law "to recognize that the descendants of the expelled Jews belong to
Spain and to rehabilitate them," said Nessim Gaon, president of the World
Sephardic Federation. . . "Some Sephardic Jews have even preserved the
keys to their forefathers' houses in Spain . . ."
Since supporting the right of return of
Palestinian refugees to their homes is, in my view, the litmus test of
morality for anyone suggesting a just and enduring solution to the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, many, including Bill Clinton, and the entire
spectrum of the official Left in Israel, have flunked the test.
Left and right are relative terms everywhere, but in Israel the distinction
can be totally blurred at times. On the issues of ethnic purity, demography
and chauvinism, Israeli politicians and intellectuals on the left, even
those self-proclaimed as “the left,” 
have made the far-right parties of Europe sound as humane as Mother Teresa.
The crucial difference, however, is that in the case of Israel, the
immorality is aggravated by the fact that, unlike the foreign immigrants to
Europe, the other is in fact the natives of the land.
Despite the above, one must not deny that the right of return of Palestinian
refugees does contradict the requirements of a negotiated two-state
solution. Israel simply will never accept it, making it the Achilles heel of
any negotiated two-state solution, as the record has amply shown. It has
nothing to do with the merits or skills of the Palestinian negotiators, as
lacking as they may have been, but rather with a staggering imbalance of
power that allows an ethnocentric and colonial state to safeguard its
exclusivist nature by dictating conditions on a pathetically weaker
interlocutor. This is precisely why the right of return cannot really be
achieved except in a one-state solution. That would allow the Palestinian
weakness to be turned into strength, if they decide to adopt a non-violent
path to establishing a secular democratic state, thereby gaining crucial
international backing and transforming the conflict into a non-dichotomous
struggle for freedom, democracy, equality and unmitigated justice. Again,
South Africa’s model has to be tapped into for inspiration in this regard.
3.1.B. Military Occupation: War Crimes
, Large and Small
Following a visit to the completely fenced Gaza Strip, Oona King, a Jewish
member of the British parliament commented on the irony that Israeli Jews
face today, saying: "[I]n escaping the ashes of the Holocaust, they have
incarcerated another people in a hell similar in its nature - though not its
extent - to the Warsaw ghetto." 
Any human being with conscience who has recently visited the occupied
territories cannot but agree with King. Faced with the Palestinians’
seemingly inextinguishable aspiration for justice and emancipation, Israel
has resumed for the last three years a campaign of wanton destruction,
indiscriminate atrocities and medieval-like sieges with the clear intention
of collectively punishing the Palestinians, potentially forcing them to
abandon their lands en masse. The rest are mere details, painful and
tormenting as they may be.
Israel’s Apartheid Wall ,
Palestinian Human Rights v. Israeli Animal & Plant Rights:
Although Israel is now trying to present the Wall as a security barrier to
“fend off suicide bombers,” the truth is that the current path of the Wall
is anything but new.  It has been
recommended to Ariel Sharon by the infamous “prophet of the Arab demographic
threat,” Israeli demographer, Arnon Sofer, who insists that the implemented
map was all his. And unlike the slick Israeli politicians, Sofer unabashedly
confesses that the Wall’s path was drawn with one specific goal in mind:
maximizing the land to be annexed to Israel, while minimizing the number of
“Arabs” that would have to come along.
But Sofer may be taking too much credit for himself. Ron Nahman, the mayor
of the West Bank settlement of Ariel, has revealed to the mass-circulation
Yedioth Ahronoth that: "the map of the fence, the sketch of which you see
here, is the same map I saw during every visit [Ariel Sharon] made here
since 1978. He told me he has been thinking about it since 1973." There
weren’t many “suicide bombings” going around then!
Four years ago, well before the intifada started, Ariel Sharon himself, it
turned out, had evocatively called the Wall project the “Bantustan plan,”
according to Ha’aretz.
Despite the Wall’s grave transgression against Palestinian livelihood,
environment, and political rights, a “near total consensus”
 exists amongst Israeli Jews in
supporting it. Several official and non-governmental bodies in Israel,
however, are concerned about the adverse effects the Wall might have on
animals and plants.
The Israeli environment minister Yehudit Naot protested the wall, saying:
fence severs the continuity of open areas and is harmful to the landscape,
the flora and fauna, the ecological corridors and the drainage of the
creeks. The protective system will irreversibly affect the land resource and
create enclaves of communities [of animals, of course] that are cut off from
their surroundings. I certainly don't want to stop or delay the building of
the fence, because it is essential and will save lives. . . . On the other
hand, I am disturbed by the environmental damage involved.
Her ministry and the National Parks Protection
Authority mounted diligent rescue efforts to save an affected reserve of
irises by moving it to an alternative reserve. They’ve also created tiny
passages for animals and enabled the continuation of the water flow in the
Still, the spokesperson for the parks authority was not satisfied. He
don't know that there is now a border. They are used to a certain living
space, and what we are concerned about is that their genetic diversity will
be affected because different population groups will not be able to mate and
reproduce. Isolating the populations on two sides of a fence definitely
creates a genetic problem. 
Even Thomas Friedman, has predicted -- quite
accurately, in my view -- in the New York Times
 that the wall will eventually “kill”
the two-state solution, thereby becoming "the mother of all unintended
Smaller Crimes of the Occupation
Not all the crimes of the Israeli military occupation are as overbearing as
the Wall. I shall address below only four examples of smaller, yet rampant,
I. Birth and Death at an Israeli Military
Rula, a Palestinian woman, was in the last stages of labor. Her husband,
Daoud, could not convince the soldiers at a typical military checkpoint to
let them through to meet the ambulance that was held up by the same soldiers
on the other side. After a long wait, Rula could no longer hold it. She
started screaming in pain, to the total apathy of the soldiers. Daoud
described the traumatic experience to Ha’aretz’s exceptionally
conscientious reporter Gideon Levy, saying:
Next to the barbed wire there was a rock … .
My wife started to crawl toward the rock and she lay down on it. And I'm
still talking with the soldiers. Only one of them paid any attention, the
rest didn't even look. She tried to hide behind the rock. She didn't feel
comfortable having them see her in her condition. She started to yell and
yell. The soldiers said: 'Pull her in our direction, don't let her get too
far away.' And she was yelling more and more. It didn't move him. Suddenly,
she shouted: 'I gave birth, Daoud! I gave birth!' I started repeating what
she said so the soldiers would hear. In Hebrew and Arabic. They heard.
Rula later shouted: "The girl died! The girl
died!" Daoud, distraught and fearing for his wife’s own life, was forced to
cut the umbilical cord with a rock. Later, the doctor who examined the
little corpse at the hospital revealed that the baby girl had died "from a
serious blunt force injury received when she shot out of the birth canal."
Commenting on the similar death of another Palestinian newborn at another
Israeli checkpoint, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Physicians for Human
We don't know how many have died like this
because many people don't even bother to set out for hospital, knowing the
soldiers will stop them. … These people offer no threat to Israel. Those who
do, like the suicide bombers, of course never go through roadblocks, which
exist only to control, subjugate and humiliate ordinary people. It is like a
routine terrorism. 
II. Hunting Children for Sport:
The veteran American journalist Chris Hedges exposed in Harper’s Magazine
how Israeli troops in Gaza systematically curse and provoke Palestinian
children playing in the dunes of southern Gaza. Then, when the boys finally
get irritated enough and start throwing stones, the soldiers premeditatedly
respond with live ammunition from rifles fitted with silencers. "Later,"
writes Hedges, "in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs
ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos.” He then concludes,
“Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered, . . . but I have
never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and
murder them for sport." 
III. Patients & the Siege:
Reporting on a particularly appalling incident, Gideon Levy writes in
The soldiers made Bassam Jarar, a double
amputee with kidney disease, and Mohammed Asasa, who is blind in both eyes,
get out of the ambulance. Both men had come from dialysis treatment. About
half an hour passed, and then blood started to drip from the tube that is
permanently inserted in Jarar's lower abdomen.
"I told the soldier on the tank that I was bleeding. He told me to sit there
and that they'd take me to a doctor. We sat there in the sun for almost an
hour." … The bleeding increased. After about an hour, two soldiers came and
lifted up Jarar and placed him on the floor of their jeep. "I told them that
I couldn't travel in a jeep. They said that's all there was and that they
were going to take me to a doctor. The guy drove like a maniac and I was
bouncing up and down and my whole body hurt. I told them that it hurt. They
said, "Don't be afraid, you're not going to die." There were four soldiers
in the jeep and I was on the floor. He wouldn't slow down. And the soldiers
were laughing and not looking at me at all.
IV. Sexual Assault
In another crime, two Israeli Border Police officers coerced a Palestinian
shepherd to wear on his back the saddle of his donkey and walk back and
forth before them; and then, at gunpoint, one of the two forced him to have
sex with his donkey for half an hour, as documented by
Based on this culture of relative-humanization of “the other,” Nathan Lewin,
a potential candidate for a federal judgeship in Washington, and former
president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
If executing some suicide-bomber families
saves the lives of even an equal number of potential civilian victims, the
exchange is, I believe, ethically permissible. … It is a policy born of
necessity - the need to find a true deterrent when capital punishment is
demonstrably ineffective. 
Diplomacy aside, “civilian” here stands for
“Jewish” only, of course.
Harvard Law professor
Alan Dershowitz has likewise advised Israel to entirely level any
Palestinian village that harbors a suicide bomber.
Little wonder, then, someone as morally consistent as Shulamit Aloni, the
former member of Knesset, finds it necessary to say: "We do not have gas
chambers and crematoria, but there is no one fixed method for genocide."
Do Israelis Know?
In my view, the British journalist Jonathan Cook hit it right on when he
[Israelis] know exactly what happens: their
Zionist training simply blinds them to its significance. As long as the
enemy is Arab, as long as the catch-all excuse of security can be invoked,
and as long as they believe anti-Semitism lurks everywhere, then the Israeli
public can sleep easy as another [Palestinian] child is shot riding his
bike, another family's house is bulldozed, another woman miscarries at a
checkpoint. … It seems that a people raised to believe that anything can be
done in its name -- as long as it serves the interests of Jews and their
state -- has no need of ignorance. It can commit atrocities with eyes wide
And this is not new. Zionist thinker, Ahad
Ha'am, described the anti-Arab attitude of the Jewish settlers that came to
Palestine to escape repression in Europe, long before Israel was created, as
Serfs they were in the lands of the Diaspora,
and suddenly they find themselves in freedom [in Palestine]; and this change
has awakened in them an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with
hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without
cause, and even boast of these deeds; and nobody among us opposes this
despicable and dangerous inclination. 
But if that’s the case, then two possible
explanations -- not necessarily mutually exclusive -- may be put forth to
explain the Israelis’ acceptance of, and sometimes fervent support for, this
systematic violation of basic human rights:
1) Widespread belief that their demographic war against the Palestinians
could be won by implementing the suggestion of cabinet minister, Benny Elon,
who called for intensifying the siege and repression in order to: "make
their life so bitter that they will transfer themselves willingly."
2) Secular or not, the root of the entrenched Israeli perception of the
Palestinians as less human is nourished by a racist colonial tradition and
rising Jewish fundamentalism.
I’ll expand a bit on this last point.
It is commonplace to read about Islamic fundamentalism and its militancy,
anachronism and intrinsic hate of “the other.” Jewish fundamentalism, on the
contrary, is a taboo issue that virtually never gets mentioned at all in the
west for reasons that are beyond the scope of this essay. But, since Jewish
fundamentalism is increasingly gaining ground in Israel, making the state,
as the veteran British journalist David Hirst describes it: "not only
extremist by temperament, racist in practice, [but also] increasingly
fundamentalist in the ideology that drives it."
For example, referring to Jewish Law, or Halacha, Rabbi Ginsburg, the leader
of a powerful Hassidic sect, defended the 1994 massacre of Muslim
worshippers in a mosque in Hebron, saying:
Legally, if a Jew does kill a non-Jew, he's
not called a murderer. He didn't transgress the Sixth Commandment …There is
something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish
Rabbi Shaul Israeli, one of the highest
rabbinic authorities of the National Religious Party and of the religious
Zionism in general, justified the 1953 Qibya massacre, perpetrated by an
Israeli army unit led by Ariel Sharon, by also citing Jewish law. He wrote:
We have established that there exists a
special term of 'war of revenge' and this is a war against those who hate
the Jews and [there are] special laws applying to such war. … In such a war
there is absolutely no obligation to take precautions during warlike acts in
order that non-combatants would not be hurt, because during a war both the
righteous and wicked are killed. … the war of revenge is based on the
example of the war against the Midianites in which small children were also
executed, and we might wonder about this, for how they had sinned? But we
have already found in the sayings of our Sages, of blessed memory, that
little children have to die because of the sin of their parents.
3.1.C. Israel’s System of Racial
Discrimination: Intelligent, Nuanced but still Apartheid
US academic Edward Herman writes:
If Jews in
France were required to carry identification cards designating them Jews
(even though French citizens), could not acquire land or buy or rent homes
in most of the country, were not eligible for service in the armed forces,
and French law banned any political party or legislation calling for equal
rights for Jews, would France be widely praised in the United States as a
"symbol of human decency" (New York Times) and paragon of democracy? Would
there be a huge protest if France, in consequence of such laws and
practices, was declared by a UN majority to be a racist state?
Advocating comprehensive and unequivocal
equality between Arabs and Jews in Israel has become tantamount to sedition,
if not treason. An Israeli High Court justice has recently stated on record
that: "it is necessary to prevent a Jew or Arab who calls for equality of
rights for Arabs from sitting in the Knesset or being elected to it."
A recent survey by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) reveals that 53% of
Israeli Jews oppose full equal rights for the Palestinian citizens of
Israel, and a staggering 57% believe they should be "encouraged to
emigrate." One main finding was that when Israeli Jews say “we” or “us” they
hardly ever include the Palestinian citizens of the state.
In land ownership rights, the inequality is categorical. ‘It is forbidden to
sell apartments in the Land of Israel to Gentiles,’ said Israel’s Chief
Rabbi in 1986, commenting on an attempt by a Palestinian to buy an apartment
owned by the Jewish National Fund in East Jerusalem.
In other vital areas of life, including marriage laws, urban development and
education, Israel has perfected a comprehensive apparatus of racial
discrimination against its Palestinian citizens that is unparalleled
From all the above described dimensions of the military occupation, the
status quo is untenable, if not because of Palestinian resistance, then due
to rising international condemnation.
4. Ethnic Cleansing: Israel’s Final Solution to the Palestinian
Israeli politicians, intellectuals and mass media outlets often passionately
debate how best to face the country’s demographic “war” with the
Palestinians. Few Israelis dissent from the belief that such a war exists or
ought to exist. The popular call to subordinate democracy to demography,
 however, has entailed the adoption of
reminiscent population control mechanisms to keep the number of Palestinians
In a stark example of such mechanisms, the Israel Council for Demography was
reconvened last year to "encourage the Jewish women of Israel -- and only
them -- to increase their child bearing; a project which, if we judge from
the activity of the previous council, will also attempt to stop abortions,"
as reported in Ha’aretz. This prestigious body, which comprises top
Israeli gynecologists, public figures, lawyers, scientists and physicians,
mainly focuses on how to increase the ratio of Jews to Palestinians in
Israel, by employing "methods to increase the Jewish fertility rate and
prevent abortions." 
Besides demographic engineering, this all-out “war” on Palestinian
population growth has always involved enticing non-Arabs, Jewish or not,
from around the world -- preferably, but not necessarily, the white part of
it -- to come to Israel, and be eventually Israelized.
 Israeli scholar Boaz Evron writes:
Fear of the “demographic threat” has haunted
Zionism from the very beginning. In its name Ethiopians were turned into
Jews over the objections of rabbis. In its name hundreds of thousands of
Slavs came here wearing the Law of Return as a fig leaf. In its name
emissaries have gone out across the world seeking out more and more Jews.
With the support of the Israeli government,
for example, one Zionist organization, Amatzia,
 has organized the adoption of foreign
children to Jewish families that have fertility problems, insisting only on
the condition of converting all the children to Judaism upon arrival in
Israel. Romania, Russia, Guatemala, Ukraine and the Philippines were the
main sources of children; but now, after they’ve “dried up,” India has
become the source of choice, mainly for the relative ease of acquiring the
“goods” there. Amatzia’s director, Shulamit Wallfish, has sought children
from the northern parts of India in particular, "where the children's skin
is lighter, which would better suit Israeli families," according to her.
More concerned about the imminent rise of an Arab majority between the
Jordan and the Mediterranean than with the oft invoked and sanctified
“Jewish purity,” Ariel Sharon has indeed called on religious leaders to
smooth the progress of the immigration and absorption of non-Arabs, even if
they weren’t Jewish, in order to provide Israel with "a buffer to the
burgeoning Arab population," reports the Guardian.
 The Israeli government’s view is that
"while the first generation of each wave of immigration may have difficulty
embracing Israel and Jewishness, their sons and daughters frequently become
enthusiastic Zionists. In the present climate, they are also often very
Albeit vastly popular, such a policy is not endorsed across the board. Eli
Yishai, the leader of the largest Sephardic Jewish party Shas, for example,
who is particularly alarmed at the influx of gentiles, hysterically
By the end of the year 2010 the state of
Israel will lose its Jewish identity. A secular state will bring ...
hundreds of thousands of goyim who will build hundreds of churches and will
open more stores that sell pork. In every city we will see Christmas trees.
The Israeli far-right minister, Effi Eitam,
prescribes yet another alternative: "If you don’t give the Arabs the right
to vote, the demographic problem solves itself."
One conscientious Israeli who is revolted by all this reminiscent language
of demographic control is Dr. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin of Ben-Gurion University.
He writes: "It's frightening when Jews talk about demography."
Also dissenting from the mainstream Israeli view, Boaz Evron argues that:
When we give up defining our national essence
by religious criteria, and forcing conversion on people who are good Israeli
citizens, and give up the effectively illegal preferences afforded to Jews,
it will suddenly become apparent there is no need to worry about the
"demographic threat."  But, by far,
the all-time favourite mechanism has always been ethnic cleansing.
Incessantly practiced, forever popular, but persistently denied by the
Zionists, ethnic cleansing has in the last few years been resurrected from
the gutters of Zionism to occupy its very throne.
The famous historian, Benny Morris, has
recently argued that completely emptying Palestine of its indigenous Arab
inhabitants in 1948 might have led to peace in the Middle East.
In response, Baruch Kimmerling, professor at Hebrew University, wrote:
Let me extend
Benny Morris's logic …. If the Nazi programme for the final solution of the
Jewish problem had been complete, for sure there would be peace today in
Then why doesn’t Israel act upon its desire
now, one may ask? Prof. Ilan Pappe of Haifa University has a convincing
on Israeli behaviour are not moral or ethical, but technical. How much can
be done without turning Israel into a pariah state? Without inciting
European sanctions, or making life too difficult for the Americans?
Offering a diametrically opposing explanation,
Martin Van Creveld, Israel’s most prominent military historian, who supports
ethnic cleansing, arrogantly shrugs off any concern about world opinion,
issuing the following formidable warning:
several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets
in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets
for our air force. … Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like
a mad dog, too dangerous to bother." … Our armed forces are not the
thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have
the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that
that will happen, before Israel goes under.
That should amply explain why Europeans have
lately ranked Israel first among the countries that are considered a threat
to world peace. 
Yet a third explanation, which concurs with Pappe’s, is that Israel
currently enjoys the best of both worlds: it is implementing -- on the
ground -- an elaborate mesh of policies that are making the Palestinians’
lives progressively more intolerable, and therefore creating an environment
conducive to gradual ethnic cleansing, while at the same time not making any
dramatic -- Kosovo-like -- scene that would alarm the world, inviting
condemnation and possible sanctions. 
5. Israel: The Untenable Essential
Israel’s inherent racial exclusivity, as demonstrated above, have convinced
many Palestinian citizens of the state that they are not just on the
margins, but altogether unwanted. Ameer Makhoul, the General Director of
Ittijah, the umbrella organization of Palestinian NGO’s in Israel, writes:
The state of
Israel has become the most significant source of danger for the million
Palestinians who are citizens of the state that was forced upon them in
1948; a state that was erected on the ruins of the Palestinian people … .
The Palestinian citizens of Israel cannot defend themselves by relying on
the legal system and the Knesset. This public has no trust in the state and
its institutions, because the Israeli rules of the game enable only
discrimination, racism and repression of collective aspirations.
Besides what Palestinians think or want, the
question should be posed: can a state that insists on ethnic purity ever
qualify as a democracy, without depriving this concept of its essence? Even
Israel’s loyal friends have started losing faith in its ability to reconcile
the fundamentally irreconcilable: modern liberal democracy and outdated
ethnocentricity. Writing in the New York Review of Books, New York
University professor Tony Judt affirms that:
In a world
where nations and peoples increasingly intermingle and intermarry, where
cultural and national impediments to communication have all but collapsed,
where more and more of us have multiple elective identities and would feel
constrained if we had to answer to just one, in such a world, Israel is
truly an anachronism. And not just an anachronism, but a dysfunctional one.
In today's "clash of cultures" between open, pluralist democracies and
belligerently intolerant, faith-driven ethno-states, Israel actually risks
falling into the wrong camp. 
Avraham Burg, a devoted Zionist leader reached
a similar conclusion.  Attacking the
Israeli leadership as an "amoral clique," Burg asserts that Israel, which
"rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and
injustice," must "shed its illusions and choose between racist oppression
6. Secular Democratic State: New Horizons
No matter what our hypocrites, Uncle Toms or “false prophets” may say,
Israel, as an exclusivist and settler-colonial state,
 has no hope of ever being accepted or
forgiven by its victims -- and as it should know, those are the only ones
whose forgiveness really matters.
Despite the pain, the loss and the anger which relative-humanization
undoubtedly engenders in them, Palestinians have an obligation to
differentiate between justice and revenge, for one entails an essentially
moral decolonization, whereas the other descends into a vicious cycle of
immorality and hopelessness. As the late Brazilian educator Paulo Freire
which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though
in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the
vocation of becoming more fully human. … [The] Struggle [for humanization]
is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical
fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that
engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the
oppressed. … In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must
not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it),
become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the
humanity of both. 
Rejecting relative humanity from any side, and
insisting on ethical consistency, I believe that the most moral means of
achieving a just and enduring peace in the ancient land of Palestine is to
establish a secular democratic state between the Jordan and the
Mediterranean, anchored in equal humanity and, accordingly, equal rights.
The one-state solution, whether bi-national -- a notion which is largely
based on a false premise that the second nation in question is defined
 -- or secular-democratic, offers a
true chance for decolonization of Palestine without turning the Palestinians
into oppressors of their former oppressors. The vicious cycle launched by
the Holocaust must come to an end altogether.
This new Palestine should:
1) First and foremost allow and facilitate the return of and compensation
for all the Palestinian refugees, as the only ethical restitution acceptable
for the injustice they’ve endured for decades. Such a process, however, must
uphold at all times the moral imperative of avoiding the infliction of any
unnecessary or unjust suffering on the Jewish community in Palestine;
2) Grant full, equal and unequivocal citizenship rights to all the citizens,
Jews or Arabs;
3) Recognize, legitimize and even nourish the cultural, religious and ethnic
particularities and traditions of each respective community. As a general
rule, I subscribe to what Prof. Marcelo Dascal of Tel Aviv University
insightfully proposes: 
[T]he majority has an obligation to avoid as much as possible the
identification of the state’s framework with traits that preclude the
possibility of the minority's commitment to it.
Israelis should recognize this moral Palestinian challenge to their colonial
existence not as an existential threat to them but rather as an magnanimous
invitation to dismantle the colonial character of the state, to allow the
Jews in Palestine finally to enjoy normalcy, as equal humans and equal
citizens of a secular democratic state -- a truly promising land, rather
than a false Promised Land.
That would certainly confirm that Roosevelt is not only dead but is also
is a Palestinian doctoral student of philosophy (ethics) at Tel Aviv
University and a noted political analyst. His article "9.11 Putting the
Moment on Human Terms" was chosen among the "Best of 2002" by The
Guardian newspaper of London. His articles have appeared in the Hartford
Courant, Al-Ahram, Z Magazine and CounterPunch, among others.
Roosevelt, The Winning of the West, reproduced in: Norman
Finkelstein, "History's Verdict: The Cherokee Case," Journal of Palestine
Studies, Volume XXIV, Number 4, Summer 1995, University of California
2) For more details on Barak’s myth of the “generous offer,” refer to: David
Clark, "The Brilliant Offer Israel Never Made," The Guardian, April 10,
2002, or: Faisal Husseini, "The Compromise that Wasn't; Why Camp David II
Failed to Satisfy Minimal Palestinian Conditions,"
www.AMIN.org, December 12, 2000, or; Tanya
Reinhart, "The Camp David Fraud," Yedioth Ahronoth,
July 13, 2000.
3) Barbara Demick, Philadelphia Inquirer,
January 16, 2001.
4) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract,
5. Several archaeological studies have shown that most of the stories in the
Bible used by Zionists to buttress their claim to Palestine were indeed not
supported by the region's history, which is 'based on direct evidence from
archaeology and historical geography and is supported by analogies that are
primarily drawn from anthropology, sociology and linguistics,' as
archaeologist Thomas L. Thompson has written. His findings are supported
by the extensive, painstaking and authoritative research of distinguished
Israeli archaeologists, including
Ze'ev Herzog and Israel Finkelstein (see Aviva Lori, "Grounds for
Disbelief, Ha'aretz," May 10, 2003).
6) Joseph Weitz, A Solution to the Refugee Problem, Davar,
September 29, 1967; cited in: Uri Davis and Norton Mevinsky, eds.,
Documents from Israel, 1967-1973, p.21.
The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem, UN Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
8) Henry Kissinger defined as Israel's ultimate objective, "a normality that
ends claims [from Palestinians] and determines a permanent legal status.’
Consequently, he has consistently counseled Israel, in return for
recognizing a Palestinian state, to insist on a quid pro quo that included
‘a formal renunciation of all future [Palestinian] claims.’ That, he
maintained, was ‘the essence of reasonableness to Americans and Israelis."
Henry Kissinger, "The Peace Paradox," Washington Post,
December 4, 2000.
9) Reuters, Germany: Growing Number of Israelis Seeking Citizenship,
Ha’aretz, Monday, June 17, 2002.
10) Yair Sheleg, Belgian Prime Minister Apologizes for his Country's Actions
During Holocaust, Ha’aretz, October 07, 2002.
11) DPA, Sephardi Jews Demand Recognition from Spanish Government, Ha’aretz,
October 15, 2002.
12) Celebrated Israeli writers A.B. Yehoshua and Amos Oz wrote: "We shall
never be able to agree to the return of the refugees to within the borders
of Israel, for the meaning of such a return would be the elimination of the
State of Israel." A.B. Yeshoshua & Amos Oz, "Support Barak Conditionally,"
Ha’aretz, December 19, 2000.
13) Amnesty International’s examination of Israel’s conduct during the
current intifada led it to conclude that: "There is a pattern of gross human
rights violations that may well amount to war crimes."
14) Oona King, "Israel Can Halt This Now," The Guardian,
June 12, 2003.
15) The dubbed "Separation Barrier" has been shown by many researchers to be
in effect separating Palestinians from their lands, and isolating them in
restrictive Bantustans, fully under the control of the Israeli military. As
such, the only proper and accurate name that can be applied to this mammoth
barrier is: Apartheid Wall, as many have begun to call it. For details on
the Wall, refer to the Amnesty International report at:
http://web.amnesty.org/pages/isr-index_2-eng, which considers the wall a
form of collective punishment, and therefore illegal, the Human Rights Watch
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ga10179.doc.htm, the B’Tselem
detailed position paper at:
http://www.btselem.org, or the UNGA resolution condemning the wall at:
16) Meron Rappaport, "A Wall in their Heart," Yedioth Ahronot,
May 23, 2003. Reproduced at:
17) Ha’aretz Editorial, "A
Fence Along the Settlers’ Lines," October 3, 2003.
18) Mazal Mualem, "Old Habitats Die Hard," Ha’aretz,
June 20, 2003.
20) Thomas Friedman, "One Wall, One Man, One Vote," New York Times,
September 14, 2003.
21) Gideon Levy, "Birth and Death at the Checkpoint," Ha’aretz,
September 12, 2003.
22) John Pilger, "Israel’s Routine Terrorism," The Mirror,
September 16, 2002.
23) Chris Hedges, "A Gaza Diary," Harper’s Magazine,
24) Gideon Levy, "Wanted Men," Ha’aretz Friday Magazine,
November 8, 2002.
25) B’Tselem, Sexual Assault in Zeita, June 2003.
26) Ami Eden, "Top Lawyer Urges Death for Families of Bombers," The
Forward, June 7, 2002.
27) Alan Dershowtiz, Jerusalem Post, March 11, 2002; cited in: Rod Dreher,
Muslims vs. Dersh, National Review,
November 22, 2002.
28) Shulamit Aloni, "Murder of a Population under Cover of Righteousness,"
Ha’aretz, March 6, 2003.
[Translated from Hebrew by Zvi Havkin].
29) Jonathan Cook, "Eyes Wide Open," Al-Ahram Weekly Online,
August 21-27, 2003.
30) Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest (New York, Olive Branch Press, 1991).
31) Shulamit Aloni, ibid.
32) David Hirst, "The War Game," The Observer,
September 21, 2003.
33) Israel Shahak,
35) Edward S. Herman, "Israeli Apartheid And Terrorism," Z-Magazine, 29
36) Herman, ibid.
37) Ha’aretz, May 22, 2003.
38) Ha'aretz, January 17, 1986.
39) Lily Galili, "A Jewish demographic state," Ha’aretz,
Monday, July 01, 2002.
40) Gideon Levy, "Wombs in the Service of the State," Ha’aretz,
September 9, 2002.
41) "Israeli assimilation" of non-Jewish foreigners is eating away at the
Jewish majority, according to recent demographic studies. According to the
most conservative -- and, in my opinion, misleading -- statistics, about 10%
of the supposed Jewish population of Israel is really non-Jewish. For
further details, refer to: Yair Sheleg, "Demographic Balancing Acts,"
Ha’aretz, June 13, 2002.
42) Boaz Evron, "Demagography as the Enemy of Democracy," Ha’aretz,
September 11, 2002.
43) Ruth Sinai, "Israelis Can Now Adopt Children from India,"
Ha’aretz, November 11, 2003.
44) Chris McGreal, "Sharon Takes on Rabbis Over Jewish Identity,"
The Guardian, December 31, 2002.
46) Yuli Tamir, "Divide the Land or Divide Democracy," Ha’aretz,
April 14, 2002.
47) Lily Galili, ibid.
48) Boaz Evron, ibid.
49) Benny Morris, "A new exodus for the Middle East," The Guardian,
October 3, 2002.
50) Baruch Kimmerling, "False logic," The Guardian,
October 5, 2002.
51) Geraldine Bedell, "Set in Stone," The Observer,
June 15, 2003.
52) Ferry Biedermann, "Interview with the Israeli Military Historian Dr
Martin van Creveld," January, 2003.
53) Thomas Fuller, "European Poll Calls Israel a Big Threat to World Peace,"
International Herald Tribune,
October 31, 2003.
Peace activists Gadi Algazi and Azmi Bdeir explain: Transfer isn't
necessarily a dramatic moment, a moment when people are expelled and flee
their towns or villages. It is not necessarily a planned and well-organized
move with buses and trucks loaded with people... Transfer is a deeper
process, a creeping process that is hidden from view... The main component
of the process is the gradual undermining of the infrastructure of the
civilian Palestinian population's lives in the territories: its continuing
strangulation under closures and sieges that prevent people from getting to
work or school, from receiving medical services, and from allowing the
passage of water trucks and ambulances, which sends the Palestinians back to
the age of donkey and cart. Taken together, these measures undermine the
hold of the Palestinian population on its land.' Ran HaCohen, "Ethnic
Cleansing: Past, Present, and Future,"
www.Antiwar.com, December 30, 2002.
55) Ameer Makhoul, "Looking for a Different Framework of Legitimation,
Between the Lines," March 2002.
56) Tony Judt, "Israel: The Alternative," New York Review of Books,
Vol. 50, #16, October 23, 2003.
57) Avraham Burg, "The End of Zionism," The Guardian,
September 15, 2003. Reprinted with permission of The Forward,
which translated and adapted this essay from an article that originally
appeared in Yediot Aharonot.
58) Even the former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Meron Benvenisti, says: “in
the past two years I reached the conclusion that we are dealing with a
conflict between a society of immigrants and a society of natives. If so, we
are talking about an entirely different type of conflict. … Because the
basic story here is not one of two national movements that are confronting
each other; the basic story is that of natives and settlers. It's the story
of natives who feel that people who came from across the sea infiltrated
their natural habitat and dispossessed them.” Ari Shavit, "Cry, the Beloved
Two-State Solution," Ha’aretz,
August 10, 2003.
59) Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Herder & Herder, NY,
1972). P. 28.
60) Binationalism makes two problematic assumptions: that Jews are a nation,
and that such a nation has a right to exist as such in Palestine. Clearly
bi-nationalism cannot work between Palestinians on the one hand and the
world Jewry on the other. But will Israeli Jews define themselves as a
nation? Most probably not, since that would contradict the fundamental
premise of Zionism. Then do Israelis regard themselves as a nation?
Certainly not, since aside from parting with Zionism, that would include the
20% Palestinian minority within it.
61) Marcelo Dascal proposes this as a current principle that Israel and its
Palestinian citizens ought to uphold as a means of alleviating the conflict
between the two identities in opposition. This same principle, however, can
be quite useful if applied to the future of a unitary state.
62) Marcelo Dascal, "Identities in flux: Arabs and Jews in Israel," in G.
Weiss and R. Wodak (eds.), Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and
Interdisciplinarity (Houndmills, Basignstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2003.), pp 150-166.