One-state solution is democratic but Israel will reject it, says UN boss

UN Secretary-General António Guterres (UN Geneva)

UN Secretary-General António Guterres told CNN on Wednesday that he is “a strong believer” that a one-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis “is theoretically possible if it is the democratic solution.”

“And all other situations would be a terrible violation of human rights or … put into question the democratic nature of the State of Israel,” the UN chief added.

Guterres’ reference to “other situations” is a clear allusion to the current reality of apartheid, where an Israeli-Jewish ethnostate rules over millions of Palestinians deprived of their most fundamental rights.

This apartheid reality was methodically described in a UN-commissioned report published in March 2017.

But Guterres himself quickly suppressed and withdrew the report, surrendering to pressure from the United States.

Rima Khalaf, the head of the agency that commissioned the report, resigned in protest at Guterres’ political cowardice.

Palestinian rights

Yet Guterres’ nod to the one-state solution was a rare crack in the ironclad consensus among international political elites that requires ritual denunciation of a single democratic state and mantra-like commitment to a so-called two-state solution that has proven impossible to achieve.

In a one-state solution, Palestinians and Israelis would have equal political rights in a single country with a modern democratic constitution. The solution would require decolonization policies to repair and make restitution for the effects of decades of Israeli land theft, expulsion and economic and social disadvantage perpetrated against the indigenous Palestinian people.

But Guterres also quickly reverted the to the official line. “I don’t think Israel can accept it,” he told CNN in reference to a one-state solution.

“So, I’m a strong believer in the two-state solution,” he added. “And for me, what is more important is to bring Israelis and Palestinians together to discuss it.”

Guterres couldn’t offer any realistic plan to do that after 25 years of complete failure of the “peace process” inaugurated by the 1993 Oslo accords, and Israel’s unchecked colonization of Palestinian lands.

Nor did Guterres explain why Israel’s preferences should be of paramount concern when what is at stake are the inalienable human, political and civil rights, and the long-denied right of self-determination, of the Palestinian people.

White South Africans also overwhelmingly opposed ending white supremacy and adopting a non-racial democracy, but that was not deemed a valid reason to support apartheid.

White South Africans changed their minds because of internal resistance and external pressure and boycotts.

Certainly, the peacefully negotiated dismantling of Israeli apartheid is the optimal outcome, but Israel should be given no option to retain an apartheid-like system which is what the “two-state solution” would be under any plan so far put forward or endorsed by international political elites, or acceptable to Israel.

All such two-state proposals are predicated on preserving Israel as a “Jewish state” by physically and politically segregating the Palestinian population because Israel considers them a “demographic threat” to Israeli-Jewish dominance.

This would necessitate abrogating the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees solely on the racist grounds that they are not Jews, recognizing Israel’s “right” to be a racist Jewish state, and confining Palestinians to a mini-state on fragments of historic Palestine under overall Israeli control – similar to the bantustans of apartheid South Africa.

Commitment to apartheid

Such grotesque “solutions” are considered political common sense among international elites, and shorn of the rhetoric about “peace” they amount to a commitment to preserving Israeli-Jewish supremacy and apartheid in perpetuity.

That commitment was on display Thursday when eight European Union governments issued a joint statement in advance of a UN Security Council discussion about the situation in Palestine.

The European governments urged Israeli occupation authorities to “reconsider their decision” to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank that faces imminent destruction to make way for more Jewish-only settlements.

“As repeatedly stressed, the consequences of a demolition of this community and the displacement of its residents, including children, would be very serious and would severely threaten the viability of the two-state solution and undermine prospects for peace,” the governments, among them Germany, Britain, Poland and France, added.

Israel has absolutely no history of heeding such polite requests and there’s no reason to believe it will show any more regard for this latest toothless pronouncement.

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Politicians and diplomats waste everyone's time dithering about one-state vs. two-states. The one thing that takes the issue away from the politicians and the diplomats is the engine of consumer action. Most needed now is a muscular Boycott movement in the US, with weekend picketing , visits to retailers, house meetings, signs at hundreds of intersections. Can anyone name a single national, statewide or local organization that is doing regular, daily Face to Face organizing, putting pickets in front of stores?

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Knowing his delicate position, why did he not elaborate on what he meant by "one state"? I bet you that he had in mind Israel if it shifts away from its Apartheid status. It won't and that is why he said that Israel won't accept it.

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Of course the One State solution will be rejected by the Elitist powers.That would mean giving equal rights to the Palestinian people .The zionist will never accept this .They insist on having the Palestinian people destroyed/murdered /destroyed, take your pick.It was never in their Oded Yinon plans http://www.informationclearing...
to assimilate the indigenous population into the country of Israel .
A good book to read on the subject is by Virginia Tilley "The One State Solution "

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Is it ever going to be recognized by the world and the world rise up against the nations that are not allowing Palestine to exist this is a permit occupation.It has been going 70 years. Imagine an occupation worse than World War Two multiple generations have lived through this . It's terrible.

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Ali Abunimah

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.