Viewpoint: The Holyland Union Dream

By ELDAD BECK
October 5, 2010 13:19

With the renewal of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the time is ripe for some out-of-the-box thinking.

4 minute read.



Israeli and Palestinian flags

Israel Pal flag (do not publish again). (photo credit:Avi Katz)

WITH THE RENEWAL OF DIRECT PEACE TALKS between Israel and the Palestinians, the time is ripe for some out-of-the-box thinking. Both theoretical solutions of the conflict – partitioning the holy land to create two states for two peoples, or leaving it intact as one state for two peoples, are problematic. One way forward might be to create a grand synthesis between the two by adopting the best of both.

In itself, the one state solution is a non-starter. Despite rumblings by some Palestinian leaders that they might be ready to go for a one state model in which the Palestinians would soon become a majority, most Palestinians are not ready to give up the more realistic dream of establishing an internationally-backed state of their own along the 1967 borders. And despite proposals by some right-wing Israeli thinkers to grant West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizenship in a single state that would somehow retain its Jewish majority, most Israelis won’t agree to put their already existing predominantly Hebrewspeaking Jewish state at risk. Nevertheless, the complexity of the situation is such that both sides would be well advised to look beyond the conventional two-state wisdom to an arrangement in which partition of the holy land does not entail a total and possibly unworkable disengagement.

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