'Unity, not two-state solution, is the answer'

BGU Prof. Lev Grinberg maintains that Palestinians would reject a demilitarized state, calls for "unity."

Netanyahu before speech 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Netanyahu before speech 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call for a demilitarized Palestinian state will lead to violence and cause any future peace agreement to fail, a Ben-Gurion University of the Negev sociology professor argues in his new book. "Even if a moderate Palestinian leader accepts this, the people will oppose it and it will turn into more violence than there is now," Prof. Lev Grinberg told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview. In June, in a speech at Bar-Ilan University, Netanyahu presented his framework for a future Palestinian state, including the stipulation that it must be demilitarized. Grinberg's book, Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Democracy versus Military Rule, was recently published by Routledge and analyzes the Israeli-Palestinian peace process from the 1992 Oslo Accords to the Second Lebanon War in 2006. In it, he suggests that a new political framework is needed, one not based on a "one-state" or "two-state" solution. He proposes an "Israeli-Palestinian union," which would have equal representation of Israelis and Palestinians and would oversee the administration of those things that can't be divided. "Everything that can be divided, will be divided," he said. "[But] you have several things that we cannot divide, such as Jerusalem, water, air and - probably - the economy. For this, we need a shared administration." The book doesn't focus much on the details of such an administration, but rather on a need to "think outside the box" and to accept that both separate and shared Palestinian and Israeli institutions will be necessary for a prolonged peace. According to Grinberg, the national consensus in Israel in the decade since the beginning of the second intifada was based on a "myth" of insecurity that had prevented a solution from being reached. "My argument is [that] there is no difference between the Left and the Right - none of them are willing to accept a Palestinian state with a military," Grinberg said. He points to the 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as evidence both that Israel is not ready to give Palestinians full sovereignty and that until it is, it can expect more rocket attacks and bombings. "That isn't real sovereignty," he said, referring to Israel's control of Gaza's borders. "And it led to more violence."