Bloggingheads: Reider vs Gorenberg: One state or two?

The Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid is portrayed as a crucial step on the way to the two state solution, yet an independent Palestinian state appears to as distant as ever. Watch below as Gershom Gorenberg and I engage in a Bloggingheads diavlog to discuss whether it’s time to begin considering other options.

One sneaky note – you’ll notice I’m having considerable issue with Gershom’s portrayal of the one-state approach: He argues that this is akin to being on a sinking ship (the status quo) with the shore (the two state solution) too far to swim to, and suggesting we flap our hands and fly there instead. As many a discussion, counter-allegories begin coming up properly the minute you hang up. So for what it’s worth, here is my reading of the situation: All of us, Palestinians and Israelis, are stuck on a plane flying toward a long agreed upon destination – the two state solution. Trouble is, the destination keeps getting further and further away, and there’s every indication the plane is starting to run out of fuel. What I’m suggesting is that it’s time to consider a change of course, or even crash-landing the plane, while Gershom insists we must persist on our original track. I guess time will tell.

27 responses to “PODCAST: The other two-state solution”

  1. Lewis from Afula says:

    What if the Israelis do not want to be confederated together with the honor killing, Gay-bashing, Apsotate-burning loons who attempted to destroy them in 1948 and 1967 ?

    • Firentis says:

      That is very intolerant of you. Open your heart. Once they have free access to live in Israel as part of the confederation they will surely moderate and that will be the end of it. History will end and we will all leave happily ever after.

      • john says:

        more intolerant than proposing cyanide-poisoning gaza’s water?

      • Ben says:

        Being realists, we are not interested in people like Afula’s Lewis opening their heart. We want the state’s forces (or intervening international forces) to stay such sociopathic individuals by all means at their disposal.

      • Ben says:

        The whining here about intolerant sectors of Palestinian society is empty far right posturing. Have you checked out ugly Afula lately, Firentis? Afula is just the place where they say in public what other right wing Israeli Jews think, and say behind closed doors.

        The truth is that Ahed Tamimi is a liberated, strong, modern, assertive, non-submissive woman but Israelis hate her most of all. Israelis were incredibly threatened by this woman standing up to a male soldier.

        Israel tenaciously blocks every attempt by Palestinians to travel and obtain a liberalizing Western education, and if an Arab resident of Jerusalem goes abroad to obtain a liberalizing education the Israelis cancel his residency status and blocks his return.

        If Israel were truly interested in Palestinian society liberalizing as Lewis and Firentis whine and carry one about, Israel would act differently. The truth is that the last thing Israel wants is to encourage moderating, liberalizing trends in Palestinian society and Israel determinedly thwarts any attempt to move things in that direction. Because Israel wants to demonize, secretly loves violence and loves the extremists.

        The last thing the mass of Israeli Jews want to do is share the land or relinquish Jewish hegemony or give up violence as their main modus operandi. All the rest is just excuses.

        • Firentis says:

          Yeah, because getting Western educations really helps liberalize the other Arabs. Shall we talk about Saudi Arabia which sends hundreds of thousands of students abroad to study yearly? Nice red herring there, but hey, everything is about the “occupation” with this one.

          What about Afula? That there are racists in Israel? Sure. No argument there. I am sure they will get along great in a single state with the Arabs. Brilliant whataboutery there braniac.

          • Ben says:

            “Saudi Arabia” is the whataboutery. Afula is more representative than you want to admit. “Lewis” from Afula insists on it.

          • Ben says:

            “Yeah, because getting Western educations really helps liberalize the other Arabs.”

            This is casually racist.

            Look at the young people in the picture captioned “Members of Sol Band (Left to Right) singer Rahaf Shamaly, oud player Said Fadel, and lead singer Hamada Naserallah”:

            These young people are like Jewish teenagers in Tel Aviv and like young people anywhere. Do they look like “terrrorists” to you?

            Yes education does liberalize and open minds. (The Haredim would not be so deathly afraid of educating their young people if this were not the case.) Arabs are not some broad racial exception.

          • Firentis says:

            Right, blaming Israel for the backwardness of Palestinian society is ok and on point because supposedly Israel doesn’t allow them to get Western educations is ok. Pointing out that that Palestinian society doesn’t differ from the society of surrounding countries where large chunks of the population is Western educated is whataboutery. Good logic there buddy.

          • Ben says:

            Of course…

            — no one here is actually “blaming Israel for the backwardness of Palestinian society.”

            — Israel not only does not allow them to travel to get an education, if the Jerusalem residents travel then Israel uses the chance to lock them out of coming back

            — large chunks of Saudi society are not Western educated or else the Saudis would not have to import so many of their academic and technical experts from the West. It is also not a democracy and so the engine of education and social change works quite differently than in democracies.

            — You cannot pass of Afula as the exception:

            “…Afula is a racist mirror of broad sections of Israeli society, the legacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent years in office. The spirit of the nation-state law – the Netanyahu government’s crowning glory – wafts over the Afula demonstration and gives legitimacy to discriminatory, ugly behavior toward Arab citizens. Israel urgently needs local and national leadership that will facilitate ways for Jews and Arabs to live together.”

          • Lewis from Afula says:

            Ben: Making some ridiculous Israel-bashing argument and then giving an Haaretz link to back it up just emphasizes its own absurdity. Getting the approval of Pappe, G. Levy, A. Hass, A. Burg et al., just disqualifies you as a rational observer.

          • Ben says:

            Yeah I guess I lost all credibility with you when I came out against genocide by cyanide.

          • Ben says:

            That Israel has always consciously manipulated the access of Palestinians to education and has done this with the express purpose of furthering its dispossessing and colonizing designs, is borne out by the history of the “Professors Committee”:


          • Lewis from Afula says:

            Nothing wrong with Israel annexing land from JORDAN.
            The “fakestinyans” did not exist in the late 1960s – they were not invented yet.

          • john says:

            ‘they weren’t people then, so they aren’t people now, so it’s okay to want to expel & kill them’

          • Lewis from Afula says:

            The JORDANIANS will never escape from their JORDANIAN guilt.
            Their name-changing tactics are irrelevant to their victims (the Israelis)

          • Ben says:

            Rivka Koen nicely demolished this “Jordanian” claptrap here:
            “Jordan and Jordanians were invented in the 20th century; Palestine and Palestinians were not…”

          • Lewis from Afula says:

            Rivka Koen is a Neo-Marxist Social Justice Warrior who lives in the Haaretz Clown World.
            No wonder you support her.

          • Ben says:

            I don’t care if Rivka Koen is an alien from outer space sent to observe the strange ways of primitive, retrobate Earthlings (although all signs indicate she is an intelligent American or Israeli Jew), she demolished your “Jordanian” rubbish anyway. That’s all you’ve got? 100% ad hominem? As vacant as Halevy’s “leftist blah blah.”

          • Lewis from Afula says:

            Re: “primitive, retrobate Earthlings”
            Yes, that sounds like a certain US-based, deranged leftist nutter who enjoys pontifying about Israeli policies.

          • Arthur Milner says:

            You mean the Suadi Arabia that is Israel’s closest ally in the Middle East?

    • Ray says:

      Because, as a National-Religious, you love gay people so much?

  2. George P. Smith says:

    This proposal is a mess, because Dr. Scheindlin insists on her “tribe” maintaining ethnic sovereignty over the 78 percent of geographic Palestine from which the Zionists exiled 83 percent of the indigenous people. Anything but democracy and equality. The point of resolution proposals is not to devise plans that will be acceptable to Zionists like her. It is to mobilize the global community of conscience to exert so much economic and ultimately military pressure on the Zionists that they’ll finally be FORCED to agree to democracy—just as the Nationalists were ultimately forced to agree to democracy in South Africa.

  3. yonah fredman says:

    I do not think that the Israeli voting public is anywhere near to accepting this proposal. But I have questions regarding security. Who will be the army guarding the border between Palestine and Jordan? will it be a joint Zionist/Palestinian army? Who will be the army guarding Lod Airport? I assume the Zionist army. I cannot imagine a Palestinian traveling from Hebron to the Temple Mount agreeing to pass through a Zionist army checkpoint. I have to assume that once someone lives in Hebron inside the confederation they will not have to pass through checkpoints to reach the Temple Mount. Checkpoints between Hebron and Tel Aviv will those also be a thing of the past? Sounds utopian. (meaning unrealistic).

  4. dgfincham says:

    Readers might be interested in the One-State-Two-Nations Proposal which is a form of confederation. Google it.

  5. Frank Adam says:

    Effectively this is a return to the actuality of the Mandate when in the British legal Latin the Yishuv created an imperium in imperio – a state within the state at communal level. It did not work anymore than the overall one state solution that was the Mandate because the Arab party did not want it to work – and is still wilfully obstructive to any proposal bar Islamic Arab supremacy. That is still the nub after we have gone “in and out the houses” and then “beaten about the bushes”[in the garden].

    When you have a scheme that the Arab parties agree to but which squares the circle by accepting accepts Enlightenment civil rights, equalities and opportunities for all; and constitutional checks and balances somewhat better than the average of the 23 Arab states, – or for bonus better than your criticisms of Israel – let us know.

    • Ben says:

      What are you talking about? It’s the Jewish parties that won’t accept the one state solution or even the Arab Peace Initiative. You sound like Rip van Winkle of the Middle East, having just woken from a twenty year sleep.