The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be a smoldering problem in the
There has been much discussion over the years on the issue of a binational state for Israelis and Palestinians as well as a two state solution for both peoples. The trend today, (this has overwhelming support by the
Despite this, it would be worthwhile discussing both possibilities openly and objectively considering the pros and cons of both the binational state and two state solutions.
While there is frustration on both sides of the great divide because of lack of progress and the cycle of terror between the two sides resulting in lack of trust between them. However, the situation between Israelis and Palestinians, if it does not improve, will slide into further violence which could inflame the whole
It is well known that the establishment of
Today there are signs of pragmatism amongst moderate Arab states towards recognizing Israel’s right to exist, but this is dependent on solving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the refugee problem, including the right of return of refugees to their original homes prior to Israel’s establishment. Failure to achieve this could result in Islamist extremism to take further hold of the poverty stricken people in the region and would result in
These frustrations could spur the warring parties to find a solution or it could result in further conflagrations and continuing spirals of violence.
There are three possible solutions:
1. A binational state for both Israelis and Palestinians
2. A binational confederation concerning a three-state network.
3. A two state solution - each people living in its own state.
Let us examine the binational state solution. This is the establishment of a common state in
The idea of a binational state has been discussed as early as the 1920’s.
In 1925, Martin Buber in
The binational state theory in today’s context could solve many problems between
The nature of the binational state could be a federation called “The Federation of Israel and
Professor Lama Abu-Odeh of
She also states that the failure of the Oslo Accords makes it worthwhile to reconsider the idea of binationalism. .
Professor Abu-Odeh continues: “Binationalism in this context expresses the idea that the
The decision to move towards a binational state depends on the desire of both parties to the conflict to achieve that goal. It is highly unlikely that it would be acceptable to the Israelis because mainstream
Mainstream Palestinians would not accept this either as it would be a threat to Moslem hegemony and their identity as Palestinians. For binationalism to survive or gain support there must be trust between the two peoples so that there could be a lower common denominator of desire to make it work. Both sides would have to work towards a single nation status that is secular in character with both sides striving for the same aspirations of a common statehood. At present there is no such desire from either side each having their own reasons not to support this binational concept.
Jerome M. Segal (a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies, and the president of The Jewish Peace Lobby), suggests a binational confederation as opposed to a binational state as proposed by Professor Abu-Odeh. He talks about a three-state framework which at the same time preserves the Jewish character of the State of Israel. It seeks to use the idea of a binational state and a confederation to give Israelis and Palestinians who wish to be citizens of a binational state an opportunity to do so. It offers a way for some refugees to return to lands within current
While the basis for this kind of arrangement is non-existent between both sides, the alternative of a two state solution remains the only viable alternative. Even this alternative does not have the total support of both Israelis and Palestinians. The former talks about giving op territory but does not give any concrete ideas of how to achieve this because there is no leadership in