Beyond the Two-State Solution: A Jewish Political Essay
For over two decades, many liberals in Israel have attempted, withwide international support, to implement the two-state solution:Israel and Palestine, partitioned on the basis of the Green Line -that is, the line drawn by the 1949 Armistice Agreements thatdefined Israelís borders until 1967, before Israel occupiedthe West Bank and Gaza following the Six-Day War. By going back toIsraelís pre-1967 borders, many people hope to restore Israelto what they imagine was its pristine, pre-occupation character andto provide a solid basis for a long-term solution to theIsraeli-Palestinian conflict.†
In this original and controversial essay, Yehouda Shenhav arguesthat this vision is an illusion that ignores historical realitiesand offers no long-term solution. It fails to see that the realproblem is that a state was created in most of Palestine in 1948 inwhich Jews are the privileged ethnic group, at the expense of thePalestinians - who also must live under a constant state ofemergency. The issue will not be resolved by the two-statesolution, which will do little for the millions of Palestinianrefugees and will also require the uprooting of hundreds ofthousands of Jews living across the Green Line. All these obstaclesrequire a bolder rethinking of the issues: the Green Line should beabandoned and a new type of polity created on the completeterritory of mandatory Palestine, with a new set of constitutionalarrangements that address the rights of both Palestinians and Jews,including the settlers.
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