“The two state solution is DEAD”, claims Ali Abunimah. Listen to him share his own solution on March 11th in Ottawa

Israel_Topography (1)The red line on this topographical map of Israel/Palestine shows the so-called “pre-67 borders” between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The line gave almost all the best agricultural land (in green) to Israel while most of the Palestinian population was relegated to the desert areas or refugee camps.

According to Ali Abunimah, the “2 state solution” was probably never going to work from the beginning. It certainly wasn’t going to be “fair”.

But now, with 600,000 Israeli settlers living in over 150 colonies in the West Bank, almost everyone agrees that the “2 state solution” is dead. American Palestinian activist and writer Ali Abunimah thinks it’s time to think of a new way to bring justice and peace to the region.  He is coming to Ottawa on March 11th to explain his proposal. Read more…

How long has the Israel/Palestine issue been festering? You can date it different ways…

  • 51 years if you start in 1967, when Israel took over and occupied the West Bank and Gaza. Since then, Palestinians living in the West Bank have lived under military rule and for the last 10 years those in Gaza have faced a punishing blockade
  • 71 years if you start from 1948, when 3/4 of a million Muslim and Christian Palestinians were pushed out of historic Palestine in order to make a new state with a Jewish majority. That caused an enormous refugee situation. Today nearly 5 million Palestinians are denied their right to return even though the land they came from is peaceful and prosperous – just because they are not Jewish.
  • 101 years if you start counting when Britain made contradictory promises – freedom and independence to Arabs under Turkish control, and support for a “homeland” for persecuted European Jews.

now thatHowever you count it, a VERY long time for almost 10 million Palestinians to wait for justice, equality and democracy.

The solution that was held out to Western audiences was the idea of 2 separate states – one for Jews and one for Palestinians. A whole industry of “negotiations” has taken place for over 50 years. And during that time, Israel has succeeded in taking over more and more land, and driving millions of Palestinians into poverty and desperation.

Over 150 Jewish settlement now dot the West Bank, joined by roads which are, or can easily be forbidden to Palestinians.

settlements_map_eng

Blue spots show over 150 Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Red spots show Israeli military bases. One wag called it the “raisin bread model of a state”. Courtesy Israeli human rights organization B’tselem.

Ali Abunimah, Palestinian American author, lecturer and thinker will explain why he thinks the idea of a “2 state solution” is dead, and why its important to “reset” by considering how to bring about a solution based on equality, human rights and democracy.

Come to hear him speak on Monday, March 11th. 7:00 p.m. Free entry. Donations welcome.

___________________________

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) encourages a thoughtful discussion among Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, including a well informed and sensitive discussion of Zionism itself. CTIP encourages serious people who disagree with Abunimah’s thesis to come, listen and ask questions. All are welcome. To learn more about what CTIP does, contact us at chair.ctip@gmail.com.

 

 

 

35 comments

    1. Hey Sixmillion, I think the area called variously Israel or Palestine, has been the homeland for the Jews for 2 or 3 thousand years. It appears to be where Judaism originated. But it has also been the homeland for other peoples, too.

    2. Hi sixmillionstitches,
      A solution based on equality, human rights and democracy will allow both peoples, Palestinians and Jews, to live in this piece of land, enjoy prosperity and safety and call it their homeland. That’s the idea of a justice based democracy.
      If your question refers to a Jewish State, or the State of Israel, well that’s a totally different question to which I’ll be happy to relate, if you are interested.

    3. Not according to the Electronic Intifada dude. Israel has no right to exist .. There, now you don’t need to go and hear what he has to say.

  1. Hi Peter;

    Thanks for including me in your post on todays talk. I regret that I will be unavailable to attend.

    Hope you are enjoying our sunny day. Mary

    >

  2. Well if the 2 state solution is dead….it wasn’t the Jews who killed it. The Palestinians have rejected EVERY peace offer violently and out of hand for the last 100 years. So the Israelis may as well just take what they want.

    1. Hey Harry, You are a bit cavalier, I find.
      But even if it were true that the Palestinian leadership made many mistakes, do you really think that if Israel “takes what it wants”, that would be fair? Would it bring peace? Or would it ensure a continuance of resentment and resistance? Would Israel then be able to hold up its head in the world. Would Jews be proud of it? I doubt it.

  3. @ Peter That’s a funny one. The Arabs in Israel have more “human rights” than any Arabs do anywhere in the Middle East or north Africa. Given the chance to become full Israeli citizens, they would probably jump at it. Look how many people line up to pass security every day trying to get to their jobs or receive medical care in Israel from the Palestine territories! You think they do this every day because they are facing genocide? Don’t be silly!

    1. Hey Jaime, you have a rather odd sense of humour.
      For most people with a basic level of decency, there is something sad and unfair to the fact that Palestinians have to line up to pass through security to find work or get medical treatment. This is not like the US border. They are not ‘immigrants’. Israel’s ‘security barrier’ cuts right through occupied East Jerusalem, so Palestinians have to cross it, even to get to territory that the world (and Canada) recognizes is Palestinian territory.

      1. Terror bombings, knifing, auto ramming. Might have something to do with the security, Peter. Seems to me that like Mr. Abunimah you believe that Israel needs to be eradicated and all non Muslims pushed into the sea for world peace.

      2. Hey Harry Abrams, thank you so much for raising this issue.

        I have not read everything Mr. Abunimah has written but I would be very surprised (and annoyed) if he said that ‘Israel needs to be eradicated and all non-Muslims pushed into the sea for world peace’.

        I am quite sure that I have never said anything remotely like that because I don’t agree with that. I would like to know what I have said which has led you to believe that of me. If you can find ANYTHING I have written which has given you that mistaken impression, please find it and send it to me. I would be pleased to issue a correction right away.

        Thank you again for giving me an opportunity to clarify this.

  4. The map colours are based on ground elevation, green marks sea level, dark brown marks altitude of more than 1000m

    These colours have nothing to do with land fertility
    Some of the worst agricultural lands are green (the Arava, Nitzana and more ) some of the brown regions are excellent agricultural lands (Samaria, upper and lower Galilee)

    Surely, an educated person like yourself knows all that already.
    Why are you misleading your readers with such a crude trick?

    1. Hey Ahik, I’m not sure if I should thank you for this or not. I think you are trying to mislead rather than have a serious discussion.

      The map is a topographical map, as you point out, but anybody interested can go on Google and ask for land use maps for Israel. It will show basically the same thing.

      In 1948, the Zionists did to the Palestinians more or less the same thing we European settlers did to our Canadian indigenous population. That is – we took almost all of the best land, and pushed them off to the poorer lands. We wanted the best land, and they couldn’t stop us, however immoral.

      In any event, I ask readers to judge who has the incentive to mislead here – you or me. I have no stake in this. I am not trying to find ways to justify or defend or even deny what happened in Israel/Palestine.

      I think you would have a lot more credibility if you would recognize the truth of what happened in the past, and then start working on how to create a peaceful solution that is fair to all – both Jews and non Jews.

      1. So you know that green marks lowlands in topographic maps and you write :
        “The line gave almost all the best agricultural land (in green) to Israel while most of the Palestinian population was relegated to the desert areas or refugee camps.”

        in the area between the river and sea Palestine is 22% and Israel proper is 78% but 92% of the desert is in Israel with only 8% of the desert is the Judean desert in the West Bank

      2. Hey Ahik, you are like a lawyer trying desperately to find a technical excuse for his guilty client. Why not just admit that Israel took most of the good land. (of course, it took over a lot of desert, too. Including all of the Negev). But that doesnt’ affect my main claim. I think this can never be solved until Israelis recognize what they did to the Palestinians in 1947/8.

  5. “…In 1948, the Zionists did to the Palestinians more or less the same thing we European settlers did to our Canadian indigenous population. That is – we took almost all of the best land, and pushed them off to the poorer lands. We wanted the best land, and they couldn’t stop us, however immoral….” Errr not exactly, Mr. Larson. Jews are indigenous to the area and have a fully documented 3000+ year history in the area (including today’s so-called West Bank and Gaza) so the return in numbers of Jews to the area (there already had been continuous habitation by Jews) is not even remotely comparable to Europeans invading and then settling Canada. Also the Jews did absolutely everything they could to try and negotiate the re-establishment of Israel, and this included negotiations with the authorities who took over after the fall of the ottoman Empire, purchasing rather than conquering land, and then subjecting themselves to ratification by the United Nations in the 1940’s and accepting the UN’s partition proposal that effectively divided the area into Arab and Jewish partitions. This was slightly complicated by the fact that the Arabs refused to accept the partition and then the armies of 5 Arab countries invaded Israel in a war of extermination. They failed. And their inheritors have consistently refused every negotiated offer ever since, and still masturbate to dreams of raping and murdering Jewish children and stabbing mothers in their beds because one Jewish person standing on their aboriginal land is an intolerable humiliation. This is what you can expect to hear from your Mr. Abunimah, though slightly papered over, I am sure.

    1. Hey Harry,
      If you have been through the excellent Israel Museum in Jerusalem, as I have, you will know that humans have lived in that area of the world for over 50,000 years. Jericho is over 10,000 years old. There have been many, many tribes – Moabites, Edamites, Samaritans, Canaanites, Israelites etc. In fact I think the Jewish bible explains that there were people living in Jericho when the Israelites arrived there. The Bible says that they were all slaughtered.

      Judeaism arrived or arose in that area about 3000 years ago. Christianity arose there 2000 years ago. Islam arrived there about 1400 years ago.
      The Jews who lived in Palestine up to 1948 are clearly indigenous to the area. As were the Christians and Muslims.
      But its pretty hard to make a case that the tens of thousands of European Jews who came there under the British Mandate are “indigenous” in any sense of the word. They were clearly “settlers”.

      I’m afraid I find your comments about Palestinians “masturbating to dreams of raping and murdering Jewish children” rather racist. They reflect your fears more than reality. I was tempted to erase them, but I leave them up so other readers can get a sense of you as person.

  6. Hi Peter
    Appreciate your continued efforts, and wishing all the best.

    There were no fair solutions ever offered to Palestinians from any fair side, even UN resolutions were not accepted or executed by Israel! I wounder if its time now for top liners and hard broken parties to accept a fair solution; the blood on the hands of the killers is still wet…

    1. Hey Harry, thanks again. I would certainly agree that any Jew who can point to his (great) grandfather’s house or has deeds to property in Israel/Palestine (as many Palestinian refugees have) and wants to live there could not be called a settler. However, someone who has no identifiable link to historic Palestine (other than his/her religion) would in my view be most reasonably called a “settler”.

      To use an analogy – I am a Christian (at least my parents were), but if I were to return to settle in historic Palestine today, I could be fairly called a settler. Don’t you think?

      1. We’re going in circles here. Jews are indigenous to the area. There are several hallmarks of what defines that. Among them continuous use of language unique to the culture and geography, archaeology, scripture and other histories both oral and otherwise, DNA, religion and customary practice. Jews pass all of those, tying them to the area, Would you call a Cree Indian descendant, whose family had lived in another part of Canada a “settler” if they decided to return to their homeland area and live there?

      2. Hey Harry,
        No circles on this side. Straight line.

        Anyone who can show some kind of familial link (point to a house, or a grandfather etc. ) would easily establish his/her claim as part of the indigenous Canadian population. However, if someone arrived, say from Europe, claiming to be a Cree, but who could not show when/where his (great) grandfather came from, then I doubt Canada would award him/her status as an indigenous person. And I doubt whether Indigenous organizations would recognize him/her as such.

      3. I doubt the Jews and Arabs combined can claim individual property rights or have the documentation to prove ownership of more than 10% of the Palestine/Israel land. The ottomans destroyed, if ever existed , any ownership documents , 500 years ago. Most of the land belonged to the state and to Turkish landowners. Small areas were claimed by Jewish or Arab owners, some other areas sold by Turkish state to Jews and Christians. FYI, most of the Old Jerusalem is STILL owned by Greek Orthodox Church , largely sold by Turkey to Russian Ekaterina II. Deeds that are not recognized by Israel are very few.

      4. Hey Maria,
        Thanks for writing. I think property rights will be complicated. I know several bedouin families, for example, who have no legal deed but who can show their tax bills from Ottoman times indicating their tenure back before the creation of the State of Israel. In other cases, documents were destroyed – deliberately or not.
        I also know cases where Palestinian citizens of Israel were put into houses owned by families which were made refugees.
        When the time comes to reintegrate refugees into a post Zionist Israel (or whatever the state is called), some kind of legal process will have to be set up to adjudicate contradictory and unclear claims.

  7. No Peter, these hallmarks of proving indigenous connection are quite real and currently used in Canada abd elsewhere. But go ahead and play Your little game of moving goal posts around when it suits you. Doesn’t impress me at all.

    1. Hey Harry,
      Surely you can do better than that.
      Please tell me, how does Canada determine who gets a “status card” as native Canadian? Do you really believe that someone who arrived here saying that their ancestors came from here 2000 years ago would get one?
      Really?
      Frankly, think you are going around in circles because you don’t know what to say. But if you do have something thoughtful, please be my guest.

      1. Haha! If you showed up in Manitoba and demonstrated sufficiently that you were of Cree origin, and wanted to return to live there even though your family had been away for 100 or 1000 years. You had a Cree name, spoke Cree, and identified important hallmarks of your culture, then receiving status would not be much of an issue. Not many people try to fake all of the above, so it’s no big deal. There also some allowance for folks want to marry in…. Israel is the same for Jews. Specific property rights are another matter altogether. Jews have lived continuously there for at least 3000 years. Some property was no doubt passed down through generations. Other properties were lost or gained in war, and still others, notably in Jerusalem and Hebron had been Jewish, lost in war and then rehabilitated to earlier owners. This happens elsewhere too.

      2. Hey Harry, I assume you are a Canadian (this is a site for conversation about Canadian policy) and Jewish.
        Do you believe that your ancestors came from Palestine? How would you try to show that to an immigration officer? Or even to any one? How far back can you trace your ancestry?

  8. Those are actually reasonable (and almost surprisingly un-racist) questions, so I will answer them as earnestly as i can. I am 3rd generation Cdn. Grandparents arrived here as refugees following conflicts & pogroms in Europe and Russia. Not much known beyond that because the extended families on both sides maternally and paternally were eradicated during the Holocaust. My last name, Abrams, is shortened from Abramovitch. A common Jewish patronimic in Russia meaning children of Abraham. That name suggests both a biblical and Judean (Israel) cultural, ancestral and geographic origin. The family name on my Mother’s side is Spanish. this suggests a lineage with ancestors who lived in Spain some 500 or so years ago. This was a common place for Jews to live for some hundreds of years after the wars, and dispersal at the beginning of the common era. Despite these dispersals, my family has kept our culture, and ensured that i was educated to speak some Hebrew, Yiddish and and i also have a Hebrew name, and am circumcised, and married another Jewish person. We have a wedding contract written in Hebrew. I also attend a Jewish religious congregation, am one of the funeral directors in my town who prepares the dead according to ritual custom. I have never yet visited Israel, though one day I intend to. I’m sure that if I ever asked for Israel citizenship applying the “law of return” there will be no problem.

    1. Hey Harry, Thanks for this. Sounds like you can trace your Jewishness quite a long way back, on both sides. Certainly back to Russia and Spain.

      Do you define yourself as a Zionist? I think you have every right to keep (and be proud of your Jewish heritage, and more broadly of the contributions that Jews have made to civilisation (particularly Western, Christian civilization).

      But does your Zionism involve more than that? If it involves the creation of a “Jewish State” by displacing others, and making them second class citizens, then that is where Zionism becomes problematic, in my view.

      Are you proud of what Zionism is doing in Israel today? If you do go visit there, (and I think you should) make sure you visit Palestinian towns inside Israel, visit East Jerusalem, the West Bank. Talk to Palestinians about their lives. Not just the ones in the West Bank, but those inside Israel. Ask them whether they are treated equally. Also try to go to Gaza and visit some refugee camps in Jordan or Lebanon.

      And then let us know what you think about the practical consequences of Zionism today as it is practiced in Israel.

      1. Your comments to me seem charged with racism. As in Israel has no right to exist. So my comments will be brief. Israel and Zionism are inextricably intertwined. I would like to see a reasonable 2 or even 3 state solution , however i have no idea when or how that will be effected, assuming that POLITICALLY, the Palestinians have refused several very good offers to negotiate an end to the conflict over the last 100 years or so, and at the moment it still appears that the continued existence of Israel and Jews anywhere are a “humiliation” to them. So this thing will drag on for some time yet. I have Arab Israeli friends, even some who are in the IDF. They tell me that they enjoy the love, admiration, respect and equality that they they receive on a daily basis alongside Jews and others.

      2. Hey Harry, lets be very clear here. I think ISRAELIS have a right to exist. JEWS have a right to exist, and to live in the area that is variously called “Palestine” or “Israel”.

        But STATES don’t have permanency. Did the Ottoman Empire have a right to exist? Jugoslavia? Who thinks that Canada will exist forever? No state has the “right” to exist forever. That includes Israel.

        States DO exist as long as they have internal support and external recognition. When that diminishes, they are replaced by a new political structure.

        Today, the State of Israel has overwhelming support from its Jewish population but is highly contested by the Palestinians who live under Israeli control. It has very strong international support from Western countries, but that is not guaranteed to exist forever. .

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