Ali Abunimah: “the only moral solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict lies in one democratic state with equality for all”



Palestinian American Ali Abunimah told a capacity crowd at St. Paul University in Ottawa that Israel should be understood as a “settler-colonial” state, like Canada or South Africa. Abunimah believes that the only answer that would bring peace to the Israel/Palestine conflict is to recognize what has happened and move toward one democratic state with equal rights for all. A lively Q and A followed. See the video here….

Ali Abunimah, editor of “The Electronic Intifada” was in Ottawa for a couple of days of public and private meetings at the invitation of the Ottawa Forum on Israel Palestine.

Nearly 200 people crowded into the main auditorium at St. Paul University to hear his public lecture, followed by over an hour of questions and answers. The next day, he participated in a workshop with Palestinian human rights activists from a variety of Canadian organizations to discuss how that movement is developing in Canada and the USA.


OFIP Chair Peter Larson moderated a lively Question and Answer session that lasted over an hour.

In the afternoon, he had a private meeting with members of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine’s Council of Advisers. He ended his visit to Ottawa with an informal dinner with a selected number of Palestinian Canadians living in Ottawa.


The public event was captured on video. The first video contains Mr. Abunimah’s presentation. The second covers the Question and Answer period.

Welcome and introduction by Dr. Hashmat Khan, and presentation by Mr. Abunimah

Question and answer session moderated by OFIP Chair Peter Larson.


The Ottawa Forum on Israel Palestine was happy to invite Ali Abunimah discuss his analysis of the current Israel/Palestine conflict and propose his view for a just resolution. OFIP does not necessarily endorse his views, but we do feel that his is a thoughtful and serious voice that deserves to be heard.


  1. Sorry, the lad’s a joke. And he doesn’t have his facts straight either. that’s OK he just makes stuff up. Who cares about history anyway?

    1) “But a basic point is that, of course, historically Zionism began–yes, it began as a response to the systematic persecution that Jews faced in Europe. It was rejected by most Jews at the time, and, in fact, for many decades. But it started long before the Holocaust. I mean, the Holocaust would be a sort of a post hoc justification for Zionism, given that the two are separated by many decades.”

    The notion of Jews in the diaspora hungering for not just redemption, but a return TO THEIR HOMELANDS is about 2,000 years old, and is reflected in Jewish worship and prayer which is still used today. So Zionism predates the Holocaust by a lot longer than the 20th century. Even Ali thinks so. Sort of.

    2) Israel is not a settler colonial enterprise. Jews are indigenous to the area, so the modern state of Israel is a RETURN not a colonization. Sorry I have to repeat my self here on this point. Some evidence is the 3000+ year old HEBREW language. This does not originate IN ANY OTHER PLACE. Arabic, however, does. It originates in Arabia. Most of the Palestinians today ARE
    DESCENDANTS of colonizers and settlers. What a coincidence!!

    3) Ali better check with Hamas and Abbas before making these kinds of fancy declarations. Hamas has never varied from their intention of absolute genocide of the Jews not just in the Middle east but everywhere on earth. And they still call us the children of pigs and dogs, so it’s fairly unlikely that they will want to live beside one any time soon. The Gaza Strip is absolutely Judenrein. No Jews live there now, nor will they be able to if anything of this same regime remains in place. Abbas has declared that No Jew will ever get to live in the West Bank or any areas past the 1967 cease fire lines. So he’s not a fan of a 1 state solution either.

    The good news that what likely WILL happen, is that Israel will probably ANNEX Area C of the West Bank, which it already substantially controls, and the Palestinians there will likely be offered full Israeli citizenship, which they would probably be happy to receive. This annexation is particularly likely to happen if the next Israel elections return a controlling majority of Naftali Bennett and Ayalet Shaked. There are no Palestinian elections scheduled or on the horizon.

  2. Thank you Peter for arranging this Forum. Many issues were discussed but I was not convinced that one state solution will take away the miseries from Palestinians. International pressure is urgently needed to bring peace in the area regardless of going for one or two democratic states for the people.

  3. I see no viable way to establish two states where both peoples have the opportunity to build good lives for themselves and their children. I have to agree with Mr. Abunimah that the one state solution offers the best hope for success over time. This will take a long time and much effort on the part of both peoples and probably much time spent building alleviating hatred and fear so that sound relationships between both peoples can emerge eventually–perhaps along the lines of our experience of truth and reconciliation with First Nations. The world community will have to assist the Palestinians for quite a while so they can experience and learn to live with total equality with Israeli Jews who also will have to learn how to share the land, the governance and the government with people they have been trained to see as enemies.

    1. From what i have seen, he is not even close to being acceptable towards bridging the two communities. My side considers him dishonest, derivative and against the existence of a majority Jewish state of any size.

      1. Hey Harry, I think he was very clear. He does not agree with the idea of a Jewish State. Nor do I. Nor do I agree with the idea of a Christian State or a Muslim. I think states should be secular and all citizens equal, irrespective of religion. I don’t see any dishonesty. I see clarity. Do you think that Jews should have rights in Israel that others don’t have? Is that consistent with democracy, as you understand the term?

  4. Thank you, Peter, for the videos. I found the speaker articulate, well-informed and interesting, even though he did not really focus on the one-state solution mentioned in the title of his talk. I thought the Jewish man who asked his question at the end was very brave to do so, and I especially appreciated Mr. Abunimah’s response.


  5. Bon matin Peter,
    N’ayant pu participer à la présentation du 11 mars je te dis merci pour les deux vidéos. Je vais les regarder avec beaucoup d’attention.

    De : Canada Talks Israel/Palestine
    Envoyé : vendredi 22 mars 2019 17:38
    À : Denis Lemelin
    Objet : [New post] Ali Abunimah: “the only moral solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict lies in one democratic state with equality for all”

    Peter Larson posted: ” Palestinian American Ali Abunimah told a capacity crowd at St. Paul University in Ottawa that Israel should be understood as a “settler-colonial” state, like Canada or South Africa. Abunimah believes that the only answer that would bring peace t”

  6. Bridging the two communities, Palestinians and Israelis, can only be done by the two communities. I think Mr. Abunimah was correct in not articulating specifics. That is the task of the two peoples when they are ready to come together to do so. They will need assistance and they will find it when they are ready. This will require both a vetting of the hurts, fears and ancient sorrows of both peoples along the lines of Canada’s truth and reconciliation experiences with First Nations; then there are the transactional efforts–both will take a long time and require skilled assistance and there are highly skilled people who have experience in these areas right here in Canada.

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